Introduction to Astrobiology
Online Course

In partnership with Blue Marble Space Institute of Science USA, Mars Society Australia and Open University UK

Amity Centre of Excellence in Astrobiology (ACoeA, pronounced as ‘aqua’) runs an online course for beginners in Astrobiology over 7 weeks. The classes are conducted by Amity full-time and adjunct faculty members, along with instructors from Blue Marble Space Institute of Science, USA and Open University UK. Register here: https://www.acoea.com/event-details/introduction-to-astrobiology

 

Syllabus

A class of 30 students will work closely each week with the instructors. Each week will have a 1 hour online class and a 1 hour tutorial. Students have to take notes and complete a 1 page assignment by the following week. Attendance of 6 out of 7 is required to receive certificate. 

Week -2 : Orientation Week
Ms Annalea Beattie, Mars Society Australia & Amity Adjunct Faculty

Learning Goals: Tips on note taking, looking for scientific data, inferring conclusions and writing original sentences. How to cite information

Week 1: Origin of life & the making of a Habitable Planet
Dr Jonathan Clarke (Mars Society Australia) & Amity Adjunct Faculty 
Dr Afshin Khan (Blue Marble Space Institute of Science USA)

Understanding differentiation, distribution of material around the Sun. The critical role of plate tectonics and crust formation on life on Earth. The formative conditions that led to the origins of life. The week with instructors with geology and biology background will set the tone for the coming weeks. 

 
Week 2: Rise of Life
Dr Michael Macey, Open University UK

Understanding the building blocks and origin of life. The rise of multicellularity. Extremophiles and analogue environments. 

 

 

Week 3: Looking for life in our Solar System

Dr Jennifer Blank, Blue Marble Space Institute of Science @ NASA Ames Research Center, USA & Amity Adjunct Faculty

 

Exploring the different worlds: moons and planets where life could have existed. Learning how to decide where to look for life in the solar system. 

 

Week 4: Space Missions in the Search for Life

Dr Siddharth Pandey, ACoeA, Amity University

Exploring the different worlds: moons and planets where life could have existed. Learning how to decide where to look for life in the solar system

Week 5: Planetary Protection and Space Policy

Dr Afshin Khan (Blue Marble Space Institute of Science USA)
Dr Alissa Haddaji (Harvard Law School USA)

 

How do we ensure we do not contaminate outer space with our microorganisms? How do we protect ourselves from any harmful organisms in space? Are there laws which all countries are supposed to abide by? 

Week 6: Living on Mars

Ms Annalea Beattie, Mars Society Australia & Amity Adjunct Faculty

 

What are some of the societal and cultural challenges associated with exploring Space? What will be the most prominent issues that will be discussed by future humans living on Mars settlements? How will art evolve when humans are in outer Space? 

Week 7: Opportunities for Astrobiology for students and researchers

 

The final week will involve a quick recap of topics from previous weeks. Education and research opportunities in astrobiology will be shared from instructors from different countries. 

Astrobiology India
Blue Marble Space Institute of Science
Mars Society Australia
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Astrobiology Open University
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