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Schools / Stanford University / HumBio 183: Astrobiology and Space Exploration ( Add One )

This course gives an overview of the newest fields of science - astrobiology and space exploration. It addresses topics including the origin of our own biofriendly universe to questions of the future of mankind both on Earth and beyond. This course features a series of leaders in the field from NASA, UC Santa Cruz, the SETI Institute, the U.S. Astronaut Corps and, of course, Stanford. Course given by Dr. Lynn Rothschild of NASA, filmed Winter 2010.
Lecture 1: Introduction to Astrobiology
Posted in Stanford University
In this introductory lecture of Professor Lynn Rothschild's Astrobiology and Space Exploration course, professor Seth Shostak of the SETI institute gives a witty and engaging presentation on the overall status of the field of astrobiology.
Lecture 2: From Astrochemistry to Astrobiology
Posted in Stanford University
Louis Allamandola, a Research Scientist with NASA discusses his research, which implies that life-forming chemicals are widespread in the universe. If life is extreme chemical complexity, then with the right conditions it could be quite common.
Lecture 3: The Search for Other Earths and Life in the Universe
Posted in Stanford University
Geoff Marcy, Co-Investigator on Kepler Team and UC Berkeley Professor of Astronomy, discusses the efforts of the Keplar Teams to locate earth-like planets by observing orbit, doppler shift, and the dimming of Upsilon Andromedae.
Lecture 4: What is Life?
Posted in Stanford University
Lynn Rothschild, Research Scientist at NASA's Astrobiology Institute Ames Research Center, discusses the need for an operational definition of what it means to be alive and attempts to hammer out a definition of her own.
Lecture 5: Evolution
Posted in Stanford University
Professor Lynn Rothschild discusses evolution in the context of space and time, focusing on the emergence of life in the context of planetary formation on Earth and possibly elsewhere, and the evolution of intelligence in here and beyond.
Lecture 6: Life in Extreme Environments
Posted in Stanford University
Professor Lynn Rothschild discusses the life and evolution of extremophiles and their relevance to the initial evolution of life and the possibilities of biospheres on even extreme worlds.
Lecture 7: How Predictable Is Evolution?
Posted in Stanford University
This lecture discusses the predictability of evolution in regards to the world today. By reviewing the history of biological adaptation on Earth we gain much insight into topics like convergent evolution.
Lecture 8: Catastrophic Impacts in Earth's History
Posted in Stanford University
There are few events with a greater consequence than an asteroid impact. David Morrison, NASA Lunar Science Institute, discusses the discovery of the impact that caused the last mass extinction and explains NASA's research on the danger of future events.
Lecture 9: The Search for Life on Mars
Posted in Stanford University
Dr. Janice Bishop (of the Carl Sagan Center at the SETI Institute and the NASA Ames Research Center) discusses the mineralogy and geology of Mars and the active search for life on the red planet.
Lecture 10: Darwin's Birthday
Posted in Stanford University
Professor Lynn Rothschild and Stephen Palumbi, Director of the Hopkins Marine Station, discuss Charles Darwin's career, from his childhood to the end of his life. Naturally, the theory of evolution is also addressed.
Lecture 11: Life Beyond Its Planet of Origin
Posted in Stanford University
Rocco Mancinelli, Bay Area Environmental Research Institute, discusses how recent research has is expanding our understanding of how organisms can survive and evolve outside of planet Earth.
Lecture 12: Biologically Reversible Exploration
Posted in Stanford University
Chris McKay, Planetary Scientist with the Space Science Division of NASA Ames Research Center, discusses a novel idea - based on the human valuation of life, the mission of astrobiology should be to spread the beauty and diversity of life into the stars.
Lecture 13: Advanced Life Support Systems
Posted in Stanford University
John Hogan, Bioengineering Branch NASA Ames Research Center, discusses modern research into life support systems and technologies that could be used to create a regenerative and sustainable environment in space.