Astrobiology is a field that looks at the possibilities for life beyond our planet. Explore what extraterrestrial life might look like by discovering how living things have evolved in the most extreme environments on Earth.
If there is life beyond our planet, what does it look like? Astrobiologists try to answer that question in part by looking at how organisms have evolved to live in the most extreme environments on Earth.
We will survey locations on Earth where conditions approach the limits of survival – places like Antarctica’s ancient red waterfall, the deadly Crystal Caves in Mexico and the Challenger Deep. Students will learn about adaptations that allow organisms to live in these harsh environments. They will get an introduction to extremophile microbes such as diatoms, tardigrades and nematodes. We will also look at conditions on some of the potentially habitable planets that astronomers have discovered and consider the potential for past or present life on these planets. Students will design a planet that could sustain life and plan an astrobiology mission to Mars.
What You Will Learn
Students in High School: Astrobiology will:
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- Gain insight on what extraterrestrial life might look like by learning how organisms have evolved in extreme environments on Earth
- Learn about the characteristics of potentially habitable planets beyond Earth
- Explore the conditions that are necessary for life to exist
- Survey extreme environments on Earth, including the Challenger Deep, polar deserts and Crystal Caves of Mexico
- Learn about the adaptations that allow life to survive in these extreme places
- Look at different kinds of extremophile microorganisms
- Review the history of NASA’s efforts to find extraterrestrial life
- Design a planet that could sustain life and plan an astrobiology mission to Mars
Note: Upon successful enrollment of a section, students will receive a confirmation email from our Student Services team. This email will include a link to an authorization form that is required to be completed within 72-hours of enrollment.
Course Number: SCI-90038
Credit: 1.50 unit(s)
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7/10/2023 - 7/14/2023
Synchronous web-based class meetings that are scheduled to meet online at published times (time/date).
Anna Zoumplis has had the pleasure of teaching for more than 40 years. Originally from Warsaw, Poland, she is very interested in all things science, math and music. She has a master’s degree in music anthropology. She has also participated in many educational workshops at NASA to learn more about her favorite subject, space!
Early enrollment advised.
No UCSD parking permit required.
No visitors permitted.
No refunds after: 7/3/2023.
This is a live online course that does not use Canvas. Instructor will contact student 24-hours in advance of start date with Zoom information (please check email associated with STUDENT'S account - not parent's account). Students are responsible for purchasing supplies. Supply information can be found by copying the following link into the address bar on your computer or mobile device: https://go.ucsd.edu/42lEIRp
Contact email@example.com with all questions.
|7/10/2023||Mon||9:00 a.m.||12:00 p.m.|
|7/11/2023||Tue||9:00 a.m.||12:00 p.m.|
|7/12/2023||Wed||9:00 a.m.||12:00 p.m.|
|7/13/2023||Thu||9:00 a.m.||12:00 p.m.|
|7/14/2023||Fri||9:00 a.m.||12:00 p.m.|
There are no sections of this course currently scheduled. Please contact the Pre-College Programs department at 858-534-0804 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information about when this course will be offered again.