Integrating Astrobiology Research at AbSciCon

The NAI has organized a session entitled "Integrating Astrobiology Research Across and Beyond the Community" at the upcoming 2010 Astrobiology Science Conference in League City, Texas. The purpose of this session is to stimulate new research collaborations across the astrobiology community and beyond by presenting broad nascent or ongoing collaborations as well as new collaborative opportunities. The session will be held on the last day of AbSciCon, Thursday, April 29, from 2:00 to 4:45pm. This session continues a process of integrating astrobiology research that lies at the heart of the NAI. A new phase of this process began in early 2009 when 10 new teams joined the Institute. The NAI Strategic Science Initiative Workshop - held May 13-15, 2009 in Tempe, AZ (see http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/executive-council/strategic-initiatives-workshop ) was a major milestone focused on developing new and expanded collaborations among NAI teams.

Several of the presentations at the AbSciCon session will describe major areas of funded research identified at the Tempe workshop as ripe for broader collaboration. Others will discuss new collaboration opportunities, for example with medical researchers, philosophers, and environmental scientists. Abstracts of these presentations are available on the AbSciCon website at: http://www.lpi.usra.edu/meetings/abscicon2010/pdf/sess553.pdf . We encourage those interested in new or broadened collaborations in any of these areas to review the abstracts before the session.

Other resources that may be of interest to session participants include the overview seminars presented by each NAI team in preparation for the Tempe workshop and available on the NAI website (see http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/seminars/#overview ). We also call your attention to the recent experimental distributed "Workshop Without Walls: The Organic Continuum from the Interstellar Medium to the Early Earth" which was held March 11-12. Conducted using collaborative technologies that enabled participation from any location, the workshop attracted more than 170 registrants from 21 U.S. States and 16 other countries, including Canada, Mexico, 6 western European nations, Ukraine, India, S. Korea, Japan, Australia, Brazil, and Uruguay. A total of 33 scientific talks were presented over 2 days. For more information on the Workshop Without Walls, please see the article about the workshop recently posted on the NAI website at http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/articles/nasa-astrobiology-institute-hosts-science-workshop-without-walls-/ . This new model for science workshops will be covered in the AbSciCon session talk by Karen Meech and Doug Whittet.

We look forward to seeing you at AbSciCon.

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