Speaker Date Topic
Tucson Police Chief Chris Magnus Jul 07, 2021 12:00 PM
My most memorable experiences as Chief

Chief Chris Magnus started his public safety career in 1979 as a dispatcher with the City of Lansing.  He was also a paramedic in the mid-Michigan area for close to a decade.  During this same time he realized he wanted to make the transition to becoming a police officer.  After attending the Lansing Community College Police Academy, he became a deputy sheriff at the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department.  In 1985, he became a police officer with the Lansing Police Department where he spent the next 15 years of his law enforcement career.  In 1999, Chief Magnus became the police chief in Fargo, North Dakota, where he played a key role in implementing the first two-state regional dispatch system in the nation, a forensic children’s interview center, and a refugee liaison program for the area’s many new immigrants and refugees.  In 2006, Chris Magnus was selected as police chief for Richmond, California—a highly diverse, urban community of 115,000 residents in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He served as chief for 10 years.  During that time he was significantly involved in strengthening ties between the community and its police force, addressing historically high levels of crime, and implementing reforms within the police department.  Both violent and property crime decreased significantly during Magnus’ tenure and community support for the Richmond Police Department substantially improved.  Chris Magnus was appointed to be the police chief for the City of Tucson, Arizona in January of 2016.  In this position, he is continuing his commitment to improve services for victims of domestic and sexual violence, addressing community corrections issues, focusing on how police respond to people suffering with mental illness, and supporting a myriad of youth programs and activities.  In 2015, Magnus testified before the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing on best practice models of community policing.  The Chief also serves as an expert witness for the U.S. Department of Justice, working closely with both the Civil Rights Division and the COPS Office on policing issues in various cities around the country.  Chief Magnus has a Master’s degree in Labor Relations and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University.  He attended the “Senior Executives in State & Local Government” program at the Harvard Kennedy School. 

Peter H. Smith Sep 01, 2021 12:00 PM
Lunar and Planetary Laboratory & NASA New Frontiers OSIRIS-REx Mission

Peter H. Smith is a Professor Emeritus (he retired in 2013) at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory of the University of Arizona, where he holds the inaugural Thomas R. Brown Distinguished Chair in Integrative Science. He is also the principal investigator for the $420 million robotic explorer Phoenix which landed at the north pole of the planet Mars on May 25, 2008.  Peter H. Smith was born December 2, 1947, in New York and was raised in Tucson, Arizona.  Smith went to Tucson High School and received his bachelor's degree in physics in 1969 from the University of California, Berkeley and his master's degree from the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center in 1977. In 2009 he received a PhD in Optical Science from the University of Arizona. Since 1978, he has worked at the University of Arizona Lunar and Planetary Laboratory, initially as a Research Assistant up the ladder to full professor with tenure.  Dr. Smith worked on the Pioneer Venus mission of 1978 and the Pioneer Saturn mission of 1979, mapped the surface of Saturn's largest moon Titan using the Hubble Space Telescope in 1994, and became Project Manager for a descent camera on the Huygens probe that landed on Titan in 2005.  Smith designed the cameras for Sojourner Rover of the Mars Pathfinder mission, the ill-fated Mars Polar Lander, and the subsequently cancelled Mars Surveyor Lander. He helped to build the microscope for the ill-fated Beagle 2, and managed the building of the 2005 Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter HiRISE camera. He serves on the science team for the Mars Exploration Rovers which landed in January 2004.  Smith's proposal for the Phoenix Mars Lander project was selected in 2003 as the first Scout mission to Mars. He was responsible for all aspects of the $420 million mission.  At present, Smith is a co-investigator for the NASA New Frontiers OSIRIS-REx Mission.  Dr. Smith has received many awards in his career including the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 2010.

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