The First Billion Years:  Habitability

September 8-11, 2019

Big Sky, Montana

 

Program and Abstracts

 

Sunday, September 8, 2019

7:30 a.m.

Yellowstone National Park

Field Trip to Yellowstone National Park

 

Monday, September 9, 2019

8:00 a.m.

Montana Room Entrance

Registration

9:00 a.m.

Montana Room

Keynote:  Origins of Life

10:30 a.m.

Montana Room

Origins of Life:  Physics and Physicochemistry

1:00 p.m.

Montana Room

Origins of Life:  Chemistry, N-P-S

3:00 p.m.

Montana Room

Origins of Life:  ...and All of the Above

4:30 p.m.

Montana Room

Lightning Posters:  Origins of Life

5:00 p.m.

Buck Ridge Room

Poster Session:  Origins and Signatures of the Living Posters

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

8:50 a.m.

Montana Room

Keynote:  Habitability

10:10 a.m.

Montana Room

Habitability of Early Earth and Icy Worlds

1:00 p.m.

Montana Room

Habitability of Early Mars

3:00 p.m.

Montana Room

Habitability of Exoplanets

4:30 p.m.

Montana Room

Lightning Posters:  Habitability

5:00 p.m.

Buck Ridge Room

Poster Session:  Habitability of Posters

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

8:50 a.m.

Montana Room

Keynote:  Biosignatures

10:10 a.m.

Montana Room

Biosignature Theory and Detecting Life on Earth

1:00 p.m.

Montana Room

Biosignatures on Mars

2:30 p.m.

Montana Room

Biosignatures of Exoplanets

3:45 p.m.

Montana Room

Wrap-Up Discussion

 

 

Monday, September 9, 2019

KEYNOTE:  ORIGINS OF LIFE

9:00 a.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Ed Rivera-Valentin

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

9:00 a.m.

 

Welcome and Introductions

9:15 a.m.

Mamajanov I. *

From Messy Chemistry to the Origins of Life [#1047] Presentation
In the talk, I will outline the messy chemistry origins of life hypothesis, its advantages, and challenges.

10:15 a.m.

 

Break

 

Monday, September 9, 2019

ORIGINS OF LIFE:  PHYSICS AND PHYSICOCHEMISTRY

10:30 a.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Matthew Pasek

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

10:30 a.m.

Spitzer J. *

Emergence of Life Energized by Cyclic Physicochemical Processes of Rotating Planets [#1003] Presentation
A physicochemical ‘jigsaw puzzle’ of chemical reactions and colloidal phase separations at Hadean seashores is driven by the energies of cyclic solar radiation (day-and-night cycles) and concurrent hydration and dehydration by tidal seawater.

10:50 a.m.

Kring D. A. *

Updated Status of the Impact — Origin of Life Hypothesis [#1037]
Two decades of research support the impact — origin of life hypothesis and illuminate interesting details about Hadean Earth conditions.

11:10 a.m.

Hansma H. G. *

Mechanical Energy and Mica Sheets at the Origins of Life [#1023] Presentation
Mechanical energy is an endless energy source at the origins of life that may have powered prebiotic chemistry before reliable chemical energy sources such as ATP were available. Moving mica sheets may have provided this energy.

11:30 a.m.

 

DISCUSSION

11:50 a.m.

 

Lunch

 

Monday, September 9, 2019

ORIGINS OF LIFE:  CHEMISTRY, N-P-S

1:00 p.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Olaf Witkowski

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

1:00 p.m.

Cleaves H. J. II *   Laneuville M.   Danielache S.

A Systems Model of Earth’s Early Abiotic Nitrogen Cycle [#1045]
We present results of a prebiological Earth-system model which takes into account atmospheric, atmosphere-ocean, ocean-sediment, and subduction processes and reservoirs to estimate Earth’s N-cycle before life began.

1:20 p.m.

Ranjan S. *   Todd Z. R.   Rimmer P. B.   Sasselov D. D.   Babbin A. R.

Nitrogen Oxide Concentrations in Natural Waters on Early Earth [#1042] Presentation
Past work has concluded NOX- was high in the prebiotic oceans. We show that prebiotic NOX was likely low in the early oceans, but could have been high in prebiotic lakes.

1:40 p.m.

Pasek M. A. *

An Increase in Phosphorus Availability from Redox-Induced Changes by Water-Rock Interactions [#1027]
The electrochemical reduction of phosphate via water-interactions to phosphite, followed by transport and oxidation of phosphite to polyphosphates are capable of providing energy for organophosphate synthesis, and may be active on ocean worlds.

2:00 p.m.

Ranjan S. *   Todd Z. R.   Sutherland J. D.   Sasselov D. D.

Sulfidic Anion Concentrations on Early Earth Relevant to Surficial Prebiotic Chemistry [#1043] Presentation
We show prebiotic lakes were probably sulfite rich but sulfide poor, and explore the implications for prebiotic chemistry.

2:20 p.m.

 

DISCUSSION

2:40 p.m.

 

Break

 

Monday, September 9, 2019

ORIGINS OF LIFE:  ...AND ALL OF THE ABOVE

3:00 p.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Penelope Boston

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

3:00 p.m.

Sriaporn C. *   Campbell K. A.   Penrose L. K.   Rowe M. C.   Havig J. R.   Hamilton T. L.   Handley K. M.   Van Kranendonk M. J.

Terrestrial Hot Spring Settings for the Origin of Life? The Role of Mixing Zones in Enhancing Microbial Complexity [#1015]
The study of the influences of mixing zones in terrestrial hot springs on microbial community composition and diversity — as analogs to early life development according to the terrestrial hot springs origin of life theory.

3:20 p.m.

Clark B. C. *   Kolb V. M.

Environments Enabling the Origin of Life are Not Equal to Habitats for Extant Life [#1006]
In addition to assessing habitability for living organisms, the suitability of extraterrestrial environments for prebiotic evolution for the origin of life must be considered. Many habitable environments are anti-thetical to the origin of life.

3:40 p.m.

Witkowski O. *

Delegating Control:  From Information Flows Towards Intelligent Life [#1019]
The transitions towards intelligent life can be understood as a reorganization of information flows within semi-autonomous entities. We combine artificial life models with information-theoretic measures to capture how living systems transfer control.

4:00 p.m.

 

DISCUSSION

4:15 p.m.

 

Break

 

Monday, September 9, 2019

LIGHTNING POSTERS:  ORIGINS OF LIFE

4:30 p.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Allan Treiman

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Poster presenters are encouraged to give a 4-minute introduction that may include up to 6 slides.

 

Monday, September 9, 2019

POSTER SESSION:  ORIGINS AND SIGNATURES OF THE LIVING POSTERS

5:00 p.m.   Buck Ridge Room

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Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

Villafañe Barajas S.   Colin Garcia M.   Negrón-Mendoza A.   Ortega F.   Becerra A.

Role of Ions in the Sorption of Amino Acids onto Serpentinite:  Essays of Prebiotic Chemistry [#1018]
The sorption of some amino acids onto serpentinite was performed considering a hydrothermal water model (HWM). The results suggest that dissolved ions, in particular divalent cations, can favor the sorption of these molecules even in basic medium.

Cruz-Castañeda J.   Negrón-Mendoza A.   Ramos-Bernal S.   Heredia A.

Radiolysis and Thermolysis of Glycolaldehyde in Conditions Simulating the Vicinity of a Subaerial Hot Springs in the Primitive Earth [#1020]
Our aim is to study the thermolysis and radiolysis of glycolaldehyde, in solid state, aqueous solution, and clays-suspensions, simulating the vicinity of a subaerial hot spring probable in the primitive Earth and its relevance in chemical evolution.

Meléndez-López A. L.   García-Hurtado M. F.   Negrón-Mendoza A.   Ramos-Bernal S.   Heredia A.

Gamma Irradiation of Mixtures of L-Aspartic Acid and Na-Montmorillonite:  Relevance in Homochirality Studies and Origin of Life [#1021]
Chirality is an important characteristic of life. Our aim is to study the stability of L-aspartic acid irradiated in solid-state mixtures of amino acid and Na-Montmorillonite at gamma irradiation to understand the role of clays in chiral processes.

Carson J. H.

Thermocycling Drives Evolution of RNA Granules [#1016]
Thermocycling increases complexity, information content, stability, and selectivity in RNA granules. Thermocycling in hydrothermal vents may drive evolution of complexity, information content, stability, and selectivity in primordial RNA granules.

Bahn P. R.

Polyhedral Charts of the Commonly Occurring Amino Acids and Nucleic Acid Bases [#1004]
The commonly occurring amino acids are shown on the faces of an icosahedron and the commonly occurring RNA and DNA bases are shown on the faces of tetrahedrons. The icosahedron and the tetrahedron are two of the five possible Platonic polyhedrons.

Hotujec-Kantner C. A.

Trace Element and Co Concentrations in 2.7 Ga Archean Metasedimentary Rocks of the Cherry Creek Suite, Gravelly Range, Montana, USA [#1040]
Trace element and Co concentrations in Archean metasedimentary rocks from the Cherry Creek Metasedimentary Suite in the Gravelly Range, Montana provide information about redox conditions and bioavailability of Co during deposition 2.7 Ga.

Crucilla S. J.   Perl S. M.   Lindensmith C. A.   Nadeau J.   Sun H.

Preservation Features from Ice and Brines on Non-Radiation Tolerant Microbes in Europa-Like Conditions [#1028]
Our objective is to determine the radiation sensitivity of non-radiation tolerant microbes within different ices, brines, mineral substrates as well as completely desiccated to determine survivability on Europa as well as other planets and moons.

Dong C. F.   Lingam M.   Fang X. H.   Rimmer P. B.   Wordsworth W.

Role of Solar Energetic Particles in Prebiotic Chemistry and Origin of Life [#1046]
We carry out numerical simulations to assess the penetration and bombardment effects of Solar Energetic Particles (SEPs) on ancient and current Mars. SEPs may have been capable of facilitating the synthesis of a wide range of vital organic molecules.

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

KEYNOTE:  HABITABILITY

8:50 a.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Ed Rivera-Valentin

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

8:50 a.m.

 

Announcements

9:00 a.m.

Lyons T. W. *   Rogers K. L.

Our First Billion Years of Astrobiology:  Life’s Earliest Relationships with the Environment [#1049] Presentation
Understanding the origins of life requires a parallel understanding of the evolving environmental context. Future efforts will bridge those who think about the beginnings of life and cause-and-effect relationships with the surrounding environment.

10:00 a.m.

 

Break

                    

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

HABITABILITY OF EARLY EARTH AND ICY WORLDS

10:10 a.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Justin Filiberto

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

10:10 a.m.

Schulz T. *   Viehmann S.   Hezel D. C.   Koeberl C.

Coupled Fe-Os Isotope Signatures in Banded Iron Formations — Decoding Earth’s Oxygenation History and the Chemical Evolution of Precambrian Seawater [#1011]
We report isotope data of banded iron formations, providing insights into the transformation of the Precambrian Earth from anoxic to progressively oxygenated conditions which set the stage for the evolution of the earliest microbial habitats.

10:30 a.m.

Marchi S. *   Black B.   Drabon N.   Ebel D.   Fu R.   Johnson B.   Schulz T.   Wuennemann K.

Understanding the Effects of Asteroid Collisions Across Earth’s Great Oxidation 3.5-2 Ga [#1008] Presentation
We will present a new model for 3.5-2 Ga terrestrial asteroid bombardment, and discuss the environmental consequences of these collisions, with emphasis on atmospheric redox state of the atmosphere and oceans.

10:50 a.m.

Melwani Daswani M. *   Vance S. D.

Organic Molecule Concentration by Early Differentiation, and Dilution by Later Tidal Dissipation in Icy Ocean Worlds [#1044] Presentation
The degree of heating that ocean worlds experience during their evolution determines the concentration and type of organic molecules and hydrocarbons that are flushed from the rocky interior into the ocean.

11:10 a.m.

Castillo-Rogez J. C. *   Raymond C. A.   De Sanctis M. C.   Ermakov A. I.

Early Habitability Potential of Dwarf Planet Ceres [#1025]
Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt and most water rich object after Earth in the inner solar system. We summarize the results from the Dawn mission that pertain to assessing Ceres’ early habitability potential.

11:30 a.m.

 

DISCUSSION

11:50 a.m.

 

Lunch

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

HABITABILITY OF EARLY MARS

1:00 p.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Brandi Carrier

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

1:00 p.m.

Ruff S. W. *

Clues to the Habitability of Mars in Its First Billion Years from an Earth-Like Hydrothermal System in Gusev Crater [#1036]
A volcanic hydrothermal system is now well documented on Mars, with clear implications for habitability and microbial preservation potential. Less clear is whether impact hydrothermal systems are equivalent targets in the search for past life.

1:20 p.m.

Filiberto J. *   Costello L. C.   Crandall J. R.   Potter-McIntyre S. L.   Schwenzer S. P.   Hummer D. R.   Olsson-Francis K.   Perl S.   Miller M. A.   Castle N.

Habitability of the Early Martian Crust as Constrained by Hydrothermal Alteration of a Mafic Dike [#1013]
As an analog for processes on the early martian crust, we have investigated a mafic dike that was hydrothermally altered from contact with ground water as it was emplaced.

1:40 p.m.

Soto A. *   Marchi S.   Black B. A.

Atmospheric Response to Impact-Generated Melt Outgassing on Mars [#1041]
We investigate the atmospheric response to volatiles outgassed from impact-generated melt pools on early Mars. This outgassing would occur for 100s to millions of years after the initial impact and may produce a habitable environment on early Mars.

2:00 p.m.

Steakley K. E. *   Kahre M. A.   Haberle R. M.   Zahnle K. J.

Examining the Potential for Habitability in a Post-Impact Reducing Greenhouse Climate on Early Mars [#1035] Presentation
We simulate the early Mars climate response to an impact accounting for water, energy, and H2 injected into the atmosphere. We assess whether this environment induces surface conditions suitable for life with liquid water.

2:20 p.m.

 

DISCUSSION

2:40 p.m.

 

Break

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

HABITABILITY OF EXOPLANETS

3:00 p.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Lisa Kaltenegger

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

3:00 p.m.

Mendez A. *

The Diversity and Distribution of Habitable Worlds [#1033]
Planets larger than Earth and with denser atmospheres can be up to six times more habitable than Earth. Their biosignatures signals should be stronger, but their occurrence is very low.

3:20 p.m.

Jusino M. *   Mendez A.

The Occurrence of Planets in the Abiogenesis Zone [#1026] Presentation
So far, not a single Earth-sized planet has been discovered to be in both the Habitable Zone and the Abiogenesis Zone.

3:40 p.m.

Ramirez R. *

A Dynamic Habitable Zone and How to Find Potentially Habitable Planets [#1007] Presentation
The habitable zone is a navigational tool and filter to find potentially habitable planets. However, it can be improved with a first principles approach that maximizes the chance that upcoming missions have of finding life elsewhere. I explain how.

4:00 p.m.

 

DISCUSSION

4:15 p.m.

 

Break

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

LIGHTNING POSTERS:  HABITABILITY

4:30 p.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Kennda Lynch

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Poster presenters are encouraged to give a 4-minute introduction that may include up to 6 slides.

 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

POSTER SESSION:  HABITABILITY OF POSTERS

5:00 p.m.   Buck Ridge Room

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Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

Ortiz-Ceballos K. N.   Mendez A.   Zuluaga J.   Heller R.   Alexander D.   Pacini A.

Arecibo REDS:  The Stellar Activity of Stars with Potentially Habitable Planets [#1038]
Observing and characterizing stellar activity of M-dwarfs to study its impact on planetary atmospheres and habitability.

 

 

Dobson M. J.   Campbell K. A.   Rowe M.   Van Kranendonk M.   Drake B.   Hamilton A.

Facies Mapping and Analysis of Diverse Hydrothermal Sediments and Siliceous Spicular Sinter at Tikitere Geothermal Field, Taup? Volcanic Zone, New Zealand [#1010]
Mapping of spicular siliceous hot spring deposits (sinter) developing in spring outflow channels at Tikitere, Rotorua, New Zealand provided possible analogues for opaline silica deposits found at Columbia Hills, Gusev Crater, Mars.

Perl S. M.   Filiberto J.   Olsson-Francis K.   Potter-McIntyre S. L.   Schwenzer S. P.   Crandall J. R.

Organic and Biomarker Detection Techniques for Hydrothermal Alterations in Sandstone Layers Within the Colorado Plateau [#1024]
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the geobiology and habitability metrics of basaltic intrusions into sedimentary rocks where ancient fluids can lead to the modification of secondary minerals that can be used by life.

Tasoff P.   Perl S. M.   Chin K. B.   Desai P.   Cockell C. S.

Survivability of Chemotrophic Microorganisms in Martian-Analogue Water Activities [#1029]
Life finds a unique way to adapt to changing and extreme environmental conditions; yet liquid water is required by all organisms on Earth. We seek to replicate martian analogue soil water activities and analyze metabolism in vitro of two chemotrophs.

Torres N.   Méndez A.

Evolution of Terrestrial Habitability [#1030]
In this study, we will use the mass and energy habitability model of Méndez et al., (2018) to trace the evolution of terrestrial habitability from early Earth to climate change.

Filiberto J.   Schwenzer S. P.

Volatiles in the Martian Crust [#1009]
Our recent book “Volatiles in the Martian Crust” focuses on constraining what is known about volatile reservoirs in the martian crust.

Valluri S. R.   Sangli V. T.

Habitable Zones:  A New Approach to Physical Factors [#1022]
We have examined the present factors that affect habitability, and propose two more that can alter our perception on the issue:  Obliquity and compartmentalized habitable zones (it is likely that only sections of a planet’s surface could be habitable).

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

KEYNOTE:  BIOSIGNATURES

8:50 a.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Ed Rivera-Valentin

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

8:50 a.m.

 

Announcements

9:00 a.m.

Mitch Schulte *

The Search for Life Beyond Earth

10:00 a.m.

 

Break

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

BIOSIGNATURE THEORY AND DETECTING LIFE ON EARTH

10:10 a.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  David Kring

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

10:10 a.m.

Boston P. J. *   Schubert K. E.   Northup D. E.   Spilde M. N.

The Conundrum of Structure and Pattern:  We Need It...But We Don’t Trust It! [#1031]
Physical structures and spatial patterns were foundational to understand Earth’s ancient and modern life. Development of many non-visual techniques has resulted in distrust of morphology, but new refinements can still provide highly important clues.

10:30 a.m.

Schopf J. W. *

Paleobiological Evidence of the Immediate Aftermath of the Beginning Billion:  Life Evolved Early, Far, and Fast [#1005]
Cellularly preserved microscopic fossils of the ~3.43 Ga Strelley Pool Fm. and ~3.465 Ga Apex chert of Western Australia establish the anoxic nature of Earth’s early environment and show that Eoarchean life evolved early, far, and fast.

10:50 a.m.

Perl S. M. *   Baxter B. K.   Celestian A. J.   Cockell C. S.   Sessions A. L.   Tasoff P.   Crucilla S. J.   Corsetti F. A.

Photobiology and Biogenic Preservation Comparisons Between Pleistocene Evaporite Beds and Buried Permian Brines [#1034]
The purpose of this paper is to discuss the photobiological response from halophilic microorganisms in their preserved mineral settings from different solar flux environments.

11:10 a.m.

Prufert-Bebout L. E. *   Shih N.   Bebout B.

Characterization of Permeable Sediments as Habitable Refuges for Complex Microbial Ecosystems [#1039]
Characteristics of sediments create suitable habitats for microbial life on Earth including:  refuge from ultraviolet light, source of elements necessary for biological processes, and protection from erosion by water flow or wind processes.

11:30 a.m.

 

DISCUSSION

11:50 a.m.

 

Lunch

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

BIOSIGNATURES ON MARS

1:00 p.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Kathryn Steakley

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

1:00 p.m.

Lynch K. L. *

The Pilot Valley Basin, Utah:   Model System for Studying Subsurface Life on Early Earth, Mars, and Beyond [#1050]
The Pilot Valley Basin, Utah is a potential modern laboratory for studying ancient subsurface environments on Mars, Earth, and beyond.

1:20 p.m.

Carrier B. L. *   Beaty D. W.   iMOST Team

Investigating and Constraining the Habitability of Early Mars Through Analysis of Returned Mars Samples [#1017] Presentation
Analysis of returned samples from Mars would greatly increase our understanding of the evolution of the habitability of Mars and other terrestrial planets.

1:40 p.m.

Treiman A. H. *

Meteorite Allan Hills (ALH) 84001:  Implications for Mars’ Inhabitation and Habitability [#1032] Presentation
Meteorite ALH 84001, home to putative signs of ancient martian life, provides evidence on potentially habitable environments on early Mars. It is also a case study of what sorts of evidence might be acceptable as signs of extraterrestrial life.

2:00 p.m.

 

DISCUSSION

2:15 p.m.

 

Break

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

BIOSIGNATURES OF EXOPLANETS

2:30 p.m.   Montana Room

Chair:  Abel Mendez

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Times

Authors (*Denotes Presenter)

Abstract Title and Summary

2:30 p.m.

Kaltenegger L. *   O’Malley-James J.   Rugheimer S.

Lessons from Early Earth:  UV Surface Environment of Earth-Like Planets: Comparing Close-by M-Star Planets to Earth Through Geological Evolution [#1048] Presentation
We compare models of the UV surface radiation environments for Earth through geological time to both pre-biotic and post-biotic planets around the closest M stars.

2:50 p.m.

Ceja A. Y. *   Kane S. R.

Developing an Astroecological Model for Characterizing Exoplanet Habitability [#1014] Presentation
I develop an astroecology model to be used to identify potentially habitable worlds. Exoplanet surface climates are simulated using the climate model ROCKE-3D, which is then convolved with a biological layer responding to the thermal environment.

3:10 p.m.

Leisawitz D. *

The Origins Space Telescope and the Quest to Understand Habitability [#1001] Presentation
The Origins Space Telescope will enable the community to learn how the conditions for habitability can arise during the process of planet formation, and to characterize exoplanets and search for biosignatures in their atmospheres.

3:30 p.m.

 

DISCUSSION

 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

WRAP-UP DISCUSSION

3:45 p.m.   Montana Room

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Panelists

Objective

Moderator:                Edgard Rivera-Valentin

Panel Members:       Irena Mamajanov
                                     Timothy Lyons
                                     Mitch Schulte

Review of the material covered during the conference in order to plan a journal special issue as well as discussion of the key open questions for development of a strategic plan.