Conferences and Meetings: February 2009

The Life in Extreme Environments Educator Conference, hosted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Education Office, was held on January 24-25, 2009 in JPL's von Karman auditorium. E/PO Leads from NAI's teams at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, JPL-Titan, and JPL-Icy Worlds participated in producing the event. Eighty-one educators attended. The program included an introduction to astrobiology, as well as more detailed presentations outlining astrobiology research into extrasolar planet habitability, pre-biotic chemistry, spectral "bio"signatures, and planetary protection. NAI educational materials were distributed.

Starting on February 23rd, 2009, each of the NAI teams will be giving one hour overview seminars that describe the work they will be performing as members of the NAI. These seminars, which will be broadcast via videoconference and web, will provide an opportunity to find out more about the science, EPO and other activities being performed by the NAI teams. These seminars will take place at 11am Pacific time. The schedule of the talks follows:

Come join an interdisciplinary gathering of scientists, artists and writers as they explore human futures in fact and fiction at the annual CONTACT conference.

WHERE: NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif., Building 943 located at the main gate. To reach NASA Ames, take U.S. Highway 101 to the Moffett Field, NASA Parkway exit and drive east on Moffett Boulevard towards the main gate and bear right into the parking lot. Building 943 is located across the street from the large white dome.

WHEN: Friday, April 3, 2009 to Sunday, April 5, 2009

Come hear an interesting exchange of ideas as Lynn Rothschild, evolutionary biologist and astrobiologist at NASA Ames Research Center, and Father George Coyne, Director Emeritus of the Vatican Observatory, astronomer and Jesuit priest, discuss "Are We Alone? The Dance of the Fertile Universe." Ames Center Director, S. Pete Worden will moderate as they consider the fact that while the potential for life was present at the Big Bang, Earth may be the only place that promise was realized. They will also discuss from their different perspectives what niches life may have found since the Big Bang and muse on the significance of the fertile universe.