Astronomy & Physics, Biological Sciences, Earth & Environmental Sciences
Applications in Physical Sciences
Computer-Supported Cooperative Work
Professor Victoria Meadows is the Director of the UW’s Astrobiology Program, and the Principal Investigator of the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s Virtual Planetary Laboratory team (VPL). Her team uses computer modeling, astronomical observations, and laboratory and field work to determine how to recognize whether a distant extrasolar planet is able to harbor life. The VPL develops innovative computer models that can be used to understand planet formation, stability and orbital evolution, and to simulate the environment and spectra of present day and early Earth, other Solar System planets, and plausible extrasolar terrestrial environments. Currently, Prof. Meadows’ strongly interdisciplinary research group is working to develop innovative, rapid assessment of the stability and habitability of newly discovered planetary systems. They are also using computer modeling to better understand star-planet interactions, and to produce simulated data for extrasolar planet environments. These scientific studies can also be used to assist the design and development of future NASA planet detection and characterization missions.