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1) NAI Virus Focus Group Workshop/Field Trip
2) Call for Themes - Cosmic Vision 2015-2025
3) International Summer School in Astrobiology Santander, Spain
4) First NASA Centennial Challenges Workshop
5) Postdoctoral Appointments at University of Hawaii
6) Andrea Ghez Elected to National Academy of Sciences
7) Jim Kasting Selected as 2004 AGU Fellow
8) Lunar Astrobiology White Paper Briefing Available
9) University of Hawaii Astrobiology Course June 14-18, 2004
10) NAI EC Meeting Minutes Available
11) New Astrobiology Book Series
Upcoming Events - Are now listed
on a separate sub-page. Click here for
NASA Astrobiology Institute Virus Focus Group Workshop/Field Trip
22-24 June 2004, Mammoth Lakes, CA.
This is an announcement of the NAI-Virus Focus Group (NAVIFOG)) Workshop/Field Trip to be held in Mammoth Lakes, California, 22-24 June 2004 with collection trips to Hot Springs Creek and other hydrothermal features near Mammoth and, pending permit issuance, Mono Lake.
The workshop will consist of short talks from participants and two sampling excursions. An emphasis will be placed on multidisciplinary research, collaboration, and the sharing of results. One of the goals of this exercise is to see if multiple studies on the same or similar samples, each with its own hypothesis to be tested or goal to be achieved, can lead to a broader synthesis than would be possible from a single experiment.
NAI-Central has provided funding to help defray costs of lodging and transportation to the Workshop. Participation is limited to a maximum of 15 people. Selection will be based on submitted abstracts. More than one participant from each group can be accommodated; the maximum number will be decided after the applications have been reviewed. Graduate students and post-doctoral fellows are encouraged to apply.
One page abstracts should explicitly describe work to be done, both on the field trip and later laboratory studies. It should include the following information; title, persons who are applying to join the field trip, other scientists who are involved with the project, the hypothesis to be tested or the goals of the study, a brief description of the techniques to be used, and, if the applicant is aware of other applications, how the results from the applicants field trip studies might relate to other field trip research. Interaction between the projects will be discussed at the workshop. Abstracts will be reviewed by a committee selected by and including the chairs of NAIVIFOG.
Abstract deadline: May 15th, 2004, by e-mail, if possible.
Please submit abstracts or requests for more information to:
Kenneth Stedman firstname.lastname@example.org
Biology Department, Portland State University, P.O. Box 751, Portland, OR 97207-0751 FAX: 503-725-8570
Looking forward to seeing you in Mammoth. Sincerely,
Ken Stedman/Baruch Blumberg, Chairs NAVIFOG
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Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 - What are the themes for space science?
This announcement is to invite the community to participate in a Call for
Themes for Cosmic Vision 2015-2025 to assist in developing the future plans of the Cosmic Vision program of the ESA Directorate of Science. The European Space Agency's Science Program Committee (SPC), the body that oversees the Agency's mandatory science activities has indicated that it is time to look further into the future. In November 2003, the SPC agreed a plan for space science, Cosmic Vision, for the years 2004-2014. Now the community is asked to help in developing the Cosmic Vision plan for the ESA Science Program for the decade 2015-2025. http://sci.esa.int/jump.cfm?oid=34911
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Josep Comas i Solà International Summer School in Astrobiology
UNIVERSIDAD INTERNACIONAL MENÉDEZ PELAYO
Palacio de Magdalena, Santander, Spain
July 5-9, 2004
A professional school for everyone (students, postdocs, established scientists) concerned with the quest for evidence of life on Mars, presented by leaders of the American and European Mars exploration communities. Background reviews of the evolution of the planet and its surface environment will be complemented by forward-looking discussions and workshops on orbiters and landers, especially those that are currently active or are being planned. A geological field trip to a nearby Cretaceous-Tertiary boundary section will conclude the week.
This annual school in Astrobiology is named for Spanish astronomer Josep Comas i Solà. There will be a special evening lecture on the Cassini-Huygens mission to celebrate his discovery of the atmosphere of Titan in 1908.
A flier is available for download at: http://nai.nasa.gov/planetmars
NASA Schedules Centennial Challenges Workshop
The NASA program that offers cash prizes for the development of new capabilities to help meet the agency's exploration and program goals is conducting its first workshop June 15-16 at the Hilton Hotel, Washington.
Centennial Challenges is a novel program of challenges, competitions, and prizes. NASA plans to tap the innovative talents of the nation to make revolutionary, breakthrough advances to support Vision for Space Exploration and other NASA priorities.
"Centennial Challenges is a small but potentially high-leverage investment by NASA to help address some of our most difficult hurdles in research and exploration," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "I look forward to stimulating competitions and very innovative wins that advance the nation's Vision for Space Exploration," he added.
The goal of Centennial Challenges is to stimulate innovation in fundamental technologies, robotic capabilities, and very low-cost space missions by establishing prize purses for specific achievements in technical areas of interest to NASA. By making awards based on achievements, not proposals, NASA hopes to bring innovative solutions from academia, industry, and the public to bear on solar system exploration and other technical challenges.
"From 18th century seafaring, early 20th century aviation to today's private sector space flight, prizes have played a key role in spurring new achievements in science, technology, engineering, and exploration," said Craig Steidle, NASA's Associate Administrator for Exploration Systems. "The Centennial Challenges Program is modeled on the successful history of past prize contests, and I am proud the Office of Exploration Systems is shepherding this path-finding program for NASA," he added.
"This workshop will help NASA develop challenges that are of high value to the agency," said Brant Sponberg, Centennial Challenges Program Manager. "The workshop also will provide input into what challenges NASA announces this year and next year and what the rules for those competitions will be. It should be an invigorating way to lay the groundwork for this exciting program," he said.
NASA invites individuals and organizations interested in competing to attend the 2004 Centennial Challenges Workshop. The agenda and registration information for the workshop is available on the Internet at:
NASA plans annual Centennial Challenges workshops. For information about the program on the Internet, visit: www.centennialchallenges.nasa.gov
For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:
Postdoctoral Appointments at University of Hawaii
Postdoctoral appointment in Microbiology of Early Earth and Mars
A postdoctoral position is available in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The successful applicant will conduct research on (a) the microbiology and biogeochemistry of subglacial volcanic sediments and waters in Iceland as analogs to environments on present Mars; and (b) microbial diversity and biogeochemistry in sediment microcosm experiments that simulate conditions on the early Earth. Appointment is initially for one year: Renewal is subject to satisfactory performance and availability of funds. A background in microbiology, molecular biology, and geochemistry is highly desirable. The appointee will be an affiliate of the interdisciplinary University of Hawaii Astrobiology center that brings together investigators from the fields of astronomy, chemistry, computer science, geology, oceanography. Competitive stipend and the opportunity to live in one of the highest quality-of-life locations in the U.S. Non-U.S. citizen or permanent residents must be eligible for a J-1 visa. E-mail CV, publication list, and names and contact information of two references to Dr. Eric Gaidos at: email@example.com Applications received by May 15 will receive full consideration.
Postdoctoral appointment in Extrasolar Planet Physics
A NASA-funded postdoctoral position is available in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. The successful applicant will conduct research on the appearance of extrasolar planets at visible and infrared wavelengths, with a focus on variations with orbital phase and season that could be detected by future space observatories. A second research focus concerns the effects of atmospheric escape on planet evolution and detection. Appointment is initially for one year: Renewal for a total duration of 2.5 years is subject to satisfactory performance. A background in astrophysics, climatology, or atmospheric physics and experience in programming (C, Fortran, IDL, etc.) are highly desirable. The appointee will interact with the interdisciplinary University of Hawaii Astrobiology center that brings together investigators from the fields of astronomy, chemistry, computer science, geology, oceanography and has access to the premier observatories on Mauna Kea. Competitive stipend and the opportunity to live in one of the highest quality-of-life locations in the U.S. Non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents must be eligible for a J-1 visa. E-mail CV, publication list, and names and contact information of two references to Dr. Eric Gaidos at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications received by May 31 will receive full consideration.
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Andrea Ghez Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Congratulations to Andrea Ghez of the UCLA Team for her recent election to the National Academy of Sciences. If you would like to congratulate her, her email address is: email@example.com
For the full list of new members chosen by the Academy:
Congratulations to Jim Kasting of the Penn State Team for being selected as a 2004 AGU Fellow. In case you didn't know, AGU limits the number of Fellows to no more than 0.1% of the total membership. To find out more: http://www.agu.org/sci_soc/policy/congress_fellows03.html
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Astrobiology Science Goals and Lunar Exploration
A white paper on the above title has been developed by Bruce Jakosky, Ariel Anbar, Jeffrey Taylor, and Paul Lucey. A briefing is available for download at: http://nai.arc.nasa.gov/lunar/download.php?id=9
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University of Hawaii Astrobiology Course June 14-18, 2004
The Astrobiology Laboratory Institute for Instructors (ALII), University of Hawaii Manoa, will be holding this course to introduce in-service secondary science teachers to astrobiology.This new multi-disciplinary field integrates: astronomy of stars and galaxies to the physics of gravity and forces to the chemistry of origin of elements and hydrocarbons to the geology of fossils in rocks on planets to the biology of amino acids and DNA and origin of life.
Sponsor: UH Manoa NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) led by Karen J. Meech, astronomer, 1993-2003 NSF TOPS director and 14 scientists and collaborators from Institute for Astronomy (IfA), Hawaii Institute for Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), and School for Earth and Ocean Sciences and Technology (SOEST) who conduct research on Mars and Moon rocks, protostars, Kuiper Belt Objects beyond Neptunes orbit (only discovered in 1993 by a team member), extremophiles in hydrothermal vents found on ocean floors and in ices (microbes surviving extreme environmental conditions).
Lectures topics by NAI team scientists: Astronomy & Physics Protostar, Comets and KBOs, Chemistry Astrochemistry of Hydrocarbons, Geology Life on Mars?, Origin of Oceans and Atmosphere, Earth Climate, Moon, Microbiology Extremophiles, NASA Cassini Mission to Saturns Titan.
Lab Tours to learn about high tech research instruments such as: Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) CCD cameras for imaging galaxies billions of light years away Polarizing Microscope for mineral composition analysis
Voyages Thru Time (VTT) curriculum modules for astrobiology activities: Standards-based, nationally field tested, NSF funded, Conducted by Pamela Harman of SETI Institute in California. For more info: www.voyagesthroughtime.org/curriculum/
2 credits: $71 administration fee only
To apply and register: Contact Mary Kadooka, UH Institute for Astronomy,
2680 Woodlawn Dr., Hon, HI, 96822, firstname.lastname@example.org , 956-7954