Geobiology in Space Exploration Workshop II: First Announcement
- Extraterrestrial Subsurface Exploration and Geomicrobiology
25th – 28th May 2015, Iglesias, Sardinia, Italy.
Registration deadline April 17th.
The exploration of extraterrestrial subsurface environments is one of the major modern challenges in space exploration. This second Geobiology in Space Exploration (GESE) workshop will build on the first GESE workshop held in Marrakech in 2011 and will be based in the town of Iglesias, Sardinia, from 25-28th May 2015. This workshop will explore strategies and approaches to the subsurface exploration of other planetary environments, and the geomicrobiology of such habitats. The surrounding region has a large number of diverse mine and cave networks have a range of speleothem, microbial, and mineral features for geomicrobiological research. To register contact Toby Samuels (firstname.lastname@example.org).
1) Location and Transport
The workshop will be held within the town of Iglesias, Sardinia. The closest international airport is Cagliari, approximately 40 minute drive from Iglesias by car/shuttle.
Accommodation is provided for all attendees (5 nights, 24th – 29th May) in shared rooms (2 people per room), in either one of the following hotels within Iglesias:
> Hotel Artu
> Hotel Eurohotel
Both hotels are in walking distance to the meeting and include breakfast. There will be a workshop dinner for all attendees (also provided) on Day 1 (25th May), and lunch will be provided on all four days, including the field excursions. For all other evening meals, we encourage attendees to explore the culinary delights that Iglesias has to offer!
3) Field excursions
Guided excursions will take place on Days 3 and 4 to Is Zuddas cave, Su Zurfuru Mine and Su Mannau Cave. The aim of these visits is for attendees to explore the wide range of subsurface environments within which geomicrobiological and mineralogical processes occur. These sites have undergone very little investigation and hold much potential for future research projects in mineral-microbe interactions, and how such subsurface environments may be explored with existing and future space technology. Transport will be provided between Iglesias to the cave and mine sites. The cave sites we will visit are not physically challenging, but we strongly recommend that all attendees bring comfortable and study footwear as the floor may be slippy. Likewise, it can be colder within the cave environment, so please bring suitable clothing. Cave sites as follows:
- Is Zuddas: The owners of the cave are keen in collaborating for research and there will be an opportunity before lunch for some people to take samples, so if you’re interested in this make sure to bring sampling equipment. As it is a show cave it is not possible to have everyone wandering around the cave sampling unsupervised, but if anyone sees something of interest then let us know.
- Su Mannau cave: Same as for Is Zuddas.
- Zurfuru mine: Here all people can take samples if needed.
*See below (#5) for information on pre-workshop sampling trips
4) Provisional programme
|Evening: Ice breaker/Registration|
|DAY 1 – University conference rooms|
|Session 1: Cave and subsurface geomicrobiology and biosignatures|
|11.10||Invited Talk: Penny Boston|
|Session 2: Extraterrestrial subsurface exploration|
|15.00||Invited Talk: Charles Cockell – Mine Analogue Programme|
|19.00 Workshop Dinner (TBD venue)|
|DAY 2 – University conference rooms|
|Session 3: Mineral – microbe interactions and biogeochemical cycling|
|9.30||Invited Talk: TBD|
|Session 4: Geobiology in Space – ISS experiments and radiation biology|
|13.30||Invited Talk: Loredana Bessone – ESA Caves programme|
|DAY 3 – Geomining park|
|TBD am||Leave Iglesias|
|TBD pm||Return to Iglesias|
|DAY 4 – Geomining park and University conference rooms|
|TBD am||Leave Iglesias (actual times TBD)|
|12.00||Lunch and return to Iglesias|
|14.00||Open discussion – “Cave systems for geobiology research”- Ideas bringing together cave geobiology and new/in situ instrumentation- How cave geobiology can be applied to space (e.g. long-term experiments, geobiology for human space exploration, geobiology for planetary exploration).- Scope for geobiology activities in ESA CAVES|
5) Pre-workshop sampling trips
On the Saturday and Sunday before the workshop, dedicated sampling trips for up to 6 people can be arranged to the Coronae sa Craba cave (quartzite cave) and Sa Marchesa mine (Pb-Zn-Fe mine). This is an excellent opportunity for anyone who wants to acquire geomicrobiology samples from exceptional cave environments that otherwise have limited accessibility. If anyone is interested in sampling at these sites before the start of the workshop please contact Professor Jo De Waele (email@example.com) to arrange this. Please note these sampling trips will be at individuals own expense (vehicle fuel, food, and equipment hire costs).