University of California, Riverside

Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center

Are We Alone? - Mars 2020 and Beyond

Science Lecture Series The search for alien life is defining a new era of space exploration—from Mars and icy moons in our solar system to Earth-like planets orbiting distant stars. Learn how scientists hope to find life beyond Earth, and explore what that 

means for humanity…

THURSDAY, MARCH 23, 2017  |  6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.  |  University Theatre (Humanities 400)

Ken Williford

Mars 2020 and Beyond
Will We Find Life on the Red Planet?
Kenneth Williford
Deputy Project Scientist, Mars 2020 Mission
Director, Astrobiogeochemistry Laboratory
NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Dr. Williford is a biogeochemist who develops analytical techniques to search for signs of life and environments in some of the oldest rocks on Earth. Fossils are rare in these rocks, and those that do exist are almost always microscopic. Dr. Williford analyzes ancient Earth rocks for chemical signs of life in part to understand how we can apply similar techniques to the search for evidence of life on other planetsfor example, in rocks returned to Earth from the surface of Mars. 
Join an exploration of humanity’s place in the universe with special guests…
Christopher J. Corbally, S.J. Penelope Boston Eric Schwitzgebel
Christopher J. Corbally, S.J.
Astronomer, Vatican Observatory

Professor Corbally is Associate Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Arizona, a Jesuit priest, an astronomer at the Vatican Observatory, and President of the National Committee for Astronomy, Vatican City State, International Astronomical Union. He holds degrees in astronomy and physics and specializes in stellar spectroscopy and human sentience.

Penelope Boston
Director, NASA Astrobiology Institute

Professor Boston leads the 12 science teams of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, including the UCR-led Alternative Earths team. She specializes in exploring extreme environments on Earth to better understand what we might face on other planets. She is also Associate Director of the National Cave and Karst Research Institute in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Eric Schwitzgebel
Professor of Philosophy, 
UC Riverside

Professor Schwitzgebel is a philosopher who explores connections between empirical psychology and philosophy of mind, especially the nature of belief, the inaccuracy of our judgments on the stream of conscious experience, and the tenuous relationship between philosophical ethics and actual moral behavior. 

Live streaming of all events available online

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Contact Information

Alternative Earths Astrobiology Center
2460 Geology

Tel: (951) 827-3106

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