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Karen J. Meech

Institution: University of Hawaii
Role: Coordinator, Earth-Based Observations
Bio: Karen MeechProfessor Meech is an astronomer at the University of Hawaii's Institute for Astronomy who specializes in planetary astronomy, primarily studying the relation of comets to the early solar system. This utilizes the world's largest ground-based as well as space based facilities to look at comets at the faintest limits of detection. She is also interested in research in Bioastronomy, and is the President of the International Astronomical Union Commission on Bioastronomy. She is the principal investigator for the new University of Hawaii NASA Astrobiology Institute Lead team, which will be investigating the origin, history, and evolution of water in the universe and its role in life in extreme environments. For her research, she is the recipient of many awards including the Annie Jump Cannon Award in Astronomy, the American Astronomical Society Division of Planetary Sciences H. C. Urey Prize, and asteroid 4367 is named for her. She is extremely active in educational outreach, and has developed and run a major educational workshop for teachers and students in Hawaii and the Pacific region since 1993. She has helped to establish a Research Experiences for Undergraduates program in Hawaii, and is working on a project to get the world's largest research-class 2-m telescope in Hawaii to be used exclusively for K-16 education. Her research extends to active research in archaeoastronomy of the Hawaiians -- involving students in research. For the Deep Impact Mission, she is organizing the Earth-based observations of Tempel 1.
Biographical details contained on these pages were correct during the Deep Impact mission which ended in 2006. Several scientists from Deep Impact are now working on related missions such as EPOXI and Stardust-NExT.

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