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College of Arts & Sciences

Center for Astrobiology and Early Evolution

Created by a team led by Woodruff Sullivan, professor of Astronomy, the Center for Astrobiology and Early Evolution sets out to explore the related disciplines of astronomy, planetary exploration, and biological sciences in the realm of unveiling the possibilities of extraterrestrial microbial life. Recent advances in these disciplines have created intense interest in this new field of study. Astrobiology is the study of microbial life that is adapted to extreme physical conditions of Earth, with the goal of designing missions to other solar system bodies to search for living or fossil microbes. With a recent five-year grant from the National Science Foundation, primary goals of this university initiative include:

  1. Development of a non-major undergraduate course;
  2. Creation of an active program of undergraduate research opportunities; and
  3. Becoming a key center for NASA for this nascent field as well as a national leader in the study of astrobiology.

Contacts: David Hodge
Dean, College of Arts & Sciences
Woodruff Sullivan
Professor, Department of Astronomy
Related Website:
Allocation: $302,000
Date Funded: December 1999