Education and Outreach: November 2011

NASA announces a call for graduate fellowship proposals to the NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship (NESSF) program for the 2012-2013 academic year. This call for fellowship proposals solicits applications from accredited U.S. universities on behalf of individuals pursuing Master of Science (M.Sc.) or Doctoral (Ph.D.) degrees in Earth and space sciences, or related disciplines. The purpose of NESSF is to ensure continued training of a highly qualified workforce in disciplines needed to achieve NASA's scientific goals. Awards resulting from the competitive selection will be made in the form of training grants to the respective universities.

The deadline for NEW applications is February 1, 2012, and the deadline for RENEWAL applications is March 15, 2012.

The NESSF call for proposals and submission instructions are located at the NESSF solicitation index page at - click on "Solicitations" then click on "Open Solicitations" then select the "NESSF 12" announcement. Also refer to "Proposal Submission Instructions" and "Frequently Asked Questions" listed under "Other Documents" on the NESSF 12 solicitation index page.

All proposals must be submitted in electronic format only through the NASA NSPIRES system. The advisor has an active role in the submission of the fellowship proposal. To use the NSPIRES system, the advisor, the student, and the university must all register. Extended instructions on how to submit an electronic proposal package are posted on the NESSF 12 solicitation index page listed above. You can register in NSPIRES at

For further information contact Ming-Ying Wei, Program Administrator for NESSF Earth Science Research, Telephone: (202) 358-0771, E-mail: or Dolores Holland, Program Administrator for NESSF Heliophysics Research, Planetary Science Research, and Astrophysics Research, Telephone: (202) 358-0734, E-mail:

Source: NAI Newsletter

1. Searches for exoplanets: The successful applicant to this position will contribute to an ongoing Doppler and transit search for exoplanets around cool stars, and characterization of transiting planets using Mauna Kea and other observatories.

Requirements: Ph.D. in physics, astrophysics, or astronomy, and previous observing experience.

2. Exoplanet atmospheres and interiors: The successful applicant will conduct research on one or more topics involving the incorporation of volatiles into planets, the formation and properties of primordial atmospheres, subsolidus convection and melting of the interior, and the
exchange of volatiles between the interior and surface.


Ph.D. in a relevant field (astrophysics, planetary science, geophysics), and strong numerical modeling skills.

Each postdoc will interact with other investigators in an interdisciplinary environment, and be encouraged to demonstrate leadership in a particular specialty. Each position is initially for one year, with a second year depending on research performance, and a third year depending on performance and funding. Each position offers an annual stipend of $52,000 and the opportunity to live in Honolulu, the top-ranked U.S. city in the 2010 Mercer Quality of Living Survey.

Starting date: January 1 or as soon as possible thereafter. To apply, send a 2-page CV, including publication list, and names and contact information of 2 references to Eric Gaidos (

Source: NAI Newsletter

The Microbial Diversity Summer Course of the Marine Biological Laboratory welcomes applications from members of the Astrobiology community who are seeking to understand the microbial basis of life. The MBL Microbial Diversity course offered in Woods Hole, MA, since 1971, provides graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and established investigators with an unequaled opportunity to explore the diversity of the microbial world. The course is immersive, integrative, inter-disciplinary, and international in nature. The curriculum consists of lectures by foremost investigators, laboratory exercises, advanced technical training, field work, and substantial participant directed original research. Participants in the course traditionally represent a diversity of backgrounds and the course is open to all scientists who have a strong interest in microbes and their activities. The course is supported through funds provided by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, the Department of Energy, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Science Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Dates: June 9 - July 25, 2012
Application Deadline: February 1, 2012
More information at:

Source: NAI Newsletter

The NASA Astrobiology Program is pleased to announce the selection of five new NASA Postdoctoral Fellows:

Paula Welander
Advisor: Roger Summons (MIT)
Investigating the Biological Function of Sterols and Hopanoids in Methylococcus capsulatus

Matthew Herron
Advisor: Frank Rosenzweig (University of Montana)
Theoretical and Experimental Investigations into the Evolution of Complexity

Betul Arslan
Advisor: Eric Gaucher (Georgia Institute of Technology)
The Role of Chance and Necessity in Evolution: An Experimental Model to Discover Life's Solutions

Melissa Rice
Advisor: John Grotzinger (CalTech)
High-Resolution Mineral Stratigraphy of Mars

Arsev Aydinoglu
Co-Advisors: Suzie Allard (University of Tennessee) and Ed Goolish (NAI Central)
The Collaborative Practices of the NASA Astrobiology Institute: The Assessment of an Interdisciplinary Virtual Scientific Organization

More information about the NPP can be found at

Source: NAI Newsletter

Both the Call for Abstracts and Conference Registration will open at the AbSciCon website on Tuesday, November 22nd. Information on student travel grant applications will also be available, as well as updated logistics information.

For more information:

Source: NAI Newsletter