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Out of this world achievement: UT scientist, professor elected to National Academy of Sciences

Harry "Hap" McSween is Chancellor's Professor emeritus at UT.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — University of Tennessee scientist and professor emeritus Harry "Hap" McSween has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, which recognizes distinguished achievements in research.

The nonprofit institution dates to the time of President Abraham Lincoln. The academy offers advice in the areas of science to the federal government.

McSween is past chair of UT's Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences. He's also twice acted as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

According to an academy announcement April 26, 120 new members were chosen including a record 59 women.  The members come from across the United States as well as Europe and Asia.

UT Provost John Zomchick said in a university release that McSween was the "only one of our faculty to have been recognized with the SEC Professor of the Year Award" - in 2013.

McSween's work has included studies on meteorites, for which he's received decades of NASA funding.

He's also been a member of the science teams for the Mars Pathfinder and Mars Global Survey space missions.

"He is presently a co-investigator for the THEMIS instrument on the Mars Odyssey mission, which is mapping the Martian surface from orbit," UT's announcement states.

He's also written several books about planetary science.