December 2011

Nordic-NASA summer school "Water, ice and the Origin of Life in the Universe", which will be held in Iceland from 2 to 15 July 2012, aims to give participants a thorough high-level introduction into the role of water in the evolution of life in the cosmos, starting from formation of water molecules in space and ending with evolution of the first organisms. It will bring together students and researchers from a multitude of different science branches, making it a truly multidisciplinary event. The event will be organised by the Nordic Astrobiology Network ( together with the NASA Astrobiology Institute. Field studies on the colonisation of lava fields and glaciers will complement the lectures. The programme of the summer school comprises:

* lectures by internationally leading scientists covering a broad range of subjects in astrobiology
* investigation of colonisation of volcanic rocks and glaciers with in situ life detection techniques
* excursions to geologically and biologically interesting sites (lava caves, new lava fields)
* 2 poster sessions for students and early career scientists
* participants-led discussions about hot topics

The event is aimed for graduate students and early career scientists (up to 5 years after their first Ph. D. in a related field) in fields related to astrobiology. Undergraduate students can also apply, and can be accepted under exceptional circumstances. The event is open to applicants from all nationalities. Detailed information about the summer school and the application procedure (deadline 31 January 2012) can be found at Successful applicants accepted by the Scientific Committee as participants will receive free lodging, meals and excursions, but will have to organise financial means for their travel to and from Iceland themselves.Course credit awards (ECTS points) for undergraduate and Ph. D. students will be applied for by the course organisers.

Interns selected for the NSBRI's summer program join ongoing project activities and gain hands-on experience in space biomedical research at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas; Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio; or Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The program is open to graduate students, medical students and undergraduate students who have completed their second year of studies.

Applicants are asked to send a curriculum vitae or resume, a letter of interest indicating available dates during the summer, two letters of recommendation, and college transcripts. The program is open to U.S. citizens.

Applications for the 2012 program are due Dec. 31, 2011.

For more information and to apply online, visit Questions about this opportunity should be directed to

As part of a series of electronic professional development experiences for educators, the NASA Explorer Schools and Learning Environments and Research Network, or LE&RN, projects are hosting a 60-minute live professional development Web seminar for educators on Jan. 3, 2012, at 8 p.m. EST. Discover how an algebra activity called "Finding Habitable Planets" will help you teach students to use their skills to analyze NASA data. Students learn about the possibility of discovering planets in habitable zones of solar systems.

For more information and to register online, visit

To learn more about the NASA Explorer Schools project, visit

Email any questions about this opportunity to the NES Help Desk at

FameLab Astrobiology is a science communication competition focused on graduate students and post doctoral researchers doing research in astrobiology. Via four preliminary and one final competition, early career astrobiologists will compete to convey their own research or related science concepts. Each contestant has the spotlight for only three minutes -- slides and charts are not allowed. A panel of experts in both science and science communication will judge the events. Events will take place on the following dates:

-- Jan. 13, 2012 -- Houston, Texas -- Lunar and Planetary Institute
-- Feb. 10, 2012 -- Denver, Colo. -- Denver Museum of Nature and Science
-- March 9, 2012 -- Washington, D.C. -- NASA Headquarters/National Geographic Society
-- Jan. - March 2012 -- Online via YouTube
-- FINAL: April 12-16, 2012 -- Atlanta, Ga. -- Astrobiology Science Conference

Each preliminary event will feature science communication training and enrichment activities, providing exposure to alternative careers. There will be a two-day master class for finalists prior to the final event in April.

The winner will go on to compete in the International FameLab Final in the United Kingdom in June 2012.

For more information, visit

Questions about this competition may be directed to Daniella Scalice at the NASA Astrobiology Institute via email at

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) has extended the proposal due date for NASA Research Announcement (NRA) NNH11ZTT002N, entitled "Research Opportunities in Space Biology." The deadline for receipt of proposals has changed from Friday, January 6, 2012 to Monday, January 23, 2012, 5 PM ET. Selections of proposals are expected to be announced by April 30, 2012.

The full text of the solicitation is available on the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at under menu listing "Open Solicitations." Potential applicants are urged to access this site well in advance of the proposal due date to familiarize themselves with its structure and to register in the NSPIRES system. Proposals must be submitted electronically.

Release Date: October 11, 2011

Proposals Due: February 15, 2012

With this amendment, the proposal due date for NASA Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) NNH11ZDA012O, "NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) - Cycle 6," has been delayed to February 15, 2012. Due to the large number of time consuming activities between November and the end of January encountered by the Planetary Science and Astrobiology community, the proposal due date for the NAI Cycle 6 CAN has been changed to February 15, 2012.

On or about December 5, 2012, Amendment No. 1 to the "NASA Astrobiology Institute Cycle 6" CAN (NNH11ZDA012O) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at (select "Solicitations" then "Open Solicitations" then "NNH12ZDA002C").

Additional information on the NASA Astrobiology Institute may be obtained from: Dr. Carl Pilcher, Director, NASA Astrobiology Institute, NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035; Telephone: (650) 604-0022; E-mail: Additional information on this Notice and the overall NASA Astrobiology Program may be obtained from: Dr. Mary Voytek, Senior Scientist for Astrobiology, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546; Telephone: (202) 358-1577; E-mail:

The 17th Cambridge Workshop on Cool Stars, Stellar Systems and the Sun (Cool Stars 17) will be held at the World Trade Center in Barcelona, Spain between June 24 - 29, 2012. The opening reception will be on Sunday evening, June 24. Science sessions will run from Monday, June 25 through Friday, June 29. The morning plenary sessions will focus on fundamental parameters and formation of cool stars and brown dwarfs, magnetic fields and activity, the solar-stellar connection and cool stars as exoplanet hosts. There will be afternoon splinter sessions on topics to be proposed by meeting attendees, as well as ample space and time for displaying and viewing posters.

For more information:

Source: NAI Newsletter