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From a small rubber boat on a Greenlandic lake, climate researcher Billy D'Andrea introduces some of the equipment scientists use in limnological sampling. (Limnology is the study of freshwater systems, like lakes.) To understand how Earth’s climate system has changed over time, scientists need to find, develop and use natural recorders of temperature and precipitation. One natural thermometer comes in the form of alkenones: trans-fats produced by certain algae. Chris McKay, Planetary Scientist at the NASA Ames Research Center, has traveled the world seeking Mars-like environments. In the Dry Valleys of Antarctica—his favorite Mars analog on Earth—Dr. McKay discovered a kind of algae living inside rocks porous to light and water. He’ll show us some of these rocks and talk about the physical conditions required for life.