NASA Astrobiologist Dr. Kevin Hand Will Speak At Adams State University


August 24, 2016 – The Adams State University Title V STEM Lectures Series presents “The Search for Life Beyond Earth,” by Dr. Kevin Hand, NASA astrobiologist, on Thursday, September 8. There will be two presentations: at noon in Porter Hall Room 130; and at 7 p.m. in Carson Auditorium. The events are free and open to the public.

Hand is a planetary scientist/astrobiologist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, California. His work focuses on the origin, evolution, and distribution of life in the solar system and involves both numerical modeling and laboratory research on the physics and chemistry of icy moons in the outer solar system, with an emphasis on Jupiter’s second large moon, Europa.

His research were featured in the 2015, National Geographic Live! special “The Search for Life Beyond Earth.”

“The fundamental questions we’re trying to answer are questions humanity has asked ever since we first gazed into the night sky: What is life and could it exist out there beyond Earth?” – Dr. Kevin Hand.

Hand has served on NASA’s Science Definition Teams for the Europa Flagship mission and has worked on several instruments for solar system exploration, including an active mid-infrared micro-Fourier Transform spectrometer that was field tested in Antarctica and proposed for the instrument suite on Mars Science Lab rover. He is also the science principal investigator for the NASA Astrobiology Institute’s ‘Icy Worlds’ node at JPL. His work has taken him from the depths of the oceans to the summit of Kilimanjaro. Hand has been featured in several documentaries on television and in an Imax film.

Hand earned a bachelor’s degree in physics and astronomy from Dartmouth College, a master in mechanical engineering from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in geological and environmental sciences from Stanford University. He was a visiting scholar in the astrophysics department at Princeton before joining the staff at JPL. Hand was born and raised in Manchester, Vermont.

This event is sponsored by the Adams State Title V STEM Grant and the Science, Mathematics, and Technology Department. For more information about the events, contact the ASU Title V STEM Grant Office at 719-587-7381.