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David Bricker

Last modified: Thursday, July 18, 2002

IU scientists rewarded for interdisciplinary collaboration

Award will fund early earth research

Indiana University has been named to receive one of seven David and Lucile Packard Foundation's Interdisciplinary Science Awards for 2002. It is the first such Packard Foundation award IU has ever received.

The $1 million award will help fund the cutting-edge, collaborative work of geologist Lisa Pratt, biologist Carl Bauer, and chemist Don Burke as they look for microbes that have adapted to life in western Oregon's "alkaline soda" lakes.

Radical changes in the lakes' depths and salinity may mimic earth conditions four to five billion years ago, when life first appeared. Microbes adapted to live in these conditions may provide scientists with clues about what early bacteria would have been like.

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation was created in 1964 by David and Lucile Salter Packard. David Packard co-founded the computer technology company Hewlett-Packard. The late Packards' daughter Susan Packard Orr chairs the foundation, well known for its nationwide support of both arts and sciences.

Note: To arrange an interview with Pratt, Bauer, or Burke, contact David Bricker at 812-856-9035 or