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A734 - Astrobiology Seminar - Fall 2004




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How does life begin and evolve? Is there life elsewhere in the Universe? What is the future of life on Earth and beyond? Today, NASA's Astrobiology Institute (NAI) is not only asking these age-old questions, it is actively seeking answers, and the new Astrobiology Institute lead team at the University of Hawaii is taking advantage of our unique island setting to understand the origin, history and evolution of water in the universe and its role in life. Ast 734 is a 1 credit graduate seminar which will be an integrated interdisciplinary discussion on topics related to the new UH NAI lead team research themes. Cutting edge research in a variety of areas related to the water-theme will be discussed, ranging from the origin of water in space, its role in creating biologically important molecules, to delivery to Earth and role in the early solar system, to the influence water has had on the habitability of Earth and as an environment for life.

Course Structure

While designed as a graduate level seminar, because of the interdisciplinary nature of the group, efforts will be made to provide background material in each of the topic areas. This course will be open to all levels of graduate students, as well as upper level undergraduates. Students will synthesize the research presentations to bring them to a level understandable by the general public and will write up short articles on the research. In addition students will develop a glossary of astrobiology terms that will be submitted to the NASA Astrobiology Institute as part of their glossary development initiative. Reading material will be assigned before each seminar to provide the context for the science discussions. The articles will be posted on our team website for Reseach Discoveries in Astrobiology. Grades will be based on the Web magazine articles and participation in discussions during the seminar.

Last modified: Aug 25, 2004
Karen Meech
Institute for Astronomy
2680 Woodlawn Drive
Honolulu, HI 96822