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The Webfooted Astronomer - April 2001

 

University of Washington Selected to Join NASA Astrobiology Institute

NASA has selected four new teams to become part of the agency's Astrobiology Institute (NAI), a national and international research consortium that studies the origin, evolution, distribution and future of life on Earth and in the universe.

After a highly competitive peer-review process, teams from Michigan State University (MSU), East Lansing; the University of Rhode Island (URI), Kingston; the University of Washington (UW), Seattle; and NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Pasadena, CA, today were notified of their selection.

These new teams of researchers will bring specialized expertise to the Institute, allowing its members to more deeply investigate the diversity of life inhabiting extreme environments on Earth and to develop analytical models to search for habitable planets outside our Solar System.

The new team based at UW will address a broad series of important areas in astrobiology, ranging from biogeochemistry of the earliest life on Earth to the formation, evolution and potential for life on planets outside our Solar System. This team is led by Dr. Peter Ward.

The NAI represents a partnership between NASA and 14 major national and three international research institutions to promote, conduct and lead integrated, multidisciplinary astrobiology.

More information on NAI is available on the Internet at
http://nai.arc.nasa.gov/.
For more information on astrobiology, see
http://www.astrobiology.com.

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