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Spaceward Bound: Pavilion Lake 2008

The Spaceword Bound Pavilion Lake Field Expedition begins in June 2008 @
Pavilion Lake in the Marble Canyon Provincial Park.

photo of underwater microbialite forms by Donnie Reid

Building on the Pavilion Lake Research Project (PLRP), a University of British Columbia effort supported by CSA and NASA, to conduct science and exploration of this Canadian lake; Spaceward Bound will this year investigate the potential of a full expedition in ensuing years. On June 27, 2008, 5 teachers and 10 third through fifth grades students will participate in a mini-expedition.

The mission of Spaceward Bound is to train the next generation of space explorers by having students and teachers participate in the exploration of scientifically interesting but remote and extreme environments on Earth as analogs for human exploration of the Moon and Mars. Spaceward Bound Field Expeditions involve teachers in authentic fieldwork so that they can bring that experience back to their classrooms and assist in the development of curriculum related to human exploration of remote and extreme environments.

On April 18th 2001 the bottom of Pavilion Lake was formally added to Marble Canyon Provincial Park to protect the unique and fragile structures on the bottom of the lake. These structures, called microbialites, were likely produced by microbial communities starting 11,000 years ago. Believed to be similar to some of the earliest life forms on Earth, this lake is a potential window into ancient ecosystems on Earth and possibly early Mars.

Pavilion Lake Profile

Interesting readings: Pavilion Lake, Canada



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Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: April 2007
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe