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  1. September 12-14, 2018 In-Person EC

    The NAI Executive Council meeting on September 12-15, 2018 will be held in Atlanta, GA and hosted by the Reliving the Past – Georgia Institute of Technology Team.

    Desi Bridges
    (510) 468-2413

    Please fill out the NAI EC Meeting RSVP page. We use this information for transportation planning and communication.

    Meeting Location

    Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Bioscience
    Suddath Room, 1st floor
    315 Ferst Dr. NW
    Atlanta, GA 30332

    Lodging Reservations

    Georgia Tech Hotel
    800 Spring St NW
    Atlanta, GA 30308
    Ph: (800) 706-2899 or (404) 838-2100

    Room Block Name: NASA Astrobiology Institute
    Room Block Dates: Tuesday, September 11, 2018 to Saturday, September 15, 2018
    Room Rate: $166.00/$166.00/$176.00/ $186.00
    Room Block Reservation Deadline: Sunday, August 12, 2018

    Go to Hotel Reservation Link.

    If you get to a password login page when clicking the above, copy paste this link into your browser and go from there:

    Parking: $15 per night, or $18 unlimited in and out garage access


    From hotel from the airport: Link to map with driving directions.

    From hotel to Community Smith: Link to map with walking directions.


    Wednesday, September 12, 2018 at 6:00pm

    Dinner will be held at:

    Community Smith
    866 W Peachtree St
    Atlanta, GA 30308

    Cost: $60 per person – Please be sure to bring cash


    Wednesday, September 12th

    07:45–08:45 BREAKFAST

    08:45–09:00 Welcome and Introductions/ Objectives for Meeting (Penny Boston and Frank Rosenzweig, Georgia Tech Team PI)

    09:00–10:30 State of the NAI (Penny Boston, All)

    10:30–11:00 BREAK

    11:00–11:45 State of the NAI, continued

    11:45–12:00 Logistics (directions, map for dinner, group photo, etc.)

    12:00–12:45 LUNCH

    12:45–01:15 PI in camera Session

    01:15–01:45 Report out from in camera session (NAI EC and NAI Central only)

    01:45–03:15 Integration of Research Across the NAI Teams: Synergy Themes

    03:15–03:45 BREAK

    03:45–05:00 Institute Business
    - Report-out from AbGradCon (George Tan)
    - Annual Science Report Process
    - Format of NAI in-person EC meetings
    - Scheduling of NAI in-person EC meetings for next year
    - Other

    05:00 ADJOURN

    06:00 Group Dinner
    Community Smith
    866 W Peachtree St
    Atlanta, GA 30308

    Cost: $60 per person -
    Please be sure to bring cash for dinner

    Thursday, September 13th

    07:45–08:30 BREAKFAST

    “Reliving the Past” Team Presentations
    08:30–10:30 Session 1 RLP Team Presentations [12+3min]
    • Frank Rosenzweig (PI, GaTech) Overview
    • John McCutcheon (co-I Montana)
    • Caroline Turner (NPP postdoc, Pittsburgh)
    • Will Ratcliff (co-I, Georgia Tech)
    • Margie Kinnersely (co-I, Montana)
    • Scott Miller (co-I, Montana)
    • Gavin Sherlock (co-I Stanford)

    10:30–11:00 BREAK

    11:00–01:00 SESSION 2: Team Presentations [12+3min]
    • Matt Herron (co-I, Georgia Tech)
    • Shelley Copley (co-I, Colorado)
    • Paul Sniegowski (co-I, UPenn)
    • Phil Gerrish (co-I, Georgia Tech/ELSI)
    • Betul Kacar (co-I, UArizona)
    • Eric Smith (co-I, Georgia Tech/ELSI)

    01:00–02:00 LUNCH AND DISCUSSION

    02:00–05:30 Civil and Human Rights Museum (optional)

    05:30 Happy Hour

    06:30 Dinner

    Friday, September 14th

    A Celebration of Georgia Tech Astrobiology

    08:00 BREAKFAST

    08:30 Penny Boston, Ph.D. – NAI Director
    Welcoming Remarks

    08:40 Thom Orlando, Ph.D. – CSTAR, SSERVI REVEALS, PI
    “An overview of REVEALS and CSTAR programs”

    09:00 Amanda Stockton, Ph.D. – PICASSO and PSTAR, PI; CCE, co-I
    “High Impact Chemistry: The Icy Moons Penetrator Organic Analyzer”

    09:20 Loren Williams, Ph.D. – COOL, PI
    “Visualizing the origin of life – in biopolymers”

    09:40 Nick Hud, Ph.D. – CCE, PI
    “Some highlights of CCE discoveries on the possible origins and early evolution of biopolymers”

    10:00 Martha Grover, Ph.D. – CCE, co-I
    “Prebiotic replication of an RNA duplex containing an active ribozyme”

    10:20 Chris Reinhard, Ph.D. – NAI Alternative Earths, co-I
    “Climate and atmospheric biosignatures on reducing worlds”

    10:40 COFFEE BREAK

    11:10 Jeff Bowman, Ph.D., for Britney Schmidt, Ph.D. – PI for the CLD
    “Oceans Across Space and Time: A multi-institutional effort to understand and identify life in extraterrestrial oceans”

    11:30 Jennifer Glass, Ph.D. – NAI Alternative Earths and COOL, co-I
    “Laughing gas as a precursor to aerobic life”

    11:50 Will Ratcliff, Ph.D. – NAI Reliving the Past, co-I
    “Solving physical challenges during the origin of multicellularity by evolving simple development”

    12:10 James Wray, Ph.D. – SETI, co-I and SSERVI, co-I
    “Orbital spectral signatures of changing habitable environments on Mars”

    12:30 LUNCH (12:30) AND POSTER SESSION (1:00)

    Poster presenters:
    Marcus Bray (Glass)
    Ozan Bozdag, Ph.D (Ratcliff)
    Kimberly Chen, Ph.D (Rosenzweig)
    Angela Dapremont (Wray)
    Quinn Dickinson (Rosenzweig)
    Zach Duca (Stockton)
    Jay Haynes (Williams)
    Zijian Li (Reinhard)
    Kennda Lynch, Ph.D (Wray and Rosenzweig)
    Lauren Kimbrough (Wray)
    Ahmad Mohamed (Williams)
    Petar Penev (Williams)
    Aaron Pital (Stockton)
    Kenneth Seaton (Stockton)
    Alexander Sessa (Wray)
    Yi Sun (Grover)
    Scot Sutton (Stockton)
    Nadia Szeinbaum, Ph.D (Glass)
    George Tan (Stockton)
    Pedro Marquez-Zacarias (Ratcliff)
    George Dragos Zaharescu (Reinhard)

    02:00 – 03:45 The Faces of Astrobiology’s Future: NASA Postdoctoral Fellows, Graduate Students, and Postdocs

    • 02:00 Pedram Samani, Ph.D. – Postdoc (Rosenzweig)
    “Experimental evolution of anisogamy: An inquiry into the origins of sexes”

    • 02:15 Peter Conlin, NPP Fellow (Ratcliff)
    “Experimental evolution of adaptive phenotypic plasticity in a temporally varying environment”

    • 02:30 Caroline Turner, NPP Fellow (Vaughn Cooper, Univ. of Pittsburgh)
    “Environmental similarity (mostly) predicts genetic similarity”

    02:45 COFFEE BREAK

    • 03:00 Nadia Szeinbaum, NPP Fellow (Glass)
    “A microbial ecology perspective on the success of oxygenic photosynthesis”

    • 03:15 Moran Frankel-Pinter, NPP Fellow (Hud, Grover, and Williams)
    “Dynamic polymerization of prebiotic depsipeptides allows selection of stable structures”

    • 3:30 Micah Schaible, NPP Fellow (Orlando)
    “Ionizing radiation effects on the surfaces of airless bodies”

    03:45 Frank Rosenzweig, Ph.D. – NAI Reliving the Past PI
    Concluding Remarks

    CCE: Center for Chemical Evolution
    CLD: Center for Life Detection
    CRE: Center for Ribosome Evolution
    CSTAR: Center for Space, Technology and Research COOL: Center for the Origin of Life
    NPP: NASA Postdoctoral Program
    PICASSO: Planetary Instrument Concepts for the Advancement of Solar System Observations PSTAR: Planetary Science and Technology from Analog Research
    REVEALS: Radiation Effect on Volatiles and Exploration of Asteroids and Lunar Surfaces SSERVI: Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute