Steven Pestana


Student Investigator (NASA PDS)



Steven J. Pestana
29200 Greenwater Dr.
Tehachapi, CA 93561
Phone: 661-238-5704

Nearing completion of my undergraduate education, I am looking for opportunities in graduate
programs to begin a career in the fields of Earth, planetary and space science. I hope to work towards
eventually contributing to these fields within academia, applying knowledge in industry or policy, and
sharing science through education and public outreach.

B.S. Geology, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, 2015 (Fall 2015 expected)
Minor Physics, California State Polytechnic University Pomona, 2015

Student Investigator (2014 – Present) NASA Planetary Data System (PDS) University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) – Baltimore, MD
Research on Stardust mission, dusty plasma properties of inner coma of comet 81P/Wild 2. Work towards undergraduate thesis paper.

Engineer Intern (Summer 2013) Hypersonic Combined Test Force, United States Air Force – Edwards AFB, CA
Simulation development and flight test support for NASA Towed Glider Air Launch System (TGALS) (Armstrong Flight Research Center).
Flight test support for Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Dream Chaser space plane engineering test article.

Avionics Process Engineer Intern (2012 – 2013) SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies Corp.) – Hawthorne, CA
Developed web-based production scheduling, tracking, metrics and document control tools.
Hardware design and assembly for environmental test lab support (thermal and vacuum chambers, vibration and shock testing).
Layout and production flow modeling to assist with environmental test lab expansion proposals.

Engineer Intern (2009 – 2012) 412th Test Engineering Group, United States Air Force – Edwards AFB, CA
Development, fabrication and flight testing of small semi-autonomous UAV (drone) systems.
Wireless optical communication project (visible and IR).

Computer Technician Assistant (Summer 2007) Tehachapi Unified School District – Tehachapi, CA
Setup, installation and maintenance of new school district computer labs.

Honors & Awards:
Ernest Prete, Jr. Geological Sciences Scholarship (2015) Department of Geological Sciences, Calif. State Polytechnic University Pomona
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference Undergraduate Presenter Travel Stipend (2015) Lunar and Planetary Institute
Dean's Honor List (2014-2015) College of Science, Calif. State Polytechnic University Pomona
Eagle Scout (2009) Boy Scouts of America

Software Skills:
GIS: ArcGIS / ArcMap, SOCET SET, ISIS, Google Earth, Trimble Sketch Up
Databases: SQL query scripting, AcrGIS geodatabases
Data analysis: MATLAB, R, Excel, Tableau data visualization
Web design: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, PHP
CAD: NX Unigraphics, SketchUp
UAS: Piccolo Cloud Cap Tech. Ground Control Station, AVL, XFOIL, XFLR5, FlightGear
Graphics: Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere; GIMP, InkScape
Programming: experience with Arduino IDE, Python, Visual Basic, NI LabVIEW
General: Windows, UNIX operating systems

Hardware Skills:
Electronics: PCB circuit assembly, soldering, enclosure design
Composites: carbon fiber, Kevlar, fiberglass fabrication
Machining: drill press, band saw

Technical Training:
GIS for Planetary Mappers and SOCET SET – USGS Astrogeology Center (2015)
IPC Soldering Certification Training – Edwards AFB (2009)

S. J. Pestana, S. Hoban. Investigating Dusty Plasma of Cometary Coma With NASA Stardust Data.
Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 2015. Poster.