Video Tutorials & Recorded Seminars


I frequently do guest lectures, seminars, public talks, participate in panels, career days, etc. We also do demos of chemical gardens for visitors or classes and/or can advise on setting one up for your event. Email me ( for more information. 


NOVA tutorialMake Your Own Hydrothermal Vent


NASA's "Ask an Astrobiologist" episode, Oct 2019


Chemical Gardens as Flow-through Reactors Simulating Natural Hydrothermal Systems: Article and chimney video tutorial in the Journal of Visualized Experiments.


NASA Astrobiology Institute, NPP alumni seminar: "Chemical Gardens, Chimneys, and Fuel Cells: Simulating Prebiotic Chemistry in Hydrothermal Vents on Ocean Worlds", 2016 (view recording)


University of Washington astrobiology seminar series: "Self-Organizing Chemical Systems: From Materials Science to Astrobiology", 2015 (view recording)


Student Advising / Mentoring

Student research: I am a research advisor for typically ~5-7 students per year.  I have mentored students through various JPL/NASA student research programs, community college intern programs, and through the Blue Marble Space Institute of Science Young Scientist Program (in which students complete science communication and ethics modules in addition to their research). Over the years I have had students from various LA-area community colleges and public universities as well as out of state and international institutions. In collaboration with university professors, I supervise thesis research and serve on thesis committees, and sometimes students can receive research course credit for working in my lab. My undergraduate and graduate students publish papers in scientific journals and present at national and international conferences. I encourage and support the students that I work with to pursue careers in academia, industry, government labs, teaching, communication / outreach, or wherever their interests may take them. 


Typically I fill summer internship positions in the fall (October - November); spots are limited and it is fine to contact me more than a year in advance. I also welcome interns in fall and spring who work 20-40 hours/week while going to school. There are many types of intern programs: some paid by the hour, some for course credit, some volunteer if you have a graduate stipend already. Sometimes I have funding for a student to work on one of my funded projects; sometimes students have their own funding from a fellowship or their university and that can enable them to work on a more independent project. 


If interested in student research positions: read about my ongoing work, visit the Origins and Habitability Lab's website, and contact me describing your interest! 




Outreach Projects

Bridge to the Geosciences

Marianne Smith (PI), Laurie Barge (Co-PI), Valerie Sloan (Co-PI)


Bridge to the Geosciences is a three-year project funded by the National Science Foundation awarded in 2015, designed to provide students from Citrus College (a Hispanic-serving two-year public community college in LA county) an opportunity to explore the possibilities the geosciences hold for all STEM majors. Over the course of a year, each Bridge to the Geosciences cohort will participate in four distinct experiences or "geomodules" organized around different subfields of the geosciences including the planetary, atmospheric, ocean and environmental sciences. In Year 1, the geomodules included a day at the Oak Crest Institute of Science, a day at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a weekend at the USC Wrigley Center on Catalina Island, and a 10-day "mini-internship" at the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, CO. The program also includes a focus on mentoring, education and career advice, community-building and networking. 


Presentation by Marianne Smith at the American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in Seattle, January 2017: "Partnering for Diversity: A Year-Round Experiential Learning Project to Engage Community College Students in the Geosciences". Watch recording here


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