This is a press release of Pearl River Community College
Clyde Dease Jr. of Picayune, a former teacher and retired NASA scientist, will be the guest speaker at two Black History Month Observances at Pearl River Community College.
Dease will speak about “To Mars and Back, Maybe” at 10:50 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 19, at the Forrest County Center in Hattiesburg. The program will be in the multipurpose room in Building 5.
He will also discuss “Remembering the 20th Century while Writing the 21st” at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, on the Poplarville Campus. The program will be in the West Dining Room of the Olivia Bender Cafeteria.
Dease holds degrees from Jones County Junior College and the University of Southern Mississippi and credits Mississipi's community college system with providing the scientific and mathematical foundation for academic and professional success.
He was chair of the science department at Picayune Memorial High School before joining NASA at the Stennis Space Center 35 years ago. He started his career within the NASA Earth Resources Laboratory, where he was responsible for the development of satellite sensors and applications for utilizing the data collected from the satellites to perform a variety of land and environmental studies.
As NASA moved into the Space Shuttle era, Dease joined the rocket engine flight certification team, where he headed the Calibrations and Standards Laboratory, the Gas and Material Analysis Lab and the Prototype Development Lab. He also served as Lead for Occupational Health, the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) for integration of life safety codes, and Facility Planning and Utilization.
He was an integral part of the team in developing the requirements for the design and construction of A_3, the first large scale rocket test stand since the early sixties, along with the B_Test Stand Restoration team to prepare for the upper stage testing of Orion Spaceship launch system.
Dease received numerous professional awards, including selection as the top federal employee among 25,000 federal employees along the Mississippi Gulf Coast.
Following his retirement from NASA, Dease became president of the Lower Pearl River Valley Foundation. He and his wife, Peggy, have three daughters. Peggy Dease retired as director of nursing education at PRCC.
Both Black History Month Observances are free and open to the public.