The New Zealand Astrobiology Initiative (NZAI) of the Royal Astronomical Society, New Zealand (RASNZ), is dedicated to encouraging, assisting, and promoting astrobiology research, education and outreach in New Zealand. The lead of the group, Haritina Mogosanu is an astrobiologist (life sciences) who is also trained in public relations, international security and outreach. She loves to travel and share her passion for astronomy, astrobiology and space. She believes that scientific education is a gatekeeper of peace. It makes humankind a better place for all of us. She is a founding and board member of KiwiSpace Foundation and Mars Society New Zealand, and executive member of the World Space Week Association.
Hari has been a great friend and supporter of Astrobiology India since its inception. As we continue to collaborate, we as Astrobiology India team congratulate NZAI as they complete a year and wish them boundless success for many more years to come. Read her article on the achievements of and visions for NZAI on this occasion:
Happy One-Year Anniversary to NZAI!!
In June 2014, the Royal Astronomical Society, New Zealand (RASNZ) voted to incorporate the New Zealand Astrobiology Initiative (NZAI), thus becoming the first organization within New Zealand to formally recognize astrobiology as a discipline. We are very grateful to RASNZ for acknowledging the importance of astrobiology in the scientific and educational landscape of New Zealand. This month, we are one year old!
We have gone far in one year. We started a wonderful community, organized an international event, the NASA Spaceward Bound New Zealand, in January 2015, an engaging, 6-day expedition for Kiwi educators and researchers, to the Taupo Volcanic Zone in the central North Island, participated in the Astrobiology Science Conference (AbSciCon) 2015, held in Chicago, and, more than anything, we are networking within New Zealand and internationally with fellow astrobiologists. The future plans of NZAI are to connect and nurture a rich astrobiology network within New Zealand and create a hub for international researchers looking to pursue Astrobiology science in the country. Educational products will include material and activity resources for secondary school teachers who are interested in including astrobiology as part of their curriculum streams and promote interest at tertiary levels, as well.
Astrobiology thrives in New Zealand! Long live astrobiology research!
Haritina Mogosanu (@MilkyWayKiwi)
Lead of NZAI