Title: Seeking the Tricorder: The Hunt for Extraterrestrial Life — Speaker: Penelope Boston, The Director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute — Abstract:The hunt for life in extraterrestrial environments and in extreme environments on Earth presents challenging problems in strategy, science, and engineering. Our success depends on the magic that happens when creative engineers and makers put their talents towards enabling the best exploration and science and in turn scientists clearly articulate their needs for missions. Dr. Boston will discuss Issues that deeply affect our strategies for life detection, and new directions in robotics, machine learning, and other technologies that are key to NASA’s mission to explore our universe for other lifeforms.
Bio: Dr. Penelope Boston is Director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. From 2002-2016, she served as Associate Director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute and Professor and Chair of the Earth and Environmental Sciences Dept. at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (Socorro, NM). Research areas include geomicrobiology and astrobiology in extreme environments; geological processes creating caves on other planets and moons; human life support issues in space and planetary environments; and use of robotics and other technologies to assist exploration and advance science in extreme Earth and extraterrestrial environments. She holds a PhD from the University of Colorado, Boulder.