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Education and Outreach: 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.

NAI Postdoctoral Fellowship Program

The NAI Postdoctoral Fellowship Program provides opportunities for Ph.D. scientists and engineers of unusual promise and ability to perform research on problems largely of their own choosing, yet compatible with the research interests of NASA and the member teams of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. The next award cycle that the NAI will be participating in will be the March 1, 2009 application deadline. For additional information about the program see http://nasa.orau.org/postdoc .

[Source: NAI Newsletter]

NORDIC-NASA Astrobiology Summer School

Iceland, 29 June to 13 July 2009

Deadline: Applications due March 1, 2009

The NASA Astrobiology Institute and the Nordic Astrobiology Network will conduct a summer school on the role of water in the evolution of life in the cosmos - in Iceland on the above dates. The school is intended for students and post-docs in astrobiology-related subjects (biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geosciences etc.)

The Arizona State University Astrobiology Team invites applications for a full-time postdoctoral Research Scientist (non-tenure track) position in Microbial Ecology/Physiology. The successful candidate will have a leading role in the research emphasis "The Stoichiometry of Life" which is aimed at understanding the fundamental relationships between the elemental composition of microbes and their environment, through investigations in the field, the laboratory, and the genomic and geologic records of the history of life. For more information: http://astrobiology.asu.edu/Astrobiology/Opportunities/Entries/2009/1/30_Postdoctoral_Fellowship_in_Microbial_Ecology_Physiology.html

[Source: NAI Newsletter]

Penn State will once again host the Astrobiology Summer Program (ASP), supported by the National Science Foundation and NASA Astrobiology Institute. Undergraduates with an interest in astrobiology and contemplating a career in the sciences are encouraged to apply. Participants receive a stipend, travel, and living expenses, and conduct research for ten weeks at Pennsylvania State University under the guidance of astrobiology faculty mentors. Among the summer activities are field trips to NASA Headquarters, NASA-Goddard Space Flight Center, the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum and Udvar-Hazy Center. The application deadline is February 15th, 2009. For more information, visit http://evo.bio.psu.edu/asp/ or contact Blair Hedges, sbh1@psu.edu.

[Source: NAI Newsletter]