2011 Annual Science Report
Montana State University Reporting | SEP 2010 – AUG 2011
EPO Activity: Graduate Credit Courses for Teachers
ABRC and Thermal Biology Institute sponsored two summer classes for advanced credit in conjunction with the Masters in Science of Science Education program at Montana State University (MSSE). The courses provide astrobiology science content information for practicing science instructors teaching middle, secondary and college level courses. Our first class, Thermal Biology in Yellowstone National Park, focused on the extreme geothermal environments in Yellowstone and their implications for understanding early earth environmental conditions. The second course, Examining Life in Extreme Environments, looks at 4 extreme environments where NASA research scientists are studying life. The class looked at Arctic, Antarctic, highly saline environments, deep sea vents and hot springs in Yellowstone. ABRC’s faculty Eric Boyd, John Peters and Mark Young were an integral part of the courses, and guess presenters included David Grinspoon, Kevin Hand, Mike McCormick and Nikki Parenteau. With the assistance of NASA research scientists, we developed an understanding of how life can make a living in such extreme environments by looking at the chemical reactions and energetics of many systems. Both courses include field days in Yellowstone National Park, and dynamic discussions with NASA scientists.