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Moon Zoo Science Conference Abstract Now Available

Full Moon - Credit, Stuart Robbins

Hello Zooites! This is a quick post to let you know that I’m headed to the Planetary Crater Consortium conference in Flagstaff, AZ, in about three weeks and I’ll be presenting a paper there about Moon Zoo and what we’ve learned so far. The abstract is two pages and it’s not too technical. If you’re interested in reading it, you can download the ~140 KB PDF here!



Baruch Blumberg Memorial Citizen Science Postdoctoral Fellowship

Baruch Samuel Blumberg (1925-2011)

Baruch Samuel Blumberg (1925 - 2011) credit:NASA/Tom Trower

The following is a guest blog post from Greg K. Schmidt, Deputy Director and Director of International Partnerships for the NASA Lunar Science Institute.

To Followers and Fans of MoonZoo:

It was my great honor and privilege today, at the opening session of the annual Lunar Science Forum, to announce the creation of the Baruch Blumberg Memorial Citizen Science Postdoctoral Fellowship.  Baruch, whom his many friends knew as Barry, was the recipient of the 1976 Nobel Prize in medicine for his discovery of the hepatitis-B virus and subsequent development of its vaccine. As Jonathan Chernoff, scientific director of the Fox Chase Cancer Center where Barry spent most of his career, said, “I think it’s fair to say that Barry prevented more cancer deaths than any person who ever lived.”

Barry was the founding director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute, where he created a vision that’s still being followed today.  In his early 80s, Barry returned to NASA Ames as the distinguished scientist for both the NASA Lunar Science Institute and NASA Astrobiology Institute, where he focused a large part of his efforts on citizen science.  He was very interested in Moon Zoo as a tool for getting lunar science into the hands of the public.

Barry also was president of the American Philosophical Society, which was founded by Benjamin Franklin.  Another past president was Thomas Jefferson. One can only imagine the conversations Barry and these two founding fathers might have had on citizens (Franklin, Jefferson, Lewis and Clark all come to mind) and their contributions to scientific knowledge.

Barry passed away at Ames this past April, after giving an eloquent talk on a future human presence on the Moon. He often talked of multi-generational quests, and he saw expanding the human sphere to include our nearest neighbor as a quest worth striving for.

Stuart Robbins

Stuart Robbins

It was my great pleasure to also announce this morning that Dr. Stuart Robbins, your Science lead for Moon Zoo, is the first recipient of the Blumberg fellowship.  I can’t think of anyone more fitting for this honor. His work under this fellowship will be all about taking the data assembled by your community, analyzing it, and creating meaningful scientific papers that will show the enormous value of what you do.

Thank you for your continuing work on MoonZoo.  We at the NASA Lunar Science Institute support it strongly, just as Barry did.  As someone who was close to Barry, I know he would be very pleased with this, and cheering Stuart on in this pursuit.


Greg Schmidt
Deputy Director and Director of International Partnerships
NASA Lunar Science Institute

Another Photo of Moon Zoo Team People

Pamela Gay, Stuart Robbins, at LPSC 2011

Pamela Gay, Stuart Robbins, at LPSC 2011

The Lunar and Planetary Science Conference in early March had a lot of Moon Zoo-related meetings. But, we had time to pose for some more photos. This one shows one of our Moon Zoo programmers and education people, Pamela Gay (left) and the new Moon Zoo science lead, Stuart Robbins (right) standing in front of a poster of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter’s Wide-Angle Camera’s global mosaic that was released to the public at the end of the conference.

Moon Zoo Science Meeting at LPSC Packed the House!

Moon Zoo Team Meeting at LPSC, 2011 - Pamela Gay's Camera

Moon Zoo Team Meeting at LPSC, 2011 - Pamela Gay's Camera

Two weeks ago, March 7-11, was the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in Texas. An open invite was out for anyone interested in Moon Zoo to attend to give input and get more information about the project. We expected about a dozen but twice that many showed as we crammed ourselves around a table during lunch on Thursday. The photo was taken by one of the waitresses.

The meeting was scheduled for about 75 minutes but some of us were still talking about the project over three hours later. These are people interested in Moon Zoo’s results for science, public outreach, use in the classrooms, and studying how people learn and interact.

We’ll be uploading a new round of images soon for Moon Zoo with some interesting regions of the moon, including the poorly understood but GIGANTIC 2500-km South Pole-Aitken basin. Stay tuned!