EEPS 2400: Life Beyond Earth

Instructors:                  Alex Evans

Office Location: Lincoln Field 301

Contact:, x3-1287


Jack Mustard

Office Location: Lincoln Field 301

Contact:, x3-1287


**Put ‘EEPS 2400’ in subject of any email sent to instructors regarding class**

Course Website:         See Canvas

Time and Location:       Th 9:00am-11:50am in LF 105

Class Syllabus PDF –>


Course Description:  The course will be at a graduate-level (but is open to undergraduates with instructor approval) and ill explore the questions of What is Life? and Where does Life Exist? The course will utilize peer-reviewed literature and textbook excerpts to understand the basic, fundamental components of life on Earth, to understand the conditions and environments that are conducive to the emergence and persistence of life on other worlds, and will examine what environments beyond Earth may have past or extant life.  Course topics that will be examined include: the definition and requirements of life, the emergence, persistence, and consequence of life on Earth, life beyond Earth, astrobiology, and the search for extant extraterrestrial life.


The following courses are recommended prerequisites (and/or permission of the Professor):

–EEPS 0050 or 0240; and
–CHEM 0100 or higher level chemistry course.

Learning Goals

By the end of this course, students will be able to provide a definition for life, explain the characteristics of life, and environments and conditions needed for the emergence and persistence of life, and will have an understanding of the theories surrounding the origins of life on Earth and beyond Earth.

Course Schedule:    See syllabus –> 

Textbook and Pre-Class Reading Assignments

There is no textbook assigned for this course. Pre-class reading assignments noted on the syllabus will be, on average, less than 15 pages each. Readings will be provided by instructor and may consist of excerpts from books, papers, online media, or other materials specifically developed for this course.

Diversity and Inclusion

The instructed is committed to creating and sustaining a learning environment for all students that supports a diversity of thoughts, perspectives, experiences, and identities. Please feel free to communicate to the instructor suggestions on ways to improve the effectiveness of the course for you personally, or for other students or student groups. Your suggestions are encouraged and appreciated.


The instructor is committed to full inclusion of all students. Please inform the instructor early in the term if you have a disability or other conditions that might require accommodations or modification of any of these course procedures. You may speak with the instructor after class or during office hours. For more information, please contact Student and Employee Accessibility Services at 401-863-9588 or Students in need of short-term academic advice or support can contact one of the deans in the Dean of the College office.