Pamela S. Turner

Life on Earth—and Beyond: An Astrobiologist’s quest

Life on Earth—
and Beyond: An Astrobiologist’s quest

“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.”

— Book­list

“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.”

— Book­list

Life on Earth and Beyond

About the Book

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?

Awards and Recognition

  • 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

Reviews

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

Dr. Chris McKay
Dr. Chris McK­ay in Antarctica

Newsletter Sign-up: