In this course, we explore the possibility of life beyond Earth, through examination of extreme microenvironments on our home planet, comparing the characteristics of such environments with those of other moons and planets in our Solar System. Investigation of extreme microenvironments and the extremophiles that thrive under these inhospitable conditions have shown scientists how adaptable and flexible life truly is. We also consider how life may have begun, in the continuum between non-life and living systems. Will we be able to recognize life beyond Earth if and when we discover it? Join the exploration of these fundamental questions.