Steven M. Chemtob

Ph.D. candidate, geochemistry, Caltech

About Me

I was born in Washington, D.C. and grew up in Silver Spring, MD. I've always been very passionate about the outdoors, and first developed an interest in geology through earth science classes in middle school and high school. I attended Mongtomery Blair High School and attended the Math, Science and Computer Science Magnet there. As a high school senior, I had my first research experience working at the University of Maryland with Prof. Phil Candela, studying the chemical weathering of ultramafic rocks under various atmospheres. I attended Washington University in St. Louis as an undergraduate to pursue my interest in geology. I participated in the Pathfinder Program in Environmental Sustainability, run by Prof. Ray Arvidson. I received a B.A. in 2006 with double majors in Earth and Planetary Sciences and Environmental Studies, with a minor in economics. At Wash U., I worked with Ray Arvidson and Prof. Brad Jolliff, developing my interest in spectroscopy and Mars analog studies. I began my work on Hawaiian silica coatings here, and also studied the Raman spectroscopic properties of efflorescent sulfates from the Rio Tinto in southwestern Spain.

After finishing my undergraduate degree, I worked as a park ranger (interpretation and park geology) at Craters of the Moon National Monunment in Arco, ID, as part of the GSA GeoCorps America program. I arrived at Caltech in August 2006 to start my Ph.D. in geochemistry, working primarily with Prof. George Rossman. I recieved my Master's in June 2008.

Outside of science, I'm passionate about hiking, climbing, and vocal music.