SOEST Interim Dean Klaus Keil Appointed to Space Studies Board of National Academy of Sciences

Honolulu , Hawaii– Klaus Keil, Interim Dean of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) and a renowned planetary scientist, has been appointed to serve on the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).

Keil is one of five new members chosen from across the United States to the Space Studies Board. There are 29 members that currently serve on the board.

“Klaus Keil is one of the most accomplished and distinguished scientists at UH Manoa,” said UH Manoa Chancellor Peter Englert. “The Academy and Dr. Keil’s fellow board members will benefit immensely from his good counsel based on a lifetime of achievement in the field.”

Dr. Keil is the interim Dean for SOEST at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He has received national acclaim for his scientific contributions to the understanding of the early history of the solar system and the origin and evolution of meteorites, asteroids and the terrestrial planets. He has published over 620 research papers in cosmochemistry, geochemistry, and petrology. Dr. Keil also has the distinction of having both an asteroid and an extraterrestrial mineral named after him. Asteroid 5054 was named “Asteroid Keil” by the International Astronomical Union in 1993, and “Keilite” ((Fe,Mg) S) was approved by the International Mineralogical Association in 2003.

He has received numerous awards and honors for his work and research, including Recipient of the Apollo Achievement Award (NASA), the first George P. Merrill Award (U.S. National Academy of Sciences), the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal, the Leonard Medal (Meteoritical Society), as well as honorary Doctorates from Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany and from the University of New Mexico , Albuquerque.

Keil received his PhD from Johannes-Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany in 1961. He joined NASA’s Space Sciences Division at the Ames Research Center as a researcher in 1963, and then went on to the Department of Geology at the University of New Mexico (UNM), first as a professor, and then as department chair. He became Director of the UNM Institute of Meteoritics in 1968. Keil joined the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1990 and became Director of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) in 1994, and then became Interim Dean of SOEST in August of 2003.

The Space Studies Board is the focal point within the National Academies for all activities in space science and applications. The Board conducts advisory studies and program assessments, facilitates international research coordination, and promotes communications on space science and science policy between the research community, the federal government, and the interested public.

For more information about Dr. Keil, please visit

About the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences

The Space Studies Board serves as the focus of the interests and responsibilities of the National Academies in space science; establishes relationships with civilian science and government scientific activities; represents the NRC in its international relationships in this field. The Board acts as the US representative to the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR) of the International Council of Scientific Unions. Its purview encompasses all federal agencies with programs and policy interests in civil space research. The Space Science Board was renamed the Space Studies Board in January 1989, when its scope was expanded to include aspects of space technology and applications, such as remote sensing, microgravity applications, and other uses of space with partial or commercial potential.


Research contact:

Klaus Keil

Interim Dean, School of Ocean & Earth Science & Technology, University of Hawaii

1680 East West Road , POST 802, Honolulu, HI 96822


phone: 808-956-6182, fax: 956-9152

About the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) was established by the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii in 1988. SOEST brings together in a single focused ocean, earth sciences and technology group, some of the nation’s highest quality academic departments, research institutes, federal cooperative programs, and support facilities to meet challenges in the ocean and earth sciences, including the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP). Scientists at SOEST are supported by both state and federal funds as they endeavor to understand the subtle and complex interrelations of the seas, the atmosphere, and the earth.

Hawaii Media contact:

Tara Hicks, Outreach Specialist, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii, (808) 956-3151, 

 The PDF version of the press release is available here.

Klaus Keil

Klaus Keil (Photo courtesy Bob Chinn, UH University Relations)

(Click on photo for larger version)

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