Dr. Paul M. Schenk
Senior Staff Scientist
Dr. Paul Schenk describes himself as a space-groupie since the Gemini days in the mid-1960s. His first formal introduction to planetary sciences was as a NASA Planetary Geology summer intern in 1979 at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the Voyager 2 Jupiter encounter. Working for Voyager during one of its encounters was an unforgettable experience for him. (Since 1992, he has also been an intern advisor for LPI's summer intern program.) In 1988, he completed his Ph.D. at Washington University in St. Louis under Dr. William B. McKinnon. Since arriving at the LPI in 1991, he has used Voyager, Galileo, and Cassini stereo and monoscopic images to map the topography and geology of the icy outer planet satellites (and somewhat on Mars and the Moon).
Dr. Schenk has also been a stereo image aficionado for many years, and in 1997 completed an educational and engaging CD-ROM entitled 3-D Tour of the Solar System showing the planets in 3-D. His outside interests include 20th-century history, the Titanic, volleyball, stained glass, scuba, and historical brass helmet deep-sea diving.
In 2012, Dr. Schenk's Atlas of the Galilean Satellites (copyright 2010) was published, and he was co-editor of Enceladus and the Icy Moons of Saturn published by The University of Arizona Press in 2018. He is also a panel member of the Decadal Survey on Planetary Science and Astrobiology for 2023–2032.
From 2011–2018, he was a participating scientist on the DAWN (at Vesta) mission and the Cassini mission, studying impact cratering on small bodies, plume deposition processes on Enceladus and topographic mapping of all the Saturnian mid-sized icy satellites. He has also been a co-investigator on the New Horizons mission to Pluto and beyond, responsible for cartography and topography of these distant planetary bodies.
Dr. Schenk's global color moon mosaics can be found at https://www.lpi.usra.edu/icy_moons/.Dr. Schenk's personal webpage