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James Kasting

Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at Penn State University and Author

James Kasting is the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University. His research areas include atmospheric evolution, planetary atmospheres, and paleoclimates.

James Kasting is a planetary scientist who is recognized for his work on planetary habitability and on the composition of Earth’s early atmosphere. He is perhaps best known for his work on habitable zones around stars, delineating the region in which a rocky planet can maintain liquid water on its surface. He was born in Schenectady, New York, but grew up in multiple locations, including Cincinnati, Ohio, Huntsville, Alabama, and Louisville, Kentucky. He was a school boy in Huntsville during the Apollo program when the Saturn 1b and Saturn V booster rockets were being designed and tested at Marshall Space Flight Center just outside of town. He majored in Chemistry and Physics as an undergraduate at Harvard University, then got his PhD in Atmospheric Sciences at University of Michigan. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, then spent seven years at NASA Ames Research Center in California before joining the faculty at Penn State University in 1988. He co-chaired a design study for NASA’s Terrestrial Planet Finder—Coronagraph mission back in 2005-06 and remains interested in big, direct-imaging space telescopes that can search for habitable planets around other stars.

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See also: Academia Pennsylvania State University (PSU) - Public Research university.

Details last updated 05-Jul-2019

James Kasting Creations

How to Find a Habitable Planet


The amazing science behind the search for Earth-like planets written by James Kasting