Spring 2014 – First Week’s Lecture – Prof. Clark Johnson – Friday, January 24th 2014, 3:30 PM, Weeks Hall – Room AB20

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Weeks Lecture
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Prof. Clark Johnson

Vilas Distinguished Professor, Department of Geoscience
University of Wisconsin

Friday, January 24th 2014, 3:30 PM, Weeks Hall – Room AB20
“The Astrobiology Program: Where have we been and where are we going?”

The NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) began in the late 1990’s, and several members of the department were part of the founding teams. In 2007 we began a major grant as a team centered at UW-Madison, with a focus on “biosignatures”. In 2012, we received a second major grant from NAI to continue our work in astrobiology through 2017.

Astrobiology blends research from many disciplines with the common goal of understanding the origin and evolution of life on Earth and elsewhere in the universe. It is perhaps the end member in defining what interdisciplinary research is. In this talk I will discuss the challenges and rewards of pursuing interdisciplinary research as part of the NAI, highlight some of our major accomplishments in the last five years, and provide a view of where we hope to head in the coming years.