SETI [ASTRO] Search For Life On Mars Lecture At Griffith Observatory

Larry Klaes (
Wed, 02 Jun 1999 14:41:03 -0400

>X-Authentication-Warning: majordom set sender to owner-astro using -f >Date: Tue, 1 Jun 1999 14:29:45 GMT >From: Ron Baalke <> >To: >Subject: [ASTRO] Search For Life On Mars Lecture At Griffith Observatory >Sender: >Reply-To: Ron Baalke <> > >SEARCH FOR LIFE ON MARS (AND ELSEWHERE): LESSONS FROM THE EARTH > >By Dr. Kenneth H. Nealson >Senior Research Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory >Faculty Associate, California Institute of Technology >Monday, June 7, 1999 >7:30 p.m. at Griffith Observatory > >The search for extraterrestrial life will be focused on Mars in the >near future, with a robust NASA program for both in situ science and >sample return being planned. This program has gathered a lot of >momentum from new information about the surface properties of Mars, >primarily from the Mars Global Surveyor, but it is also driven by new >insights about life on Earth. Recently, life has been discovered in >some of the most extreme environments on Earth demonstrating its >toughness, tenacity, and metabolic diversity. New insights are >developing about the nature of our biosphere and the early origin of >life on Earth. These "lessons from the Earth" form the basis for >mounting a search for life off the Earth, looking for the basic >properties of life and its activities. > >Dr. Kenneth H. Nealson received his Bachelor of Science in >biochemistry, a Ph.D. in microbiology from the University of Chicago, >and did three years of post-doctoral work at Harvard University. He >worked at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography for 12 years where >he became Professor of Oceanography. In 1982, utilizing a Guggenheim >Fellowship for Sabbatical leave, Dr. Nealson shifted his area of work >to environmental microbiology and biogeochemistry, with a focus on >the interactions between microbes and metals. In 1985 he took a >position as the Shaw Distinguished Professor of Biology at the >University of Wisconsin's Center for Great Lakes Studies, where he >continued his studies of metals and microbes for more than 12 years. >Dr. Nealson chaired the National Academy of Sciences Task Group to >study Issues in Sample Return, and is a member of the Subcommittee >for Solar System Exploration. He has published more than 150 papers >in reviewed journals, and co-authored two books in environmental >microbiology. In 1994 he was elected as a Fellow of the American >Academy of Microbiology, and in 1996, he received the Distinguished >Visiting Researcher Award from the Joint Oceanographic Institution >(JOI). > >Dr. Nealson recently took a new position as senior research >scientist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Faculty Associate at >California Institute of Technology, where he is establishing the >Astrobiology group, with the goal of developing methods for life >detection in extreme environments on Earth, and perhaps in samples >returned from non-Earth sites. > >[Friends Of The Observatory (FOTO) is the non-profit support group >for Griffith Observatory. Currently, one of FOTO's primary goals is >to support the renovation and expansion of the Observatory, so that >it continues to provide the nearly 2 million visitors and 50,000 >school children annually with accurate astronomical and scientific >information and programs and remains the internationally recognizable >icon of Los Angeles.] > >Admission: $2 for FOTO members, $5 for non-members, tickets available >at the door. (Children under 5 are not admitted.) > >------------- > > >********************************************************************* >Griffith Observatory Griffith phone: (323) 664-1181 >2800 East Observatory Road Griffith fax: (323) 663-4323 >Los Angeles, California 90027 USA > >********************************************************************* >

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