January 2011 Issue

In this issue:

Conferences, Field Trips and Workshops

Student and Early Career Opportunities

Funding Opportunities

Other Opportunities & Announcements

Conferences, Field Trips and Workshops

Symposium: Climate and Ocean Dynamics of the Cretaceous Greenhouse World

Abstract Submission Deadline: Closed

This symposium will cover topics related to large-scale oceanic anoxic events, including causes and effects, biotic response, chemistry, and biogeochemical cycling, age and climate models, and present-day and future Earth in the scope of the Cretaceous experience.

Organizers: Poppe de Boer (“pdeboer@geo.uu.nl”:mailto:pdeboer@geo.uu.nl); Caroline Slomp (“Slomp@geo.uu.nl”:mailto:Slomp@geo.uu.nl); Henk Brinkhuis (H.Brinkhuis@uu.nl).
Contact Ms. Marjolein Mullen (m.mullen@uu.nl) for additional instructions.

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The 6th Ilan Ramon International Space Conference

The Ministry of Science and Technology, the Fisher Institute for Air and Space Strategic Studies and the Israeli Space Agency (ISA) are organizing and hosting the Sixth Annual International Conference on Space Research, honoring the crew of space shuttle Columbia and Israel’s first astronaut, the late Colonel Ilan Ramon.

For more information visit: http://www.fisherinstitute.org.il/Eng/?CategoryID=7&ArticleID=21

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Workshop and Fieldtrip: Geobiology in Space Exploration

Abstract Submission Deadline: Closed

Sponsored by the European Space Agency (ESA) Topical Team, Geomicrobiology for Space Settlement and Exploration.

Organizers: Charles Cockell (Open University, UK), Oliver Angerer (ESA), Gian Gabriele Ori (IRSPS, Italy and Ibn Battuta Centre, Morocco), Kamal Taj-Eddine (Université Cady Ayyad and Ibn Battuta Centre, Morocco)

Geobiology in Space Exploration will be a meeting with talks and discussions that aim to cover the full range of the contributions of geobiology to space exploration and settlement. It will have two core purposes: 1) To contribute to building the community of people working in geobiology and applying the discipline to themes in space sciences and exploration; and 2) To develop a strategic document on the range of geobiology applications and possible space missions for ESA. The meeting will begin midday on Monday the 7th and will finish on Wednesday the 9th and will be held at the Université Cadi Ayyad (Morocco). The meeting will then be followed by a voluntary field trip for interested participants.

Topics to be covered at the meeting include: 1) microbe-mineral interactions, biosignatures and the search for life elsewhere, 2) use of microorganisms in practical applications in space exploration, 3) space missions involving aspects of geobiology. The meeting will also include discussions of 1) Mars analog field sites, and 2) space mission opportunities in which geobiology investigations might be developed (e.g., on ISS, Mars rovers etc.).

The field trip will last five days/four nights. The program will include: 1st night at Ourzazate (travel across the Atlas to see Precambrian stromatolites and Mars analogues suitable for Martian operations testing), 2nd day travel to Erfoud (lacustrine travertine adjacent to a small, basaltic plateaux), 3rd day at Erfoud with visit...

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4th International Workshop on the Mars Atmosphere: Modeling and Observations

Abstract Submission Deadline: Closed


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7th Planet Formation Workshop


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American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Annual Meeting, Symposium of Interest: Seeking Signs of (ET) Life: The Search Steps Up on Mars and Beyond

Abstract Submission Deadline: Closed


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The Chemical Origins of Life and its Early Evolution Discussion Meeting

Hosted by The Royal Society in the UK. Online pre-registration and draft program available at: http://royalsociety.org/chemical-origins-of-life

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The 2nd Nordic Workshop on Statistical Physics: Biological, Complex and Non-equilibrium Systems


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Workshop: The Importance of Solar System Sample Return Missions to the Future of Planetary Science

Registration (on-line, only; no on-site registration): 1 Feb ($40); 2-25 Feb ($65).

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42nd Lunar & Planetary Science Conference

Abstract Submission Deadline: Closed


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Alpine Salt 2011: A workshop on Alpine Evaporites and Tectonomechanics Colloquium

Abstract Submission Deadline: February 15

The geologists at the University of Salzburg are holding a workshop on Alpine Salt, including a session on the microbiology of evaporites. This meeting precedes the European Geosciences Union General Assembly in Vienna, Austria (April 3-8, 2011) and might be of interest to EGU participants. An excursion to a salt mine and a gypsum quarry is planned.

Further information:
Professor Franz Neubauer (“Franz.Neubauer@sbg.ac.at”:mailto:Franz.Neubauer@sbg.ac.at);
Scientist Christoph Leitner (“Christoph.Leitner@sbg.ac.at”:mailto:Christoph.Leitner@sbg.ac.at);
Secretary Claudia Esterbauer (Claudia.Esterbauer@sbg.ac.at).
Further information is available on PDF poster AlpineSaltTecMec2011workshop.pdf http://www.astrobiologia.pl/eana/conferences_files/AlpineSaltTecMec2011workshop.pdf

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European Geosciences Union General Assembly Meeting

Abstract Submission Deadline: Closed


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Workshop: ‘Titan Chemistry – Observations, Experiments, Computations, and Modeling’

Abstract Submission Deadline: 1 February

Abstract Submission Deadline: 1 February 2011

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Conference on Exploring Strange New Worlds: From Giant Planets to Super Earths

Abstract Submission Deadline: 28 February

The NASA Exoplanet Science Institute and NASA’s ExoPlanet Exploration Program are co-hosting the 6th in a series of international scientific conferences on present and future observations of exoplanets from space. The conference will present state-of-the art results from the Spitzer and Hubble Space Telescopes, the Kepler and CoRoT transit missions, as well as relevant ground-based facilities. Noted theoreticians will provide perspective and interpretation of the observational results of the physical characterization of planets ranging in size from gas and icy giants, super Earths, and (ultimately) Earth analogs.

Speakers will also look toward the future with a focus on the exoplanet observations using the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) and ESA’s GAIA astrometric mission. Speakers from the four JWST instrument teams will address the capabilities of JWST for coronagraphy and transit follow-up. The conference will end with discussions of the missions and technologies endorsed by the Astro2010 Decadal Review such as micro-lensing opportunities with NASA’s WFIRST project and a large optical/UV telescope. Similar discussions will be held on plans of other space agencies such as ESA’s EUCLID and PLATO projects.

The conference will include invited talks, contributed talks and posters as well as a public lecture. Conference sponsors include NASA, the Spitzer Science Center, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the California Institute of Technology, the Blue Dots initiative, Northrup Grumman Space Systems, Lockheed Martin, and the James Webb Space Telescope project.

For additional information, contact: StrangeNewWorlds@ipac.caltech.edu

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Solar System Science Before and After Gaia

Abstract Submission Deadline: 18 March

Abstract Submission Deadline: 18 March 2011

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Conference on Micro-Raman Spectroscopy and Luminescence Studies in the Earth and Planetary Sciences (CORALS II)

Abstract Submission Deadline: 23 February


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Molecular Frontiers Symposium: Chemistry of Life


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International Astronomical Union (IAU) Symposium 280: The Molecular Universe

Abstract/Registration deadline: 1 February

Abstract/Registration deadline: 1 February

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483. WE-Heraeus Seminar on Extrasolar Planets: Towards Comparative Planetology beyond the Solar System

Abstract Submission Deadline: 15 April

This Heraeus seminar aims to address the major lines of research in extrasolar planets, from planet detection, planet formation up to the investigation of the planet’s nature by studying orbital evolution, interior structure and composition, atmospheres, and a discussion on habitability and biomarker concepts. The Heraeus seminar furthermore aims at introducing young researchers to the still quickly growing field of exoplanet research.

Further information is available at the conference website: http://www.dlr.de/pf/desktopdefault.aspx/tabid-6947/11469_read-26676/

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Mars Week in Europe

2-13 June: Pre-conference Mars science meetings
13-15 June: International conference on “The exploration of Mars habitability”
16-17 June: 1st International Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) meeting
18-20/21 June: Field trip to unique geology and acidic environment in Rio Tinto, Spain

More information at: http://gaia.esa.int/science-e/www/object/index.cfm?fobjectid=47986

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The International Conference on Exploring Mars Habitability

Abstract Submission Deadline: 11 February


The conference will be immediately followed by the first International Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group meeting (MEPAG #24), 16-17 June at the same venue. All participants in the Habitability Conference are strongly encouraged to stay for the MEPAG meeting. A post-meeting field trip to the important Mars analog site at Rio Tinto, Spain, is planned for 17-19 June.

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2nd CoRoT Symposium: Transiting Planets, Vibrating Stars and their Connection

Abstract Submission Deadline: 30 April

The aim of this conference is to explore the synergy between exoplanets and asteroseismology. By bringing the planetary and stellar communities together this symposium’s seeks to give rise to new projects that will lead to advances in the integral study of planetary systems and their host stars.

Visit: http://symposiumcorot2011.oamp.fr/

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First International Mars Exploration Program Analysis Group (MEPAG) Meeting


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International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG)/International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (IAMAS): J-M07 Atmospheres and ices on terrestrial planets

Abstract Submission Deadline: Closed


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Symposium on the Evolution of Photosynthesis and Oxygenation of Earth

For interests in submitting Oral or Poster presentations and/or to register please contact: malcolm.walter@unsw.edu.au
For further information: http://www.aca.absociety.org/aca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=82

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Origins 2011: ISSOL- The International Astrobiology Society and Bioastronomy (IAU C51) Joint International Conference

Abstract Submission Deadline: 19 February

This will be the first joint international conference of ISSOL – The International Astrobiology Society and Commission 51 of the International Astronomical Union. These organizations usually hold separate meetings every three years. Visit the conference website at: http://www.origins2011.univ-montp2.fr/.

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11th European Workshop on Astrobiology (Annual workshop of EANA)

Abstract Submission Deadline: 18 April

Planets and life: Evolution and Distribution
Organized by DLR and the Helmholtz Alliance 'Planetary Evolution and Life’

Further information is available at the workshop website: http://www.eana2011.de/

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Gordon Research Conference on Origins of Solar Systems

Application deadline: 19 June

The focus of the 2011 meeting (the 11th since this series began twenty years ago) will be “Composition of Forming Planets: A Tool to Understand Processes”.

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74th Annual Meeting of the Meteoritical Society

Contact: Gretchen Benedix (g.benedix@nhm.ac.uk)

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Goldschmidt 2011

Abstract Submission Deadline: 15 April


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4th International Conference on Polar and Alpine Microbiology

Abstract Submission Deadline: 31 May

The program will have an exciting mix of topics, from ecology, biodiversity, adaptations, to global warming. A selection of presentations will be published soon afterwards in a special issue of FEMS Microbiology Ecology, entirely devoted to polar and alpine microbiology.

Early bird registration: 18 October 2010 – 31 May 2011
Late registration: 1 June – 4 September 2011

Further information is available at the conference website: http://polaralpinemicrobiology2011.bf.uni-lj.si/

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Extreme Solar Systems II


This conference, a follow-up to the 2007 Santorini meeting on Extreme Solar Systems, will cover aspects of research on exoplanets.

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Joint Congress: 43rd Annual Meeting of the Division for Planetary Science (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society & 2011 European Planetary Science Congress

Abstract Submission Deadline: 31 May

Contact Olivier Grassett at Olivier.Grasset@univ-nantes.fr

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Geological Society of America Annual Meeting

Abstract Submission Deadline: Closed


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American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting


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Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) 2012 Scientific Assembly

Abstracts deadline – mid-February 2012


The next meeting of the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) will be held in 2012 in Mysore, India. For a preliminary list of scientific events proposed for the 2012 Assembly by COSPAR Commissions and Panels visit: http://www.cospar-assembly.org/

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Student and Early Career Opportunities

ISSOL-The International Astrobiology Society Grants & Awards

Deadline: 19 February 2011

Student & Young Scientist Meeting Grants
This program provides financial assistance to young scientists and students with little or no support from research contracts or grants who will give an oral or poster presentation as first author at the Origins 2011 meeting. Requests should be sent to travelgrant@issol.org .

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Undergraduate Planetary Science Research Conference

Applications due: 1 February

The First Undergraduate Planetary Science Research Conference will be held on Sunday, 6 March 2011 from 9:00 am to 5:00pm, in association with the 2011 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC), The Woodlands, TX.

The Conference includes:

  • 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” who will pair students with a scientist for part 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, please go to:
Applications are due: Close of Business, 1 February 2011

Some travel support will be available to students who qualify. Priority will be given to students of diverse backgrounds. Students are encouraged to attend LPSC and the travel support includes registration for and participation in LPSC.

For additional information, please contact Dr. Emily CoBabe-Ammann at ecobabe@spaceeducation.org.

This conference, the “Year of the Solar System” Undergraduate Planetary Science Research Conference is supported by the NASA Science Mission Directorate, the NASA Lunar Science Institute, and the NASA Astrobiology Program.

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Course: From Planets to Life

Registration closes: 25 February

Registration closes: 25 February

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2011 Astrobiology Graduate Student Conference (AbGradCon)

Application Deadline: 28 February

Aspiring astrobiologists should report to Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana 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: http://www.abgradcon2011.org/

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2011 Santander Summer School: Mars Exploration: Unveiling a Habitable Planet

Application Deadline: 14 March

A week of lectures from international experts, plus round-table discussions, student projects, night-sky observations, and a field trip to a nearby site of astrobiological interest. On-site accommodation and all meals are provided at the Santander campus of the Spanish national university, UIMP.

For more information visit: http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/nai/UIMP/2011/

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Funding Opportunities

Chretien International Research Grants from the American Astronomical Society

Deadline (annual): 1 April

Eligibility: Astronomers with Ph.D. (or equivalent degree)
In honor of the memory of Henri Chrétien, French Professor of Optics and co-originator of the Ritchey-Chrétien telescope design, the American Astronomical Society has been named to administer grants to further international collaborative projects in observational astronomy. Astronomers with a Ph.D or equivalent degree are eligible to apply for funds of up to $20,000 (USD) each year.

Emphasis is on long-term visits and the development of close working relationships with astronomers in other countries.

For more information, visit http://aas.org/grants/chretien.php

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Call for proposals 2011 for International Teams in Space Science (including Geosciences)

Deadline for submission to ISSI: March 31

The purpose of this Call is to invite proposals for study projects from International Teams
Letter (e-mail) of Intent to propose: February 15, 2011
Deadline for submission to ISSI: March 31, 2011

Teams are one of the International Space Science Institute (ISSI) tools, through which relatively small groups of scientists involved in Space Research can work together in an efficient and flexible format of several subsequent meetings, during which data are analyzed and compared with theories and models.

This call is open to scientists of any nationality, and active in research in:
1. Space Sciences (Solar and Heliospheric Physics, Solar-Terrestrial Sciences, Space
Plasma and Magnetospheric Physics, Planetary Sciences, Astrobiology, Cosmology,
Astrophysics, and Fundamental Physics in Space)
2. Earth sciences using space data

To download a PDF with all information go to: http://www.issibern.ch/

Applications must be submitted by e-mail to: mfalanga@issibern.ch
For further information and questions contact:
Dr. Maurizio Falanga
Science Program Manager
Phone: +41 31 631 4893
Fax: +41 31 631 4897

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Other Opportunities & Announcements

Call for Mars Science Laboratory (MSL) Participating Scientists

Proposal Submission Deadline: 22 March

Notices of Intent Deadline: 21 January 2011

NASA Research Announcement of “Mars Science Laboratory Participating Scientist Program” (MSL PSP) is intended to enhance the scientific return from the MSL mission (http://mars.jpl.nasa.gov/msl/) by augmenting the existing MSL science team to include new investigations that broaden and/or complement the funded Principal Investigator (PI)-led investigations, thus maximizing the contribution of MSL to the future exploration and scientific understanding of Mars. The second and equally important goal of this opportunity is to increase the number of scientists supporting daily mission operations.

This Amendment to the NASA Research Announcement “Research Opportunities in Space and Earth Sciences (ROSES) 2010” (NNH10ZDA001N) is (http://tinyurl.com/2695rz4).

Questions concerning this program may be addressed to Michael Meyer, Planetary Science Division, Science Mission Directorate, NASA Headquarters, Washington, DC 20546-0001; Telephone: (202) 358-0307; E-mail: HQ-MSLPS@mail.nasa.gov

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Mars-Analog Field Test to Rio Tinto, Spain

Submission Deadline: 25 January

The Austrian Space Forum and partnering institutions will conduct field tests in the Spanish Rio Tinto area. The work will focus on the AoudaX spacesuit simulator and astrobiology experiments with regard to the contamination vector analysis as well as the Phileas rover prototype. Geophysical investigations and operational tests bringing together the field team and its operations team-on-site, a dedicated Mission Control Center as well as Remote Science Support teams will complement this field mission.

The Austrian Space Forum invites research teams to submit ideas and proposals for this field test.

Important Deadlines: * Submission deadline for this AO: January 25, 2011, 12:00 UT * Selection of experiments: Early February 2011 * Delivery of hardware to ÖWF Innsbruck: until March 25, 2011 * Final integrated rehearsal: April 1-3, 2011 * Simulation phase @ Rio Tinto: April 18-22, 2011 (plus 2.5 days of transfer) * Return of hardware: April 26, 2011 onwards

For more information: http://www.oewf.org/cms/announcement-of-opportunity-for-the-rio-tinto-field-test-in-april-2011.phtml

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Call for Nominations for the Stanley L. Miller Award

Application due: 1 April

This is a formal call for nominations of young scientists eligible for the Stanley L. Miller Award. In recognition of the pioneering role he played in our understanding of the origins of life and the creation the ISSOL: The International Astrobiology Society, the society presents the Stanley L. Miller Award tri-annually for outstanding contributions by a young scientist (under the age of 37) to origins of life research. The award is based on scientific merit without regard to nationality. The recipient will be honored at the awards banquet at the close of the next meeting, which will be the ISSOL and Bioastronomy Joint International Conference in Montpellier, France, July 3-8, 2011 (http://www.origins2011.univ-montp2.fr/).

Nominations should be accompanied by a statement from the nominator of ~250 words describing the nominee’s contributions to the field and a list of up to ten (10) of the nominee’s significant publications.

Applications should be sent before April 1st, 2011, to the Miller Award Selection Committee Chair: Professor Jason Raymond (Email: jason.raymond@asu.edu).

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