Science & Technology

SETI Institute gives Drake Award to Univ. of Washington astrobiologist Vikki Meadows

College of Washington astrobiologist Victoria Meadows has turn into the primary girl to obtain the SETI Institute’s Frank Drake Award, named after a pioneer within the seek for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Meadows directs UW’s graduate program in astrobiology and is the principal investigator for the Virtual Planetary Laboratory, which is predicated at UW and administered by the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

Below Meadows’ steering, researchers affiliated with the VPL use laptop modeling to assess the potential habitability of planets past our photo voltaic system. About two dozen establishments, together with UW and different universities in addition to NASA facilities, take part within the VPL program.

Drake Award recipients are chosen by the SETI Institute’s science advisory board.

“Vikki Meadows is a very excellent awardee for the Frank Drake Award,” board chairman John Rummel said today in a news release. “She is a frontrunner within the scientific estimation of environments on extrasolar planets, and within the seek for indicators of habitability and life. As a professor and mentor, she has infused others together with her enthusiasm and analysis experience — main from the entrance.”

Meadows shared the glory together with her colleagues.

“Astrobiology addresses questions so huge, they’ll’t be answered by a single researcher of even a single discipline,” she stated in an announcement.

“As an alternative, it takes a group with a staggering breadth of experience and strategies, and the willingness to work with and be taught from one another,” she stated. “It has been my very nice honor to lead this spectacular crew of interdisciplinary researchers, and a privilege to interact in such thrilling and impactful analysis.”

Meadows got here to UW in 2007, after serving as a analysis scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and an affiliate analysis scientist at Caltech’s Spitzer Science Heart. She’s been on the science groups for the Spitzer Area Telescope, the Hubble Area Telescope’s Broad Discipline and Planetary Digital camera 2, and the Deep Area EPOXI mission to Comet Hartley 2.

She’s at the moment on the science and expertise definition crew for the Large UV Optical Infrared Surveyor idea, or LUVOIR, and chairs NASA’s Exoplanet Exploration Program Analysis Group.

Meadows is the fourth recipient of the Drake Award. The primary award was given in 2001 to its namesake, Frank Drake, who performed the primary radio-based SETI search in 1960 and is the originator of the Drake Equation. Different recipients embrace Charles Townes (2002), the Nobel-winning inventor of the maser and the laser; and William Borucki (2015), the principal investigator for NASA’s planet-hunting Kepler mission.

Meadows will obtain the award and talk about her work at a public occasion on June 14 at SRI Worldwide in Menlo Park, Calif.

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