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HIGP is a multi-disciplinary institute conducting advanced research, technology development, teaching, workforce training, and service in cutting-edge oceanographic, atmospheric, geophysical, geological, and planetary science and engineering. We are a part of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the Mānoa (Honolulu) campus of the University of Hawai‘i. Our Institute is home to approximately 100 faculty members, staff, postdoctoral researchers, and graduate students with access to state-of-the-art laboratories and instrumentation, research vessels, and far-ranging field sites. HIGP partners with the College of Engineering for satellite fabrication and launch through the Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory. Our expertise spans the globe from pole to pole, from the deep Earth interior to the upper atmosphere, and extends to the Moon, Mars, and beyond.

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News   [Links open in new windows.]

August 6, 2018
HIGP Planetary Scientists Receive Prestigious Awards
L to R: Alexander (Sasha) Krot, Linda Martel, and Lydia Hallis receiving their awards from the Meteoritical Society.

Two HIGP/SOEST scientists and one former postdoctoral fellow were recipients of awards at the 81st annual meeting of the Meteoritical Society, an international organization devoted to studies of meteorites and planetary science. The society was founded in 1933 and has over 1,000 members from 52 countries. This year's MetSoc meeting took place in Moscow, Russia from July 22–27. Pictured left to right: Alexander (Sasha) Krot, Linda Martel, and Lydia Hallis receiving their awards. See the UH News.
Planetary scientist Alexander (Sasha) Krot was awarded the Society's Leonard Medal, which is given for outstanding contributions to the science of meteoritics and closely allied fields. Krot studies meteorites and cosmochemistry, with a focus on processes that took place before and while the planets were forming. An HIGP faculty member since 1997, Krot has over 35 years of distinguished research experience. He is recognized as one of the leading researchers of meteorites in the field of cosmochemistry, an interdisciplinary science that overlaps with geology, astronomy, and astrophysics to discover the fundamental processes that formed our Solar System. Krot is renowned for combining detailed studies of meteorites with broad interpretations of solar system formation. Professor Kevin McKeegan of UCLA noted in his citation, "Sasha Krot's research has changed the way scientists think about the records preserved in meteorites." Rob Wright, Director of HIGP, said, "The award of the Leonard Medal to Sasha Krot is a recognition of his enormous contributions to understanding the fundamental processes involved in forming our Solar System. It also recognizes his incredible research productivity, with over 200 publications, many in the prestigious journals Science and Nature." Krot has also been awarded an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award in recognition of lifetime achievements in research. He is currently beginning a six-month sabbatical at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main, Germany, where he will collaborate with professor Frank E. Brenker.

Linda Martel, Academic Support in HIGP, was presented with the Society's Service Award. This award is bestowed on members who have advanced the goals of the Society to promote research and education in meteoritics and planetary science in ways other than by conducting scientific research. In Martel's case it was because of her central role in creating Planetary Science Research Discoveries (PSRD), an educational website for the public. Online since 1996 journal focuses on informing the public about what meteoriticists do. It explains the discoveries made through the study of extraterrestrial materials, including how those discoveries lead to an improved understanding what we have learned from study of extraterrestrial samples including meteorites, lunar samples, cosmic dust, and samples returned by spacecraft. The PSRD website averages 45,000 pages viewed per month of 300 articles posted in the 22 years it has been online. It is used widely by professors of science courses who use PSRD articles as class reading assignments. The site is linked to by university libraries in the U.S. and abroad, public libraries, course syllabi, science resource lists, blogs, and science. "None of this would be possible without Linda Martel!" said HIGP research professor and PSRD co-founder Jeff Taylor. "She co-founded PSRD and wrote the tagline that succinctly summarizes our approach: Planetary scientists sharing ideas and discoveries." Martel has also been active in research at HIGP, focusing on lunar science and prospecting for lunar resources. She was a member of the 2001 Antarctic Search for Meteorites field team in Antarctica.

Lydia Hallis, faculty member at Glasgow University in Scotland, was awarded the Society's Nier Prize, which recognizes outstanding research in meteoritics and allied fields by young (under age 35) scientists. Hallis was a postdoctoral researcher in HIGP and the UH Institute for Astronomy from 2010 to 2014, and still collaborates with UH faculty members. Her research includes studies of lunar rocks, meteorites from Mars, the role of water in altering the Martian surface, and on how Earth received its water. "Lydia is a superb scientist," Jeff Taylor said of Hallis. "She is one of the top planetary scientists of her generation." Congratulations!

August 2, 2018
Bin Chen Selected as COMPRES Distinguished Lecturer
Dr. Bin Chen, Assistant Researcher HIGP/SOEST/UH Manoa.

The Consortium for Materials Properties Research in Earth Sciences, also known as COMPRES, has announced its selection of HIGP Assistant Researcher Bin Chen as one of two Distinguished Lecturers for the 2018–2019 Distinguished Lecture Series in Mineral Physics.
The lecture series, launched in 2008 and aimed at undergraduate student audiences, features topics that emphasize the exciting high-pressure geoscience research being conducted within the COMPRES community and its significance for understanding fundamental Earth and planetary processes. Chen's research focuses on understanding the nature and mechanisms of dynamic processes taking place within deep interiors of Earth and other planetary bodies, through direct examination of material properties under high pressure-temperature conditions using a wide spectrum of techniques available in synchrotron and neutron facilities and in-house laboratories. His recent work concerns the storage and cycling of volatile elements in planetary interiors. Chen's lecture will focus on volatiles in Earth's deepest interiors and its implications for the chemical evolution of the Earth. For more please read the SOEST News Release and COMPRESS Distinguished Lecture Series. Congratulations!

August 1, 2018
Shiv Sharma Elected as SPIE Senior Member
Dr. Shiv Sharma, Researcher HIGP/SOEST/UH Manoa.

The International Society for Optics and Photonics, also known as SPIE, has announced its promotion of HIGP Researcher Shiv Sharma to Senior Member. SPIE Senior Members are honored for their professional experience, their active involvement with the optics community and SPIE, and/or significant performance that sets them apart from their peers. Senior membership is restricted to not more than ten percent of the voting members of the Society. Congratulations!

July 19, 2018
Episodes of Aqueous Flooding and Effusive Volcanism Identified on Mars
A lava rise pit formed by gradual thickening of lava around an initially high standing topographic obstacle in Hrad Vallis on Mars. Warm colors indicate relatively high elevations, and cool colors represent lower elevations. Credit: University of Arizona, NASA. In a new publication "Episodes of Aqueous Flooding and Effusive Volcanism Associated With Hrad Vallis, Mars" in the Journal of Geophysical Research–Planets lead author Christopher Hamilton (former SOEST/HIGP graduate student and now a faculty member at the University of Arizona, Tucson) and Peter Mouginis-Mark (HIGP Researcher) and coauthors studied lava-water interactions in the Martian outflow channel known as Hrad Vallis. Using mathematical models and geologic mapping, they found that at least one of the lava flows involved in the formation of Hrad Vallis might be a smooth, inflated pahoehoe flow, similar to those flows seen on the coastal plain of Kilauea volcano. If this is true, it would be the best example of such a lava flow found on Mars to date. The researchers also found that some of the lava flows forming Hrad Vallis may have interacted with ground ice to produce meltwater and steam, possibly forming a warm, moist environment that potentially could have provided a habitat capable of–at least temporarily–sustaining life. See the SOEST News and EOS Research Spotlight.

July 2018
HIGP Job Opportunities: Earth and Planetary Exploration Using Small Satellites
HIGP seeks to hire two tenure-track, full-time, permanent positions. One appointment will be made at the assistant level, the other at the associate level. 75% State funds provided. Duties include leading the development of small/micro/cube satellite missions (or the development of key subsystems, such as payloads) to support new Earth and planetary science missions. The successful candidates will seek and obtain extramural funding in support of this, take an active role in student advising and teaching, and publish research results in the refereed literature. Please see the pdf Position Descriptions and the Work at UH Manoa webpage for more information.

June 29, 2018
2018 NASA Exploration Science Forum Outstanding Student Poster Award to Macey Sandford
HIGP/G&G PhD student Macey Sandford. HIGP/G&G doctorate student, Macey Sandford, has received the Outstanding Student Poster Award from NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute (SSERVI) for the 2018 Exploration Science Forum held June 26-28, 2018 at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA. This competitively-selected award is given to students who submitted a first-author abstract and are judged to be the top ranked. The award includes a $1000 travel stipend to a meeting of the student's choice. See photo enlargement: Standoff Time-Resolved Raman and Fluorescence Spectrometer for a Lunar Lander. Congratulations!

ThinkTech Hawai‘i–Research at UH Mānoa: Talk Shows in JUNE with HIGP:
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See the: HIGP media schedule.
USGS Photo: At fissure 8, fountains provide a vigorous supply of lava that exits the cinder cone and drops over a spillway to enter a well-established lava channel that extends to the sea.

June 12, 2018
Research Traces Interstellar Dust Back to Solar System's Formation
cometary-type IDP A research team, led by HIGP's Hope Ishii reports that certain interplanetary dust particles (IDPs) contain dust leftover from the initial formation of our Solar System. Their study of IDPs and nanometer-scale subgrains called GEMS (glass embedded with metal and sulfides) was published online June 11 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Multiple Generations of Grain Aggregation in Different Environments Preceded Solar System Body Formation. "Our observations suggest that these exotic grains represent surviving pre-solar interstellar dust that formed the very building blocks of planets and stars. If we have at our fingertips the starting materials of planet formation from 4.6 billion years ago, that is thrilling and makes possible a deeper understanding of the processes that formed and have since altered them," said Ishii. The research team included HIGP's John Bradley, and scientists from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, University of Washington, NASA Ames Research Center, and Washington University in St. Louis, MO. This work was funded by NASA's Cosmochemistry, Emerging Worlds, and Laboratory Analysis of Returned Samples Programs and was enabled, in part, by the Advanced Electron Microscopy Center at the University of Hawai‘i. Portions of the work were also performed at national user facilities at the Molecular Foundry and the Advanced Light Source at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which are supported by the Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences, U.S. Department of Energy. For more, read the SOEST News Release and Berkeley Lab News Release.

June 12, 2018
EGU 2018 General Assembly Outstanding Student Poster Award to Estelle Bonny
HIGP/G&G PhD student Estelle Bonny. HIGP/G&G doctorate student, Estelle Bonny, has been awarded the Outstanding Student Poster Award by the European Geosciences Union (EGU) for the 2018 General Assembly held April 8-13, 2018 in Vienna, Austria. This competitively-selected award is given to students who submitted a first-author abstract and are judged to be the top ranked; Estelle presented in the "UV, Visible and IR Imaging of Volcanic Phenomena" session. Read Estelle's abstract: Bonny, E., Mouginis-Mark, P., and Wright, R., A New Perspective on Lava Lake Dynamics from Thermal Remote Sensing. Congratulations!

HIGP News and Seminar Archives for [ 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 |2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 ].

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HIGP Mission Statement

HIGP solves fundamental problems in Earth and Planetary Science by the development and application of state-of-the-art exploration, measurement, and data analysis technologies. HIGP serves society and the State of Hawai‘i by acquiring and disseminating new knowledge about the Earth and other planetary bodies, and developing and introducing leading edge technologies and a highly trained workforce to the State economy.

Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
University of Hawai‘i
1680 East-West Road,
Pacific Ocean Science & Technology (POST) Building, Room 602
Honolulu, HI 96822
Office Phone: 808.956.8760
Fax: 808.956.3188
Dr. Robert Wright, Interim Director

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Top banner images: HIGP excels in advanced research, teaching, and service. Our expertise spans the globe from pole to pole, from the depths of the seas to the tops of volcanoes, and extends to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. These images show, from left to right: satellite communication dish, a map of tsunami wave heights, map of mid-ocean ridge/seafloor spreading, the IMI (Imaging and Mapping Instrument) deep-towed ocean sonar system, Earth's Moon, active Hawaiian lava flow, Mars, a meteorite collected in Antarctica, and GPS field station.

Updated 8 August 2018

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