Astrobiology Grand Tour 2018September 21, 2017
Australian Centre for Astrobiology “Grand Tour”
The Australian Centre for Astrobiology at UNSW is running another Astrobiology “Grand Tour” in July 2018, led by Professor Martin Van Kranendonk, a leading expert in Precambrian geobiology. This field trip in Western Australia will visit sites that every astrobiologist or geobiologist should see at least once in their lives. It will be a high level educational and cultural/sensory experience that will enrich all participants – scientists and non-scientists alike!
The trip will traverse back through time, starting with the spectacular, living stromatolites of Shark Bay, with a rare opportunity to swim with these protected microbial structures. Following this, we will visit the remote sites of fossilised stromatolites from the c. 1.8 Ga Duck Creek Dolomite and c. 2.4 Ga Turee Creek Group, and walk through the transition across the rise of atmospheric oxygen (the GOE). We will then camp at Karijini National Park and hike through a canyon with walls made of 2.5 Ga Banded Iron Formation (BIF), and swim at the beautiful Fortescue Falls. Following this will be a visit to stromatolites of the c. 2.7 Ga Fortescue Group, then the c. 3.35-3.49 Ga fossiliferous units of the Pilbara Craton, including newly discovered geyserite in the Dresser Formation, site of the oldest evidence for life on land.
Expect intense discussions about such topics as the timing of the origin of life and oxygenic photosynthesis, whether life ever was (or still is) on Mars, the composition of the Archean atmosphere, and the setting for the origin of life. As well as the science, we will enjoy some spectacular scenery, memorable campfire dinners, and sleeping under the southern stars. Daytime temperatures will be mild (20-30°C) dropping to 5-10°C at night. Rain is possible but unlikely.
Dates: Sunday 1st – Monday 9th July, 2018
Location: Western Australia, starting in Denham (or Carnarvon, TBC) and finishing in Port Hedland
Transport: 4WD Bus
Accommodation: Outdoor camping (tents, swags)
Places will be strictly limited because of the capacity of the 4WD bus and camping facilities to be utilised.
For more information, or to join the expressions of interest mailing list, please email Erica Barlow (email@example.com). Further details including cost and a more detailed itinerary will be emailed to the EOI list in the coming months.
- January 22 - 2018 EON-ELSI Winter School
- February 12 - Water During Planet Formation and Evolution
- February 17 - Women in Planetary Science and Exploration (WPSE 2018)
- February 20 - NASA Outer Planets Assessment Group (OPAG)
- February 25 - 2nd Recontres du Vietnam on Exoplanetary Science
- February 27 - 2nd COSPAR Workshop on Refining the Planetary Protection Requirements for Human Missions
- March 04 - Rencontres Exobiologiques Pour Doctorants (RED ’18) Astrobiology Introductory Course
- March 11 - Science with the Atacama Pathfinder Experiment (APEX2018)
- March 19 - 49th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference
- March 19 - Life on Earth and Beyond: Emergence, Survivability and Impact on the Environment