Above: PISCES’ Kyla Defore leads a Q&A on Mars colonization at HawaiiCon.

PISCES Geology Technician Kyla Edison attended the fifth-annual HawaiiCon Science Fiction Convention in September to talk about the future of human exploration on Mars and her research that could one day make science-fiction dreams a reality.

Kyla’s presentation, “Living off the Land: Paving the Way to Mars,” explored what humans will need to establish a permanent human settlement on the Red Planet. She also discussed Hawaiʻi’s geology and volcanology in the context of Mars research, and how her efforts to develop sustainable building materials using basalt fit into the larger effort of space settlement.

HawaiiCon was held over four days at a Waikoloa resort to raise funding in support of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) education on Hawaiʻi island. The Pacific-Basin STEAM Teaching Conference and the Science Fiction Popular Cultures Academic Conference were both held in conjunction with the event. HawaiiCon also highlighted the unique contributions of traditional Hawaiian culture to science fiction and fantasy genres.