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NASA University of Arizona, Steward Observatory National Optical Astronomy Observatory

Astrobiology Graduate Conference

January 7-10, 2004

A conference organized for and by graduate students working in the many fields encompassed by the study of Astrobiology

Sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Institute
University of Arizona, Steward Observatory and
National Optical Astronomy Observatory

To be held in Tucson, AZ, at the University of Arizona and Marriott Hotel

The webcast of the proceedings is available here.

Dates: January 7-10, 2004

Schedule (subject to changes):

January 7th:
  • noon-10:00pm Pick up info packets at registration at Marriot hotel. Sign up for hike, Mirror Lab tour and order t-shirts. Coffee mugs for sale at check-in booth.
  • 7pm-late Welcome reception at Gentle Ben's next door to Marriott.
  • 7:30pm Welcome to ABGradCon, Maggie Turnball
  • 8:00pm-10:00pm Music by Scoot!. Buffet dinner
January 8th:
  • 8:30am-noon Talks, sign up: Foothills hikes, Mirror Lab tours
  • 8:30am-9:00am Welcome to the Astrobiology Graduate Conference: Maggie Turnbull, Nick Woolf, Jonathan Lunine
  • 9:00am-10:30am Presentations at the ILC Bldg., U of A campus
  • Speakers: Formation of Planets and Evolution of the Biosphere
  • Moderator, John Armstrong
  • 9:00am-9:30am Hector Montiel, UNAM: "Amino Acid Formation in the Interstellar Medium"
  • 9:30am-10:00am Josh Eisner, Caltech: "Frequency, Mass, and Evolution of Young Circumstellar Disks"
  • 10:00am-10:30am Stan Metchev, Caltech: "Imaging Extrasolar Planets from the Ground"
  • 10:30am-11:00am Coffee Break. Sign up for hike, Mirror Lab tour
  • 11:00am-11:30am Sean Raymond, UW: "Making Other Earths: The Formation of Habitable Planets?"
  • 11:30am-noon Hilary Justh, PSU: "The CH4 Greenhouse and Anti-Greenhouse Effect on Early Mars"
  • noon-5pm Lunch (on your own), hike, leisure time
  • 1:15pm Leave for hike. Meet outside Steward Obs. on Cherry Ave for pickup. Hikers, bring water and good shoes
  • 5:00pm-7:30pm Talks (refreshments provided throughout session)
  • Moderator, Julie Huber
  • 5:00pm-5:30pm Jelte Harnemeijer, UW: "BIF-Hosted Phosphates: Implications for the Archean Phosphate Cycle"
  • 5:30pm-6:00pm Corey Cohn, Stony Brook: "Controls on Mineral-Generated H2O2 and OH"
  • 6:00pm-6:30pm Mark Claire, UW: "Biogeophotochemical Modeling of the Rise of Atmospheric Oxygen"
  • 6:30pm-7:00pm Matthew Hurtgen, PSU: "Snowball Earth Events and the Evolution of Microbial Sulfur Species"
  • 7:00pm-7:30pm Lisa Faithorn and Estelle Dodson, NAI: "NAI Resources for Astrobiology Graduate Students"
January 9th:
  • 9:00am-noon Talks
  • 9:00am-9:30am Olga Zhaxybayeva, U Connecticut: "Cladogenesis and Coalescence: Evolution of the Three Domains of Life"
  • 9:30am-10:00am Julie Huber, UW: "Expanding the Subseafloor Biosphere to Ridge Flanks and Beyond"
  • 10:00am-10:30am Jim Moran, PSU: "Anaerobic Methane Consumption"
  • 10:30am-11:00am Coffee Break
  • 11:00am-11:30am Annika Mosier, DRI: "Microbial Assemblages in the Antarctic Lake Vida Ice Cover"
  • 11:30am-noon Rachel Horak, William & Mary: "Light Production by Sulfide-oxidizing Bacteria?"
  • noon-12:30pm Erika Offerdahl, UA: "Students' Understanding of Key Astrobiology Concepts"
  • 12:30pm-3:00pm Lunch at Steward, poster session and Mirror Lab tours
  • 12:30pm-4:00pm Lunch (in Rm. N305), set out posters (N210, lobby, N305)
  • 1:00pm-2:00pm Group 1 Mirror Lab tours (meet outside front doors to lobby)
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm Group 2 & 3 Mirror Lab tours (meet outside front doors to lobby)
  • 4:00pm-6:30pm Last of the talks (refreshments throughout session)
  • Moderator, Teresa Longazo
  • 4:00pm-4:30pm Aubrey Zerkle, PSU: "Trace Metal Signatures as Biomarkers for Microbial Metabolisms"
  • 4:30pm-5:00pm Sabine Airieau, Scripps: "Mars N2O Sample Return, A Mission Concept"
  • 5:00pm-5:30pm Kevin Hand, Stanford: "Surface Detection of Life on Europa"
  • 5:30pm-6:00pm Andrew Howard, Harvard: "Optical SETI at Harvard"
  • 6:00pm-6:30pm Vladimir Ivkovic, Inst. Anthrop. Res., Croatia: "Neurocybernetics of Emerging Biotic Systems: Where Astrobiology Meets Neuroscience"
January 10th:
  • Need warm clothes for Kitt Peak
  • 10:00am-11:15am Discussions with NAI on Graduate Issues: Lisa Faithorn, Estelle Dodson
  • 11:15am-noon Conference Evaluation and Planning for Future Graduate Conferences
  • noon-1:30pm Lunch (on your own)
  • 1:30pm Leave for Kitt Peak (meet outside Steward on Cherry Ave)
  • 3:00pm Tours of 4m telescope, SpaceWatch telescopes
  • 4:45pm Visitor's Center for Kitt Peak Evening Program
  • 9:00pm Head back to Tucson (arrive home ~10pm)
January 11th:
10:00am Farewell Breakfast (meet in Marriott lobby). Catch planes home.

Primary Hotel (reception, presenter lodgings):

Tucson Marriott University Park Hotel
880 East Second Street, Tucson, AZ 85719
Phone: 520.792.4100 or 1-800.228.9290
Fax: 520.903.9906

Other Nearby Hotel:

Four Points Sheraton Tucson, University Plaza

Transportation From Airport to Marriott

Rental Car: There are several rental car companies in the airport area.

Taxi/Shuttle Service: Both taxi and shuttle service are available at the airport for a cost of about $15.00


Maggie Turnbull

Kathy English


NOAO is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA), Inc. under cooperative agreement with the National Science Foundation.

AURA, inc. NSF

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