Dana Backman works for the SETI Institute of Mountain View, California, as director of outreach for the SOFIA (Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy) mission at NASA's Ames Research Center. He also teaches introductory astronomy, astrobiology, and cosmology courses in Stanford University's Continuing Studies Program. From 1991 to 2003, he taught in the physics and astronomy department at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, where he invented and taught a Life in the Universe course in the interdisciplinary Foundations program. Dr. Backman's research interests focus on infrared observations of planet formation, models of debris disks around nearby stars, and evolution of the solar system's Kuiper Belt. With Mike Seeds, he also coauthored HORIZONS: EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE, Twelfth Edition (2012); UNIVERSE: SOLAR SYSTEMS, STARS, AND GALAXIES, Seventh Edition (2012); and FOUNDATIONS OF ASTRONOMY (2013), all published by Cengage Learning. Dr. Backman earned his bachelor's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his doctorate from the University of Hawai'i.
Dianne Hales is one of the country's most widely published authors of books & articles on health subjects. Her husband, Robert E. Hales, M.D., is a nationally renowned psychiatrist. He is professor & chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, Davis, & the author of more than 125 scientific publications. Together, they are also the co-authors of the definitive, award-winning reference work "Caring for the Mind: The Comprehensive Guide to Mental Health."Michael A. Seeds has been Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Franklin and Marshall (F&M) College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, since 1970. In 1989, he received F&M College's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Seeds' love for the history of astronomy led him to create upper-level courses on Archaeoastronomy and Changing Concepts of the Universe. His research interests focus on variable stars and the automation of astronomical telescopes. Mike is coauthor with Dana Backman and Michele Montgomery of HORIZONS HYBRID: EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE, Thirteenth Edition, and UNIVERSE HYBRID: SOLAR SYSTEM, STARS AND GALAXIES, Eighth Edition, both published by Cengage Learning. He was Senior Consultant in the creation of the twenty-six-episode telecourse accompanying the book HORIZONS: EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE, Twelfth Edition.