AstrobiologySurvey.org(tm) : An introductory course on astrobiology

About Astrobiology Survey


  1. Who are you?

    I am a Professor of Radiology at The University of Iowa, a physician who is a pediatric radiologist, and a researcher in the field of educational informatics.

  2. What is the purpose of Astrobiology Survey?

    To provide a survey, or introduction, to astrobiology. Astrobiology is the search for life in the universe through a multi-disciplinary approach that unites the sciences and arts to study the three questions of "How does life begin and evolve?", "Does life exist elsewhere in the universe?" and "What is the future of life on Earth and beyond?" With recent scientific advances, astrobiologists are making measurable progress towards answering these questions which will profoundly shape mankind's view of its place in the universe.

    In its current form, the Astrobiology Survey is presented as a lecture curriculum for a university course that is an introduction to astrobiology and that will challenge you to think about these questions. I currently teach such a course, in a first-year seminar format. The Astrobiology Survey can easily be adapted to other classroom formats, and even more importantly it can easily be used by individuals for self-study.

    The Astrobiology Survey was begun in 2010 and is a work in progress.

  3. Where are your sources for the Astrobiology Survey?

    I read on a daily basis a number of articles broadly related to the field of astrobiology. Additionally I read on a regular basis a number of journals and books broadly related to astrobiology. The most interesting information I learn from all this reading gets distilled into the Astrobiology Survey. The first version of the Astrobiology Survey was completed in 2010. Since then it has been under continuous refinement and expansion. I add on the average 1 slide to it per week.

  4. When do you intend to release a new version of the Astrobiology Survey?

    I intend to hold myself to releasing updates on a yearly basis, near the start of the year.

    If you would like to be put on a mailing list to be told when the Astrobiology Survey is updated, please contact me through the Comment Form.

  5. Why do you do this?

    This is a fortuitous time to study astrobiology. By the end of the course you will be equipped with an intellectual toolkit for the lifelong multi-disciplinary study of astrobiology enabling you to undertake meaningful discussion and debate as mankind explores its solar system, galaxy, and universe for life.

    If people find it useful and learn from it, I consider Astrobiology Survey a success and my way of making the world a slightly more informed and better place.

    I am what Charles Leadbeater, in his book "We Think: Why Mass Creativity is the Next Big Thing" would call a Pro-Am: a dedicated, educated and well equipped amateur who engages in an activity for the love of it, but performs to very high standards. Note that I bring an amateur's - rather than a professional's - view to this work, which means I do it for love, rather than for money.

    Additionally, in regards to theories of learning, I am by nature a constructionist, and Astrobiology Survey is the learning artifact I have constructed in the course of my daily readings on astrobiology. It is an example of situated learning, of a currriculum unfolding in practice.

  6. How may I reuse the Astrobiology Survey?

    Creative Commons License The Astrobiology Survey is made available for reuse and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.

    I reserve the right to the "Astrobiology Survey™" trademark and I reserve the right to publish it in book form someday.

    If you adapt the Astrobiology Survey for other educational purposes under the Creative Commons license, please provide me with a copy so I may make it available here for others to use.

  7. How may I send comments or questions about the Astrobiology Survey?

    Use the Comment Form to contact me.

    If you use the Astrobiology Survey to teach a course, I would love to learn of your experiences through the Comment Form.

    If you use the Astrobiology Survey for self study, I would love to learn of your experiences through the Comment Form.

  8. How do you handle my personal information?

    No personal or non-personal information is collected. No cookies are used. Google Analytics is used to analyze the audience of this site and improve its content. No personal information is collected from Google Analytics. For further information on Google Analytics' privacy policy, look here.

  9. Who owns and funds the Astrobiology Survey and AstrobiologySurvey.org?

    The Astrobiology Survey is owned by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. and made available for reuse and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike License.

    The AstrobiologySurvey.org digital library is copyright @ Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. All rights reserved

    "Astrobiology Survey," "AstrobiologySurvey.org," and the AstrobiologySurvey.org logo are Trademarks of Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.

    Astrobiology Survey and AstrobiologySurvey.org are funded in whole by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. Advertising is not accepted.

  10. What is the date the AstrobiologySurvey.org digital library was last revised?

    January 5, 2017

  11. Sum it all up?

    The Astrobiology Survey provides you with an introductory course on astrobiology.


© 2010-2017 and Curated by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.