Keck Foundation Awards $500,000 to Fund Search for Life on Mars University of Arkansas

A $500,000 challenge grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation of Los Angeles will enable Derek Sears and his students and colleagues to investigate how liquid water forms on Mars and examine the existence of considerable amounts of near-surface ice all over the planet. They also will study how slight changes in pressure and temperature could transform Mars into a wet planet hospitable to simple life forms. Additionally, a laboratory used by Sears, a professor of chemistry in Fulbright College and director of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Center for Space and Planetary Sciences, will be renovated and named the W.M. Keck Laboratory for Space Simulation at the University of Arkansas.