Education:

Astro Biology Course

What is Astrobiology?

 

Astrobiology is the study of the origin, distribution, and evolution of life. Astrobiology aims to understand the fundamental nature of life of Earth and examine the possibility of life elsewhere in the universe.

Astrobiology MCB 3703

 

Course Objectives:

The goals of this course are to expose and familiarize students with the following:

 

1) The nature of science and the scientific method in Astrobiology.

- What are the processes of science?

- What skills are required for working in science?

- How does science apply to everyday life and the study of Astrobiology?

 

2) Fundamental concepts of Astrobiology and its application

- What are the biochemical and genetic processes required for the origin and evolution of life?

- What are the environmental limitations of life within the universe?

- Does life exist elsewhere in the universe?

- What is the future of life on Earth and beyond?

 

By the end of this course students should be able to:

- Apply the scientific method to problems in Astrobiology

- Understand important concepts and experimental approaches in Astrobiology

 

 

Lecture Outline:

The topical outline for Astrobiology MCB 3703 lectures at the University of Florida

Lecture Section

 Lecture Astrobiology Primer*

1 Introduction to Astrobiology and the Scientific Method

 

2 Introduction to the Universe, Stellar and Planet Formation

 

3 Geological Processes on Earth and the Origin of the Moon

 

4 The Habitable Zone and Biogeochemical Processes on Earth

 

5 Origin of Life - Prebiotic chemistry and Abiogenesis

 

6 Origin of Life - From Metabolism to Cells and the RNA world

 

7 Origin of Life - LUCA and the Switch to DNA-based Genomes

 

8 Origin of Life - Evolution of the Genome

 

9 Astrobiology Primary Literature Discussion #1 - Origin of Life

 

10 Rise of Oxygen in the Atmosphere and the Origin of Eukaryotes

 

11 Student Presentations on Astrobiology Topic of Choice

 

12 Student Presentations on Astrobiology Topic of Choice

 

13 Student Presentations on Astrobiology Topic of Choice

 

14 Before Darwin - Idealism and the Great Chain of Being

 

15 Origin of Species - The Arguments and the Evidence

 

16 Snowball Earth - Climate and the Cambrian Explosion

 

17 Microbial Diversity of Life on Earth - Metabolic Diversity

 

18 Pushing Life to the Limits - Adaptation to temperature stress

 

19 Pushing Life to the Limits - Adaptations to pressure and pH stress

 

20 Pushing Life to the Limits - Adaptations to salt and radiation stress

 

21 Astrobiology Primary Literature Discussion #2 - Extremophiles

 

22 Extraterrestrial Threats to Earth - Origin of Asteroids and Comets

 

23 Guest Lecture - Introduction to Lithopanspermia

 

24 Detection of Extrasolar Planets: methodology and characteristics

 

25 Search for Life in the Solar System – Biomarkers

 

26 Search for Life in the Solar System - Moons of Jupiter

 

27 Search for Life in the Solar System - Moons of Saturn

 

28 Guest Lecture - Microbial Ecology, Survival, and Growth of Terrestrial Bacteria on Spacecraft Surfaces during Robotic Missions to Mars

 

29 Search for Life in the Solar  - The habitability of Mars

 

30 Student Presentations on Astrobiology Topic of Choice

 

31 Student Presentations on Astrobiology Topic of Choice

 

32 Student Presentations on Astrobiology Topic of Choice

 

33 Guest Lecture - Planetary Protection

 

34 Controlled Environmental Life Support - Bioregeneration

 

35 Humans Factors - Gravitational Biology

 

36 Human Factors – Cosmic Radiation

 

37 Astrobiology Primary Literature Discussion #4 – Human Factors

 

38 Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence and the Drake Equation

 

39 Future of Space Exploration: Robotic Missions

 

40 Future of Space Exploration: Human Colonization of Space

 

 

Stellar Formation and Evolution

 

Planetary Formation and Evolution

 

Planetary Formation and Evolution

 

Astrobiogeochemistry & Origin of Life

 

Astrobiogeochemistry & Origin of Life

 

 

 

Astrobiogeochemistry & Origin of Life

 

Astrobiogeochemistry & Origin of Life

 

Astrobiogeochemistry & Origin of Life

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Evolution of Life Through Time

 

Evolution of Life Through Time

 

Astrobiogeochemistry & Origin of Life

 

Diversity of Life

 

Diversity of Life

 

Diversity of Life

 

Diversity of Life

 

 

 

Planetary Formation and Evolution

 

Diversity of Life

 

Planetary Detection & Characterization

 

Planetary Detection & Characterization

 

Planetary Detection & Characterization

 

Planetary Detection & Characterization

 

Planetary Detection & Characterization

 

 

 

Planetary Detection & Characterization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science in Space

 

Science in Space

 

Science in Space

 

Science in Space

 

 

 

Science in Space

 

Science in Space

 

Science in Space

*Primer Sections are derived from the Astrobiology Primer (Mix et al., 2006)

Jamie Foster Ph.D.

University of Florida

Dept. Microbiology & Cell Science

Space Life Science Lab

Merritt Island, FL 32953

Phone: 321-261-3772

Jamie Foster Science.com :: Copyright © 2006-2014

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