University of Washington Astrobiology Program

Fall 2011

Meet the New Director

With the start of the 2011-2012 academic year, Prof. Victoria Meadows was named the new Director of the University of Washington Astrobiology (UWAB) Program.She took the reins from Prof. Woody Sullivan (Astronomy) who served UWAB tirelessly for the past six years.

Prof. Victoria MeadowsVictoria Meadows is an Associate Professor with the Astronomy Department and the Principal Investigator of the Virtual Planetary Laboratory (VPL), which is headquartered at UW and funded through the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI). Her scientific expertise is in planetary and extrasolar planet modeling and observations. Prior to joining the UW Astronomy and Astrobiology faculties in 2007, she worked for thirteen years at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory and California Institute of Technology, as a team member on both the Hubble and Spitzer space telescope missions.

Click HERE to read the Director's Message.


Our Students: The Latest from UWAB's Greatest

UWAB Graduate StudentsGraduate students in astrobiology are an industrious lot; rarely is there a dull moment in their academic lives. A recent survey of students uncovers that our astrobiologists-in-training can be found looking for answers in the lab, in the air, in the arctic, and beyond....

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A Generous (and Caffeinated) Gift

If you feed them, they will come.For years, the Astrobiology Program has offered a fall (and spring) seminar series for graduate students as well as the general campus and interested public.

This year, thanks to a generous gift from astrobiology supporter Robert Frost, we added a popular productive "Astrobiology Coffee Break" that inspired conversation and collaboration week after week.

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Letters Home...

David Smith @ Kennedy Space CenterFrom Puget Sound to McMurdo Sound, UWAB graduate students spend much of their time in the field conducting cutting-edge research, amassing hands-on experience, and gaining new insights into the dynamic field of astrobiology.

In Letters Home..., we share reports directly from the field. Join us as we follow two UWAB students, David Smith (Biology) and Jeff Bowman (Oceanography), in their excursions away from campus.

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Astrobiology Public Lecture: Save the Date!

Thursday, 23 February 2012

7:30pm ~ 210 Kane Hall

Exploring Gale Crater with the Curiosity Rover

Dr. Pamela ConradDr. Pamela Conrad
Planetary Environments Laboratory
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

On the evening of February 23, leading astrobiologist Dr. Pamela Conrad will give a public talk on the Mars Science Laboratory -- NASA's current and most-ambitious mission to the Red Planet. This event will be free and open to the public.

Click HERE for details.

UWAB Director's Message & Research Highlights


UWAB @ A Glance

  • Prof. Victoria Meadows (Astronomy) named Director of the Astrobiology Program


Astrobiology in the News



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