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Kevin Peter Hand

Photo of Kevin Hand


4800 Oak Grove Drive
M/S 183-601

Pasadena, CA 91109



Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Science Division

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)

Professional Experience

  • PI/Director, JPL Ocean Worlds Lab,
  • Pre-Project Scientist, Europa Lander Mission concept (Pre-Phase A), (2016-Present)
  • Co-Chair, NASA Europa Lander Science Definition Team (2016)
  • Deputy Chief Scientist, Solar System Exploration Directorate (2011-2016)
  • Scientist, Planetary Ices Group, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Inst. Tech. (2007-2011)
  • Europa Flagship Mission Science Definition Team (2008-2010)
  • Visiting Research Fellow, Dept. of Astrophysical Sciences, Princeton University (2006-2007)
  • Geobiology Summer School, University of Southern California/Agoroun Institute, Catalina Island, CA (June-July 2003)
  • Research Assistant to C.F. Chyba SETI Institute (2000)
  • Research Assistant, Center for Mars Exploration, NASA Ames Res. Ctr. (1998-1999)

Research Interests

  • Icy moons and ocean worlds of the outer solar system
  • Electromagentic field interactions at icy worlds
  • Radiolytic chemistry in planetary and astrophysical environments
  • Spectroscopic biogsignatures
  • Understanding the connection between terrestrial cryosphere processes the climate change record

Selected Awards

  • JPL Explorer Award, for significant contributions to, and advancing, astrobiology and ocean worlds (2016)
  • NASA Honor Award, Icy Worlds Team, Group Achievement Award (2015)
  • NASA Honor Award, MSL Prime Mission Science and Operations Team, Wheel Wear Tiger Team, Group Achievement Award (2015)
  • NASA Honors Award, Buoyant Rover for Under Ice Exploration Team, Group Achievement Award (2014)
  • National Geographic Society Emerging Explorer Award (2011)
  • Lew Allen Award for Excellence (2012)
  • Kayli Frontier of Science Fellow (2007, 2011)

Selected Publications

  1. Hand, K.P., Bartlett, D. H., Fryer, P., Peoples, L., Williford, K., Hofmann, A. E., & Cameron, J. (2020). Discovery of novel structures at 10.7 km depth in the Mariana Trench may reveal chemolithoautotrophic microbial communities. Deep Sea Research Part I: Oceanographic Research Papers, 103238.
  2. Hand, K.P., Berisford, D., Daimaru, T., Foster, J., Hofmann, A. E., & Furst, B. (2020). Penitente formation is unlikely on Europa. Nature Geoscience, 13(1), 17-19.
  3. Nordheim, T. A., Jasinski, J. M., & Hand, K. P. (2019). Galactic Cosmic-Ray Bombardment of Europa's Surface. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 881(2), L29.
  4. Trumbo, S. K., Brown, M. E., & Hand, K. P. (2019). H2O2 within Chaos Terrain on Europa's Leading Hemisphere. The Astronomical Journal, 158(3), 127.
  5. Trumbo, S. K., Brown, M.E. & Hand K.P. (2019) Sodium chloride on the surface of Europa. Science Advances. 5(6), eaaw7123.
  6. Santibáñez, P. A., Michaud, A. B., Vick‐Majors, T. J., D'Andrilli, J., Chiuchiolo, A., Hand, K. P., & Priscu, J. C. (2019). Differential Incorporation of Bacteria, Organic Matter, and Inorganic Ions into Lake Ice during Ice Formation. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences.
  7. Ward, L. M., Stamenković, V., Hand K.P., & Fischer, W. W. (2019) Follow the Oxygen: Comparative Histories of Planetary Oxygenation and Opportunities for Aerobic Life. Astrobiology 1531-1074.
  8. Young, C. L., Poston, M. J., Wray, J. J., Hand, K. P., & Carlson, R. W. (2018). The mid-IR spectral effects of darkening agents and porosity on the silicate surface features of airless bodies. Icarus. 321:71-81.
  9. Nordheim, T. A., Hand, K. P., & Paranicas, C. (2018). Preservation of potential biosignatures in the shallow subsurface of Europa. Nature Astronomy, 2(8), 673.
  10. Carnevali, P. B. M., Herbold, C. W., Hand, K.P., Priscu, J. C., & Murray, A. E. (2018). Distinct Microbial Assemblage Structure And Archaeal Diversity In Sediments Of Arctic Thermokarst Lakes Differing In Methane Sources. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9.
  11. Hand, K. P., German, C. R. (2018) Exploring ocean worlds on Earth and beyond. Nature Geoscience. Vol. 11:1.
  12. Poston MJ , Mahjoub A, Ehlmann BL, Blacksberg J, Brown ME, Carlson RW , Eiler JM, Hand KP, Hodyss R, & Wong I. (2018) Visible near-infrared spectral evolution of irradiated mixed ices and application to Kuiper Belt Objects and Jupiter Trojans. The Astrophysical Journal. 856:124.
  13. Poston, M. J., Carlson, R. W., Hand, K.P. (2017)Spectral Behavior of Irradiated Sodium Chloride Crystals Under Europa-Like Conditions. Journal of Geophysical Res. - Planets. Vol. 122:12, 2644-2654.
  14. Russell, M. J., Murray, A. E., Hand, K. P. (2017) The Possible Emergence of Life and Differentiation of a Shallow Biosphere on Irradiated Icy Worlds: The Example of Europa. Astrobiology. Vol. 17:12, 1265-1273.
  15. Mahjoub, A., Poston, M.J., Blacksberg, J., Eiler, J.M., Brown, M.E., Ehlmann, B.L., Hodyss, R., Hand, K.P., Carlson, R. and Choukroun, M. (2017). Production of Sulfur Allotropes in Electron Irradiated Jupiter Trojans Ice Analogs. Astrophysical Journal, 846(2).
  16. Trumbo, S. K., Brown, M. E., Fischer, P. D., & Hand, K. P. (2017). A New Spectral Feature on the Trailing Hemisphere of Europa at 3.78 μm. The Astronomical Journal, 153(6), 250.
  17. Nordheim, T. A., Hand, K. P., Paranicas, C., Howett, C. J. A., Hendrix, A. R., Jones, G. H., & Coates, A. J. (2017). The near-surface electron radiation environment of Saturn's moon Mimas. Icarus.
  18. Sparks, W. B., Schmidt, B. E., McGrath, M. A., Hand, K. P., Spencer, J. R., Cracraft, M., & Deustua, S. E. (2017). Active Cryovolcanism on Europa?. The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 839(2), L18.
  19. Fischer, P. D., Brown, M. E., Trumbo, S. K., & Hand, K. P. (2016). Spatially resolved spectroscopy of Europa's large-scale compositional units at 3-4 µm with Keck NIRSPEC. The Astronomical Journal, 153(1), 13.
  20. Chyba, C. F., & Hand, K. P. (2016). Electric Power Generation from Earth's Rotation through its Own Magnetic Field. Physical Review Applied, 6(1), 014017.
  21. Vance, S. D., Hand, K. P., & Pappalardo, R. T. (2016). Geophysical controls of chemical disequilibria in Europa. Geophysical Research Letters, 43(10), 4871-4879.
  22. Sparks, W. B., Hand, K. P., McGrath, M. A., Bergeron, E., Cracraft, M., & Deustua, S. E. (2016). Probing for evidence of plumes on europa with HST/STIS. The Astrophysical Journal, 829(2), 121.
  23. Mahjoub, A., Poston, M. J., Hand, K. P., Brown, M. E., Hodyss, R., Blacksberg, J., Eiler, J. M., Carlson, R. W., Ehlmann, B. L., Choukroun, M. (2016). Electron Irradiation and Thermal Processing of Mixed-ices of Potential Relevance to Jupiter Trojan Asteroids. The Astrophysical Journal, 820(2), 141.