Effective April 7, 2014, Michael Meyer will serve on a one-year detail assignment as the interim director of the NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, Calif.
NAI is a virtual, distributed organization of competitively-selected teams that integrate astrobiology research and training programs in concert with the national and international science communities. It is supported by the Science Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington.
NAI's missions are to carry out, support and catalyze collaborative, interdisciplinary research; to train the next generation of astrobiology researchers; to provide scientific and technical leadership on astrobiology investigations for current and future space missions; to explore new approaches using modern information technology to conduct interdisciplinary and collaborative research amongst widely-distributed investigators; and to support learners of all ages by implementing formal, informal, and higher education programming and public outreach
As interim director, Meyer will lead a small staff at Ames to administer the virtual institute, which includes 15 teams and 840 researchers distributed across 180 institutions. It also has 13 international partner organizations. He will serve as both the senior scientific officer and the senior operating officer for the institute.
Meyer will join the NAI from the Planetary Sciences Division of the Science Mission Directorate (SMD), NASA Headquarters. Previously he was the senior scientist for astrobiology and the lead scientist for NASA's Mars Exploration Program at NASA Headquarters. Meyer earned his master's and doctorate degrees in oceanography from Texas A&M University, College Station, and a bachelor's degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, N.Y. His research emphasis has been in microorganisms living in extreme environments.
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