Astrobiologist wins SETI Institute’s Drake Award

Victoria Meadows
University of Washington astrobiologist Victoria Meadows holds up a rock sample. (UW Photo)

University of Washington astrobiologist Victoria Meadows has become the first woman to receive the SETI Institute’s Frank Drake Award, named after a pioneer in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

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

Under Meadows’ guidance, researchers affiliated with the VPL use computer modeling to assess the potential habitability of planets beyond our solar system. About two dozen institutions, including UW and other universities as well as NASA centers, participate in the VPL program.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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