Highlighted Events

Sunday, April 23

12:30–6:00 p.m., Starlight Room, Phoenix Marriott Mesa
Europa Lander Workshop
NASA will hold a town hall meeting to discuss the Science Definition Team (SDT) report on a mission concept for a lander for the mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. The SDT report was released in January 2017, and NASA is seeking feedback from the science community at this town hall. For more information, contact Curt Niebur ([email protected]).

The SDT report for the pre-Phase A study of a Europa lander mission is available at:

WebEx Information:

Meeting number: 992 222 852
Meeting password: [email protected]

Audio connection:
Teleconference #: 888-989-9784
Participant Passcode: 7070481

1:00–5:00 p.m, Apache Room, Mesa Convention Center
Minority Institution Astrobiology Collaborative
The Minority Institution Astrobiology Collaborative (MIAC) was formed in 2002 by scientists and educators from Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs). MIAC meets virtually several times per year, and in person at AbSciCon. At the 2017 AbSciCon meeting we will discuss recent research and education efforts in astrobiology at MSIs. All those interested in joining are invited to attend. This meeting is open to all attendees, but requires preregistration. Please e-mail Melissa Kirven-Brooks at [email protected] to register.

Monday, April 24

12:15–1:15 p.m. Arizona Ballroom EFG, Phoenix Marriott Mesa
Roadmaps to Ocean Worlds (ROW) Town Hall
We need community input for assembling plans for an Ocean Worlds program — please attend and provide feedback!

12:15–1:15 p.m., Cholla Room, Mesa Convention Center
Mission Planning for a Ground-Based Prox-b telescope
Developing a ground-based Prox-b direct imaging mission:  A diverse group of scientists and telescope industry engineers is advocating a $50M-scale five-year effort to build a hybrid telescope-interferometer capable of Prox-b direct imaging. This meeting will describe the ingredients of this activity and will solicit interest and participation.

5:30–7:00 p.m., Palo Verde Room, Mesa Convention Center
Meet the Scientists:  The Scientists who are Joining Geology with Organic Chemistry to Understand the Origin of Life (Sponsored by the Foundation for Applied Molecular as part of its John Templeton Foundation project)
This meeting will have a panel discussion featuring Steven Benner, Stephen Mojzsis, Hyo-Joong Kim, Niles Lehman, and other experts who combine geology with organic chemistry to understand how life might have originated here on Earth, and how it might look if encountered elsewhere. For those who have never looked at ancient rocks, touched meteorites, or seen pieces of the Moon and Mars, this is your chance. This event is free and open to the public.

Tuesday, April 25

12:15–1:15 p.m., Cholla Room, Mesa Convention Center
Virus Focus Group Meeting
A discussion of the past, present, and future of the NASA Virus Focus Group.

12:15–1:15 p.m., Sedona Room, Phoenix Marriott Mesa
The Habitable Worlds Teaching Network
NASA other funders have catalyzed the creation of innovative digital resources for “active” and project-based learning in astrobiology, and for the use of astrobiology as the entry point for teaching basic disciplinary science concepts. A number of institutions have been using these materials over the past several years. What are best practices for use of existing resources? How can they be evolved by the community? What new resources are desired, and how might they be funded and developed? Join us to discuss the digital future of astrobiology education! This meeting is open to all attendees, but requires preregistration. Please e-mail Ariel Anbar at [email protected] to register.

12:15–1:15 p.m., Conference Theater, Mesa Convention Center
Exoplanet Biosignatures Review Papers Discussion
This is going to be THE place for anyone interested in exoplanet biosignatures to voice their thoughts on how we should approach exoplanet observations with life-detection-related goals. This meeting is open to all attendees.

7:00–8:30 p.m., Arizona Ballroom D, Phoenix Marriott Mesa
Where a Second Example of Life Might be Discovered in the Next Century (Sponsored by the ASU Beyond Center)
Are we alone in the universe? The race is on to find the first trace of alien life. It could be found on Mars, on an icy moon like Enceladus, on a planet in a nearby star system, or even right under our noses here on Earth. This panel of distinguished scientists will debate the big question: Where will alien life be found first? Please join the Beyond Center in conjunction with the 2017 Astrobiology Science Conference for a discussion with four different points of views.  Moderated by Paul Davies, the panel includes Jacob Haqq-Mistra, Charley Lineweaver, Vikki Meadows, Britney Schmidt, Svet Shkolyar, and Sara Walker.  This event is free and open to the public. No RSVP is needed.  Additional information can be found here.

Wednesday, April 26

12:15–1:15 p.m., Main Hall, Mesa Convention Center
Exoplanet Community Tools Workshop
Come join the open science side of exoplanet astrobiology at a workshop at which tools for simulating exoplanets and their observables will be presented and shared. This meeting is open to all attendees.

9:00–11:00 p.m., Arizona Ballroom D, Phoenix Marriott Mesa
Open Mic Night
Are you a musician, comic, or performance artist? Then join us for AbSciCon Open Mic Night. For inquiries, contact [email protected].

Thursday, April 27

12:15–1:15 p.m., Arizona Ballroom D, Phoenix Marriott Mesa
NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) Update and Open Discussion
The NASA Exoplanet Exploration Program (ExEP) Update and Open Discussion will feature a 20-minute talk on ExEP program status by Eric Mamajek, followed by 20 minutes of open discussion facilitated by Maggie Turnbull and Shawn Domagal-Goldman (ExoPAG Executive Committee). This meeting is open to all attendees.

6:30–8:30 p.m., Arizona Ballroom D, Phoenix Marriott Mesa
How Astrobiology and Planetary Science Inform a Perspective of Planetary Stewardship (Sponsored by the ASU Origins Project)
The Origins Project at ASU and ASU Planetworks are proud to present a public discussion of how space exploration, planetary science, and astrobiology — the search for life in the universe — inform our perspective of Earth as a planet, and how to manage it as an integrated planetary system. Panelists include David Grinspoon, John Grunsfeld, Hilairy Hartnett, and Jane Long. Initial remarks by Ariel Anbar and moderated by Lawrence Krauss. Additional information can be found at https://origins.asu.edu/events/managing-earth.


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