Gerald Schubert

University of California, Los Angeles


Election Year: 2002
Primary Section: 16, Geophysics
Secondary Section: 15, Geology
Membership Type: Member

Biosketch

Gerald Schubert is a professor emeritus at University of California, Los Angeles in the Department of Earth, Planetary and Space Sciences. Dr. Schubert’s research interests center on theoretical studies of the internal structures of the giant planets and their major satellites. He has been associated with many spacecraft missions, including serving as an interdisciplinary scientist and co-investigator for the Atmospheric Structure Experiment on Galileo; member of the Magellan Radar Investigation Group; interdisciplinary scientist for Pioneer Venus; co-investigator for Apollo 16’s Lunar Surface Magnetometer; and co-investigator for Apollo 15 and 16’s subsatellite magnetometers. Dr. Schubert has served as a member of the NASA Planetary Geology and Geophysics Management Operations Working Group; the Lunar and Planetary Geoscience Review Panel and Geophysics Group Chief; and the Planetary Atmospheres Review Panel and Dynamics Group Chief (1995). He received his BEP and MAE in engineering physics and aeronautical engineering from Cornell University and his PhD in engineering and aeronautical sciences from University of California, Berkeley. Dr. Schubert currently serves on the NRC Committee on Astrobiology and Planetary Science. He previously served on the NRC Committee on Planetary and Lunar Exploration, the 2002 planetary science decadal survey committee, the Committee on New Opportunities in Solar System Exploration, the Satellites Panel of the 2011 Planetary Science Decadal Survey, and the Steering Group of the Committee on NASA Technology Roadmap.

Research Interests

My research has dealt broadly with the Earth and the Moon and the planets and their satellites - how these objects formed and evolved over geologic time. I have also attempted to explain the processes in the interiors and atmospheres of the Earth and planets that give rise to what we observe at present. I am a geophysicist and planetary physicist, and I use the tools of classical physics and applied mathematics to model the structure and dynamics of the Earth and planets. With colleagues I have interpreted data from planetary missions about the geology, topography, gravity, and magnetic fields of planets and moons and about the structure and dynamics of planetary and satellite atmospheres. More specifically, I have contributed to our understanding of the interior dynamics of the Sun; the electrical conductivity of the Moon; lunar crustal remnant magnetization; mantle convection in the Earth and planets; the dynamics of solid-solid phase changes in Earth's mantle; circulation of the atmospheres of Venus, Jupiter, and Io; the interiors and magnetic fields of the Galilean satellites; and the thermal evolution of planets and satellites. My present research seeks to understand the dynamo origin of planetary magnetic fields.

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