James Kasting

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James Fraser Kasting
Born (1953-01-02) 2 January 1953 (age 71)
Residence U.S.
Nationality United States
Alma mater Harvard University, University of Michigan
Scientific career
Fields Geoscience
Institutions Penn State University
Doctoral advisor Tom Donahue[1]
Website http://www.geosc.psu.edu/~kasting/PersonalPage/Kasting.htm
External video
James Kasting, Origins 2011 congress

James Fraser Kasting (born January 2, 1953) is an American geoscientist and Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at Penn State University. Kasting is active in NASA’s search for habitable extrasolar planets.[2][3] He is considered a world leader in the field of planetary habitability, assessing habitable zones around stars.[4] He was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2018.

Education[edit | hide | hide all]

Kasting grew up in Huntsville, Alabama, and credits the nearby Marshall Space Flight Center and the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo rockets for inspiring his interests in space and science.[4]

Kasting received a A.B. from Harvard University in 1975. He then went to the University of Michigan, where he worked with Tom Donahue,[1] receiving his M.S. in physics and atmospheric science in 1978, and his Ph.D. in atmospheric science in 1979.[5][2]

Research[edit | hide]

Kasting worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and at NASA Ames Research Center before accepting a position with the space science division at NASA Ames. He has served NASA in various capacities, including as a member of the scientific working group for the Terrestrial Planet Finder. Kasting joined Penn State University in 1988, but continues to collaborate with NASA.[1][6]

He is interested in atmospheric evolution, planetary atmospheres and paleoclimates.[5] Kasting writes about the geophysical history and status of the Earth, with a focus on atmospherics. According to Kasting's calculations, the Earth's oceans will evaporate in about a billion years, while the Sun is still a main sequence star. This date is much earlier than previously thought.[7] He has also considered the habitability criteria of other stellar systems and planets. A 1993 paper on habitable zones was particularly decisive in shaping thinking on this field.[8]

Kasting has published two books, The Earth System,[9] and How to Find a Habitable Planet,[10] along with more than 140 publications in research journals.[2] In their popular 2001 work Rare Earth:Why Complex Life is Uncommon in the Universe, Peter Ward and Donald Brownlee note: "Although many scientists have been doggedly pursuing the various attributes necessary for a habitable planet...one name stands out in the scientific literature: James Kasting."[11]:266

Kasting is also a member of numerous professional scientific societies and committees. He was elected Fellow of both the American Academy of Arts and Sciences[12] and Geochemical Society in 2008.[13][14] He is also a fellow of the American Geophysical Union (2004), International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life (2002), and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (1995). He serves on the advisory board of the Lifeboat Foundation.[15]

Awards[edit | hide]

He won a LExEN Award for his work "Collaborative Research: Methanogenesis and the Climate of Early Mars".[16] He won the Oparin Medal, presented by the International Society for the Study of the Origin of Life, in 2008.[17]

Personal life[edit | hide]

He is married with three children.

References[edit | hide]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Jim Kasting" (PDF). NASA Quest. Archived from the original (PDF) on 18 February 2013. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "ISE - Our Team". Ihrenes Enterprises. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  3. David, Leonard (March 4, 2009). "How NASA's Kepler Will Seek Out Strange New Worlds". Space.com. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Earth-like Planets Aren't Rare 10 Questions with... Renowned planetary scientist James Kasting on the odds of finding another Earth-like planet and the power of science fiction". Seed Magazine. March 15, 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Curriculum Vitae". Department of Geosciences. Retrieved 27 May 2016. Click 'Vitae' to see Dr. Kasting's CV. 
  6. "Three Penn State faculty members awarded Evan Pugh Professorships". Penn State News. April 26, 2012. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  7. Carrington, Damian (February 21, 2000). "Date set for desert Earth". BBC. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  8. Kasting, James F.; Whitmore, Daniel P.; Reynolds, Ray T. (1993). "Habitable Zones Around Main Sequence Stars" (PDF). Icarus. 101 (1): 108–128. Bibcode:1993Icar..101..108K. doi:10.1006/icar.1993.1010. PMID 11536936. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2009-03-18. Retrieved 2007-08-06. 
  9. Kump, Lee R.; Kasting, James F.; Crane, Robert G. (2010). The earth system. San Francisco: Prentice Hall. ISBN 978-0321597793. 
  10. Kasting, James (2010). How to find a habitable planet. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0691138053. 
  11. Ward, Peter D.; Brownlee, Donald (2004). Rare earth: Why complex life is uncommon in the universe. New York: Copernicus. ISBN 9780387952895. 
  12. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter B" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 3, 2011. 
  13. "Jim Kasting Elected Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and of the Geochemical Society". NASA Astrobiology Institute. 
  14. "Geochemical Fellows". Geochemical Society. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  15. "Advisory Board". Lifeboat Foundation. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 
  16. National Science Foundation (October 15, 1997). "Limits Of Life On Earth: Are They The Key To Life On Other Planets?". EurekaAlert. 
  17. "Awards and Honors". ISSOL. Retrieved 27 May 2016. 

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This article uses material from James Kasting on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0. Wikipedia logo


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