1. NAI Newsletter 2014-3-25

    March 25, 2014 Issue


    NEWS
    Michael Meyer Selected as Interim Director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute
    Upcoming Astrobiology Early Career Seminars
    Early Notice for Australian “Astrobiology Grand Tour” 2015
    Symposium on Astrobiology and Society
    Ninth International Symposium on Subsurface Microbiology (ISSM 2014)
    ROSES-14 Amendment 4: Eligible TRLs changed for C.12, PICASSO
    ROSES 2014 E.3 is now Exoplanets Research
    ROSES-14 Amendment 2: Final text for C.14, PSTAR
    ROSES-14 Amendment 6: Final text for C.4, Habitable Worlds
    ROSES-14 Amendment 8: Change in due dates for C.15, PPR
    Call for Proposals – W.M. Keck Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry

    RECENTLY PUBLISHED RESEARCH
    Super-Habitable World May Exist Near Earth
    Life’s Origins in a Prebiotic Fuel Cell
    Alien Moons Baked Dry
    New Technique to Date Ancient Zircons
    Clues to the Early Solar System in Carbon Fractionation
    Microbes, How Low Can You Go?
    Impacting the Hadean Earth

    FOR STUDENTS AND YOUNG INVESTIGATORS
    AbGradCon 2014 – Abstract Submission Now Open!
    Astrobiologist Receives Presidential Early Career Award
    Announcement of Opportunity: JAXA International Top Young Fellowship 2014
    Opportunity for Student Support for Meteorite Impact Research

    UPCOMING DEADLINES IN THE NEXT 30 DAYS


    NEWS

    Michael Meyer Selected as Interim Director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute

    Beginning April 7th, Dr. Michael Meyer will serve on a one-year detail assignment as the interim director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) at NASA’s Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif. As interim director, Meyer will lead a small staff at Ames to administer the virtual institute, which includes 15 teams and 840 researchers distributed across 180 institutions. It also has 13 international partner organizations. He will serve as both the senior scientific officer and the senior operating officer for the institute.

    Meyer will join the NAI from the Planetary Sciences Division of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), NASA Headquarters. Previously, he was the Senior Scientist for Astrobiology and the Lead Scientist for NASA’s Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters. Meyer earned his master’s and doctorate degrees in oceanography from Texas A&M University, College Station, and a bachelor’s degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y. His research emphasis has been in microorganisms living in extreme environments.

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    Upcoming Astrobiology Early Career Seminars

    There are two Astrobiology Early Career Seminars coming up in April. The first will be presented on April 7 by Paula Welander, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, titled Hopanoid Biosynthesis and Function in Methanotrophic Bacteria. The second will be on April 14 by Mark Claire, University of East Anglia, titled Clues to Atmospheric Evolution in Earth’s Earliest Sediments.

    These talks are part of a series of seminars where NASA Astrobiology NPP Fellows who have completed their fellowships present their results. Please join us at 11 AM Pacific on April 7 and 14, 2014.

    For abstracts and connection instructions, please visit the NASA Astrobiology Program seminar page at https://astrobiology.nasa.gov/seminars/ .

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    Early Notice for Australian “Astrobiology Grand Tour” 2015

    Following the success of the first “Grand Tour” in 2013, the Australian Centre for Astrobiology will run a field trip to sites that every astrobiologist or geobiologist should see at least once in their lives. It will be a high level educational experience that will enrich the research and teaching programs of the participants. Included will be the extant stromatolites of Shark Bay, the banded iron formations and iron ore mines of the Hamersley Basin, the putatively cyanobacterial stromatolites of the 2.7 Ga Fortescue Group, and the 3.35-3.49 Ga fossiliferous and other units of the Pilbara Craton with what is arguably the oldest convincing evidence of life on Earth. The tour will be led by Malcolm Walter and will be in June 2015. Places will be limited. Please register your interest now at malcolm.walter@unsw.edu.au. Click here to watch a video of the 2013 tour.

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    Symposium on Astrobiology and Society

    The Library of Congress Kluge Center will hold a Symposium on “Astrobiology and Society: Discovering Life Beyond Earth,” at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, on September 18 and 19, 2014. The Symposium will consider approaches, critical issues, and societal impacts if microbial or intelligent life is found beyond Earth. The Symposium has been organized by Dr. Steven J. Dick, the current Baruch S. Blumberg NASA/Library of Congress Chair in Astrobiology. It is free and open to the public. Mark your calendars! The full program will be posted in April.

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    Ninth International Symposium on Subsurface Microbiology (ISSM 2014)

    The ISSM is a week long conference that will showcase the latest developments and research breakthroughs in the rapidly expanding field of subsurface microbiology. It will explore the link between microbiology, the subsurface environment, and microbial ecosystems. Emphasis will be on the newest innovations and research breakthroughs in the field. The International Society of Subsurface Microbiology is organizing ISSM 2014 in collaboration with the National Water Research Institute.

    Abstract Submission Deadline: April 1, 2014

    For all the conference details, visit: www.2014issm.com

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    ROSES-14 Amendment 4: Eligible TRLs changed for C.12, PICASSO

    ROSES-14 Amendment 4 narrows the range of entry technology readiness levels eligible for submission to C.12, Planetary Instrument Concepts for the Advancement of Solar System Observations (PICASSO).

    The PICASSO Program supports the development of spacecraft-based instrument systems that show promise for use in future planetary missions. The goal of the program is to conduct planetary and astrobiology science instrument feasibility studies, concept formation, proof of concept instruments, and advanced component technology development to the point where they may be proposed in response to the Maturation of Instruments for Solar System Exploration (MatISSE) Program, C.13 of ROSES. Therefore, the proposed instrument system or advanced components must address specific scientific objectives of likely future planetary science missions.

    The PICASSO Program is intended to enable timely and efficient technology infusion into the MatISSE Program and eventually into flight missions. As such, the entry technology readiness level (TRL) that PICASSO supports is 1-3. Proposals where the entry TRL is 4 or higher are not appropriate for the PICASSO, but should be submitted to C.13, the MatISSE program.

    The due dates remain unchanged. Step-1 proposals are due September 15, 2014, and Step-2 proposals are due November 14, 2014.

    On March 5, 2014, this Amendment to ROSES 2014 (NNH14ZDA001N) was posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ and will appear on the RSS feed at: http://nasascience.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/grant-solicitations/roses-2014

    Questions concerning C.12, PICASSO, may be addressed to Janice L. Buckner, Planetary Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001. Telephone: 202-358-0183; E-mail: janice.l.buckner@nasa.gov.

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    ROSES 2014 E.3 is now Exoplanets Research

    The Origins of Solar Systems (OSS) program element does not appear in Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Science (ROSES) – 2014. Appendix E.3 is now the Exoplanets Research Program.

    Proposals with scientific objectives that previously were included in the OSS program element may now be submitted to Exoplanets Research (E.3), Emerging Worlds (C.2), and Habitable Worlds (C.4). For more information see Section 2.2 of Exoplanets Research (E.3). For details on the limitations and requirements for these new program elements, please refer to the text of these calls and the Planetary Science Research Program Overview (Appendix C.1).

    Proposals to all of these programs must be submitted by a two-step process, in which the Notice of Intent is now a required Step-1 proposal submitted by an organization Authorized Organizational Representative. Only proposers who submit a Step-1 proposal are eligible to submit a Step-2 (full) proposal. Step-1 due dates can be found in Tables 2 and Table 3 of ROSES 2014.

    Questions concerning these changes may be directed to Christina Richey, Planetary Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001 (Telephone: 202.358.2206; email: christina.r.richey@nasa.gov), or to Larry Petro, Astrophysics Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001 (Telephone: 202.358.4424; email: larry.d.petro@nasa.gov).

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    ROSES-14 Amendment 2: Final text for C.14, PSTAR

    ROSES-14 Amendment 2 releases final text for C.14, Planetary Science and Technology Through Analog Research.

    NASA analog missions research addresses the need for integrated interdisciplinary field experiments as an integral part of preparation for future human and robotic missions. Future planetary research associated with solar system exploration requires the development of relevant, miniaturized instrumentation capable of extensive operations on lunar, asteroid, and planetary surfaces throughout the Solar System. To this end, and in collaboration with other Directorates at NASA and other agencies, this Planetary Science and Technology Through Analog Research (PSTAR) program solicits proposals for investigations focused on exploring the relevant environments on Earth in order to develop a sound technical and scientific basis to conduct planetary research on other solar system bodies. The PSTAR program is a science-driven exploration program that is expected to result in new science and operational/technological capabilities to enable the next generation of planetary exploration.

    This amendment presents the final text, which replaces the prior text in its entirety. Proposals to this program will be taken by a two-step process, in which the Notice of Intent is replaced by a required Step-1 proposal submitted by an organization Authorized Organizational Representative. Only proposers who submit a Step-1 proposal are eligible to submit a Step-2 (full) proposal. See Section 2.8 for details. Step-1 proposals are due July 25, 2014, and Step-2 proposals are due September 26, 2014.

    On Monday, February 24, 2014, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement ROSES 2014 (NNH14ZDA001N) was posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ and will appear on the RSS feed at: http://nasascience.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/grant-solicitations/roses-2014

    Questions concerning C.14, PSTAR, may be addressed to:
    Sarah Noble or Mary Voytek, Planetary Science Division and Science Mission Directorate
    NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001
    Mary Voytek: (202) 358-1588 mary.voytek-1@nasa.gov
    Sarah Noble: (202) 358-2492 sarah.noble-1@nasa.gov

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    ROSES-14 Amendment 6: Final text for C.4, Habitable Worlds

    The goal of the Habitable Worlds program is to use knowledge of the history of the Earth and the life upon it as a guide for determining the processes and conditions that create and maintain habitable environments and to search for ancient and contemporary habitable environments and explore the possibility of extant life beyond the Earth.

    Proposals to this program will be taken by a two-step process, in which the Notice of Intent is replaced by a required Step-1 proposal submitted by an Authorized Organizational Representative. Only proposers who submit a Step-1 proposal are eligible to submit a Step-2 (full) proposal. Step-1 proposals are due November 24, 2014, and Step-2 proposals are due January 23, 2015.

    On March 10, 2014, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2014” (NNH14ZDA001N) was posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at http://nspires.nasaprs.com/ and will appear on the RSS feed at: http://nasascience.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/grant-solicitations/roses-2014

    Questions concerning C.4, Habitable Worlds, may be addressed to

    Mitch Schulte
    Planetary Science Division
    NASA Headquarters
    Washington, DC 20546
    Telephone: (202) 358-2127
    E-mail: mitchell.d.schulte@nasa.gov

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    ROSES-14 Amendment 8: Change in due dates for C.15, PPR

    Planetary protection involves preventing biological contamination on both outbound and sample return missions to other planetary bodies. Numerous areas of research in astrobiology/exobiology are improving our understanding of the potential for survival of Earth microbes in extraterrestrial environments, relevant to preventing contamination of other bodies by organisms carried on spacecraft. Research is required to improve NASA’s understanding of the potential for both forward and backward contamination, how to minimize it, and to set standards in these areas for spacecraft preparation and operating procedures. Improvements in technologies and methods for evaluating the potential for life in returned samples are also of interest. Many of these research areas derive directly from recent National Research Council (NRC) recommendations on planetary protection for solar system exploration missions.

    Amendment 8 changes the due date for C.15, PPR. This program is one of the few calls in Planetary Science that does not use the two-step proposal submission process. Notices of Intent (NOIs) are requested by June 27, 2014, and proposals are due September 5, 2014.

    On March 19, 2014, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2014” (NNH14ZDA001N) was posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at nspires.nasaprs.com/ and will appear on the RSS feed at: nasascience.nasa.gov/researchers/sara/grant-solicitations/roses-2014

    Questions concerning C.15, PPR, may be addressed to:

    Catharine Conley
    Planetary Protection Officer
    Science Mission Directorate
    NASA Headquarters
    Washington, DC 20546-0001
    Telephone: (202) 358-3912
    E-mail: HQ-PPR@mail.nasa.gov

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    Call for Proposals – W.M. Keck Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry

    The W.M. Keck Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry located at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is a state-of-the-art international user facility established with the support of the W.M. Keck Foundation and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. We invite collaborative proposals catalyzing multidisciplinary research in the fields of astrochemistry, planetary sciences, astrobiology, material sciences, and reaction dynamics.

    Inquiries and proposals shall be submitted to Brant M. Jones brantmj@hawaii.edu or Ralf Kaiser ralfk@hawaii.edu ; novel research directions are supported and encouraged.

    For more information, visit: www.chem.hawaii.edu/Bil301/KLA.html

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    RECENTLY PUBLISHED RESEARCH


    Super-Habitable World May Exist Near Earth

    This artist’s impression shows the planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B, a member of the triple star system that is the closest to Earth. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada This artist’s impression shows the planet orbiting the star Alpha Centauri B, a member of the triple star system that is the closest to Earth. Credit: ESO/L. Calçada

    Earth is the only known example of an inhabited planet in the Universe, so the search for alien life has focused on Earth-like worlds. But what if there are alien worlds that are even more habitable than Earth-like planets?

    A recent paper in the journal Astrobiology examines the potential for so-called “superhabitable” worlds. One such planet might even exist around the stellar system closest to Earth: Alpha Centauri B.

    The study was authored by René Heller of McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, and John Armstrong of Weber State University in Ogden, Utah, USA. According to the authors, their collaboration was “inspired by a question John Armstrong asked online during an AbGradCon talk in 2012.”

    The Astrobiology Graduate Conference (AbGradCon) is supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, and is organized by graduate students and post docs in fields related to astrobiology. AbGradCon provides early career researchers with the chance to discuss research, network and collaborate. AbGradCon 2014 will be held at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York. For more information, visit: http://www.abgradcon.org/index.html

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    Life’s Origins in a Prebiotic Fuel Cell

    A simulated hydrothermal chimney wall, made of iron sulfide precipitates, formed in a fuel cell apparatus (JPL). Electron microscopy shows porosity – where ions flow across the membrane – and crystal A simulated hydrothermal chimney wall, made of iron sulfide precipitates, formed in a fuel cell apparatus (JPL). Electron microscopy shows porosity – where ions flow across the membrane – and crystal formation, which act as electrodes in this “geochemical fuel cell”. Credit: Barge et al. 2014

    Astrobiologists supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) have demonstrated a new way to study the origin of life: fuel cells.

    On Earth, hydrothermal vents on the seafloor act as “geochemical fuel cells.” Living cells also generate energy through processes that are similar to fuel cells. To this end, the team used a lab-grown hydrothermal chimney to simulate origin of life reactions in a ‘fuel cell’ experiment. This ‘Prebiotic Fuel Cell’ could help bridge the gap between geo-electrochemical systems and the first biological metabolisms.

    Fuel cells are modular, and components can be easily swapped out. By changing minerals and conditions in the prebiotic fuel cell, scientists can use the same technique to study the potential for life’s origin on Mars, Europa and other worlds where rock and water come into contact.

    The paper, “The Fuel Cell Model of Abiogenesis:A New Approach to Origin-of-Life Simulations,” published this month in the journal Astrobiology, Volume 14, Number 3.

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    Alien Moons Baked Dry

    An Earthlike moon orbiting a gas giant host planet. Credit: NASA An Earthlike moon orbiting a gas giant host planet. Credit: NASA

    According to a new study, heat radiating from gas giant planets could pose a problem for otherwise habitable exomoons in distant solar systems.

    Over 1000 extrasolar planets have now been identified, but most are gas giants and not rocky planets like Earth. Astrobiologists have wondered if a gas giant orbiting in the habitable zone of its host star could host rocky moons that are suitable for life as we know it. The new study, which includes work from the NASA Virtual Planetary Laboratory at the University of Washington, examines this possibility.

    The researchers found that conditions around a freshly formed gas giant planet might present a challenge in the formation of habitable moons. Heat emanating from the planet and irradiation from the system’s host star could actually 'roast’ moons and leave them without water.

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    New Technique to Date Ancient Zircons

    Jack Hills Zircon

    New light has been shed on our understanding of Earth’s early crust thanks to a new study in Nature Geoscience by NAI-funded researchers at the University of Wisconsin.

    During the Hadean eon, between Earth’s formation and 4 billion years ago, the Earth differentiated into a core, mantle and crust. The planet was also resurfaced by bombardment of planetesimals and asteroids, as well as some form of plate tectonics. As a result, few rocks of Hadean age remain. Every scrap of material older than 4 billion years is therefore of great interest.

    The oldest preserved crust was previously thought to have formed around 3.8 billion years ago, 600 million years after the Earth–Moon system formed, but over the past few decades older remnants of crust have been identified.

    In the Jack Hills of Western Australia, a sandstone contains abundant zircon grains older than 4.0 billion years and analysis of more than 100,000 grains has yielded two that are older than 4.35 billion years. These grains are thought to be derived from continental crust, some of which could be more than 4.37 billion years old.

    The age of the oldest Jack Hills zircons — Earth’s oldest minerals — is contentious. In this new study, atomic-scale mapping of the distribution of radiogenic isotopes within a Jack Hills zircon confirms that the oldest known continental crust formed just after the Earth–Moon system.

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    Clues to the Early Solar System in Carbon Fractionation

    An artist's impression of a planet-forming disk. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC) An artist's impression of a planet-forming disk. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/T. Pyle (SSC)

    A team of astrobiologists supported by the NAI has shed new light on the mechanisms that fractionate carbon isotopes in planetary bodies. Their work shows that significant fractionation of carbon isotopes in nature may be the result of diffusion in iron-nickel metal, which is found inside planets and meteorites.

    Carbon is all around us. Life on Earth is carbon based, but the element is also abundant in the composition of planets and meteorites. By studying how different isotopes of carbon are formed, astrobiologists are able to gain clues about both the modern Earth and the evolution of the early solar system.

    The paper, “Diffusive fractionation of carbon isotopes in γ-Fe: Experiment, models and implications for early solar system processes,” was published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta in February, 2014.

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    Microbes, How Low Can You Go?

    Tullis Onstott of Princeton University opens a borehole in a section of rock wall in a South African mine. Image credit: Lisa M. Pratt / The Trustees of Indiana University / NASA / National Science Fo Tullis Onstott of Princeton University opens a borehole in a section of rock wall in a South African mine. Image credit: Lisa M. Pratt / The Trustees of Indiana University / NASA / National Science Foundation

    It seems like anywhere you look on Earth, microorganisms are there – even kilometers beneath the Earth’s surface where sunlight never reaches. Scientists are just beginning to understand Earth’s deep subsurface biosphere, but a new study supported by the NAI might help determine just how far down microbes can go on our planet. The results could also shed light on the potential for life’s origins in the deep, dark Earth. Click here to read the full article on astrobio.net.

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    Impacting the Hadean Earth

    The process of collision and accretion created the four rocky, or terrestrial, planets of our inner solar system — Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Credit: NASA Discovery Program The process of collision and accretion created the four rocky, or terrestrial, planets of our inner solar system — Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. Credit: NASA Discovery Program

    Astrobiologists supported by the NASA Astrobiology Institute have assessed the effects of impacts on the crust of the early Earth. The research could help determine whether or not evidence of such violent events in our planet’s early history could still be found in the geological record.

    During the first billion years after its formation, the inner solar system was crowded with debris. This resulted in frequent collisions, which not only played a role in the formation and evolution of planets like Earth and Mars, but also helped shape their potential to host life. Today, it is difficult to determine the details of how this 'impact epoch’ affected the young planets.

    The new study estimates the thermal effects of a period known as the Late Heavy Bombardment (LHB) on Earth. The LHB is hypothesized to have occurred roughly 3.9 billion years ago during the Hadean eon, and was a time when impacts were especially frequent. Heat generated by the impacts left up to 10 percent of the planet’s surface covered with melt sheets more than a kilometer thick. Ejecta and vaporized rock were sprayed into the air and deposited around the globe. Astrobiologists have long wondered if any evidence of LHB impacts could still remain in rocks left over from the Hadean (such as rocks from the Jack Hills in Australia).

    To answer this question, the team of scientists focused on a mineral called zircon. Zircon contains lead, and this element can be removed from the mineral as it is melted and re-shaped by impacts.

    The team used sophisticated models to determine whether or not zircons in Hadean rocks could contain signatures left over from the LHB based on the amount of lead they contain. They concluded that if these minerals indeed contain signatures of the LHB, they would have come from the impact ejecta (the materials tossed into the air by the violent collisions). Zircons in rocks at the surface of the planet would not likely have survived in the vast melt sheets.

    The paper, “The impact environment of the Hadean Earth,” was published in the journal Chemie der Erde – Geochemistry.

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    FOR STUDENTS AND YOUNG INVESTIGATORS


    AbGradCon 2014 – Abstract Submission Now Open!

    2013 AbGradCon Attendees

    Abstract Submission Deadline: March 31, 2014

    The 10th Annual Astrobiology Graduate Conference (AbGradCon), an interdisciplinary conference organized by and for graduate students and early career scientists, will be held at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY during July 27 – 31, 2014. Graduate students and early-career scientists (astronomers, biologists, chemists, educators, engineers, geologists, planetary scientists and social scientists) whose research addresses a topic relevant to astrobiology are encouraged to visit the website for information on the abstract application, funding for US-affiliated participants and more: http://abgradcon.org. Also, find us on facebook or on saganet.org.

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    Astrobiologist Receives Presidential Early Career Award

    Please join us in congratulating Moh El-Naggar, from NAI’s team at the University of Southern California, who recently received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

    Moh El-Naggar is an assistant professor of physics at the University of Southern California. El-Naggar received a B.S. degree from Lehigh University (2001), followed by M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2007) degrees from the division of engineering and applied science of the California Institute of Technology, where he was an Applied Materials, Inc. fellow. As a biophysicist, El-Naggar is a pioneer in studying energy conversion and charge transmission at the interface between living cells and synthetic surfaces. His work, which has important implications for cell physiology, may lead to the development of new hybrid materials and renewable energy technologies that combine the exquisite biochemical control of nature with the synthetic building blocks of nanotechnology.

    The Presidential Early Career Awards embody the high priority the Obama Administration places on producing outstanding scientists and engineers to advance the Nation’s goals, tackle grand challenges, and contribute to the American economy. The recipients are employed or funded by numerous departments and agencies, which join together annually to nominate the most meritorious scientists and engineers whose early accomplishments show the greatest promise for assuring America’s preeminence in science and engineering and contributing to the awarding agencies’ missions.

    The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, or community outreach.
    Source: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/12/23/president-obama-honors-outstanding-early-career-scientists

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    Announcement of Opportunity: JAXA International Top Young Fellowship 2014

    Application Deadline: May 30, 2014

    The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) International Top Young Fellowship (ITYF) was established in 2009 to attract outstanding, highly motivated, early-career researchers with research topics focusing on any of the space science fields covered by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Sciences (ISAS).

    Examples of possible research topics include:

    • Structure and origin of the universe
    • Formation of the Earth and solar system
    • Utilization of the space environment for microgravity experiments
    • Engineering and technology development for the exploitation of space

    Applicants must have a Ph.D. in natural science (by the end of May 2014), or equivalent or higher capabilities, and less than 8 years of postdoctoral experience. The contract period is for 3 (extendable to 5) years. Commencement of the research activity (start of contract): February 1, 2015.

    For all the details and to apply online, visit: http://www.isas.jaxa.jp/e/researchers/young-fellowship/appli.shtml

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    Opportunity for Student Support for Meteorite Impact Research

    Application Deadline: April 4, 2014

    The deadline is approaching for this year’s opportunity to request student (masters, doctoral, and postdoctoral) support from the Barringer Family Fund for Meteorite Impact Research. For those studying terrestrial impact craters as analogues for lunar structures, this is an excellent opportunity to obtain $2,500 to $5,000 to help defray research costs. Details about the full scope of science supported by the program and the application procedure can be found at http://www.lpi.usra.edu/science/kring/Awards/Barringer_Fund/.

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    UPCOMING DEADLINES IN THE NEXT 30 DAYS


    March 31 Abstract Submission Deadline for AbGradCon 2014 July 27 – 31 in Troy, NY

    March 31 Abstract Submission and Registration Deadline for 4th Nordic Astrobiology Conference – Biosignatures Across Space and Time May 20 – 22 in Bergen, Norway

    March 31 Abstract Submission and Early Registration Deadline for Asteroids, Comets, Meteors June 30 – July 4 in Helsinki, Finland

    March 31 Abstract Submission Deadline for CoRoT3-KASC7: The Space Photometry Revolution July 6 – 11 in Toulouse, France

    April 1 Application Deadline for NASA Astrobiology Early Career Collaboration Award

    April 1 Abstract Submission Deadline for Ninth International Symposium on Subsurface Microbiology

    April 7 Abstract Submission Deadline for 1st ASM Conference on Experimental Microbial Evolution June 19 – 22 in Washington, DC

    April 15 Abstract Submission Deadline for Extremophiles 2014 Sept. 7 – 11 in Saint Petersburg, Russia

    April 15 Early Registration Deadline for 48th ESLAB Symposium: New Insights Into Volcanism Across the Solar System June 16 – 21 in Noordwijk, The Netherlands

    April 17 Abstract Submission Deadline for 11th International GeoRaman Conference June 15 – 19 in St. Louis, MO

    April 22 Application Deadline for Essay Contest on Preparing for the Distant Future of Civilization

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