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Grand Rapids “Blandford Environmental Ed Program” Welcomes Graduate Dr. James Ashley

Dr. James Ashley (WZZM)

The Blandford Environmental Education Program has a right to be proud of its many accomplishments.  The past 40 years have seen success after success.

Our news partner, WZZM TV13 reports one of those successes is an alumnus of the Blandford Environmental Education Program who now works with NASA, who will return to West Michigan August 9-10.

Dr. James Ashley has earned three degrees in planetary sciences and is currently working on two NASA missions: the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter and the Mars Exploration Rovers.

He largely attributes his success to attending Blandford Environmental Education Program during sixth grade.

“I’ve always considered my sixth-grade experience at Blandford to be the single most influential part of my training as a scientist and, perhaps, even as a human being,” says Ashley, who attended in 1974-75.

Ashley will present his work next month during the Blandford program’s 40th anniversary celebration and reunion. The weekend long event will also include archery and hiking opportunities and trips to Lake Michigan and Nordhouse Dunes.

Tickets to the celebration are required. For more information, visit

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