National Geographic LIVE! - The Hett Center for the Arts - McKendree University 2018-19 McCammon Distinguished Speaker Series



Play the Kobie Boykins, NASA Engineer: Exploring Mars Video

Kobie Boykins, NASA Engineer:

Exploring Mars

Friday, September 14, 2018, 7:30 p.m.


Unravel the mysteries of the Red Planet.

A dynamic young engineer at NASA‘s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Kobie Boykins is on the front line of Mars exploration. As supervisor of the mobility and remote sensing teams for the rover Curiosity, he has monitored headline-making studies, including proof of the former presence of water on Mars, indicating that the planet could have supported life. Boykins will recount the challenges and triumphs of the Mars exploration rover missions, sharing remarkable images and discoveries that continue to come to us from the Red Planet.

Kobie Boykins
Boykins designed the solar arrays that power the Mars exploration rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. Landing on Mars on January 25, 2004, Opportunity was designed to survive a mission lasting approximately 90 days. Remarkably, the rover continues to traverse the surface of Mars to this day, sending back valuable scientific data. Boykins also was responsible for the design of actuators on Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory, which landed safely on Mars in 2012.

Generously Supported by the George E. McCammon Memorial Distinguished Speaker Series




Play the Steve Winter, Wildlife Photographer: On the Trail of the Big Cats Video

Steve Winter, Wildlife Photographer:

On the Trail of Big Cats

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 7:30 p.m.


Visit the wild side of the world.

Wildlife photographer Steve Winter has spent more than 20 years leading photographic expeditions to remote locations around the world on a mission to save big cats.

Winter’s father gave him his first camera at age seven—and there was no turning back. He eventually graduated from the Academy of Art and the University of San Francisco, and became a photojournalist for Black Star Photo Agency. He has produced Steve Winterstories for GEO, Time, Newsweek, Fortune, Natural History, Audubon, BusinessWeek and Scientific American, and published more than 30 articles and two books with National Geographic. He is best known for his photography and conservation efforts involving jaguars, cougars, leopards, snow leopards, and—the most critically endangered of all—tigers.

His dedication to the protection of these iconic animals has made Winter a cornerstone of the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative, a long-term commitment to stop poaching, preserve habitats, and support education to halt extinction. In 2013, National Geographic published his photography book, Tigers Forever: Saving the World’s Most Endangered Cat. He lectures globally on photography and conservation issues and has appeared on CBS Nightly News, 60 Minutes, NPR, BBC, and CNN.

Generously Supported by the George E. McCammon Memorial Distinguished Speaker Series




Play the Dr. Kara Cooney, Egyptologist: When Women Ruled the World Video

Dr. Kara Cooney, Egyptologist:

When Women Ruled the World

Wednesday, January 23, 2019, 7:30 p.m.


Explore the realms of powerful queens.

Kathlyn (Kara) Cooney, professor of Egyptology, examines a time in ancient history when women ruled the world. Often neglected in the history books, these women were exceptions to the rule, political pawns in a patriarchal society, yet their power and influence is undeniable. Cleopatra used her sexuality—and her money—to build alliances with warlords of the Roman Empire. Neferusobek was the first woman to take definitively the title of king. Nefertiti is known more for her beauty than for bringing a Dr. Kathlyn (Kara) Cooneyfractured Egypt together. What can we learn from how they ruled?

Cooney is a professor of Egyptian art and architecture at UCLA. Specializing in craft production, coffin studies, and economies in the ancient world, she received her Ph.D. in Egyptology from Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, she was co-curator of “Tutankhamunan and the Golden Age of the Pharoahs” at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Generously Supported by the George E. McCammon Memorial Distinguished Speaker Series


$20 adult, $18 senior, $10 student/child, McKendree University students FREE


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