Lunar and Planetary Institute

Astrobiology Science Conference   April 26-29, 2010  League City TX




Sponsored By
National Aeronautics and Space
   Administration Astrobiology Program

Hosted By
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Universities Space Research Association

Pamela Conrad,
   Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Janet Siefert,
   Rice University

Science Organizing

Carlton Allen,
    NASA Johnson Space Center (ex officio)
Mark Allen,
   Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Steve Benner,
    Foundation for Applied Molecular Evolution
Linda Billings,
    George Washington University
Pamela Conrad,
    Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Danny Glavin,
    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Tori Hoehler,
    NASA Ames Research Center
Gerhard Kminek,
    European Space Agency
Victoria Orphan,
    California Institute of Technology
Alex Pavlov,
    NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Frank Rosenzweig,
    University of Montana
Daniella Scalice,
    NASA Astrobiology Institute
Barbara Sherwood-Lollar,
    University of Toronto
Janet Siefert,
    Rice University
Mary Voytek,
    NASA Headquarters (ex officio)






The Astrobiology Science Conference 2010 (AbSciCon 2010) will be held April 26–29, 2010, at the South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center in League City, Texas.


When:  April 26-29, 2010
Where:  League City , Texas


The Astrobiology Science Conference 2010 (AbSciCon 2010) is the next in a biennial series of meetings organized by the astrobiology community. The conference will convene scientists from all over the world who are working in the multidisciplinary field of astrobiology – the study of the origin, evolution, distribution, and future of life in the universe – to report on research findings and plan future endeavors.

The theme for AbSciCon 2010 is “Evolution and Life: Surviving Catastrophes and Extremes on Earth and Beyond.”  The conference will address, among other things, how environmental, chemical, biological, physical, and even social stresses, ranging in scale from the infinitesimal to the catastrophic, affect the pace and course of evolutionary change.

Astrobiology examines stress, stasis, and change from the cosmic to the molecular level. What is necessary for life, and where does it come from? How do habitable environments develop and change? How does life begin and evolve? How does life accommodate environmental change, and vice versa? Can change be engineered, and should it? These are some of the questions that may be addressed at this conference.The purpose of this conference is to provide a forum for reporting on new discoveries, sharing data and insights, advancing collaborative efforts and initiating new ones, planning new projects, and educating the next generation of astrobiologists. The conference will feature plenary sessions on current and controversial topics, topical sessions, evening programs, and public events.

    The organizing committee is soliciting community input for session topics. Use the bulletin board to post your suggestion. Please check the current postings before suggesting a similar topic. The approved list of session topics will appear in the second announcement along with the call for abstracts.

Session Topic Deadline:
September 30, 2009
    The deadline for abstract submission will be December 1, 2009. Details regarding abstract submission will be provided in the second announcement, which will be posted October 14, 2009, on this website. The final announcement and conference program will be posted by February 23, 2010.


Abstract Deadline:
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
   5:00 p.m. CST


A welcome reception will be held Sunday, April 25, at South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center.  Participants will be able to pick up conference materials and meet and greet colleagues.

A free public lecture will be held on the evening of Tuesday, April 27, in the lecture hall of the Lunar and Planetary Institute. Details about the speaker and topic will be available in a future announcement.

A private evening social event will be held Wednesday, April 28, in the Astronaut Gallery at Space Center Houston, the official visitor’s center of NASA Johnson Space Center. The event will include a buffet dinner, beer, wine, and exclusive access to Space Center Houston’s attractions and exhibits. Admission to this event is not included in the registration fee. Tickets are $30.00 per guest and will be available when you register for the meeting.


A registration fee of $200.00 will be assessed for all professional participants. Students will be assessed a fee of $100.00.  Registration information will be available in the second announcement.




NASA’s Astrobiology Program is funding a limited number of travel grants to qualified students to attend the conference. Reimbursable costs include transportation (airfare, mileage to/from airport, parking, rental car), lodging/per diem, and the meeting registration fee. In most cases, actual expenses will exceed the funding provided. Students receiving travel grants may be asked to assist conference organizers with small tasks such as collecting PowerPoint presentations from speakers or assisting with registration services. 

– Students must be U.S. citizens or resident aliens
– Students must be enrolled at a university (undergraduate or graduate) at the time of the conference or the semester immediately following the conference (if during break).

The application for student travel grants will be available in the second announcement.

    Please submit an electronic Indication of Intent form by October 14, 2009, to indicate your interest in attending the workshop. The indication of intent form will subscribe you to a mailing list to receive electronic reminders and special announcements relating to the meeting via e-mail.


A block of 200 rooms has been reserved at the host hotel, South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center, located at 2500 South Shore Boulevard, League City, Texas, 77573, on the shores of Clear Lake.

The special rate for AbSciCon 2010 participants is $114.00 per night, single or double occupancy, plus 12% tax. Guests are required to show proper government identification at check-in to be eligible for an occupancy tax exemption.  

There is no charge for children 18 years and younger when they share a room with parent(s) and utilize existing beds. There will be an additional charge of $10.00 for a third or fourth adult (18 years or older) in a room. A maximum of four adults is allowed per room.

Check-in time is 4:00 p.m.; check-out time is noon. Guests arriving prior to check-in will be accommodated as rooms become available. The hotel will accommodate late check-outs subject to space availability.

All reserved guest rooms are guaranteed for late arrival to each individual. “No-shows” will be billed for one night. Individual cancellation of guest rooms must be made at least 48 hours prior to guest arrival.

Due to the large number of expected attendees, participants who wish to stay at the host hotel are encouraged to make reservations early. To ensure a room at the special rate, reservations MUST be made by April 4, 2010.

Room Reservations —
To reserve a room, call the hotel directly at 800-442-5005 or 281-334-1000. 

Registered guests will have access to the following amenities:  complimentary covered parking, marina with rentals for water sports, a 185-foot tropical pool with heated jacuzzi, 70,000-square-foot fitness center, and golfing privileges at South Shore Harbour Country Club (green fees extra).

Please note that the hotel is a nonsmoking property, which includes all public areas and guest rooms. Evidence of smoking in the guest rooms will be subject to a $250.00 cleaning fee. Since January 23, 2007, all restaurants within the hotel have become smoke-free in compliance with League City Smoking in Public Places Ordinance.


Shuttle service to all conference sessions and events will be available to and from the host hotel as well as a limited number of other local hotels. Please see the area hotel list to determine which hotels will be serviced by the conference shuttle. Shuttle service to and from conference events will be provided to hotels listed in RED. The local area map shows the locations of the LPI, Space Center Houston, South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center, and other local hotels.


The Houston metropolitan area is primarily served by two airports:  George Bush Intercontinental (IAH), approximately 47 miles from South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center, and William P. Hobby (HOU), approximately 20 miles from South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center. Visit the Houston Airport System webpage for more information on both airports.

Galveston Limousine Service
 provides continuous shuttle service from both George Bush Intercontinental Airport ($70.00 round trip per person) and Hobby Airport ($60.00 round trip per person). Reservations for Galveston Limousine may be made online or by calling 1-800-640-4826.

Clear Lake Shuttle (281-334-3873), located in the lobby of South Shore Harbour Resort and Conference Center, is available to provide transportation to or from George Bush Intercontinental Airport and Hobby Airport. Contact them directly for current rate information.


For further information regarding the format and scientific objectives of the meeting, contact

Linda Billings
Principal Investigator,
NASA Astrobiology Program
Phone: 703-635-9799

For further information regarding conference logistics, announcements, and accommodations, contact

Elizabeth Wagganer
Lunar and Planetary Institute
Phone: 281-486-2164

October 1, 2009

Deadline to submit session topic suggestions

October 14, 2009
Second announcement, including call for abstracts
and registration form, available on this website
December 1, 2009
Deadline for abstract submission
February 23, 2010
Final announcement with program and
abstracts available on this website
April 26–29, 2010
Astrobiology Science Conference 2010
in League City, Texas


Back to AbSciCon 2010 Main Page    |    Back to Upcoming Meetings Page