ATLAS - let's document and protect astrobiology localities around the world!


ATLAS - let's document and protect astrobiology localities around the world!

We will use this group to document and conserve areas of the Earth that are critical for astrobiology research. Most of us know that there are field sites of significance for astrobiology research all around us, but there is no repository listing these locations or documenting their significance. We will use this group to coordinate our efforts as we describe where these sites can be found, what kind of research can be conducted at these sites, and why they must be protected for future generations. The initial documentation efforts will be a prelude to more advanced forms of conservation such as land easements, the securing of development rights or solicitation for formal protected status within existing conservation frameworks (e.g., state or national park status).

If you enjoy conservation, and you love astrobiology, please join us!  

Location: Terra
Members: 27
Latest Activity: Oct 17, 2020

Discussion Forum

This group does not have any discussions yet.

Comment Wall


You need to be a member of ATLAS - let's document and protect astrobiology localities around the world! to add comments!

Comment by vooderbar on June 17, 2015 at 7:12am
Hello ATLASers! Please use our new astrobio locality submission form in our group page to document YOUR favorite site that you want others to visit and protect! I uploaded my favorite two sites last night, it takes about 10-15 mins. We now carry the weight of the world upon our shoulders, so don't shrug our responsibility!

Props to Sanjoy for uploading the form, thanks Sanjoy!
Comment by vooderbar on June 3, 2015 at 5:59am

Hi everyone!

I'm back from travel, thought it's a good chance to respond to helpful suggestions:

Hari, that's a great suggestion, and we have hopes that it will eventually grow to a large enough data repository to bring to the attention of more established conservation/preservation organizations. At present, there is no single group or listing of these kinds of sites, and I thought that trying to go to these orgs straight out of the gate would have only limited effect, as we'd be a bug in a very big elephant fight. Our strategy is to collect these sites and give some 'personality' to the listing by operating as our own entity to start off, in order to bring attention to why these sites are delicate and worthy of preservation. Thank you for volunteering to cover NZ sites! We'll need people in each region to help identify those sites that are interesting and unique and perhaps only known to local inhabitants. Please feel free to contact Natalie if you've met her and have some personal contact with her, thanks!

Jacob, yes we will plan to use whatever legal instruments are available to us. We may have to be creative with such instruments at first, operating on a shoestring budget, but I think there are a lot of options available to us if we try. The mineral rights option came to me as I realized that there might be some overlap at a particular site in Montana in the US between historical/astrobiological sites and mineral availability. For the time being, we'll probably handle each on a case-by-case basis. I'll be back in Montana in about a month, and I'll look into whether that particular site has available mineral rights (I had to hold off because, to conform to the law, I have to be present to physically mark the boundaries of the land with a pile of stones, which I cannot do remotely, no matter how hard I try! :). 

Thanks all! Keep the suggestions coming! Sanjoy and I are working on getting the site/locality entry form up on the site in time for AbSciCon, stay tuned!

Comment by I Haritina Mogosanu on May 28, 2015 at 8:25pm

and I suggest we should ask for support from the United Nations or at least endorsement. Anyone knows anyone there? 

Comment by I Haritina Mogosanu on May 28, 2015 at 8:18pm

hi Guys

happy to do New Zealand. May I suggest we use this software to tell the story, I know these guys we will use them for mapping SBNZ 2015. I look forward to the shared document.

And I have meet Natalie at Ames, and she was so close to come to NZ for SBNZ. Do you want me to write to her if you haven't done it yet?


Comment by Jacob Haqq-Misra on May 20, 2015 at 4:22pm

Very excited about this group and initiative!

I know we've talked previously about filing claims to mineral rights of particular sites as a way of protecting them. An additional asset we might think about obtaining are conservation easements to land. An owner of land can grant the easement rights to their land to a non-profit conservancy organization (such as ATLAS--typically the Nature Conservancy is the most prominent such organization). Conservation easements plus mineral rights could make a nice combined portfolio for the managed assets of ATLAS--which we can then convert into environmental protection for field research as well as EPO opportunities for everyday explorers.

Comment by Sanjoy Som on April 28, 2015 at 9:23am

Sounds good! I'll have some solution ready by the end of the week. Cheers!

Comment by vooderbar on April 27, 2015 at 9:28am

Hi Sanjoy,

That would be very helpful- I was going to just put a link to a Google Doc here but I realize now that this would be an open invitation for spambots or other uses that would cut down on quality control and curation. 

Anything I can do to help? Please let me know!

Comment by Sanjoy Som on April 24, 2015 at 5:45pm

Hey Zach, should I put together a google form to start collecting some of that info?

Comment by Andrew Planet on April 22, 2015 at 2:51am

You are welcome.

Comment by vooderbar on April 21, 2015 at 6:11pm

Thanks for all of your helpful suggestions Andrew, will do!


© 2022   Blue Marble Space, a non-profit organization committed to science and science outreach.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service