Development of collaborative multidisciplinary computing techniques in astrobiology.

Skills needed: Programming skills (Java/C++/other) with an interest in collaborative computing and/or artificial intelligence. Collaborating with: all co-Is Equipment avail: Extensive computer network system; access to Maui High performance computing facility.

 
   
 
Experimental and field investigation of indigenous microbiota and energetics of potential metabolic pathways in ocean crust and mantle rocks as analogs for early Earth habitats.

* Identification, isolation and functionality of extremophiles at seafloor eruptive    events
* Cruises to the Mariana forearc to investigate microbial communities in ultramafic    subduction hot springs
* Microbial colonization of lava-seawater generated plumes as analogs for early Earth    habitats
* Serpentinizing seafloor as methane source and habitat for life on early Earth

Skills needed: Familiarity with basic analyses of seawater based fluids, microbial molecular genetic techniques, and thermodynamic modeling of fluid-rock solution systems. Collaborating with: Mottl, Gaidos Equipment avail: Access to the Ridge2000 - event detection and response system, the Hawaii undersea research laboratory which includes 2 deep diving submersibles, and an ROV.

Please visit my current project website - Exploring the Deep Subseafloor

 
   
 

Development of integrative visualizations of astrobiology research.

Skills needed: XML, metadata, open source concept/topic map and other visualization software, interest in collaborative computing and Web 2.0. Collaborating with: all co-Is. Equipment avail: Extensive computer network system; access to Maui High Performance Computing Center.

 
   
 

Ion Microprobe, cosmochemistry

 
   
 
Studies of small solar system primitive bodies (including both IR spectra, and isotopic studies).

* Optical/IR observation of distant icy bodies
* Submillimeter spectroscopic observations, comet isotopic studies
* Discovery and characterization (chemical composition) of near Earth objects.

Skills needed: Astronomical observing experience, in particular infrared spectroscopy in search of spectral signatures in icy bodies. Collaborating with: Owen, Meech, Kaiser, Bar-Nun Equipment avail: Competitive access to Mauna Kea and Haleakala observatories.

 
   
 

Formation and measurement of astrobiologically important molecules such as sugars, aminoacids, carboxylic acids, carbon homologoues, hopanes, steranes, and head to head isoprenoids, as well as interpretation of the redox environment as it pertains to life in water-rich extraterrestrial ice analog samples.

* Combined experimental and observational investigation how sugars and aminoacids together with their precursors are synthesized via interaction of charge-particle and UV-radiation in extraterrestrial, water-rich samples.

Skills needed: reaction dynamics, photochemistry, charged and neutral particle sources and ultra-high vacuum technology Collaborating with: Ehrenfreund, Bar-Nun, Owen, Meech Equipment avail: Ultra high vacuum surface scattering machine

 
   
 

Isotopic studies of water in chondritic, cometary and interstellar materials to constrain origin of water in inner solar system

* Mineralogy, petrology and isotope (D/H) chemistry of aqueously-altered carbonaceous chondrites
* secondary mineralization resulting from aqueous processes
* Experimental study of D-enrichment in extraterrestrial water ice analog using charged particles and tunable UV-radiation

Skills needed: Experience with scanning and transmission electron microscopy, electron and ion microprobes; experience in geo/cosmochemistry or physicochemistry. Collaborating with: Krot, Scott, Owen Equipment avail: electron microprobe, X-ray spectrometer, extensive esperimental petrology labs and equipment, ion microprobe.

 
   
 
Meteoritics, chondrites, Collaborating with: Keil, Scott.

 

 
   
 
Understanding volatile abundances of comets, evolution of volatile and organic materials.

* Optical/IR observation of distant icy bodies
* Spectral modelling, and thermal modelling of Icy bodies

Skills needed: Astronomical observing (spectroscopy, imaging, IR), astronomical image processing, databases, thermal modelling, outreach. Space mission experience. Collaborating with: Jewitt, Kaiser, Owen, Bar-Nun, Prialnik, Kadooka, Taylor Equipment avail: Competitive access to Mauna Kea and Haleakala observatories. Involvement in Deep Impact comet mission.

 
   
 
Experimental and field investigation of indigenous microbiota and energetics of potential metabolic pathways in ocean crust and mantle rocks as analogs for early Earth habitats.

* Identification, isolation and functionality of extremophiles at seafloor eruptive events
* Cruises to the Mariana forearc to investigate microbial communities in ultramafic subduction hot springs
* Microbial colonization of lava-seawater generated plumes as analogs for early Earth habitats
* Serpentinizing seafloor as methane source and habitat for life on early Earth

Skills needed: Familiarity with basic analyses of seawater based fluids, microbial molecular genetic techniques, and thermodynamic modeling of fluid-rock solution systems. Collaborating with: Cowen, Hammer, Gaidos Equipment avail: Access to the Ridge2000 - event detection and response system, the Hawaii undersea research laboratory which includes 2 deep diving submersibles, and an ROV.

 
   
 

Understanding the origin and delivery of terrestrial planetary water

* Measurement of D/H ratios in comets and planetary atmospheres
* Planetary nobel gas abundance measurements
* Isotope equilibria and fractionation in the solar nebula - modelling

Skills needed: Modeling of upper atmospheric chemistry and physics; astronomical observing; solar nebula modeling. Collaborating with: Jewitt, Keil, Krot, Scott, Meech, Taylor Equipment avail: Competitive access to Mauna Kea and Haleakala observatories. Involvement in Cassini Saturn Mission and Rosetta comet mission.

 
   
 

Quantify the presence of water in interstellar clouds and define the types of environments in which water will exist. This will be accomplished via

* IR observations of water ice absorption in background stars
* Sub-mm observations of water-chemistry in protoplanetary disks
* Hot water emission (spectroscopy) of disks
* VLA interferometric observations of water masers in disks

Skills needed: sub-mm observational expertise, IR observing, interferometry; research ability in star formation or circumstellar disks Collaborating with: J. Williams, C. Ceccarelli Equipment avail: Competitive access to Mauna Kea and Haleakala observatories.

 
   
 

Meteoritics, Petrology, cosmochemistry

 
   
 
Aqueous alteration on Mars

* Development of predictive models for transport and state of water on Mars
* Observation of products of hydrothermal alteration on Mars
* Models and observation of weathering and sedimentation processes

Skills needed: Astronomical observing; Analysis of remote sensing of terrestrial surface and atmosphere. Outreach. Collaborating with: Gaidos, Owen, Anderson, Meech Equipment avail: Competitive access to Mauna Kea and Haleakala observatories. Involvment in Mars missions.