Dr. Levine was Senior Research Scientist in the Science Directorate at the NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA, from June 1970 until his retirement in July 2011. Dr. Levine was hired by NASA Langley to develop models of the upper atmosphere of Mars for the Viking Project Scientist for the entry, descent and landing (EDL) of the world’s first successful soft-landing of an operational probe on the surface of Mars, the Viking Lander 1 on July 20, 1976. Dr. Levine was detailed to NASA Headquarters as Mars Scout Program Scientist in the Mars Exploration Program (2007-2009). At NASA Headquarters, he also served as Co-Chair of the Human Exploration of Mars Science Analysis Group (HEM-SAG) of the Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG).
On June 1, 2017, during the Centennial Anniversary of the NASA Langley Research Center, Dr. Levine was inducted into the NACA/NASA Langley Research Center Hall of Honor. Dr. Levine is one of the 37 NACA/NASA Langley Research Center researchers covering a period of 100 years inducted in the Hall of Honor and is the youngest member in the Hall of Honor.
In 1990, while working for NASA, Levine was appointed Adjunct Professor and head of the Atmospheric Sciences Track within the Applied Science Program at the College of William and Mary. Levine taught evening graduate courses in Atmospheric Science, Atmospheric Chemistry, Planetary Science and Climate Science and Policy. Upon his retirement from NASA in 2011, Dr. Levine was appointed Research Professor in the Applied Science Department.
B.S. in Physics, Brooklyn College, City University of New York, 1964
M.S. in Meteorology, New York University, 1967
M.S. in Aeronomy and Planetary Science, the University of Michigan, 1973
Ph.D. in Atmospheric Science, the University of Michigan, 1977
Publications and Talks: Dr. Levine has authored or co-authored more than 175 journal articles, scientific reports and book chapters and has edited five books. Dr. Levine has given more than 250 technical presentations at U. S. and foreign scientific meetings and conferences and has edited 5 books on atmospheric chemistry, planetary science, global climate change and global fires and preparing for the human exploration of Mars.
Levine, Joel S.: The Photochemistry of Atmosphere: The Earth, The Other Planets, and Comets. Academic Press, Inc., Orlando, Florida, 518 pages, 1985.
Levine, Joel S.: Global Biomass Burning: Atmospheric, Climatic, and Biospheric Implications. The MIT Press, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 569 pages, 1991.
Levine, Joel S.: Biomass Burning and Global Change, Volume 1. Remote Sensing, Modeling and Inventory Development, and Biomass Burning in Africa. The MIT Press, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts, 582 pages, 1996.
Levine, Joel S.: Biomass Burning and Global Change, Volume 2. Burning in South America, Southeast Asia, and Temperate and Boreal Ecosystems, and the Oil Fires of Kuwait. The MIT Press, Inc., 377 pages, 1996.
Levine, Joel S. and Rudy E. Schild: The Human Mission to Mars: Colonizing the Red Planet. Cosmology Science Publishers, 2010, 974 pages, 2010.
Selected Honors and Awards
- New York Academy of Sciences Halpern Award for Photochemistry, 1982
- NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, 1983
- Virginia’s Outstanding Scientist, 1987
- New York International Film and Television Festival Award for the Best Distance Learning Program, 1994-95, for writing and hosting the six-part PBS television series, “Mission Earthbound,” dealing with global change, 1995
- NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, 2006
- University of Michigan’s Merit Alumnus Award, Department of Atmospheric, Oceanographic and Space Sciences, School of Engineering, 2003
- Presidential Award from the National Alliance of Black School Educators (NABSE) for developing and hosting a 5-year television series on atmospheric and planetary sciences for minority students, 2010
- Brooklyn College Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2011
- Inducted into NACA/NASA Langley Research Center Hall of Honor, 2017
Current Areas of Research at the College
- The exploration of Mars with robotic probes.
Why We Need to Go Back to Mars (Nov. 2009) on TED (18 minute video) (622,335 views as of 9/28/2017):
2016: The Entry, Descent and Landing (EDL) of Viking Lander on Mars:
2016: The First Images from the Surface of Mars Obtained by the Viking Lander:
2016: Life on Mars - The Viking Search:
- Planning for the human exploration of Mars.
Levine, J. S., J. B. Garvin and D. W. Beaty, 2010: Humans on Mars: Why Humans? Why Mars? Planning for the Scientific Exploration of Mars by Humans, Part 1, Journal of Cosmology, 12, 3627-3635 (http://journalofcosmology.com/Mars115.html).
Levine, J. S., J. B. Garvin and J. W. Head III, 2010: Martian Geology Investigations. Planning for the Scientific Exploration of Mars by Humans, Part 2, Journal of Cosmology, 12, 3636-3646 (http://journalofcosmology.com/Mars116.html).
Levine, J. S., J. B. Garvin and R. C. Elphic, 2010: Martian Geophysics Investigations. Planning for the Scientific Exploration of Mars by Humans, Part 3, Journal of Cosmology, 12, 3647-3657 (http://journalofcosmology.com/Mars117.html).
Levine, J. S., J. B. Garvin and V. Hipkin, 2010: Martian Atmosphere and Climate Investigations. Planning for the Scientific Exploration of Mars by Humans, Part 4, Journal of Cosmology, 12, 3658-3670 (http://journalofcosmology.com/Mars118.html).
Levine, J. S., J. B. Garvin and P. T. Doran, 2010: Martian Biological Investigations and the Search for Life. Planning for the Scientific Exploration of Mars by Humans, Part 5, Journal of Cosmology, 12, 3671-3684 (http://journalofcosmology.com/Mars119.html).
“The Exploration and Colonization of Mars by Humans: Why Mars? Why Humans?” TEDxRVA, April 2015 (79,945 views as of 9/28/2017) at:
Dust in the Atmosphere of Mars and Its Impact on Human Exploration: A Review of Earlier Studies: The impact of Mars atmospheric dust on human exploration has been a concern for many years, e.g., NRC (2002) and MEPAG (2005). The impact of Mars atmospheric dust on human exploration is a multi-faceted problem and will be reviewed in this paper.
- Landing sites for the first human mission to Mars.
First Humans on Mars May Walk a Route Planned at William and Mary:
Geology of Proposed Landing Sites for the Human Exploration of Mars: