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2012 Annual Science Report

NASA Ames Research Center Reporting  |  SEP 2011 – AUG 2012

EPO Activity: Summer Intern Program Focuses on Curriculum Development and Research

Project Progress

For the past two summers, the Ames Team has hosted Astrobiology EPO student interns. This year, Rachel Harris, a junior at Wellesley College, joined the team for 10 weeks and provided research and education assistance.

Sponsored by the Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program through the SETI Institute, Harris’s interest in early Earth geobiology and previous summer research experience with the MIT NAI Team, enabled her to make substantial contributions to the Ames Team.

Harris’s responsibilities and accomplishments from June – August 2012 were many: – Helped the Ames Team advance their microbiology and geochemistry work at Lassen Volcanic National Park, Mineral, CA – Enhanced the lab and field astrobiology curriculum offered to Astrobiology Student Interns at Red Bluff High School, Red Bluff, CA – Assisted in further developing and evaluating the Lassen Astrobiology Intern Program from a college student’s perspective.

As a result of her successful summer research and EPO intern experience, Harris has requested a second summer internship at Ames in 2013.

Ames team summer interns Megan Carlson (left) and Rachel Harris (right) sample hydrothermal water sources along a trail in Lassen Volcanic National Park, while Ames team member Mike Kubo chats with park visitors about astrobiology and why Lassen is an important resource to NASA.