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Spaceward Bound Resources


Teaching/Learning Software
Analog Information
Interesting Readings (Atacama)
Results and Reports of Atacama Research
Interesting Readings (MDRS)
Helpful links (Mojave)
Interesting Readings (Pavilion Lake)
Australia 2009
Australia 2011

Teaching/Learning Software:

  • What does it take for a world to be habitable to humans?
    allows students in grades 5-8 to explore this question through interactive investigations in astronomy, geology, atmospheric science, and biology.
  • Download and use the online Quest program "What's the Difference?" to compare and contrast the conditions on Moon with those of Earth. Solar System Explorer is a scaled-down version of "What's the Difference?", which can be used to compare the Moon and Earth. Download and expand into new folder all of the files received:

    PC Version (here)
    Mac Version (here)
    To download the full authoring tool to fill in your own content, go to:

Analog Information

What is a Mars analog?
More about Mars analogs
Great Geotimes article on Mars analog sites!

Interesting Readings (Atacama):

Two Dry For Life: The Atacama Desert and Mars by Chris McKay, Ad Astra
Mars on Earth by David L. Chandler, Wired Magazine
Researchers Rain on Mars' Water Gullies Parade by Ker Than,
Microbial Life - Educational Resources National Science Digital Library
Digging for Life in the Deadest Desert by Michael Coren, CNN
Chris McKay's Three Questions by Joel McKinnon,
In search of the driest place on Earth; Off to dry Jebel Uweinat by Chris McKay, Here Today; Gone to Mars
Caves of Mars from Penny Boston
Temperature and Moisture Conditions for Life in the Extreme Arid Region of the Atacama Desert McKay et al, Astobiology
Antiquity of aridity in the Chilean Atacama Desert by Jonathan D.A. Clarke, Geomorphology
Images from the Atacama Desert and Mars - Jacek Wierzchos
Endolithic Cyanobacteria in Halite Rocks from the Hyperarid Core of the Atacama Desert - Jacek Wierzchos
Multispectral Intrinsic Fluorescence Technology, National Center for the Design of Molecular Function MicroBioSystems,Utah
The camels of the prokaryotic world, by F.A. Rainey, K.E. Ray, N. Ward-Rainey

Results and Reports of Atacama Research:
NASA Explorer School Teachers' Final Reports:

Matt Allner
Cherlyn Anderson
Catherine Campbell
Geoff Hammond
Phyllis Isbell
Koby VanBeest

Spaceward Bound Expedition: Chile final report. (.pdf) It's long, but it has lots of pictures!
Experimental Research using Thermography to Locate Heat Signatures from Caves
(.pdf) by Jim Thompson
Spaceward Bound Report (.doc) By L. Powers and S. Rich

Interesting Readings MDRS

Video report about last year from Bill Clancy
Regolith-Terrain Mapping for MDRS Field Area by Jonathan Clarke

Helpful links (Mojave):
Mojave National Preserve is in the "eastern" Mojave (basically Baker on eastward), thus the surrounding BLM lands are administered out of the Needles Field Office. Barstow BLM Field Office manages lands in the "western" Mojave (Baker on westward).

Global change and biological soil crusts: effects of ultraviolet augmentation under altered precipitation regimes and nitrogen additions (Belnap et al)
Three distinct clades of cultured heterocystous cyanobacteria constitute the dominantN2-¢xingmembers of biological soil crusts of the ColoradoPlateau,USA (Yeager, et al)

Article on the holographic microscope referred to by Henry Sun in Mojave 2010 Training I.
Desert Landforms and Surface Processes in the Mojave National Preserve and Vicinity
Spaceward Bound Mojave Briefing Package (11/06) National Park Service, Mojave National Preserve
BLM Field Office at Barstow
BLM Field Office at Needles
Amboy Crater info at BLM: (includes photo of rover in crater!)
CSU Desert Studies Center, Zzyzx
Desert Discovery Center, Barstow
The DDC is a partnership between NPS, BLM, Barstow schools, Barstow Community College.
Desert Research Institute, one of our partners:
USGS Geology of Mojave: includes field trip:
California State Parks, Providence Mountains SRA, with Mitchell Caverns
Great Mojave info site
A clever kids site about "Mojave Max" a tortoise. Developed by Clark County schools, NV,
     pretty NV-centric, but a good resource
From BLM Environmental Education Resources "A Place in the Sun" about the Mojave Desert -
     has an excellent teacher resource list
DesertUSA - commercial site with very good Mojave info
     USGS website El Nino in the desert - El Nino spawned landslides, debris-flows and flash floods as geologic
     processes that create the desert landscape
USGS website Our Dynamic Desert Landscape
Bacterial Diversity in Three Different Antarctic Cold Desert Mineral Soils
Levels of Bacterial Community Diversity in Four Arid Soils Compared by Cultivation and 16S rRNA Gene Cloning
Thermal Behavior of Earth Caves: A Proxy for Gaining Inference int Martian Cave Detection
Mojave Natonal Preserve Geologic Resources Management Issues Scoping Summary
Stop! Don't step on that soil. It's full of life.
Caves on Mars detected with the same technique that Jim and his team will be using in Mojave from the balloon
Precipitation history and ecosystem response to multidecadal precipitation variability in the Mojave Desert region, 1893–2001
Abundance and distribution of selected elementsin soils, stream sediments, and selected forage plants from desert tortoise habitats in the Mojave and Colorado deserts, USA
The effect of spatial resolutionon measurement of vegetation cover in three Mojave Desert shrub communities
Dominance and environmental correlates of alien annual plants in the MojaveDesert, USA
Spatial and temporal patterns of wildfires in the Mojave Desert, 1980–2004
Attributes of desert tortoise populations at the National Training Center, Central Mojave Desert, California, USA
Seroprevalence of Mycoplasma agassizii and tortoise herpes virus in captive desert tortoises (Gopherusagassizii) from the
     Greater Barstow Area, MojaveDesert, California

LizLand: A geomorphic approach to lizard habitat modeling in the Mojave Desert
Conservation genetics, evolution and distinct population segments of the Mojave fringe-toed lizard, Uma scoparia
Ecologyof a population of subsidizedpredators: Common ravens in the central Mojave Desert, California
What's Up Down There? Microbial Diversity in Caves
Soil Genesis on Beach Ridges of Pluvial Lake Mojave: Implications for Holocene Lacustrine and Eolian Events in the Mojave
     Desert, Southern California

Response of alluvial fan systems to the late Pleistocene to Holocene climatic transition: contrasts between the margins of
     pluvial Lakes Lahontan and Mojave, Nevada and California, USA

Cosmogenic 3He surface-exposure dating of stone pavements: Implications for landscape evolution in deserts
Extracting Holocene paleohydrology and paleoclimatology information from modern extreme flood events: An example from
      southern California

Late Cenozoic landscape evolution on lava flow surfaces of the Cima volcanic field, Mojave Desert, California
Degradation of Quaternary cinder cones in the Cima volcanic field, Mojave Desert, California
Influences of eolian and pedogenic processes on the origin and evolution of desert pavements
Late Pleistocene and Holocene Changes in Hillslope Sediment Supply to Alluvial Fan Systems: Zzyzx, California
Late Quaternary variations in alluvia fan sedimentologic and geomorphic processes, Soda Lake basin, eastern Mojave Desert,

Late Pleistocene lakes along the Mojave River, southeast California
Late Quaternary geology and paleohydrology of pluvial Lake Mojave, southern California
Surface mosaic map unit development for a desert pavement surface
LETTERS TO NATURE: Atmospheric circulation during Holocene lake stands in the Mojave Desert: evidence of regional
     climate change

Influence of Late Quaternary Climatic Changes on Geomorphic and Pedogenic Processes on a Desert Piedmont, Eastern
     Mojave Desert, California

Are the Benches at Mormon Point, Death Valley, California, USA, Scarps or Strandlines?
Spring and Lakes in a Desert Landscape: Archaeological and Paleoenvironmental Investigations in the Silurian Valley and
     Adjacent Areas of Southeastern, California

Quaternary Stratigraphy and Geomorphology of Death Valley
Paleoecology reconstruction from trapped gases in a fulgurite from the late Pleistocene of the Libyan Desert
Abstract approved for presentation at the National Speleological Society's annual convention in August 2008

Interesting readings: Pavilion Lake, Canada

Pavilion Lake Research Project
Pavilion Lake, B.C., Canada – Investigating Microbialite Morphogenesis
Pavilion Lake: Glimpses of an Ancient Sea Floor
Welcome to Pavilion Lake flier
PLRP Deepworker Deployment 2008 -- Science Plan (doc) or (pdf)
Logistical Information Sheet July 08 (doc) or (pdf)
Spaceward Bound Pavilion Lake 2008 (doc) or (pdf)
A History of the Pavilion Lake Research Project (doc) or (pdf)
Mac prof and student seek clues to Martian life on bottom of B.C. lake ( article
Canadian summary of the press coverage

Interesting readings: Arctic

McGill Arctic Research Station (M.A.R.S.) Website

Search for past life on Mars: Physical and chemical characterization of minerals of biotic and abiotic origin: part 1 - Calcite -
     Stalport et al

Interesting readings: Australia 2009

Anitori- active Radon hotsprings-determining bacterial composition
Bons- Potential evidence of fossilized Neoproterozoic deep life-Arkaroola
Brown-remote methods for detection of hydrothernmal activity in Mars analog regions
Brugger- hot springs
Clarke- Arkaroola as a Mars Analogue region.
AAS 255- Mars Exploration strategy to Arkaroola
AAS 257- Significance of remnant gravel lags as landscape evolution indicators in Arkaroola
Space Science and Education: Sparking, Signing and Securing the Space Generation
Spaceward Bound: Training and Inspiring the Next Generation of Space Explorers
Thoms & Walter 2002 Arkaroola hyperspectral
Bons & Montenari- The formation of antitaxial calcite veins
Flinders Ranges National Landscape- a general guide to the Flinders Ranges
Forbes-southern margin Eromanga basin
Analogue research in Planetary Science Ed
Field trip tasks at the MDRS
Involving students in research
Young & Gostin-Sturtian Glacials Mt Painter
Waldie, James M.A. - Mechanical Counter Pressure Space Suites
Wofner, J - The lower tertiary Eyre formation of the Southwestern great Artesian basin
See Images of Interest: Spaceward Bound Australia 2009

Interesting readings: Australia 2011
Interesting readings, Pilbara:

Allwood etal 2006 Pilbara Stromatolites
Allwood etal 2007 Pilbara Stromatolites
Allwood etal 2010 Stromatolite Geochemistry
Awramik and Grey Stromatolites Biogenicity Biosignatures
Awramik Schopf Walter Carbonaceous Filaments from North Pole
Baynes etal 2005 Pilbara Landscape & Engineering Geology
Beard 2000 Mt Monger Drainage
Bierwirth etal 2002 Pilbara Hyperspectral
Brown etal 2004 Hyperspectral Mapping of Pilbara Komatiite
Brown Remote Methods for Hydrothermal Activity in Mars Analog Regions
Geddes etal 1981 WA Salt Lakes
Heliotropism in Modern Stromatolites
Lund & Davis 2000 Lake Monger Plankton
Salama etal 1993 Stucture and Salinity
Stromatolites and Earth Sun Moon Dynamics

 FirstGov  NASA

Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: June 2011