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Kevin Peter Hand's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 321-520
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

Kevin Peter Hand
Deputy Project Scientist, Europa

  • B.A. Physics, B.A. Psychology, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire (1998).
  • M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (2002).
  • Ph.D., Geological & Environmental Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA (2007).

Research Interests
  • Oceans of the outer solar system
  • Electromagnetic field interactions at icy worlds
  • Radiolytic chemistry and implications for astrobiology
  • Spectroscopic biosignatures
  • Terrestrial cryosphere and climate change record


Europa Mission Icon Europa Mission

NASA's Europa mission will conduct detailed reconnaissance of Jupiter's moon Europa to investigate whether the icy moon could harbor conditions suitable for life.

Professional Experience
  • Deputy Chief Scientist, Solar System Exploration Directorate (2011-present)
  • Scientist, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Inst. Tech. (2007-2011).
  • Europa Flagship Mission Science Definition Team (2008-2010).
  • PI, NASA Exobiology and Evolutionary Biology Program
  • Science-PI, NASA Astrobiology Institute, "Astrobiology of Icy Worlds" team
  • Co-I, NASA Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University (2006-2007).
  • Research Assistant, SETI Institute, (2000).
  • Research Assistant, Center for Mars Exploration, NASA Ames Res. Ctr. (1998-1999).

Selected Awards
  • Lew Allen Award for Excellence (2012)
  • Kavli Frontiers of Science scholar (2007, 2011)
  • National Geographic Emerging Explorer (2011)

Selected Publications
  1. Carlson, R.W. and Hand, K.P. (accepted) Radiation Noise Effects at Jupiter’s Moon Europa: In-situ and Laboratory Measurements and Radiation Transport Calculations. Transactions on Nuclear Science.
  2. Hand, K.P., and Carlson, R.W (2015) Europa's surface color indicates an ocean rich with sodium chloride. Geophys. Res. Lttrs., 42, 3174-3178.
  3. Matheus Carnevali, P., Rohrssen, M., Williams, M.R., Michaud, B., Adams, H., Berisford, D., Love, G.D., Priscu, J.C., Rassuchine, O., Hand, K.P., Muray, A.E. (2015) Methane sources in arctic thermokarst lake sediments on the North Slope of Alaska. Geobiology. doi: 10.1111/gbi.12124.
  4. Chyba, C.F., Hand, K.P., and Thomas, P.C. (2015) Energy Conservation and Poynting’s Theorem in the Homopolar Generator. Am. J. Phys. 83 (1).
  5. Paranicas, C., Roussos, E., Decker, R.B., Johnson, R.E., Hendrix, A.R., Schenk, P., Cassidy, T.A., Dalton III, J.B., Howett, C.J.A., Kollmann, P., Patterson, W., Hand, K.P., Nordheim, T.A., Krupp, N., Mitchell, D.G. (2014) The lens feature on the inner saturnian satellites, Icarus, Volume 234, 15 May 2014, Pages 155-161, ISSN 0019-1035.
  6. Pappalardo, R.T., Vance, S., Bagenal, F., Bills, B.G., Blaney, D.L., Blankenship, D.D., Brinckerhoff, W.B., Connerney, J.E.P., Hand, K.P., Hoehler, T.M., Leisner, J.S., Kurth, W.S., McGrath, M.A., Mellon, M.T., Moore, J.M., Patterson, G.W., Prockter, L.M., Senske, D.A., Schmidt, B.E., Shock, E.L., Smith, D.E., and Soderlund, K.M. (2013) Science Potential from a Europa Lander. Astrobiology. 13(8): 740-773. doi:10.1089/ast.2013.1003.
  7. Hand, K.P. and Brown, M.E. (2013) Keck II Observations of Hemispherical Differences in H2O2 on Europa. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 766:2, L21, doi:10.1088/2041-8205/766/2/L21.
  8. Brown, M.E. and Hand, K.P. (2013) Salts and Radiation Products on the Surface of Europa. The Astronomical Journal, 145:4, 110, doi:10.1088/0004-6256/145/4/110.
  9. Lazcano, A. and Hand, K.P. (2012) Astrobiology: Frontier or fiction. Nature, Forum. 488, 7410, 160-161.
  10. Boxe, C.S., Hand, K.P., Nealson, K.H., Yung, Y.L., Yen, A.S., and Saiz-Lopez, A (2012) Adsorbed water and thin liquid films on Mars, International Journal of Astrobiology, 11, 3, 169-175, doi:10.1017/S1473550412000080.
  11. Priscu, J. C. and Hand, K.P. (2012) Microbial Habitability of Icy Worlds. Microbe, 7:4, 167-172.
  12. Wilson, J.P., Grotzinger, J.P., Fischer, W.W., Hand, K.P., Jensen, S., Knoll, A.H., Abelson, J., Metz, J.M., McLoughlin, N., Cohen, P.A., Tice, M.M. (2012) Deep-Water Incised Valley Deposits at the Ediacaran-Cambrian Boundary in Southern Namibia Contain Abundant Treptichnus Pedum. Palaios. Vol. 27, 252-273.
  13. Hand, K.P. and Carlson, R.W. (2012) Laboratory spectroscopic analyses of electron irradiated alkanes and alkenes in solar system ices. J. Geophys. Res., 117, E03008, doi:10.1029/2011JE003888.
  14. Boxe, C.S, Hand, K.P., Nealson, K.H., Yung, Y.L, and Saiz-Lopez, A. (2012) An active nitrogen cycle on Mars sufficient to support a subsurface biosphere. International Journal of Astrobiology, doi:10.1017/S1473550411000401
  15. Hand, K.P. and Carlson, R.W. (2011) H2O2 production by high-energy electrons on icy satellites as a function of surface temperature and electron flux. Icarus. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2011.06.031
  16. Hand, K. P., K. K. Khurana, and C. F. Chyba (2011), Joule heating of the south polar terrain on Enceladus, J. Geophys. Res., 116, E04010, doi:10.1029/2010JE003776.
  17. Korablev, O., M. Gerasimov, J.B. Dalton, K. Hand, J-P. Lebreton, and C. Webster, Methods and measurements to assess physical and geochemical conditions at the surface of Europa, J. Adv. Space Res. (2011) doi:10.1016/j.asr.2010.12.010.
  18. Hand, K.P., McKay, C.P., & Pilcher, C. (2010). Spectroscopic and spectrometric differentiation between abiotic and biogenic material on icy worlds. Proceedings of the International Astronomical Union, 6, pp 165-176 doi:10.1017/S1743921310007374.
  19. Raulin, F., Hand, K. P., McKay, C., Fortes, D., Viso, M. (2010). Exobiology, Habitability, and Planetary Protection. In Satellites of the Outer Solar System: Exchange Processes Involving the Interiors, Space Sciences Series of ISSI. Eds. O. Grasset, M. Blanc, A. Coustenis, W. Durham, H. Hussmann, R. Pappalardo, D. Turrini. 536p.
  20. Cassidy, T., Coll, P., Raulin, F., Carlson, R.W., Johnson, R.E., Loeffler, M.J., Hand, K. P., Baragiola, R.A. Radiolysis and Photolysis. (2010). In Satellites of the Outer Solar System: Exchange Processes Involving the Interiors, Space Sciences Series of ISSI. Eds. O. Grasset, M. Blanc, A. Coustenis, W. Durham, H. Hussmann, R. Pappalardo, D. Turrini. 536p.
  21. Sparks, W.B., McGrath, M., Hand, K.P., Ford, H.C., Geissler, P., Hough, J.H., Turner, E.L., Chyba, C.F., Carlson, R., Turnbull, M. (2010) Hubble Space Telescop observations of Europa in and out of eclipse. Int. J. of Astrobiology 9(4):265-271.
  22. Lorenz, R.D., Gleeson, D., Prieto-Ballesteros, Gomez, F., Hand, K. P., Bulat, S. (2010) Analog Environments for a Europa Lander Mission. Adv. in Space Research, doi: 10.1016/j.asr.2010.05.006.
  23. Clark, K., Boldt, J., Greeley, R., Hand, K.P., Jun, I., Lock, R., Pappalardo, R.T., Van Houten, T., Yan, T. (2010) Return to Europa: Overview of the Jupiter Europa Orbiter Mission. Adv. in Space Research, doi:10.1016/j.asr.2010.04.011.
  24. Hand, K.P. (2010) The ocean of Europa and implications for habitability and the origin of life. Astrobiology: from simple molecules to primitive life. Eds. V.A. Basiuk and R. Navarro-Gonzalez.
  25. Hand, K.P., Chyba, C.F., J.C. Priscu, Carlson, R.W. & K.H. Nealson (2009) Astrobiology and the Potential for Life on Europa. In Europa. Eds. R. Pappalardo, W. McKinnon, & K. Khurana. Univ. of AZ Press.
  26. Khurana, K.K., Kivelson, M.G., Hand, K.P., and Russell, C.T. (2009) Electromagnetic induction from Europa's ocean and the deep interior. In Europa. Eds. R. Pappalardo, W. McKinnon, & K. Khurana. Univ. of AZ Press.
  27. (Book review) Hand, K.P. (2009) Is there life on Europa? Nature, 457:384.
  28. Cohen, P.A., Bradley, A., Knoll, A.H., Grotzinger, J.P., Jensen, S., Abelson, J., Hand, K., Love, G., Metz, McLoughlin, N., Meister, P., Shepherd, R., Tice, M., Wilson, J.P. (2008) Tubular Compression Fossils from the Ediacaran Nama Group, Namibia. Journal of Paleontology.
  29. Hand, K. P., Carlson, R. W., & Chyba, C. F. (2007) Energy, chemical disequilibrium, and geological constraints on Europa. Astrobiology. 7:6, 1-18.
  30. Hand, K. P., & Chyba, C.F. (2007) Empirical constraints on the salinity of the europan ocean and implications for a thin ice shell. Icarus. 189:2, 424-438.
  31. Hand, K. P., Carlson, R. W., Cooper, J., & Chyba, C. F. (2006) Clathrate hydrates of oxidants in the ice shell of Europa. Astrobiology. 6:3, 463-482.
  32. Chyba, C. F. & Hand, K. P. Astrobiology: The Study of the Living Universe (2005) Annual Reviews of Astronomy and Astrophysics. 43:2.1-2.44.
  33. Hand, K. P., Carlson, R.W., Sun, H., Anderson, M., Wadsworth, W., Levy, R. (2005) Utilizing active mid-infrared microspectrometry for in-situ analysis of cryptoendolithic microbial communities of Battleship Promontory, Dry Valleys, Antarctica. Proceedings of SPIE Vol. #5906. Optical Engineering and Instrumentation Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology IX, 31 July- 2 August, 2005.
  34. Anderson, M.S., Andringa, J.M., Carlson, R.W., Conrad, P., Hartford, W., Shafer, M., Soto, A., Tsapin, A.I., Dybwad, J.P., Wadsworth, W., Hand, K. P. (2005) Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy for Mars science. Review of Scientific Instruments. 76: 034101.
  35. McKay, C. P., Hand, K. P., Doran, P. T., Andersen, D. T. & Priscu, J. C. (2003) Clathrate formation and the fate of noble and biologically useful gases in Lake Vostok, Antarctica. Geophys. Res. Lett. Vol. 30, No. 13, 1702.
  36. Zaitseva, L., and Hand, K. P. (2003) Nuclear Smuggling Chains: Suppliers, Intermediaries, and End-Users. American Behavioral Scientist 46:6, 822-844.
  37. Chyba, C.F. and Hand, K. P. (2001) Life without Photosynthesis. Science 292, 2026-2027.
  38. Hand, K. P. and Chyba, C.F. (2001) Prospects for Life on Europa. In "Frontiers of Life" (L.Celnikier, Ed.) Proceedings of the Frontiers of Life Conference, Blois, France, 25th June - 1st July 2000.
  39. Colgate, S.A., Fryer, C.L., and Hand, K. P. (1997) Low Mass SN Ia and the Late Light Curve. In "Thermonuclear Supernovae" (P.Ruiz-Lapuente, R. Canal, J. Isern, Eds.) NATO Science Series C. Kluwer Academic Publishers, Boston, MA. p273-302.

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