Life in Extreme Environments Educator Conference
The Life in Extreme Environments Educator Conference, hosted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Education Office, was held on January 24-25, 2009 in JPL’s von Kármán auditorium. E/PO Leads from NAI’s teams at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, JPL-Titan, and JPL-Icy Worlds participated in producing the event. Eighty-one educators attended.
The program included an introduction to astrobiology, as well as more detailed presentations outlining astrobiology research into extrasolar planet habitability, pre-biotic chemistry, spectral “bio”signatures, and planetary protection. NAI educational materials were distributed.
The conference also served as a platform from which to test a remote video connection to educators in Barrow, Alaska, a remote field site for NAI scientists. This test was important, as the NAI-Icy Worlds team will continue to communicate with educators and students in Barrow over the next several years. The connection was made successfully, and several participants joined from Barrow.