Astrobiologists have searched Earth’s most extreme environments in their quest to understand what factors are necessary to sustain life. Dr. Chris McKay’s scientific journey has taken him from the freezing cold of Antarctica’s Dry Valleys to the rocky wasteland of the Atacama Desert in Chile to the permafrost-covered tundra of Siberia. By studying environments on Earth that resemble those on Mars and other planets, Chris hopes that his experiments will help answer the question: can life exist beyond Earth?
School Library Journal starred review
Booklist starred review
Bank Street College of Education Best Books List
AAAS/Subaru Science Writing Prize finalist
Booklist Top Ten Sci-Tech Book for Youth
National Science Teachers Association Outstanding Science Trade Book
Booklist Editors' Choice
Cooperative Children’s Book Center Choice
Capitol Choices selection
School Library Journal Starred Review:
“Following the lead of the exemplary ‘Scientists in the Field’ series (Houghton), this is another handsomely packaged, profusely illustrated portrait of a researcher whose ‘lab’ is the great outdoors … NASA scientist Chris McKay travels in turn to Antarctica’s Dry Valleys and ice-covered Lake Hoare, to Chile’s Atacama Desert, Siberia, and the Sahara to study the bacteria and other microscopic organisms that call such climatic extremes home. The photographs, which are reproduced with unusual clarity, range from shots of McKay and his colleagues at work in various rugged settings to micrographs of bacteria, from satellite photos to side-by-side pairings of physical features in the Atacama and intriguingly similar formations on Mars … engagingly written, visually appealing …” 
Booklist Starred Review:
"Astrobiologists look outward from the Earth seeking evidence of life elsewhere in the Universe. But, as this fascinating book shows, they also travel to places on Earth where extreme conditions may be similar to those on distant worlds... Turner's absorbing account gives enough detail to create vivid impressions of McKay's explorations and enough background information to show what his amazing findings imply. Occasional moments of amusement or amazement let readers share her evident enjoyment in McKay's quest...This beautifully designed volume offers an eye-opening look at an astrobiologist in action."
Life on Earth--and Beyond
Charlesbridge, 2008
hardcover ISBN 978-1580891332
discussion guide
Life on Earth
Dr. Chris McKay in Antarctica
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