A free full-color guidebook will help Yellowstone visitors and armchair travelers understand the connection between the park’s tiniest inhabitants and the search for extra-terrestrial life.
The book, “Science of the Springs: Astrobiology in Yellowstone,” was created by Montana State University’s Astrobiology Biogeocatalysis Research Center (ABRC), which is part of the NASA Astrobiology Institute. The guidebook describes the connection between the micro-organsims that thrive in Yellowstone’s hot springs and MSU researchers’ quest to understand life in the Universe. Many astrobiologists believe that if life is found beyond Earth, it may resemble the microscopic organisms that can live in extremely hot, cold, acidic or salty environments. That makes Yellowstone National Park–with its large number and diversity of “extreme environments”–an ideal research area for astrobiologists.
The book is available online and at locations throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, including on the MSU campus at Extended University’s offices: 200 Culbertson Hall or 128 EPS Building. “Science of the Springs” is also available in Bozeman at the Downtown Bozeman Association office located at 8 E. Main, the Bozeman Chamber of Commerce located on 19th Avenue and the log cabin visitors’ center on Seventh Avenue, and at Chambers of Commerce in Belgrade, Big Sky, Ennis, Gardiner, Livingston, Three Forks, Virginia City and West Yellowstone, as well as at businesses throughout the Yellowstone region.
The publication is also available for free viewing or download at abrc.montana.edu/outreach/scienceofthesprings.html