Dr. Scott Parazynski has lived and traveled all over the world, spending many of his grade school and high school years in places such as Dakar, Senegal; Beirut, Lebanon; Tehran, Iran; and Athens, Greece. A graduate of Stanford University and Stanford Medical School, he went on to train at Harvard and in Denver in preparation for a career in emergency medicine and trauma. Dr. Parazynski has numerous publications in the field of space physiology with particular expertise in human adaptation to stressful environments.
In 1992 he was selected to join NASA’s Astronaut Corps and eventually flew 5 Space Shuttle Missions and conducted 7 spacewalks (EVAs). In his 17 years as an Astronaut, he served in numerous senior leadership roles, including EVA Branch Chief and the Lead Astronaut for Space Shuttle Thermal Protection System Inspection & Repair (in the aftermath of the Space Shuttle Columbia tragedy). Mission highlights include a global ozone mapping mission on STS-66; leading the first joint US-Russian spacewalk during STS-86 while docked to the Russian space station Mir; serving as Senator John Glenn’s crewmate and “personal physician” during STS-95; and conducting EVA assembly of the Canadian-built space station arm during STS-100.
In October 2007, Dr. Parazynski led the EVA team on STS-120, a highly complex space station assembly flight, during which he performed 4 EVAs (becoming only the second astronaut to perform four EVAs on a single Space Shuttle mission). The fourth and final EVA is regarded by many as one of the most challenging and dangerous ever performed. During the EVA he was positioned by a 90-foot robotic boom farther than any orbiting astronaut had ever ventured from the safety of their airlock. During this EVA he had to repair a fully energized solar array wing. The tremendous coordinated effort in orbit and on the ground by Mission Control and other engineering experts has been likened to the Space Shuttle and Space Station era’s “Apollo 13 moment.”
All told, Dr. Parazynski has spent over 8 weeks in space with more than 47 hours outside on spacewalks. While he has traveled over 23 million miles in orbit he has yet to earn a single frequent flyer mile!
In May of 2016 Scott was inducted into the US Astronaut Hall of Fame at Kennedy Space Center, FL.
In addition to being a life-long SCUBA diver and accomplished mountaineer, Scott is also a commercial, instrument, multiengine and seaplane-rated pilot with over 2,500 flight hours. He began climbing in his teens, and has climbed in the Alaska Range, the Cascades, the Rockies, the Alps, the Andes and the Himalayas. On his second attempt to scale Mt. Everest, on May 20, 2009, he became the first (and only) astronaut to stand on top of the world. Further, as part of a NASA-sponsored expedition to the high Andes, he conducted a scientific dive in the summit caldera lake of 19,700-foot Licancabur volcano, the world’s highest lake. He recently served as Founding Director and Chief Medical Officer of UTMB’s Center for Polar Medical Operations where he oversaw the medical screening and on-ice care of the National Science Foundation’s US Antarctic Program, and was fortunate to travel widely across the most remote continent on earth. Scott’s most recent events can be found on his [BLOG] and [NEWS] pages.
In November 2014 Dr. Scott Parazynski was designated University Explorer and Professor of Practice at Arizona State University. He is a prolific inventor and product developer, and serves on the Boards of several organizations and companies. He co-founded Blue Marble Exploration (bluemarbleexploration.com), where he serves as Chief Explorer. Blue Marble is focused on pushing human capabilities in extreme environments through technology innovation and pursuing challenging expeditions around the world. Additionally, he recently founded and serves as Managing Director of Apogee Interests, focused on commercializing his extensive innovation portfolio, including medical devices, consumer products and gear developed for extreme environments. See the [ACTIVITIES] tab for further details.
He is the recipient of a number of prestigious awards, including: five NASA Spaceflight Medals, two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, two NASA Exceptional Service Medals, two Vladimir Komarov Diplomas from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale, two Flight Achievement Awards from the American Astronomical Association, the Aviation Week Laureate Award, the Antarctica Service Medal, the Ellis Island Family Heritage Award, the Gold Medal from the American Institute of Polish Culture, the National Eagle Scout Association’s Outstanding Eagle Award, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and the Lowell Thomas Award from the Explorers Club. A Top 10 competitor in the 1988 US Olympic Luge Team trials and coach for the Philippines during the 1988 Calgary Olympic Winter Games, he was selected as a Honorary Captain of the 2010 US Olympic Luge Team for the Vancouver Games. Additionally, he a member of the Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame and was awarded the degree of Doctor Honoris Causa from the Military University of Technology in Warsaw, Poland.
He has given keynotes and lectures all over the world, to audiences young and old.
To book Scott Parazynski call Executive Speakers Bureau at 901-754-9404.
Leadership Under Extreme Adversity, On and Off the Planet
Scott has brought diverse teams together, challenging enormous odds on, well above and underneath the earth's surface. Drawing on his lessons learned from the harsh vacuum of space, the route to the summit of Everest, and within tense operating rooms and board rooms, he relates attributes of situationally appropriate leadership and company culture that have yielded enormous successes over many years. Punctuated by great storytelling, breathtaking imagery and a self-deprecating good humor, his style is relatable and inspirational to all audiences!
The Road Less Traveled: Finding Your Way Towards Really Making a Difference
Dr. Parazynski has spoken all over the world about the rigors, risks and rewards of exploration in extreme environments, deriving important lessons in teamwork, risk management and leadership under the most demanding circumstances, on or off the planet.
He derives lessons from an international upbringing in war-torn Beirut and Tehran, from those who inspired him to pursue his passions, and from "the view from the top of the planet," which he attained via rocket as well as on foot... As he says: "Life's greatest lessons come from outside the classroom" - based on the people we meet, the experiences we pursue, and having an openness to new challenges. Through perseverance, rigorous preparation and a willingness to fail every once and awhile, enormous rewards often ensue... He shares his path through life with stunning imagery, good humor and relatable anecdotes. Your employees will see their own pathways towards making a difference!
Managing Risk vs. “Taking Risk”
Scott has zoomed down luge tracks at breakneck speeds, flown high performance supersonic aircraft, walked in space at considerable peril, summited Mount Everest after rupturing a lumbar disc on his first attempt, performed a scientific dive in the world's highest lake and faced myriad other technical challenges in the planet's most extreme environments - but he is no daredevil. He prepares for work in these challenging realms by exhaustive study, training, previsualization (of success as well as overcoming obstacles) and having a backup to the backup plan. Knowing how complex systems work and how they might fail is one of many skills in his toolkit, and his lessons learned are imminently relatable to all industries. An approachable storyteller, he warmly shares his experiences in a way that leaves audiences knowing they can translate them into their own lives.
The Opportunity and the Obligation to Innovate
The Requisite Innovator's Mindset: Open-mindedness and the relentless hunt for problems that need to be fixed
For a company to be truly disruptive and grow, it must create an environment wherein every employee is not only allowed to contribute to the advancement of the mission, they feel a deep-seated Obligation to Innovate. That's the kind of environment and work ethic Scott has spent a lifetime advancing: from developing tools and techniques to recover from the Space Shuttle Columbia accident to developing innovative medical devices and enhancing safety on the slopes of the world's highest mountains, he draws on his background working in extreme environments as a catalyst for innovation in daily life. He can transfer this mindset to your workforce with powerful examples from aerospace, medicine, mountaineering and everyday life with engaging, relatable stories and good humor!
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