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Joseph Schools

Photo of Joseph Schools


4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91109

Curriculum Vitae:

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Member of:

Planetary Interiors and Geophysics


Joe is a planetary geodynamicist working in the JPL Planetary Interiors and Geophysics group, funded through a NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship. He received his B.S. in Earth and Planetary Sciences (with a concentration in Planetary Sciences) from the University of California, Santa Cruz is 2014. He then earned his PhD in Geology from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2020, working with advisor Dr. Laurent Montési. Joe’s doctoral research focused on modeling the behavior of molten rock in the interior of Mars and Jupiter’s moon Io, and linking results to observations of surface volcanism in order to constrain the structure and history of both bodies’ interiors. His current research involves modeling the formation of volcanic-tectonic features on Venus known as corona and investigating processes responsible for the apparent young surface of Venus. Originally from southern California, Joe attended JPL open houses as a child and is excited to be living his childhood dreams.


  • PhD in Geology, University of Maryland, College Park (2020)
  • B.S. in Earth and Planetary Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz (2014)

Professional Experience

  • Jet Propulsion Laboratory
    • NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellow, 2020-Present
  • University of Maryland, College Park
    • Graduate Research Assistant, 2014-2020
    • Graduate Teaching Assistant, 2015-2017

Research Interests

  • Modeling the behavior of melt/magma in the crust and mantle of planetary bodies
  • Linking geodynamic and petrological modeling with surface observations of volcanism to constrain interior structure
  • Compositional mixing in planetary mantles

Selected Awards

  • NASA Postdoctoral Program Fellowship, 2020-Present
  • NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship 2017-2020
  • University of Maryland, Department of Geology Merit Award, 2017
  • University of Maryland Dean’s Fellowship, 2014, 2018

Selected Publications

  1. Schools, J. W., & Montési, L. G. J. (2018). The generation of barriers to melt ascent in the Martian lithosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets, 123, 47–66.