2010 Annual Science Report

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Reporting  |  SEP 2009 – AUG 2010

EPO Activity: Chalking Astrobiology and Geobiology - Using Murals for Outreach

Project Progress

Co-PI Ann Pearson (Harvard University) and Education and Outreach Coordinator Phoebe Cohen (MIT) are teaming up with volunteers from MIT and Harvard to create earth-history themed murals on the wall’s of Harvard’s Earth and Planetary Sciences building. So far, two murals have been completed. Each mural shows a snapshot of the position of the continents during the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic time periods. The first mural (Figure 1) showed representative animals that lived in the oceans and on land during each time period. The second mural (Figure 2) showed representative plant and algal life from each time period. We will continue this project throughout the year, weather depending, showcasing Earth history, Geobiology, and Astrobiology research (and artistic talent!) at Harvard and MIT. The chalk art is viewed by hundreds of members of the general public who visit the adjacent Harvard Museum of Natural History, as well as hundreds of Harvard undergraduate students on their way to and from classes.