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2012 Annual Science Report

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Reporting  |  SEP 2011 – AUG 2012

EPO Activity: WAMC National Public Radio Astrobiology Series

Project Progress

Our NAI team partners with WAMC Northeast Public Radio for the purpose of publicizing the NASA Astrobiology Institute, relevant NASA space missions, new research results and educational opportunities in Astrobiology to a wide and diverse audience. WAMC ( is based in Albany, NY, and broadcasts to portions of seven northeastern states (New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey), and of course nationally and internationally online. WAMC is a member of National Public Radio and affiliated with Public Radio International. All broadcast segments in the Astrobiology series carry the following credits:

Opening credit: This is part of our Astrobiology research and education series, supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Closing credit: This coverage is made possible by the NASA Astrobiology Institute, through support of the New York Center for Astrobiology, located at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, in partnership with the University at Albany, the University of Arizona, and Syracuse University.

WAMC producer David Guistina conducted interviews for later broadcast on NPR show “The Best of Our Knowledge”, a nationally syndicated program with an estimated audience of approximately one million listeners per broadcast. Interviewees include (but are not limited to) visiting speakers at our Origins of Life Seminar Series (see separate report). Additionally, interviews were recorded with members of the winning team of middle-school students who took part in the ExxonMobile Bernard Harris Summer Science Camp at RPI (see separate report), together with Camp Director Cynthia Smith, and the winners of our Astrobiology Short Story contest (see accompanying image and separate report). A total of 11 Astrobiology segments were broadcast on the Best of Our Knowledge during the current reporting period. They included interviews with Eric Herbst (shows 1096 and 1097), Nicolle Zellner (1104 and 1105), Aaron Burton (1112), David Spiegel (1125), Jennifer Macalady (1130), Cynthia Collins (1135), Niles Lehman (1138), and Chris Juniam (1144). Shows are available for on-line listening at any time at:

John Delano presented a TEDx talk entitiled “Is anyone else out there? NASA’s Search for life in the Galaxy” at the WAMC Performing Arts Studio on November 12, 2011. His talk is available as a You Tube video:

The three high-school student winners of the 2012 Astrobiology Short Story Contest in the WAMC studio in Albany, NY, where they were interviewed for 'The Best of Our Knowledge’.