Astrobiology (general): November 2007

December 3rd A reminder, the abstract submission deadline for AbSciCon has been extended to December 3rd. For more information, see:

[Source: NAI Newsletter]

AbGradCon 08, an astrobiology conference for early-career astrobiologists, will take place on 13-14 April 2008 in Santa Clara, CA, USA (immediately before AbSciCon). AbGradCon is open to graduate students studying subjects relevant to astrobiology, and to those who have received their PhD in such subjects within the previous two years. Registration will be free and will be open shortly. There will be some funding available for travel grants. For more information, visit the AbGradCon website at [Source: NAI Newsletter]

NAI Central is pleased to announce the news that its recent proposal to the NASA Science Mission Directorate E/PO Program entitled "NASA and the Navajo Nation 2: The Moon" has been selected for funding. This award will enable the continued collaboration with leaders and educators from the Navajo Nation toward the production of educational materials which bring together astrobiology science and Navajo cultural knowledge, in particular of the Moon. For more information, please contact Daniella Scalice,

[Source: NAI Newsletter]

Researchers from NAI's University of Hawai'i Team and their colleagues have a new paper in Geobiology reviewing recent work on the climatic, geochemical, and ecological events that preceded animal fossils, considering their portent for metazoan evolution. They also consider recent published research on the nature and chronology of the earliest fossil record of metazoans, and on the molecular-based analysis that yielded dates older than the last 35 million years of the Precambrian for the appearance of major animal groups.

[Source: NAI Newsletter]

Dear ASGSB Members,

I am pleased to announce that the membership of the ASGSB has successfully voted electronically for the first time and elected Jeffery R. Alberts President-Elect and 5 new Governing Board members: Ted A. Bateman, J. David Dickman, Melissa Kirven-Brooks, Stephen J. Moorman (completing the term of Diana Jennings), and Muneo Takaoki.

We greatly appreciate the willingness and efforts of all of the members who ran for office, including Marshall Porterfield, Elison Blancaflor, Gioia Massa, and Bruce Yost, to contribute to the governance and mission of the Society. Special thanks for service is given to members who rotated off the Board: Simon Gilroy, Diana Jennings, David Klaus, April Ronca, Paul Todd, and Wenonah Vercoutere. The Board also approved David K. Chapman as Secretary-Treasurer, who kindly consented to continue dealing with the challenges of this position. I look forward to working with the newly elected members and members at large as we strengthen the role of our Society in advancing America's leadership in space-related science.

Danny A. Riley
President, ASGSB

Planets & Life: The Emerging Science of Astrobiology Woodruff Sullivan & John Baross (eds.). Cambridge Univ. Pr. (2007) Twenty-eight chapters (650 pp) by experts on all aspects of astrobiology; designed for seniors and graduate student science majors and professionals who want to learn the basics outside their own field; also appropriate as a textbook for astrobiology courses. For more information: [Source: NAI Newsletter]