The Minority Institution Astrobiology Collaborative (MIAC) is a virtual collaboration of faculty and students from minority institutions and organizations focused on achieving common educational and research goals in astrobiology.
Last Update: September 12, 2014


The purpose of MIAC is to bring together individuals who share an interest in making significant contributions to the field of Astrobiology in both research and education. The importance of astrobiology as an interdisciplinary science is in its focus on some of the most important questions in the history of science. The multidisciplinary nature of this important field of science is the ideal climate for developing a collaborative group that would encourage national and international partnerships with minority institutions.

General Goals

  • Building a successful model for collaborations among scientists and educators at minority institutions (MIs) that will result in funded astrobiology research, peer-reviewed publications, and shared resources that benefit minority students. 
  • Developing astrobiology course work and educational outreach that will attract significant numbers of minority students into the field of astrobiology.
  • Creating research opportunities in astrobiology for minority students at minority institutions that result in student presentations and publications in astrobiology.
  • Developing an infrastructure that will lead to inclusion of members on NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) Teams.
Current Activities


MIAC Publications and Presentations


One of the activities of MIAC is to help identify and connect candidates for the NASA MIRS Program. Below is a list of all previous NASA MIRS Fellows. NASA is looking for new candidates for the Summer 2015 session.

Year Name Home Institution Host Host Institution
2014 Peter Azah Abanda Mid-South Community College Lee Bebout ARC
  Marcus Alfred Howard University Paul Butler CIW
Jean-Marie (John) Dimandja Spelman College George Cooper  ARC
James Wachira Morgan State University George Fox U Houston
2013 Alan Anderson  Bowie State U  Ram Krishnamurthy Scripps
Tiffany Oliver Spelman College George Fox U Houston
Joseph Onyilagha U Arkansas, Pine Bluff Steve Freeland  U MD, Baltimore
Anne Osano Bowie State Alfonso Davila SETI Institute
Pablo Suarez Delaware State Wayne Roberge RPI
2012 Prabhakar Misra Howard U Paul Mahaffy GSFC
Hany Sobhi Coppin State U Natasha Johnson GSFC
2011 Mamta Rawat Cal State, Fresno Kasthuri J. Venkateswaran  JPL
Yousef Hijji Morgan State Paul Mahaffy GSFC
Genet Duke NE Illinois U John Valley U Wisc
2010 Tina Salmassi Cal State, LA Kasthuri J. Venkateswaran  JPL
Don Benn U Montana/Navajo Tech College Martin Lawrence Montana State
2009 Aaron Cavosie U Puerto Rico, Mayaguez John W. Valley U Wisc
Rakesh Mogul Cal State Pomona Kasthuri J. Venkateswaran  JPL
2008 Prabhakar Misra Howard U Paul Mahaffy GSFC
Erik Melchiorre Cal State San Bernardino Karen Meech U Hawaii
Lee Anne Martinez (1/2) Colorado State, Pueblo Jim Lake UCLA
2007 Donald Walter S. Carolina State Mike Mumma GSFC
Abel Mendez U Puerto Rico Arecibo Chris McKay ARC
Lee Anne Martinez (1/2) Colorado State, Pueblo Jim Lake UCLA
2006 Michael Ceballos Salish Kootenai College Ken Stedman Portland State U
2003 Lewis Myles TSU Jack Farmer ASU
2002 Todd Gary Tennessee State U Jim Lake UCLA
Lekan Latinwo Florida A&M Michael Thomashow Michigan State U
Muhammad Mahmood Howard U Andrew Steele CIW

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