Walter S. Kiefer: Biography


Ph.D., Planetary Science and Geophysics, California Institute of Technology, 1990
Thesis: Models for the Formation of Highland Regions on Venus

M.S., Planetary Science, California Institute of Technology, 1986

B.S., Physics and Astronomy, summa cum laude, Texas Christian University, 1984
Honors Thesis: Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy of Clay Minerals and Tar Sands

Professional Experience

Staff Scientist, Lunar and Planetary Institute, 1993-present

National Research Council Research Associate, Geodynamics Branch, Goddard Space Flight Center, 1990-1993

Graduate Research Assistant and Graduate Teaching Assistant, Division of Geological and Planetary Sciences, California Institute of Technology, 1984-1990

Spacecraft Mission and Instrument Development Experience

GRAIL (Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory) Mission Guest Scientist, 2012-2016

DAVINCI: Deep Atmosphere Venus Investigation of Noble gases, Chemistry, and Imaging mission Science Team Co-investigator (NASA Discovery program Phase A Concept Study, 2015-2016)

Venus High Temperature Seismometer Instrument Development Team, 2009-2014

NASA Venus Science and Technology Definition Team, 2008-2009

Lunar Geophysics Instrument Package Development Team, 2006-2010

Current Research Grants

Principal Investigator for "Differentiation and Early Thermal Evolution of Meteorite Parent Bodies"
NASA Emerging Worlds Program

Principal Investigator for "Improved Models of the Thermal and Magmatic Evolution of Mars"
NASA Mars Fundamental Research Program

Principal Investigator for "The Density of the Lunar Crust and Implications for the Moon's Early Volcanic History"
NASA GRAIL Guest Scientist Program

Co-Investigator for "Processing and Addition of ALSEP High-order Data Products and Metadata to the Planetary Data System"
NASA Planetary Data Archiving, Restoration, and Tools Program (Seiichi Nagihara is PI)

Professional Activities

Co-Chairman, Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Program Committee, 2016-2017

Guest Associate Editor, Meteoritics Planet. Sci. special issue on Volatiles in the Martian Interior, (scheduled for publication, November 2016).

Scientific Organizing Committee for Workshop on Volatiles in the Martian Interior, 2014.

Member of the Leadership Team for revising "Goals, Objectives, and Investigations for Venus Exploration" for NASA's Venus Exploration Analysis Group, 2013-2014.

Co-convener of Special Session on "GRAIL Explores the Moon's Interior", Lunar Planetary Science Conference 44, 2013

Scientific Advisory Committee for Year of the Solar System: Digital Media for Planetary Science, WGBH/PBS, 2012-2014

Scientific Organizing Committee for Second Workshop on the Lunar Highlands Crust, 2012

Co-convener of Special Session on "Interior Structure and Evolution of the Terrestrial Planets", DI-33B and DI-43A, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, 2010

Scientific Organizing Committee for Workshop on Early Planetary Differentiation, 2006

Scientific Organizing Committee for Conference on Geophysical Detection of Subsurface Water on Mars, 2001

American Geophysical Union, Meetings Committee, 1998-2002

American Geophysical Union, Committee on Study of the Earth's Deep Interior, 1996-1998


National Science Foundation Graduate Student Fellowship, 1984-1987

Boller Award for Outstanding Senior Honors Thesis, Texas Christian University, 1984

Professional and Honorary Societies

American Geophysical Union

Phi Beta Kappa

Sigma Xi

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Walter S. Kiefer,