Controlled Environment Agriculture Center

Research, Instruction & Extension for Producing Crops
With Sustainability, Efficiency & Eco-Friendliness

Covering Environments--The CEAC Monthly Seminars

October 30, 2015 @ 4:15pm (Arizona Time, currently Pacific Time)

Roger Kern, PhD; President & Founder of Agate Biosciences: Science & Systems Engineering

Jacklyn Green, PhD; Chief Executive Officer & Founder of Agate Biosciences

October 2015 has been unofficially declared Mars Month. In the Martian (October 2015 movie), astronaut Watney finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3659388/). He needs resources to survive. Will NASA come to the rescue?

According to a recent news release (http://mars.nasa.gov/mars2020/mission/science/objectives/) Mars Rover 2020 mission is planned to deliver an extensive array of instruments designed to explore the habitability and biosignatures of Mars with an eye to future human colonization. As part of these objectives, a miniature greenhouse (Mars Plant Experiment, MPX) is in the planning stages to ultimately test whether plants may grow there in a controlled environment to supply food for Mars colonizers. Further, the possibility of the existence of past and future life on Mars has recently been reinforced after the discovery of hydrated salts which support the hypothesis of "contemporary water activity on Mars"* (Sep 2015 research coauthored by McEwen & Chojnacki of the University of Arizona; (http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ngeo2546.html)

Meanwhile, back on Earth and scheduled to visit CEAC at the University of Arizona on October 30, 2015, two scientists Jacklyn Green and Roger Kern are slated to update us on their continued efforts to develop technology and seek innovations to address pressing issues concerning urban, indoor agriculture. Having their roots as NASA scientists and engineers, Kern and Green turned their attention, recently, to earth-bound issues of food production through the creation of Agate Biosciences LLC (http://www.agatebiosciences.com/) to provide advanced technologies for plant nutrition, biosecurity, and the undertaking of scientifically based research in greenhouse design and controls systems,  and in plant health under controlled environment agriculture.

Coming full circle (and orbit), Green and Kern are also working to apply their greenhouse technology expertise to the Greening of the Red Planet initiative through the development of the Mars Greenhouse Experiment Module (Mars GEM; http://www.marsgreenhouse.org/). So, whether you are interested in the latest controlled environment agriculture or whether your interests are at the planetary level, the Covering Environments Seminar of the CEAC on October 30th will surely spark your imagination.    


 Roger Kern, PhD              Jacklyn Green, PhD

 

 


          

Mars today viewed by Mars Rover Mission                    Mars' Greenhouse 2050?