The NAI has accepted an Affiliate Partnership proposal from the Instituto de Astrobiologia in Bogota, Colombia, led by Jorge Enrique Bueno Prieto of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia. The goals of the Institute de Astrobiologia are:
* Contributing to scientific excellence, creativity and innovation for Astrobiology education and research in Latin America;
* Promoting interdisciplinarity in basic and engineering sciences; and
* Encouraging and inspiring children, young adults, and the general public in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) topics through Astrobiology.
The Instituto approaches these goals by:
* Promoting education and research in Astrobiology in schools and universities throughout Colombia;
* Developing research projects in Colombia's scientific centers;
* Training teachers in the interdisciplinary methods of Astrobiology; and
* Strengthening Astrobiology in Latin America.
The Instituto has partnership agreements with:
* Universidad de Antioquia--Institute of Physics;
* The Colombian Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics of Extreme Environments; and
* Parque Explora, an interactive science center in Medellin
The NAI and the Instituto de Astrobiologia envision working together initially in three areas: (1) programs to engage and train students and young researchers in Astrobiology; (2) the development of Spanish-language astrobiology materials for use in the United States and in Latin America; and (3) microbiology and related research on organisms from extreme environments.
For more information on NAI's International Partner Program: http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/international-partners/ [Source: NAI Newsletter]