Education and Outreach: October 2010

Deadline: 15 November 2010

Presented by the NASA Astrobiology Program in celebration of NASA's Year of the Solar System, From Earth to the Solar System (FETTSS) will be an online collection of images that can be freely downloaded and exhibited by organizations worldwide in whatever manner they choose. The images will showcase discoveries in planetary exploration, with a focus on the origin and evolution of the Solar System and the search for life.

We are currently seeking images for the exhibit, whether it be your favorite image taken by a spacecraft, or a picture you took yourself as part of your research. We are looking for artistic and informative images of astrobiological or planetary science significance that tell a story and showcase views of the planets, moons, and other bodies in our Solar System, as well as pictures of field sites here on Earth. Our goal is for this image collection to represent the current state of exploration as seen through the eyes of the scientific community.

See for instructions on how to submit an image. See for a poster about FETTSS. Please contact for additional information. [Source: NAI]

The School of Earth and Space Exploration (SESE) is seeking new faculty expertise in the study and delivery of new pedagogies in both K-12 and informal space sciences education. We are interested in new colleagues who focus on STEM education research and delivery through the lenses of astronomy, astrophysics, and planetary science. The successful candidate will complement existing strengths in geoscience education research and expand the scope of SESE's existing B.A.E. degree program in Earth and Space Science Education in collaboration with the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at ASU. We are especially interested in applicants at the Assistant or Associate Professor level with interest and proven expertise in multimedia informal science education.

Established in 2006, SESE is one of the fastest growing academic programs at one of the fastest growing institutions of higher learning in the United States. An essential part of its mission is a transformative integration of earth and space sciences and systems engineering. SESE is increasing its emphasis on education beyond graduate and undergraduate major programs with the construction of a new building which will include a high-definition theater and interactive museum exhibit spaces to support informal science education, as well as technology-enabled learning laboratories to support research on K-12 STEM education and teacher training. These new facilities are scheduled for occupancy in the second quarter of 2012; appointment of the successful candidate for this search may begin as early as August 15, 2011.

Applications should include: 1) a cover letter that includes a description of the applicant's research and teaching interests and experience; 2) a current CV; and 3) the names, addresses and telephone numbers of three references. All materials should be submitted electronically, in PDF format, through the school's website:

Application deadline is 1 December 2010; if not filled, reviews will continue weekly until search is closed.[Source: NAI]

The Australian Centre for Astrobiology and the Natural Products Research Laboratory in the School of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Science at UNSW are offering several PhD scholarships for both Australian and overseas PhD students.

To qualify you must have honours or Masters degrees or previous research experience in microbiology, biochemistry, genetics, molecular biology or bioinformatics to work on research projects funded by the Australian Research Council, the University of New Wales, as well as a variety of industry partners.

Particular research interests and strength are in the fields of environmental microbiology and genomics, biotechnology, molecular evolution, functional genomics, drug discovery and development, astrobiology, and extremophiles.

Scholarships include a stipend of up to AUD $30,000 per annum tax-free, international travel support (AUD $5,000), office and/or laboratory expenses. Non-Australian or New Zealand applicants may also be eligible for tuition waivers (valued at AUD $22,000 per annum). Qualified applicants may be invited and funded to visit the facilities. For more information visit [Source: NAI]

Dates: 5-8 June 2011

Location: Montana State University, Bozeman Montana

Eligibility: graduate students, post-doctoral students, early-career astrobiologists (2-5 years past PhD).

Limit: 50

The 2011 Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference (AbGradCon) will be held at Montana State University, from 5-8 June, 2011. The schedule will include two full days of talks and poster sessions, one day of public outreach and educational activities, and a full-day field trip to Yellowstone National Park. The conference application will be available online in January 2011. For more information, please visit our website:, or email

[Source: NAI]

The Canadian Astrobiology Training Program (CATP) is the first Canadian cross-disciplinary, multi-institutional undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral training program in Astrobiology and is an NSERC-funded Collaborative Research and Training Experience Program (CREATE) (2009-2015) located at McGill University, McMaster University, University of Western Ontario, University of Toronto, and the University of Winnipeg. The CATP program objectives are being accomplished through collaborative and integrative research approaches containing elements of geology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, microbiology, and robotics.

CATP trainees (~70 graduate & undergraduate students, PDFs over 6 years) will be exposed to innovative research and training approaches, combining fieldwork at unique Canadian analogue sites, including those in the high Arctic, with laboratory work at cutting edge analytical facilities at participating university, government, and industry partners. Shared expertise within and among institutions will be provided by means of course and seminar videoconferencing, and interdisciplinary supervision. Professional training will be enhanced by training rotations with our collaborators at CSA, MDA Space Missions, and our international partners, including NASA Ames.

CATP Highly Qualified People (HQP) trained in various aspects of astrobiology will be at the forefront of the search for life beyond the Earth. Indeed, CATP will address the recognized lack of HQP in space science and lead to new scientific opportunities and promote Canadian participation in future missions to Mars with the ultimate goal of having Canadian scientists actively participating on such missions within 2-5 years as well as a future Mars sample return mission; both are direct initiatives of the 2008 CSA Exploration Roadmap. The skills acquired through this program will be directly transferable to various other disciplines, such as Earth and environmental sciences, robotics, medicine, and astronomy.

CATP research activities will be structured around 4 major themes that are explicitly linked to the domains of expertise of the CATP co-applicants: Extremophiles, Biosignatures, Astrobiology Instrument and Technology Development, and Planetary Analogues. The 4 themes unite to serve a common purpose: the unambiguous detection of life, extant or extinct, in areas where the existence of life cannot be presupposed. For more information regarding the CATP initiatives, please follow this web link: Here you will find details regarding our current students and their research, our highly successful seminar series, and the training opportunities available and how to apply during the next recruitment period scheduled to start in November 2010. Please note that the deadline for all applications is 14 January 2011. [Source: NAI]

Aspiring astrobiologists should report to Montana State University in Bozeman, Montanta on June 5-8th 2011 for AbGradCon 2011, the world's leading astrobiology conference for graduate students and early career scientists. Students and post-docs from a variety of fields are invited to participate in this event which will feature oral presentations, poster sessions, public outreach, and a field trip to Yellowstone National Park. For more information:

Source: NAI Newsletter

Release Date: July 9, 2010
Notices of Intent Due: August 6, 2010
Proposals Due: October 7, 2010
Selection Announcement: December 21, 2010
Identification Number: NNA10339208C

On July 9, 2010, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Ames Research Center released a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) for the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) Minority Institution Research Support (MIRS) Program. The full text of the CAN solicitation is available at

The NAI MIRS Program is intended to help train a new generation of researchers in astrobiology and to increase diversity within the astrobiology community. This solicitation seeks proposals to continue the process of recruiting and retaining underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by involving faculty and students from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs) in astrobiology research.

Under this CAN, NASA Ames is soliciting proposals from accredited US institutions of higher education, non-profit higher education professional organizations, and consortia of those types of organizations and institutions. Proposals from MSIs and non-profit organizations serving underrepresented students are strongly encouraged. Other organizations, including for-profit organizations, with a demonstrable capability to engage minority populations are also eligible to propose.

The period of performance for the award resulting from this solicitation is a maximum of four years. NASA expects to award one Cooperative Agreement to take effect on February 1, 2011. The estimated total value of the award is projected to be $0.8M - $1.0M.