Carl Sagan Center Activity Report November 2017

Carl Sagan Center Activity Report November 2017


SETI Institute is a world-class center of scientific research. But that’s not all we do. In addition to the Carl Sagan Center for Research, our Center for Education and Center for Outreach work to share knowledge and learning with all humanity. The Center for Education promotes STEM education that teaches and excites children, young adults and educators, while the Center for Outreach engages with the general public through a variety of digital, print and in-person initiatives. You can download the whole November 2017 activity report here. Here are some highlights:

Carl Sagan Center for Research

  • Peer reviewed articles published or accepted for publication include:
    • Geo-Electrodes and Fuel Cells for Simulating Hydrothermal Vent Environments (Astrobiology, co-author Pablo Sobron)
    • The coevolution of life & environment on Mars: An ecosystem perspective on the robotic exploration of biosignatures (Astrobiology, Nathalie Cabrol)
    • Something New: Astrobiology in the Real World (Astrobiology, Margaret Race)
    • Large Interstellar Polarisation Survey II. UV/optical study of cloud-to-cloud variations of dust in the diffuse ISM (Astronomy & Astrophysics, co-author Jan Cami)
    • See report for more
  • The work of SETI Institute scientists has been or will be featured at several important scientific conferences and events including:
    • Astronomy 9 (November 2017 – Lisa Ballard)
    • Bay Area Exoplanet Meeting (December 2017 – Jeff Coughlin)
    • Astrobiology Conference (November 2017 – Kimberly Warren-Rhodes, Nathalie Cabrol)
    • See report for more
  • SETI Institute scientists working on TESS completed a number projects including:
    • completed and released code for critical TESS commissioning tools to measure the in-flight Focal Plane Geometry (FPG) and Pixel Response Function (PRF). Full-scale system test kicked off to verify and validate the code against realistic simulated commissioning data (Jeff Smith, Robert Morris and TESS team)
    • completed project-wide milestone test End-to-End 6 (ETE-6) that processed a full sector (~28 days) of simulated data for the entire TESS focal plane through the full pipeline, including planet search and validation (TESS team)
  • Professional presentations included:
    • Planetary Surface Reconstruction with the NASA Ames Stereo Pipeline, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology’s (KAIST’s) Department of Aerospace Engineering, in Daejeon, South Korea (Ross Beyer)
    • Spectral diagnostics of gas in protoplanetary disks. NASA JPL Colloquium (Uma Gorti)
    • Lost in translation: How traumatic events filter what we see and hear, Berkeley, CA, Workshop on Epigenetics and Behavior (Oana Marcu)
    • “Astrobiology and Exploration: Science, Ethics and Human Future” (76 students),  OLLI Adult Education program, Co-teaching fall quarter course at Santa Clara University, 6 sessions (Margaret Race)
    • See report for more

Center for Education

  • Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors: Coral Clark and Pamela Harman led a group of AAAs, a school district liaison, and a school district media staff, through training, meetings, and tours at NASA AFRC Building 703 and facilitated one overnight flight on SOFIA. 
  • NASA Science Activation Annual Meeting, Leesburg, VA: Pamela Harman presented the 2017 Evaluation Update Report

Center for Outreach

Public Presentations

  • Beechwood School, Menlo Park, CA Career Fair Day – Astrobiology- It can be on your career path (Oana Marcu)
  • Mensa, Emeryville, CA November 18, 2017 – Keynote: Science Looks for Life Beyond Earth (Seth Shostak)
  • Rolling Hills 4-H Club, Cupertino, CA – Talk on Cassini (Matthew Tiscareno)
  • Astronomy on Tap, San Francisco, CA – Featured speaker (Matthew Tiscareno)

SETI Talks

Facebook Live 

  • Windblown Sands of Mars – Lori Fenton and Seth Shostak
  • Frontier Worlds – Mark Showalter
  • Women in Science on Big Picture Science – Seth Shostak and Molly Bentley
  • Kepler, K2 and Beyond – Jeff Coughlin

Download:  Carl Sagan Center Activity Report November 2017