1. The NASA Astrobiology Institute at AbSciCon 2019

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    The first Astrobiology Workshop was held at Ames Research Center (Moffett Field, CA) on September 9-11, 1996. It was by all accounts a resounding success, bringing together life scientists and space scientists for a truly interdisciplinary sharing of ideas related to life in the universe. Soon afterward, NASA’s vision for its new Astrobiology Institute (the NAI) was celebrated at the Institute’s first meeting Nov. 5-7, 1998 also at NASA Ames Research Center. Dr. Edward Weiler, Acting Associate Administrator for the NASA Office of Space Science, Scott Hubbard, interim manager of the NASA Astrobiology Institute and a host of prominent scientists were featured at the three-day event.

    Then, in April of 2000 the First Astrobiology Science Conference was held at NASA Ames Research Center. The NAI contributed significantly to the conference in its early years, both logistically and intellectually. The following year the first NAI General Meeting 2001 was held, also in April, at the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Washington, DC. More than 300 NAI member scientists attended for papers, posters, and focus group meetings. An NAI-sponsored Student Poster Competition was held for the first time at this meeting, with the winner presented with the Gerald Soffen Award. Through the next decade the NAI’s General Meeting alternated years with AbSciCon.

    This year, some 20 years later, the NAI continues its tradition of supporting and enriching AbSciCon through a variety of activities including:

    The NAI / Astrobiology Academic Family Tree
    Monday, June 24-Friday, June 28, all day
    Location:

    Help NAI trace the connections from person to person and show how academic careers have sprouted and led to other careers in astrobiology. Stop by to add your name to the tree!

    Student Poster Competition
    Monday June 24, 7-9PM and Wednesday, June 26, 7:15-9:15PM
    Location:

    Showcasing student research in astrobiology, the event concludes with award announcements on Friday, June 28.

    Session 201: The 20th Anniversary of the NASA Astrobiology Institute: A New Discipline Reaches Maturity
    Tuesday, June 25, 10:15AM-12:15PM and 1:30-3:30PM
    Location: Hyatt Regency Bellevue – Regency EFG

    To commemorate the 20th anniversary of the NAI, this session will chronicle the role that the NAI has played over the past two decades in growing the community of astrobiologists and helping to shape the field of astrobiology. This session will highlight key areas of research where NAI investigators have made significant advances to the field, and also document case studies of individuals whose careers were positively impacted by their association with the NAI. Read the full abstract.

    We hope you can participate in these special events, and we look forward to seeing you there!