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 Asteroids, Comets & Satellites (3224): People
Jason  Hofgartner's Picture
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
M/S 183-401
4800 Oak Grove Drive
Pasadena, CA 91109
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Curriculum Vitae:

Jason Hofgartner

Jason Hofgartner is interested in the liquid environments of the solar system and aspires to contribute to their exploration and scientific understanding.  During his doctoral studies, Jason was fortunate to become actively involved in the Cassini-Huygens mission.  He regularly contributes to Cassini Radar data analysis and observation planning and formally became an Associate Team Member in 2015.  In 2014, Jason led a team of researchers in discovering and confirming the first transient features discovered in Titan’s seas.  These enigmatic features, popularly known as “Titan’s Magic Islands” were determined to be waves, floating or suspended solids, or bubbles.  Recent observations to study these features have revealed additional transient features in the seas and Jason is leading the analysis of these new observations to better understand the processes that are driving the evolution of these features.

  • Ph.D., 2016, Cornell University, Astronomy
  • M. S., 2014, Cornell University, Astronomy
  • B. S., 2011, University of Waterloo, Physics, Honours, Co-operative Program

Research Interests

Planetary Exploration, Liquid Environments in the Solar System, Titan, Pluto and Charon

Professional Experience
  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, (2016-present)
  • Graduate Research Assistant, Cornell University, Astronomy, (2011-2015)
  • Lead Teaching Assistant, Cornell University, Astronomy, (Spring 2013)
  • Teaching Assistant, Cornell University, Astronomy, (Fall 2012)


  • Cassini Solstice, Cassini Radar Science Team, Associate Team Member, (2015 – present)
  • New Horizons, Geology and Geophysics Investigation, Postdoctoral Team Member, (2016 – present)


  • Referee, Icarus, (2015)
  • Referee, Journal of Geophysical Research – Planets, (2014)
  • Workshop Co-organizer, Titan Surface Workshop, Ithaca NY, (2014)
  • Executive Secretary, NASA Review Panel, (2014)
  • Seminar Organizer, Cornell Planetary Lunch Seminars, (Fall 2011 – Spring 2013)

Selected Awards
  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, (2016 – 2017)
  • Cranson and Edna B. Shelley Graduate Research Award, Cornell University, (2015)
  • American Geophysical Union Outstanding Student Paper Award, (2014)
  • Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
    • Post Graduate Scholarship Doctoral, (2012 – 2015)
    • Post Graduate Scholarship Master’s, (2011 - 2012)

Selected Publications
  1. J. D. Hofgartner,A. G. Hayes, J. I. Lunine, H. Zebker, R. D. Lorenz, M. J. Malaska, M. Mastrogiuseppe, C. Notarnicola, J. M. Soderblom, Titan’s Magic Islands: Transient Features in a Hydrocarbon Sea, submitted to Icarus
  2. M. Mastrogiuseppe, V. Poggiali, R. Seu, J. Lunine, J. D. Hofgartner, Radar Sounding Using Cassini Altimeter: Waveform Modeling and Monte Carlo approach for Data Inversion of Observations of Titan Liquid Bodies, submitted to IEEE
  3. O. Mousis, J. I. Lunine, A. G. Hayes, J. D. Hofgartner, The fate of ethane in Titan’s hydrocarbon lakes and seas, in press in Icarus
  4. J. D. Hofgartner,A. G. Hayes, J. I. Lunine, H. Zebker,B. W. Stiles, C. Sotin, J. W. Barnes, E. P. Turtle, K. H. Baines, R. H. Brown, B. J. Buratti, R. N. Clark, P. Encrenaz, R. D. Kirk, A. Le Gall, R. M. Lopes, R. D. Lorenz, M. J. Malaska, K. L. Mitchell, P. D. Nicholson, P. Paillou, J. Radebaugh, S. D. Wall, C. Wood, The discovery of transient features in a Titan sea, Nature Geoscience, 7, 493-496, 2014
  5. J. D. Hofgartner, J. I. Lunine, Does ice float in Titan’s lakes and seas? Icarus, 223, 628-631, 2013

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