This book addresses the timely subject of systems applications in astrobiology. It demonstrates how astrobiology – a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary field of science – can benefit from adopting the systems approach.
Astrobiology draws upon its founding sciences, such as astronomy, physics, chemistry, biochemistry, geology, and planetary sciences. However, astrobiologists can encounter difficulties working across these fields. The systems approach, we believe, is the best contemporary approach to consider astrobiology holistically. The approach is currently used in other fields, such as engineering, which uses systems analysis routinely.
Such an approach needs to be learned, both in principle and through examples, from the field. This book features chapters from experts across the field of astrobiology who have applied the systems approach. It will be a valuable guide for astrobiology students at the advanced undergraduate and graduate levels, in addition to researchers in the field, both in academia and the space industry.
Vera M. Kolb obtained degrees in chemical engineering and organic chemistry from Belgrade University, Serbia, and earned her PhD in organic chemistry from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois, United States. Following a 30-year career, she is Professor Emerita of Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Kenosha, Wisconsin. During her first sabbatical leave with the NASA Specialized Center of Research and Training (NSCORT) in Astrobiology, she conducted research with Dr. Leslie Orgel at the Salk Institute and Prof. Stanley Miller at UC San Diego. Her second sabbatical was with Prof. Joseph Lambert at Northwestern University, where she studied sugar silicates and their potential astrobiological relevance. She is credited for authoring over 160 publications, in the fields of organic and medicinal chemistry, green chemistry, and astrobiology, including several books. Recently, she authored Green Organic Chemistry and Its Interdisciplinary Applications (CRC 2016). In the astrobiology field, she edited Astrobiology: An Evolutionary Approach (CRC 2015) and Handbook of Astrobiology (CRC 2019). She co-authored (with Benton C. Clark) Astrobiology for a General Reader: A Questions and Answers Approach (CSP 2020) and Systems Approach to Astrobiology (CRC 2023).
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