Department of Earth, Environmental & Planetary Sciences

Thomas A. Mutch Lecture Series

The Thomas "Tim" Mutch Memorial Fund was established in 1981 by his family and friends to honor Tim's memory as a scholar, teacher, explorer, author, administrator and involved citizen.

One of the purposes of the fund is to honor those who have shown intellectual courage and resolve in exploring important areas of the Solar System, and to bring them to Brown to share their results through the Thomas A. Mutch Lectures.

About Thomas A. Mutch


Thomas A. MutchThomas A. Mutch was born on August 26, 1931, in Rochester, New York. He received his B.A. in history at Princeton University in 1952. Tim's interest in mountain climbing, exploration, and Earth history led to his focus in Geology. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton in 1960.

Tim became an Assistant Professor of Geology at Brown University in 1960. For the next several years he taught courses in Stratigraphy, Planetary Geology, and Exploration. He authored two books, "The Geology of the Moon: Stratigraphic View," and, with several colleagues, "The Geology of Mars." Tim also led the Lander Imaging Team from the Viking Mission to Mars.

Tim disappeared on October 6, 1980, while descending the 23,410 foot high peak of Mt. Nun in the Kashmir Himalayas. At the time of his death, he was on leave from Brown University, serving as Associate Administrator for Space Science at NASA. NASA administrator Dr. Robert A. Frosch honored Tim by renaming the Viking 1 Lander spacecraft on Mars, "The Thomas A. Mutch Memorial Station."