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Laszlo received his bachelors degrees from the University of Texas in Austin, in Mathematics and Geophysics. He completed a masters in Planetary Sciences and doctorate in Geology from the California Institute of Technology. He was employed as a research associate by both the University of Hawai'i and the University of Arizona but resided mostly on Kilauea Volcano, working at the USGS Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory as a volunteer/guest. He was hired by the USGS Astrogeology Science Center in 2003 as a research geologist.
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Laszlo's research has focused on the thermal budget of long lava flows but has included a wide range of volcanic phenomena and involved a mix of fieldwork, remote sensing, and numerical modeling. He has studied active eruptions in Hawai'i as well as on Jupiter's moon Io, and ancient volcanoes across the Earth (visiting lavas on 6 continents and the floor of two oceans), the Moon and Mars. He is on the science teams for the HiRISE camera in orbit around Mars and the LROC instrument in orbit around the Moon. He changed the spelling of his last name from Keszthelyi to Kestay but retains the former spelling for his publications.
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