Crew 167

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April Andreas is professor of Engineering and Mathematics at McLennan Community College. She attended Southern Methodist University, earning a B.S. and M.S. in Mathematics, and then attended the University of Arizona, completing a Ph.D. in Systems and Industrial Engineering.

A member of the Mars Society Steering Committee, April has served the space advocacy community since she and her husband Derek co-founded the Dallas Chapter of the Mars Society in 2003. She has traveled to Washington, D.C. numerous times to lobby on behalf of human space exploration and has served as a consultant for the Mars Foundation and 4Frontiers Corporation. She has also taught a course on Mars Colonization to gifted teens during a summer program at SMU, the results of which were published in TEMPO, a quarterly journal for gifted education.

April commanded crew 110B at MDRS in January 2012, has served as Crew Director for crews 128, 139, and 152 and will be serving as the commander for Crew 167A.


Hello, my name is Jonathan Beechner, and I am a computer engineering sophomore at MCC. I have loved all my classes at MCC so far, and I am sad to say I must leave after the spring semester. I'm not sure yet where I will go, but Baylor is my current preference. While at Mars, I will be serving as the crew engineer. My project is to create a 3D simulation of Mars using the Oculus Rift. Basically, this will be like a video game, but it will have educational purposes. People who have not been to Mars will put on a headset and use a game controller to experience what a typical day at Mars is like. I'm really excited about spending the week in sim and annoying everyone with my obnoxious tastes in music.


My name is Dakota Clayton. I was born and raised in Waco, Texas, and I am currently a Biology major at McLennan Community Collegetransferring to Texas Tech University. I have an Associate’s of Applied Science Degree in General Business, and I plan to go to graduate school to study mycology. Besides studying, I lead student activities groups at MCC, I play bass guitar and I am currently employed as a tutor, primarily in Accounting, Algebra and English.


Clark is pursuing the prerequisites for admission to a Doctorate in Physical Therapy program. He is originally from Kansas and obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Kansas. He served as a Captain in the Army and has extensive private sector experience in the fields of telecommunication and automation. For some time he has been interested in wearable sensors and wearable computing. Technological advances have made it possible to quantify the self in terms of inputs, states, and performance. The economy of Mars will not be one of money, but of water, breathable air, food, and time. The purpose of his project will be to measure the physiological costs associated with various crew activities performed in simulation at the Mars Desert Research Station. The results from this study will be used to propose methods whereby these costs could be reduced and crew functions made more efficient in addition to data collection and analysis.


My name is Amanda Sansom. I received my ADN in 1999 from South Plains College in Levelland, TX. Continuing my education, I received a BSN in 2010 from Texas Tech University, a Masters in Nursing Education in 2012 from Texas Woman’s University, and I will receive my DNP in December of 2015 from Capella University. Currently, I teach in the Associate Degree Nursing Program at McLennan Community College. Previous experiences in nursing include Labor and Delivery and Hospice care. I have been married for 15 years and we have a 13 year old daughter. We love to hunt, fish, camp, and be outdoors.


Hello hello. My name is Jesse Stanford. I grew up in Waco, Texas, reading about places distant from my own. When I graduated high school, I opted out of attending a four-year university in favor of traveling for a while. During this time, I joined an arts organization centered around building community through different types of art projects. After about two years and six new stamps to my passport, I decided to return home and pursue academics once again. Since having returned, I have begun my Associates of Sciences degree with desire to transfer on to University of Texas to study Astronomy to prepare for graduate study in Astrobiology. My time at the MDRS facility will be spent studying the presence of a specific genus of a cyanobacteria found in other Mars analogs throughout the globe. My passions still orient around learning about places distant from our own, but now those places are much further.