About Us

We are the NASA Astrobiology Institute at the University of Hawaii. Our aim is to understand the role and distribution of water on Earth-like planets. Water, an essential ingredient for life, has a fascinating history over the lifetime of the Universe. It is constantly in motion, forming and dissociating, and moving from interstellar clouds to proto-planetary disks, asteroids, comets, and planets. It is an ingredient, facilitator, and tracer of a plethora of processes from interstellar clouds to habitable planets to cellular life. Understanding water cycles in a broad astrobiological context is essential to understanding all biogenesis, including ours. The University of Hawai‘i has unique state-of-the-art instrumentation to explore the deep subseafloor, sophisticated laboratories, and access to space through premier observing sites and, soon, satellite launch capabilities. Our research uses unique other-world analog field sites at the deep sea floor, in caves, and on volcanoes. With our facilities and the interdisciplinary collaborative practices developed over the last decade, we explore the astrobiological hydrologic cycle through both time and space.