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Dr Carol Oliver: Australia's Role in Looking For Life on Mars
Tue. 5 December 2017, 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm AEDT
About the talk
Dr Oliver will explain how Australia is involved in the search for life on Mars. In 2020 NASA launches its next car-sized rover mission to the red planet—and the first woman to lead an experiment on such a mission is a young Australian, Dr Abby Allwood. She showed that Australia is hosting the most convincing earliest evidence of life on Earth 3.42 billion years ago—an analogue of the kind of past or present life we may one day find on Mars. Dr Adrian Brown is another Australian at NASA, on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter Mission. Dr Oliver will also include a demonstration of driving rovers on the largest Mars Yard in a public space in the southern hemisphere and possibly the world. Students from around Australia and internationally can drive the research-grade experimental Mars rovers on the 140 square metre replicated Martian surface from their classrooms.
About the speaker
Dr Carol Oliver is Deputy Director of UNSW’s Australian Centre for Astrobiology. Her main research interests are in astrobiology-related teaching and learning and in science communication. She is involved in the now international Mars Lab education and research facility at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum, and in the Smart Science Initiative, where four e-learning science modules, including one in astrobiology, were tested with 1,600 students across Australia. Dr Oliver is an Associate Director of iCinema, a UNSW virtual reality facility, which is creating adaptive e-learning immersive virtual reality experiences in astrobiology. She also collaborates with the NASA astrobiology teams at MIT and Arizona State University on the creation of Virtual Field Trips to Australian sites of astrobiological interest.