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2011 Annual Science Report

Carnegie Institution of Washington Reporting  |  SEP 2010 – AUG 2011

EPO Activity: Undergraduate Course in Astrobiology at East Carolina University

Project Progress

During 2010-2011, Carnegie NAI team member Matt Schrenk at Eastern Carolina University (ECU) continued development and refinement of a course entitled “Astrobiology: The Planetary Context of Life” (BIOL4130). Astrobiology is offered as an upper-level course for Biology majors. The course is writing-intensive and challenges students to develop their scientific writing and communication skills as well as training them in interdisciplinary science. More than 40 students have participated in the course each year it has been offered (this was its third year). A number of guest speakers visited the ECU campus to participate in the course and to give public lectures. Speakers associated with course in Fall 2010 included 2 former NASA astronauts, Neil de Grasse Tyson, Jan Amend, and Deb Kelley. All, except for de Grasse Tyson, were supported by travel funds allocated through the Carnegie NAI-CAN grant.