Friday night, we held out last FameLab Astrobiology regional preliminary, with the “regional finals” held at the National Geographic Society’s Grosvenor Auditorium. It was wonderful! We had well over 200 attendees, and they interacted with the performers as they presented science in 3 minutes or less without any slides. National Geographic also provided two judges (Bill Markol and Nikki Lowry) that gave valuable feedback to our contestants throughout the day.
I also found out more about the National Geographic Explorers program, which gives grants to those doing field work, science education, or conservation… as well as they have specific grants for “young investigators” under 25 and a separate set of opportunities for citizen scientists. In other words, lots of good stuff. Check out how to become an explorer. The astrobiology community already has a National Geographic Explorer, by the way, in the form of good friend Kevin Hand. You can check out his lecture on “Exploring Alien Oceans,” presented in the same auditorium our finals were held in.
I have really enjoyed interacting with the folks from National Geographic throughout the FameLab preliminaries, and I know Kevin has also really enjoyed his interactions with them. So I encourage you all to check out their Explorers page and get involved as a citizen scientist, young explorer, researcher, conservationist, or communicator. They need you to, and so do the rest of us.