Education and Outreach: January 2013

Application Deadline: February 1, 2013

The American Philosophical Society and the NASA Astrobiology Institute have partnered to promote the continued exploration of the world around us through a program of research grants in support of astrobiological field studies undertaken by graduate students, postdoctoral students, and early career scientists who are affiliated with U.S. institutions.

The Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology is designed for field studies in any area of astrobiology research. Grants may be used for travel and related expenses, including field equipment, up to $5,000. Applications will be reviewed by a committee that includes members of the NAI, the APS, and the wider science community as needed. Recipients will be designated as Lewis and Clark Field Scholars in Astrobiology.

Additional information, including the application forms and instructions, is available at the APS's Lewis and Clark Fund for Exploration and Field Research in Astrobiology page:

The Kepler Participating Scientist Program (PSP) is designed to fund community investigations that advance the goals of the Kepler Mission during its extended phase. Participating Scientists may pursue data processing and analysis tasks, exoplanet candidate follow-up observations, completeness and reliability studies, characterization of the stellar target sample, etc.

The Kepler PSP is complementary to, but distinct from, the Kepler Guest Observer (GO) program. The Kepler GO program offers members of the scientific community the opportunity to pursue research in any area of astrophysics through observations of stellar and/or nonstellar targets that fall within the Kepler field-of-view, but are not included in the Kepler target list. Kepler GOs are solicited under Appendix D.7 of the ROSES 2012 NRA.

Notices of intent are requested by January 18, 2013, and the due date for proposals is March 1, 2013.

On November 28, 2012, this Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement "Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2012" (NNH12ZDA001N) will be posted on the NASA research opportunity homepage at and will appear on the RSS feed at:

Technical questions regarding the Kepler extended mission and key science project activities may be directed to: Dr. Steve Howell, Kepler Project Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center, MS 244-30 Moffett Field, CA 94035-1000. E-mail:; Telephone: (650) 604-4238.

NASA point of contact for programmatic information is Dr. Douglas Hudgins Astrophysics Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001. Telephone: (202) 358-0988; E-mail:

Application Deadline: July 1, 2013

The NASA Postdoctoral Program (NPP) 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 the NASA Astrobiology Program.

As noted on the NPP Web site (, the Astrobiology Program does not participate in every application/award cycle. The next award cycle that the Astrobiology Program will participate in will be for the July 1, 2013 application deadline. Additional information and application instructions are available at

Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in hand before beginning the fellowship, but may apply while completing the degree requirements. U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, and foreign nationals eligible for J-1 status as a Research Scholar may apply.

The intent of this program is to develop outstanding early career astrobiology researchers, broaden the scope of Astrobiology Program research, and continue to build and integrate the astrobiology community. Accordingly, priority for selection will be given to applicants whose proposed research is particularly interdisciplinary and/or innovative. Research that involves one or more elements of the Astrobiology Program will also be given priority for selection, as will research that broadens the activities of the Program. Proposals for research that incrementally extend ongoing projects will be given lower selection priority.

Applications due: February 15, 2013

In this intense multidisciplinary summer course, June 9 - July 12, explore the coevolution of the Earth and its biosphere, with emphasis on how microbial processes affect the environment and leave imprints on the rock record. Participants get hands-on experience in cutting-edge geobiological techniques including molecular biology, bioinformatics, geochemistry, petrology and sedimentology, and work in research groups to solve relevant questions. The course will involve a field trip to the Great Salt Lake and southern Wyoming. Lab work will be conducted at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado, USC/Caltech/JPL in the Los Angeles area and the USC Wrigley Institute on Catalina Island. The 2013 course is open to students and researchers at any level, although we give preference to graduate students in their early to mid years of study.

For more information visit:

The NASA Astrobiology Program Early Career Collaboration Award offers research-related travel support for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Applicants are encouraged to use these resources to circulate among two or more research teams, however any travel that is critical for the applicant's research will be considered. Travelers must be formally affiliated with a U.S. institution. Requests are limited to $5,000. The next deadline is April 1, 2013

For more information, see

Due to the popularity of last year's conference, the NASA Year of the Solar System (YSS) Undergraduate Planetary Science Research Conference is again being hosted in conjunction with the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) March 18-22, 2013 in The Woodlands, Texas.

The NASA YSS Undergraduate Planetary Science Research Conference will include:

* Panels on "How to Choose the Grad School Right for You," "Alternative Careers in Science," and "Women in Planetary Science"
* Poster sessions where students will present their posters to other students and to the scientific community
* "Meeting Mentors," which will pair students with a scientist for a portion of the LPSC meeting, so students can learn how to engage at a scientific conference
* Opportunities to meet other undergraduate researchers, graduate students, and scientists

Undergraduate students currently conducting research in planetary sciences, astrobiology, and lunar sciences are eligible.

To apply, submit the indication of interest form, which serves as the registration form for the NASA YSS Undergraduate Conference. Applications are due by close of business February 8, 2013. NASA YSS Undergraduate Conference student participants, and all participants receiving travel support, are expected to submit an abstract for the NASA YSS Undergraduate Conference by February 8, 2013, and present a poster at the conference. Go to the abstract submission form to submit your NASA YSS Undergraduate Conference abstract. Participating students are welcome to also submit an abstract to the LPSC conference, but are not required to do so; the LPSC abstract submission deadline is January 8, 2013.

For all the details visit:

The NAI has selected five early career astrobiologists to participate in an 11-day tour of astrobiology-relevant field sites in Western Australia. This Astrobiology Grand Tour is organized by the Australian Centre for Astrobiology (ACA) and will include visits to the extant stromatolites of Shark Bay, the banded iron formations and iron ore mines of the Hamersley Basin, the putative cyanobacterial stromatolites of the 2.7 Ga Fortescue Group, and the 3.35-3.49 Ga fossiliferous and other units of the Pilbara Craton with what is arguably the oldest convincing evidence of life on Earth.

The five early career scientists selected are:

Megan Ansdell University of Hawaii
Yadira Ibarra University of Southern California
Giulio Mariotti Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Kathleen Scanlon Brown University
Eva Stueeken University of Washington