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News and Seminar Archive for 2008   [Links open in a new window.]

    • Fall 2008 Planetary Seminars.

Dr. Gillis-Davis MESSENGER image of Nawahi Crater on Mercury Assistant Researcher Jeffrey Gillis-Davis, a team member on NASA's MESSENGER mission to Mercury, has named a crater located in Calloris Basin "Nawahi Crater" after native Hawaiian painter Joseph Kaho‘oluhi Nawahiokalaniopuu. MESSENGER is making the first visit to the planet closest to the Sun since NASA's Mariner 10 mission in 1974. Read more about Nawahi Crater in the November 23, 2008 issue of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

STS-122 Astronaut Stanley Love STS-122 Atlantis (February, 2008) the 24th Shuttle mission to visit the International Space Station marked the first space flight for astronaut Stanley G. Love, who was an HIGP Post Doctoral Researcher in 1994. Dr. Love returns to Oahu on October 25th as keynote speaker at the 7th annual Astronaut Lacy Veach Day of Discovery, an event cosponsored by the Hawaiian Electric Company, Hawaii Space Grant Consortium, Punahou School, the Center for Microbial Oceanography Research and Education, and the family of Lacy Veach.

Dr. Love gave a public presentation about his work in space on Tuesday, October 28, 2008 in POST 723 and presented space-flight mementos of photos of Oahu and a meteorite sample, which will be displayed in the Planetary Data Center. See the article "UH Astronaut Love Gives Meteorite a Lift" from Malamalama, the magazine of the University of Hawaii. More information is also available in this astronaut bio, in Stan's pre-flight interview, and on the STS-122 mission page. [NASA photo]

Dr. Roy Wilkens (left) being interviewed at the opening of CIMES. Scientist Roy Wilkens (pictured on the left) is the new Director of the UH National Center for Island, Maritime and Extreme Environment Security (CIMES), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence, which was officially opened October 7, 2008. The CIMES mission will be to perform basic research in areas that will improve safeguards for key infrastructures in island and extreme environments as well as provide important environmental information in times of natural or man-made emergencies. CIMES is a partnership between UH Manoa, the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, and the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez. Read more about it in the U.H. Press Release, and in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

HIGP Scientists Gary Huss, Sasha Krot, Ed Scott, and Klaus Keil are co-investigators on the science team of the University of Hawaii's NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI), which has just been reselected for another five-year term. See the Oct. 3rd article by Mary Vorsino in the Honolulu Advertiser, the Oct. 2nd NASA Press Release, and the NAI Team description. Congratulations all.

Dr. Jeff Taylor Planetary Scientist Jeff Taylor is the recipient of the 2008 Carl Sagan Medal for Excellence in Public Communication in Planetary Science. The medal will be presented to him October 12th in Ithaca, New York during the 40th annual meeting of the Division for Planetary Sciences (DPS) of the American Astronomical Society, sponsor of the prize. More details about this honor are in the SOEST press release and Cornell Chronicle. Also see the online science journal Planetary Science Research Discoveries, featured in the award announcement. Congratulations, Jeff.

Associate Researcher Benjamin Brooks, Assistant Researcher James Foster, and Associate Professor Cecily Wolfe are co-authors on the publication "Magmatically Triggered Slow Slip at Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii" published in the August 29, 2008 issue of Science magazine. The paper details how a new dike intrusion triggered "slow slip" along a fault on Kilauea's south flank, demonstrating how magmatism and earthquake faulting at Kilauea can be tightly connected. See the SOEST Press Release.

Dr. Klaus Keil Professor and planetary scientist Klaus Keil has been reappointed to serve on the Space Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences until 2010. He is one of 23 members chosen from across the United States that currently serve on the Space Studies Board. Keil joined the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 1990 and is a former Director of HIGP and former Interim Dean of SOEST. Among his accomplishments are more than 640 published research papers in cosmochemistry, geochemistry, and petrology. 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.

Dr. Peter Mouginis-Mark Dr. Brian Taylor, Dean of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Peter Mouginis-Mark as Director of HIGP effective July 1, 2008. Congratulations.

Dr. Ed Scott Planetary scientist Edward Scott is the recipient of the 2008 Leonard Medal from the Meteoritical Society, an honor which recognizes outstanding contributions to the science of meteoritics and closely allied fields. An HIGP faculty member since 1990, Scott has over 35 years of distinguished research experience and over 130 research publications. He is recognized as one of the leading researchers of meteorites in the field of cosmochemistry, an interdisciplinary science that overlaps with geochemistry, geology, astronomy, astrophysics, and geophysics to discover the fundamental processes that formed our solar system. The medal will be presented to Dr. Scott at the 71st annual meeting of the Meteoritical Society (July 28-Aug. 1, 2008) in Matsue, Japan. Read more about this honor in the SOEST press release pdf. Congratulations, Ed.

Dr. Garces Associate Researcher Milton Garces is featured in the June, 2008 issue of Pulse of the Planet with his work on listening to volcanoes. The Infrasound Laboratory (ISLA) detected low frequency sound waves associated with the current explosive eruption at Kilauea Volcano. Read more in the March 19, 2008 USGS News Release from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory and at the Kilauea Infrasound website. Dr. Garces' infrasound research was featured in an October 17 episode of  PBS Wired Science: Sounds of Silence. His work was also highlighted in the August 2 issue of  Discover Magazine: Earth Speaks in an Inaudible Voice.

Dr. Benjamin A. Brooks Associate Researcher Benjamin Brooks has received a 2008 University of Hawai'i Regents' Medal for Excellence in Research. Awarded by the Board of Regents, it recognizes scholarly contributions that expand the boundaries of knowledge and enrich the lives of students and the community. Ben's work includes studies of slow earthquakes on the Big Island, the geodetic analysis of tectonics in South America, innovative uses of tripod lidar, and contributions to the ocean observing system. More on current and past HIGP medal winners is available online. Congratulations, Ben.

Graduate student Samuel Hulme is one of 24 graduate students at U.H. Manoa selected this year to receive a $5,000 award from the Honolulu chapter of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists, Inc. Sam won the Toby Lee Award in Geology and Geophysics for his studies of Earth systematics and deep-sea exploration of active plate margins. Sam's PhD advisor is Patricia Fryer. Read more about it in the U. H. Press Release. Congratulations, Sam.

Graduate student Joshua Cahill's presentation, "Radiative Transfer Modeling of Geophysically Targeted Lunar Impact Crater Central Peaks," [pdf link] has been selected for Honorable Mention in the oral presentations category for the 2008 Stephen E. Dwornik Planetary Geoscience Student Paper Awards. The Dwornik Award, begun in 1991, is given for the best student presentations (one each for poster and oral) at the annual Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Josh's PhD advisor is Paul Lucey. Congratulations, Josh.

Graduate student Mikki Osterloo is first author on the publication "Chloride-Bearing Materials in the Southern Highlands of Mars" published in the March 21, 2008 issue of Science magazine. The paper details spectral observations from NASA's Mars Odyssey Thermal Emission Imaging System that enabled the detection of chloride minerals, apparently formed from the evaporation of water, across some of the oldest regions on Mars. Co-authors include Dr. Vicky Hamilton and Dr. Scott Anderson, both principal scientists at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, CO. Read more about this exciting work in a March 22nd article in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin written by Helen Altonn, in National Geographic News, and BBC News.

Three faculty members have recently been selected as participating scientists on NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission, scheduled for launch in late 2008. The LRO payload, comprised of six instruments and one technology demonstration, will provide key data sets to enable a human return to the Moon. Jeff Gillis-Davis will work on the assessment of lunar resources using data from multiple instruments. B. Ray Hawke will investigate lunar dark mantle deposits using the orbiter's camera. Paul Lucey will concentrate on mineral mapping using multiple datasets. To read more about the LRO mission and instrument suite visit the LRO website.

Dr. Edwards Senior Research Scientist and Director of the Hawaii Mapping Research Group Margo Edwards was recently appointed to the Scientific Ice Expedition (SCICEX) Science Advisory Committee. SCICEX is a collaboration between the U.S. Navy and civilian scientists for geological and environmental research in the Artic Ocean. The focus of the committee is to develop and help implement arctic science plans for use with the U.S. Navy submarines. Read the Honolulu Star Bulletin article written by Helen Altonn about the work Margo Edwards and her husband, HMRG Computer Network Engineer Roger Davis are doing in the community to raise awareness of energy and climate change issues.

Dr. Wilkens Senior Research Scientist Roy Wilkens is chief scientist for a project funded by the military to use sonar, manned submersibles, and a remotely operated vehicle to survey chemical weapons dumped off the Wai'anae Coast and Pearl Harbor in the mid 1940s. Read more about it in the November 15th issue of the Honolulu Advertiser.

Meteorites Workshop HIGP Scientists Klaus Keil, Sasha Krot, and Ed Scott were conveners, along with international colleagues Joel Baker and Martin Bizzarro, of the Workshop on the Chronology of Meteorites and the Early Solar System. This interdisciplinary meeting, held Nov. 5-7, 2007 on Kauai, was hosted by HIGP, SOEST, and the NASA Astrobiology Institute.

Geology and Geophysics undergraduate student, Carolyn Parcheta, received the Outstanding Student Paper Award in the Planetary Sciences Section at the 2007 AGU Joint Assembly in Acapulco, Mexico. Working with HIGP mentor, Sarah Fagents, Carolyn won the honor with her research on "The Influence of Slope Variations on the Levees of Large Channelized Lava Flows in the Tharsis Region of Mars." Congratulations, Carolyn. September, 2008 update: Carolyn is now a graduate student here in Geology and Geophysics working with Dr. Bruce Houghton.
Dr. Fagents Associate Researcher Sarah Fagents had a rare opportunity to study a fresh volcanic mudflow (lahar) when the event happened during her March, 2007 research trip to Mount Ruapehu, New Zealand (see photo). She and Bruce Houghton (the SOEST Gordon A. Macdonald Professor of Volcanology) conducted field work on the mountain and led a group project with UH students from the Geology and Geophysics 601 class. Dr. Fagents will be incorporating the new Ruapehu data into the computer model she is developing, with funding from the National Science Foundation, to simulate lahar emplacement and to predict the associated hazards. For more information see the SOEST Press Release and July 15th article in the Honolulu Star Bulletin.

HSFL HIGP and SOEST, in cooperation with the School of Engineering, have formally announced the establishment of the Hawai'i Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) at the University of Hawai'i. The first launch from Kaua'i of a small satellite into Earth orbit is slated for Fall of 2009. For more information see the May 29th U. H. News Release and a February 4th overview in the Honolulu Star Bulletin.

Dr. Gillis-Davis MESSENGER image of Mercury Assistant Researcher Jeff Gillis-Davis is a team member on NASA's MESSENGER mission to Mercury. Dr. Gillis-Davis brings his expertise in lunar science to Mercury as MESSENGER makes the first visit to the planet closest to the Sun since NASA's Mariner 10 mission in 1974. Read more about it in the January 14th issue of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the UH News page, SOEST press release pdf, and January 21st issue of New Scientist.

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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 Hawaii 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.

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