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Course Details

Fall 2010-2011
* GEO 255 / AST 255 / EEB 255 / CHM 255 (QR)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Life in the Universe

Laura F. Landweber
Tullis C. Onstott
Edwin L. Turner

This course introduces students to a new field, Astrobiology, where scientists trained in biology, chemistry, astronomy and geology combine their skills to discover life's origins and to seek extraterrestrial life. Topics include: the origin of life on Earth, the prospects of life beneath the surfaces of Mars and Europa, a moon of Jupiter; extra-solar planets nearby that offer targets for NASA space telescopes searching for life.

Sample reading list:
Sullivan & Baross, Planets & Life: The Emerging Science of Astrobiology
See instructor for complete list

Reading/Writing assignments:
About 60 pages of reading will be assigned weekly. Seven problem sets. Please refer to for additional information.

Mid Term Exam - 30%
Oral Presentation(s) - 15%
Term Paper(s) - 25%
Problem set(s) - 30%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
At least one course (but two is recommended) in Astrophysics, Biology, Chemistry, Physics or Geology is required. In the case of freshmen, an advanced placement score of 4 or 5 in Chemistry, Biology or Physics is required..


Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
24259 L01 01:30:00 pm - 02:50:00 pm M W   Guyot Hall   220   Enrolled:13 Limit:25