NASA Scientists To Discuss Indoor Agriculture Innovations That Could Be Used On Mars

UA-CALS-CEAClogowithgraphicThe University of Arizona’s Controlled Environmental Agriculture Center (CEAC) will host Dr. Jacklyn Green, CEO and founder of Agate Biosciences, and Dr. Roger Kern, president and founder of Agate Biosciences: Science & Systems Engineering, on October 30, as part of its seminar series. Both Green and Kern are former NASA scientists and engineers, and they will discuss their continuing efforts to develop technology and seek innovations to address issues concerning urban indoor agriculture, with a potential for application on Mars. Through the creation of Agate Biosciences LLC, Kern and Green have turned their attention to earth-bound issues of food production, 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.

recent NASA news release reports that the 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. 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,” according to September 2015 research coauthored by University of Arizona researchers, Alfred S. McEwen and Matt Chojnacki.

For those who are unable to attend in person, the Mars seminar will be available via the web. Go to the Controlled Environment Agriculture Seminar Series website to register for this session and the entire series. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is the production of plants and their products, such as vegetables and flowers, inside structures such as greenhouses. By using CEA, growers can produce high value crops at maximum productivity in an efficient and environmentally friendly way. The University of Arizona’s Controlled Environment Agriculture Center (CEAC) supports education, research and outreach as part of the Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering and the School of Plant Sciences — both programs of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. CEAC also offers an innovation platform for plant physiology, sensor technology and applied computer technology.

Visit the University of Arizona’s CEAC website to learn more about the center, its educational platforms and continued research.

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