Michael A. Seeds has been Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, since 1970. In 1989, he received F&M College's Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching. Seeds's 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 of HORIZONS: EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE, Eleventh Edition (2009); ASTRONOMY: THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND, Sixth Edition (2009); and PERSPECTIVES OF ASTRONOMY (2008), all published by Cengage. He was Senior Consultant in the creation of the twenty-six-episode telecourse accompanying the book HORIZONS: EXPLORING THE UNIVERSE.
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, 11e (2009), ASTRONOMY: THE SOLAR SYSTEM AND BEYOND, 6e (2009), and PERSPECTIVES ON ASTRONOMY (2008)--all published by Cengage. Dr. Backman earned his bachelor's degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from the University of Hawaii.