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Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI)

Astronomer Will Speak on Quest for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

March 23, 2001

Astronomer Will Speak on Quest for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Troy, N.Y. — The New York Center for Studies on the Origins of Life will sponsor a free public lecture on the search for extraterrestrial life by Jill C. Tarter, an astronomer and head of the SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) Management Group at the SETI Institute.

Tarter will speak Thursday, March 29, at 7:30 p.m., at the Holiday Turf Inn, 205 Wolf Road, Albany. Her lecture is titled "SETI 2020: A Roadmap for Future SETI Observing Projects."

Organized more than 40 years ago, SETI is a non-profit corporation that serves as an institutional home for research and educational projects related to the study of life in the universe. SETI maintains a battery of radio telescopes around the globe. Among its founders was the late Carl Sagan.

Tarter earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California at Berkeley. As a graduate student at Berkeley in the 1970s, Tarter took part in SERENDIP, a small search for radio signals from extraterrestrial civilizations using the 85-foot telescope at the Hat Creek Observatory.

In 1989, Tarter received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women in Aerospace for her contributions to the field of exobiology, especially the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. In 1997, the Board of Directors at the SETI Institute named Tarter to the new position of Bernard M. Oliver Chair.

The New York Center for Studies of the Origins of Life is a NASA sponsored center composed of faculty members in astrophysics, biology, chemistry, and earth sciences from Rensselaer, the University at Albany, and the College of Saint Rose.

Contact: Ann Marie Strack, assistant director, New York Center for Studies on the Origins of Life: (518) 276-2663 or

Contact: Patrick Kurp
Phone: (518) 276-6531
E-mail: N/A