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A740 - Astrobiology Seminar Spring 2009




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Follow the water has been the mantra for solar system life searches, but potentially habitable environments are likely to be cold, so follow the ice might be more appropriate. In this seminar, we will focus this semester on learning about water in the solar system from understanding how it arrived on the terrestrial planets, and current existence on Mars, the Moon and evidence for primordial solar system water in primitive bodies and on Earth. We will also discuss microbes in extreme icy environments, and biosignatures. This seminar will cover both basic techniques and interdisciplinary intorductions as well as highlight current research in astronomy, modeling, cosmochemistry, geochemistry and astrobiology.

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: February 16, 2005
Karen Meech
Institute for Astronomy
2680 Woodlawn Drive
Honolulu, HI 96822