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Dr. Jordan Steckloff

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Research Scientist

Currently resides in MI
jsteckloff [at]
Areas of Expertise
Targets: Asteroids, Ceres, Charon, Comets, Dwarf planets, Icy satellites, Kuiper Belt, Mercury, Moon, Pluto, Small satellites, Titan, Trans-Neptunian objects, Vesta
Disciplines/Techniques: Celestial Mechanics, Education/Public Outreach (EPO), Numerical modeling, Thermal modeling
Missions: Cassini, EPOXI, Stardust-NExT

Research Interests

Dr. Jordan Steckloff is currently investigating the water vapor plumes that result from comet impacts into large airless bodies in the inner Solar System, and how this water vapor plume evoves and migrates to the bodies' cold traps.  He is also studying the thermodynamic evolution of liquid hydrocarbon pools on the surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, and how these pools interact with Titan's atmosphere to influence Titan's weather.  He also studies the dynamical, physical, and structural evolution of cometary bodies in the Solar System, and the evolution of amorphous water ice in comets over the age of the Solar System.  He is also interested in the geophysical processes that alter the surface of Pluto and reorient its rotational axis.  Recently, Dr. Steckloff has become interested in the dynamical evolution of small, ultra-short period exoplanetary bodies that have been detected by the Kepler spacecraft. 

Dr. Steckloff is also active in the Physics Education community, and is currently developing student-centered, inquiry-based classroom activities that teach physics and planetary science by having students analyze and interpret scientific data.  

Professional History

Dr. Jordan Steckloff received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics, Economics, and German from the University of Michigan in 2009.  He later received his Master of Science degree in Physics from Purdue University in 2012.  Dr. Steckloff served on the Federal Relations Subcommittee of the American Astronomical Society - Division of Planetary Science from 2012 to 2015.  In 2015, he received his Ph.D. in Physics from Purdue University for his dissertation entitled "On the Interaction of Sublimating Gases with Cometary Bodies."  He later worked as a postdoc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology starting in January of 2017, and began a second postdoctoral position in January of 2018 at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Dr. Steckloff is also active in the physics education research community, and currently serves on the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT) Committee on Space Science and Astronomy.  He also lectured introductory physics within the University of Michigan system.

Dr. Steckloff joined the Plantary Science Institute in 2016, and was promoted to Research Scientist in 2018.


Honors and Awards

2016, Purdue University Karl Lark-Horovitz Award for Outstanding Research Accomplishment

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