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Laszlo Kestay, Ph.D.

Laszlo Kestay is a planetary volcanologist at the US Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center.

Laszlo Kestay is a planetary volcanologist working for the US Geological Survey's Astrogeology Science Center. His last name was formerly Keszthelyi and this spelling is still used for his publications. He has worked for the USGS since 1991 but was only hired in 2003. He is member of the NASA MRO HiRISE and ESA ExoMars CaSSIS science teams.

Professional Experience

  • 2003-present, Research Geologist, Astrogeology Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey.  Studying volcanism across the Solar System with remote sensing, numerical modeling, and field studies. Involved in assessing natural resources across the Solar System and the hazards posed by meteorite impacts.

  • 2012-2018, Science Center Director, Astrogeology Science Center U.S. Geological Survey.  Manage the science center as it enables humankind's exploration of the Solar System with support for space missions from conception to beyond the grave.  

  • 2011, Associate Science Center Director for Technical Operations, Astrogeology Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey.  Overseeing the technical activities (cartography, software development, computer science, data archival, etc.) in the Astrogeology Science Center.

  • 2004-2007, Assistant Team Chief Scientist

  • 1994-1996, NSF Earth Sciences Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Hawaii at Manoa and U.S. Geological Survey Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.   Supervisor: Stephen Self

Education and Certifications

  • B.S., MathematicsSumma Cum Laude, 1987, The University of Texas at Austin

  • B.S. with Honors, Geological Sciences (Geophysics Option), Summa Cum Laude, 1988, The University of Texas at Austin

  • M.S., Planetary Science, 1993, Caltech

  • Ph.D., Geology, 1994, Caltech. Thesis: On the Thermal Budget of Pahoehoe Lava Flows,   Advisor: Bruce C. Murray

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