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News and Seminar Archive for 2015   [Links open in a new window.]

    • Spring/Summer 2015 HIGP Seminar Series
    • Fall 2015 schedule HIGP Seminar Series

ThinkTech Hawaii logo ThinkTech Hawai‘i–Research at UH Mānoa: Talk Shows in DECEMBER with HIGP:
See the: HIGP Media Schedule.

Dec. 16, 2015
Novel Tsunami Detection Network Uses Navigation Systems on Commercial Ships
tsunami warning icon--evacuate to high ground SOEST/HIGP researchers have equipped 10 Matson and Maersk Line ships, operating in the North Pacific, with real-time geodetic GPS systems and satellite communications to create a network of low-cost tsunami sensors. James Foster, (HIGP Associate Researcher) is lead investigator for the project funded by NOAA, which also includes HIGP's Todd Ericksen and Jonathan Avery. Accurate and rapid detection and assessment of tsunamis in the open ocean is critical for predicting how they will impact distant coastlines, enabling appropriate mitigation efforts. The project was presented yesterday at the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. Read more about it at UH News.

Dec. 2, 2015
Bytemarks Cafe episode 379 with Dr. Peter Mouginis-Mark. Peter Mouginis-Mark, HIGP Researcher and Director of the NASA Pacific Regional Planetary Data Center, appeared on Bytemarks Cafe and gave an update on recent planetary exploration including news about Pluto, Saturn, Mars Rovers, and Comet 67P. Listen to the broadcast: Episode 379 at Bytemarks Cafe.   (Left to right) Burt Lum, Samantha Kimsey, Meli James, Peter Mouginis-Mark, Rozie Breslin, and Ryan Ozawa. Photo courtesy of Bytemarks Cafe.

ThinkTech Hawaii logo ThinkTech Hawai‘i–Research at UH Mānoa: Talk Shows in NOVEMBER with HIGP:
See the: HIGP Media Schedule.

November 18, 2015
In Remembrance
John Balogh With deep sadness, we share the news of John Balogh's passing on November 14, 2015. A Mechanical Engineer in HIGP since 1970, John's work made the HIGP high-pressure mineral physics lab one of the five top versatile high-pressure labs in the world. His significant contributions in designing, constructing, and maintaining the state-of-the art facilities have enabled innumerable students, researchers, and faculty members to carry out first-time unique high P-T experiments here and at the synchrotron X-ray source at Argonne National Laboratory. John will be truly missed. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends. Services will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2015 at Our Lady of Good Council, 1525 Waimano Home Road, Pearl City. Viewing will be 8:30-10:00 am and mass will follow. HIGP photo.

Nov. 13, 2015
UH Researchers Shed New Light on the Origins of Earth's Water
Link to publication A team of scientists led by Lydia J. Hallis, formally a Post-Doctoral Fellow at HIGP and UH NASA Astrobiology Institute (now Marie Curie Research Fellow at the University of Glasgow, Scotland) and including HIGP colleagues Gary Huss, Kazuhide Nagashima, Jeff Taylor, and colleagues from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UH Department of Oceanography, UH Institute for Astronomy, and UH NASA Astrobiology Institute investigated hydrogen isotopes in Baffin Island basalts to constrain the origin of Earth's water. Their study published today in Science suggests a presolar origin—Earth's water was part of our planet from the beginning. Work was performed in the UH W. M. Keck Cosmochemistry Lab. See the Science paper and read more about it in the IfA press release and University of Glasgow news release and video. Also see Kaunānā, Live Science, BBC News, Scientific American, Christian Science Monitor, and Smithsonian.

Nov. 13, 2015
Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium Celebrates 25 Years
On November 21, 2015 the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium (HSGC) will celebrate its 25th anniversary.Link to Hawaii Space Grant Consortium. A wide-ranging community educational program supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), HSGC promotes studies in scientific fields related to space. These fields include astronomy, geology, meteorology, oceanography, mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, and life sciences. Chartered under the NASA National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program, HSGC programs are dedicated to the development and support of future scientists and engineers. HSGC is composed of ten institutions of higher learning including UH Mānoa, UH Hilo, the University of Guam, and seven UH Community Colleges (Hawai‘i, Honolulu, Kapi‘olani, Kaua‘i, Leeward, Maui, and Windward). Participation in Space Grant programs provides new opportunities for our full-time students to explore space related fields. Expanded opportunities for space education through the efforts of the HSGC extend to K-12 teachers and students. Formal recognition of the 25th anniversary will be part of the HSGC Fellowship and Traineeship Symposium scheduled for 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Hawai‘i Imin International Conference Center at Jefferson Hall on Dole Street. For additional information, please visit HSGC. Congratulations!

November 11, 2015
In Remembrance
Dr Barry Lienert With deep sadness, we share the news of Barry Lienert's passing on November 8, 2015. He was an Associate Specialist in HIGP with research interests in electromagnetic methods, inverse theory, earthquake location methods, and LIDAR. His recent activities included work on the "3D conductivity structure in the saddle between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, relevant to groundwater and geothermal exploration," according to HIGP Director, Rhett Butler, who knew Barry since 1978. He will be truly missed. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends. A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, December 5, 2015, at 10:30 am, at the Ballard Family Moanalua Mortuary, 1150 Kikowaena St., Honolulu 96819. Image, screen shot from September 21, 2015, courtesy of ThinkTech Hawai‘i.

Nov. 10, 2015
More Launches Ahead for UH's Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory
Screen shot from video posted by UH News of ORS-4 rocket launch from Kaua'i on Nov. 3, 2015. Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) is currently preparing for five space launches in the next two years with more opportunities on the horizon. "Hawai‘i and the University of Hawai‘i are now considered players in the aerospace industry," said HSFL Director Luke Flynn. Read more about this and related posts at UH News. See also the video news report from Hawai‘i News Now with HSFL Avionics Engineer Amber Imai-Hong and UH Engineering student Chase Yasunaga speaking about HSFL and the STEM opportunities for students to work on future space launches.

Nov. 3, 2015
Rocket Launch from Hawai‘i Carrying UH Payload Experiences Anomaly, but is a STEM Success for Students
Screen shot from video posted by UH News of ORS-4 rocket launch from Kaua'i on Nov. 3, 2015.
On November 3, 2015, the U.S. Navy along with the U.S. Air Force’s Operationally Responsive Space Office, in partnership with Sandia National Laboratories, the University of Hawai‘i Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory, the Pacific Missile Range Facility and Aerojet Rocketdyne Corp. launched a rocket from Hawai‘i. If successful, it would have been the first satellite launched to orbit from Hawai‘i. Unfortunately, the experimental launch vehicle experienced an anomaly a minute into the flight. "The ORS-4 mission on an experimental Super Strypi launch vehicle failed in mid-flight shortly after liftoff at 5:45 p.m.," the U.S. Air Force said in a statement the night of the launch. ORS is currently assessing the cause. Read more about this and related posts at UH News. Also see the video news report from Hawai‘i News Now. "What happened today, this is a tremendous success for the University of Hawai‘i, UH spokesman Dan Meisenzahl told Hawai‘i News Now. "We had about 150 students doing work on this program. They built a satellite, it met every milestone and passed every test. And they delivered it on time. This is a tremendous step forward."

October 27, 2015
ThinkTech Hawaii logo ThinkTech Hawai‘i–Research at UH Mānoa: Talk Shows in OCTOBER with HIGP:
See the: HIGP Media Schedule.

Oct. 23 & 24, 2015
SOEST Open House, Oct. 23 & 24, 2015. Photo credit: Patrick Gasda. Exploring Earth & Space with HIGP Scientists
Did you know we are exploring the deepest ocean trench, volcanoes and lava flows, the Moon, Mars, and beyond? Did you know we are building satellites? Did you know you can squeeze water into ice? HIGP on the U.H. Mānoa campus is preparing for the 13th biennel SOEST Open House (event info. and maps) taking place on Friday and Saturday, Oct. 23 & 24. This free event draws 7,000+ students, parents, educators, and community members who connect with our scientists and engineers doing hands-on activities and laboratory tours. HIGP scientists will also participate in the series of public talks scheduled throughout the day for everyone interested in exploring Earth and space.  Photo credit: Patrick Gasda.

Oct. 9, 2015
Dr. Rachel Lentz, IPRC HIGP Alumna News: We are pleased to share the news that Dr. Rachel Lentz (Ph.D. 1998) has been appointed the Outreach Specialist for the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC), in SOEST, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. IPRC is an international climate research center with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. For more, read the IPRC news release.

September 31, 2015
ThinkTech Hawaii logo ThinkTech Hawai‘i–Research at UH Mānoa: Talk Shows in SEPTEMBER with HIGP:
See the: HIGP Media Schedule.

Sept. 9, 2015
Dr. Milton Garces Interested in the study of global infrasound from man-made and geophysical sources in the atmosphere, ocean, and solid Earth? Milton Garces, HIGP Associate Researcher and Infrasound Laboratory ISLA Director, talks about extreme infrasound with the Society of Physics Students at the University of Central Arkansas in a Google Hangout Seminar; watch and listen here.

Sept. 8, 2015
Dr. Myriam Telus, 2015 HIGP alumna. HIGP Alumna News: We are pleased to share the news that Dr. Myriam Telus (Ph.D. 2015) is a new Postdoctoral Fellow in the Cosmochemistry and Geochemistry research group at the Carnegie Institution of Washington's Department of Terrestrial Magnetism (DTM). For more, read the Carnegie DTM news release.

August 31, 2015
ThinkTech Hawaii logo ThinkTech Hawai‘i–Research at UH Mānoa: Talk Shows in AUGUST with HIGP:
See the: HIGP Media Schedule.

August 20, 2015
UH Mānoa Receives Top Ranking for Earth and Environmental Science
International Space Station image of Oahu showing location of UH Manoa campus on Oahu. Image ISS022E014560, courtesy of Image Science and Analysis Laboratory, NASA Johnson Space Center. The University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa is ranked the 15th university in the world for earth and environmental science according to this year's Nature Index. Anchored by the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), UHM ranked higher than nearly 8,000 other institutions. For more see the UH Kaunānā News Release.

August 6, 2015
Leadership Transition at the Applied Research Lab of UH
Dr. Margo Edwards HIGP Researcher, Margo Edwards has been appointed Interim Executive Director of the Applied Research Laboratory at the University of Hawai‘i (ARL/UH). Edwards' previous leadership experience includes technical director of ocean environmental effects at ARL/UH and Center Director of the UH-based U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Center of Excellence for Island, Maritime and Extreme Environment Security. For more see the UH News Release and the ARL website.

July 31, 2015
Planetary Volcanology Analogs: New Online Resource
Link to Planetary Volcanology Analogs website The NASA Pacific Regional Planetary Data Center (PRPDC) located at UH Mānoa, has launched an online resource highlighting sites in Hawai‘i as planetary volcano analogs. PRPDC Director, Peter Mouginis-Mark, encourages students and the public to enjoy the images and posters about volcanoes on the planets and read more about specific volcanic landforms with comparisons to field locations in Hawai‘i. Visit the Planetary Volcanology Analogs website.

July 29, 2015
Research on Extreme Tsunami Changing Evacuation Maps for Hawaiian Islands
tsunami warning icon--evacuate to high ground Hawai‘i officials have released the first revised tsunami evacuation maps that account for the possibilitiy of an extreme tsunami event in the future. For more see the HIGP October 2014 news item. Watch the Big Island Video News segment, the KITV News segment, and the Hawaii News Now segment about the release of new evacuation maps and smartphone app. Click < here > for the listing of evacuation zone maps for Oahu from the City and County of Honolulu, Department of Emergency Management. Emergency officials across the state are updating maps for the islands.

July 23, 2015
HIGP Director's Report for FY14-15
Link to Director's report for FY14-15

HIGP Director, Rhett Butler, releases the Director's Report for Fiscal Year 2014-2015.

July 1, 2015
Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanographic Research Award Announcement
Link to Evans Fellowships With our congratulations, HIGP is pleased to announce that two graduate students from the Department of Oceanography have been selected for one-year Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanographic Research. Sherry Chou is a graduate student with Glenn Carter. Chou's physical oceanography research on the ocean energy budget is focused on internal tides interaction with the Hawaiian Islands. Christopher Schvarcz is a graduate student with Grieg Steward. Schvarcz is pursuing biological oceanography research on marine phytoplankton and their viruses in Hawaiian waters. The fellowships were established by virtue of a very generous gift from the estate of Denise B. Evans. They support outstanding SOEST graduate students in many different fields of oceanographic research. For details, please visit the Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanographic Research website.

July 1, 2015
New Dates Determined for Aqueous Alteration on Chondritic Asteroids
Link to publication A team of scientists led by former HIGP Post-Docs, Patricia M. Doyle (now at the University of Cape Town, South Africa) and Kaori Jogo (now at the Korea Polar Research Institute, Korea), and including Kazuhide Nagashima, Alexander Krot, and colleagues from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, University of Chicago, and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, investigated aqueous alteration on asteroids. After synthesizing a new mineral standard for their analyses in the UH W. M. Keck Cosmochemistry Lab, the team's new 53Mn-53Cr radiometric ages of meteorite samples indicate that liquid water existed, and aqueous alteration started, on chondritic asteroids about three million years earlier than previously determined. These new dates have big implications on when and where the asteroids formed. See the paper published in Nature Communications and read more about it in the Planetary Science Research Discoveries online journal.

June 16, 2015
UH Mānoa and Hilo Team Secures NASA EPSCoR Funding to use UAVs to Study Active Volcanism
Big Island true-color image from space. A new three-year award for "Developing a Capability at the University of Hawai‘i for Multiple UAV Observations of Active Volcanism" aims to use multiple unmanned aerial vehicles to study lava flows and volcanic plumes at Kilauea volcano. The project will also develop capability and protocol to use UAVs for other types of scientific studies. Principle investigator of the project is HIGP Researcher Peter Mouginis-Mark; co-investigators are HIGP Associate Researchers Rob Wright and John Porter, and UH Hilo Assistant Professor Ryan Perroy. For more see the Press Release from UH Hilo, article in Pacific Business News, and NASA's EPSCoR Press Release of all award recipients.

June 4, 2015
Future Flight Hawai‘i Celebrates 25 Years
Link to Future Flight Hawaii/Hawaii Space Grant Consortium. On June 7, 2015 the space-themed educational programs known as Future Flight Hawai‘i will be celebrating 25 years of science learning, inspiration, and fun. Throughout the years, Future Flight Hawai‘i has provided week-long summer camps for students in grades 4-12, weekend family camps for parents and their students in grades 2-5, day camps for students, and classroom presentations. Future Flight Hawai‘i also established astronaut recognition science events, family science nights, robotics, science workshops, and other activities that have reached more than 250,000 children and adults at over 200 schools throughout the state. Under the skilled guidance of Art and Rene Kimura, the excellent teams of teachers, scientists, and staff and the sponsorship of the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium, the thrill of science, technology, engineering, and math have come alive for the participants of Future Flight Hawai‘i programs. Congratulations!

May 18, 2015
Comet Wild 2: A Window into the Birth of the Solar System?
Link to SOEST press release. A team of scientists led by HIGP Assistant Researcher Ryan Ogliore, and including Kazuhide Nagashima and Gary Huss and colleagues from the University of California at Berkeley, investigated the oxygen isotope and mineral composition of comet dust returned from comet Wild 2 by NASA's Stardust mission. Their paper published in Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta details their analyses and interpretations of the origins of the diverse particles. Read the SOEST Press Release, UH News Release, and science article at Sen.

April 23, 2015
New Study Uses Meteorites to Date the Timing of the Moon-forming Impact
Link to UH news article. Ed Scott, HIGP Researcher in meteoritics, is co-author with colleagues from Colorado, Arizona, Texas, Canada, and the Czech Republic on a paper published in Science that relates computer modeling of impact debris with detailed laboratory analyses of meteorites from the asteroid belt. First author is William Bottke from Southwest Research Insitute and NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute in Boulder, CO. Read the UH News Release and article in Ka Leo UH Mānoa newspaper.

April 22, 2015
Hidden Carbon in Earth's Inner Core
Link to news article at Advanced Photon Source-Argonne National Lab. Bin Chen, HIGP Assistant Researcher in high-pressure mineral physics, is lead author with colleagues from Michigan, Illinois, California, and Washington DC, on a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science explaining their idea of a carbon-rich inner core. Their work suggests two-thirds of Earth's carbon inventory exists as iron-carbide under high pressure in the core. Read the News Release from the U.S. Department of Energy's Advanced Photon Source–Argonne National Laboratory.

April 9, 2015
Hawaiian Volcanoes Subject of New AGU Monograph
Link to 2015 AGU Monograph on Hawaii Volcanoes Sarah Fagents, HIGP Researcher, is a contributing author of a chapter in a new 600-page book published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in the American Geophysical Union Geophysical Monograph Series. Hawaiian Volcanoes: From Source to Surface "is the outcome of an AGU Chapman Conference held on the island of Hawai‘i in August 2012... and contains a diversity of research results that highlight the current understanding of how Hawaiian volcanoes work and point out fundamental questions requiring additional exploration." Chapter authors also include colleagues from SOEST/Department of Geology and Geophysics. Read more about the book and the table of contents at Wiley publishers.

April 2, 2015
Nominations Open for Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanographic Research
Link to Evans Fellowships By virtue of a very generous gift from the estate of Denise B. Evans, HIGP in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) established the Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanographic Research. These awards support outstanding SOEST graduate students in many different fields of oceanographic research. Awards are in the amount of $28,000 per year, and are paid as salary to graduate research assistants at UH Mānoa who will be continuing their studies. Nomination packages were due at the HIGP Office (POST 602) by 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 7, 2015. For complete details, please visit the Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanographic Research website.

March 31, 2015
ThinkTech Hawaii logo ThinkTech Hawaii, and host Jay Fidell, talk with Nicole Lautze (HIGP Assistant Researcher and co-Principal Investigator of the Hawai‘i Groundwater & Geothermal Resource. They discuss geothermal work in "How Hot is Your Hawai‘i?" Watch the show: The SOEST Hour on the ThinkTech Hawai‘i YouTube channel.

February 6, 2015
LPI Career Development Award to Christine Jilly-Rehak
HIGP and G&G PhD student Christie Jilly-Rehak. HIGP/G&G graduate student, Christine Jilly-Rehak, has been selected as one of 13 LPI Career Development Award winners for 2015 by the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, TX. These competitively-selected awards are given to graduate students who submitted a first-author abstract to the 46th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. The awards are based on a review of the application materials by a panel of planetary scientists, and recipients receive funds to help cover their expenses for attending the conference. See the Award Announcement from the LPI. Christie is pursuing a Ph.D. in cosmochemistry with advisor, Gary Huss, in the UH W. M. Keck Cosmochemistry Laboratory. View her conference abstract: Oxygen Isotopes in Secondary Minerals in CR Chondrites; Comparing Components of Different Petrologic Type. Congratulations!

February 5, 2015
Hawai‘i Tsunami Preparedness in the News
HIGP Director, Dr. Rhett Butler HIGP Director Rhett Butler discusses tsunami research with Voice of America in this piece on tsunami modeling, monitoring, and preparedness. For more see the HIGP October 2014 news item and watch the video from Voice of America. Image courtesy of Voice of America.

January 29, 2015
In Remembrance
Dr B. Ray Hawke With deep sadness, we share the news of B. Ray Hawke's passing on January 24, 2015. An HIGP lunar and planetary scientist, researcher, tireless advocate for lunar activity, teacher, mentor, colleague, friend—Dr. Hawke will be truly missed. We offer our sincere condolences to his family and friends. A memorial gathering will be held in the Pacific Regional Planetary Data Center (POST building, room 544) on February 15 at 3:00 p.m. Please see the PRPDC page for more information. A remembrance written by Paul Spudis (Lunar and Planetary Institute, Houston) posted at www.airspacemag.com and one written by David Blewett (Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory) posted at www.lpod.wikispaces.com recount many scientific endeavors. Image courtesy of Hawai'i Space Grant Consortium.

January 23, 2015
Large Fresh Water Supply Discovered on Hawai‘i Island
Humu'ula drill site image In March 2013, researchers from UH Mānoa and UH Hilo began drilling at an elevation of 6400 feet in the saddle region between the mountains of Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea on Hawai‘i Island. HIGP's Donald Thomas is leading the effort. What they discovered seven months later may radically change conventional wisdom regarding the state’s most valuable resource: fresh water. “The conventional model that we worked with for years and years is that we have a relatively thin basal fresh water lens,” he said. “We found something just completely different. The stable water table in the saddle is not 500 feet above sea level. It’s more like 4500 feet above sea level.” Read more about it and watch the video in the UH System News and on the SOEST video page. See coverage at Hawaii News Now. Also read more in the report in EOS. Image courtesy of UH Mānoa.

January 20, 2015
Observations of Earth's Erupting Volcanoes
NASA image of Hawaii Island courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE/EOSDIS MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. A remote sensing comparison of 95 of Earth's active volcanoes over a 15-year period reports Kilauea (erupting almost continusously since January 1983 and with lava flows now threatening the town of Pahoa) is hottest in terms of highest total energy. The study—led by HIGP Associate Researcher, Rob Wright, and colleagues at Coventry University, UK—used daily observations by NASA's Terra and Aqua MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) sensors. See the paper in Geophysical Research Letters, "Some Observations Regarding the Thermal Flux from Earth's Erupting Volcanoes for the period 2000 to 2014." Read more about it at NASA's Earth Observatory and EarthSky.

January 1, 2015
Online Launch of Hawai‘i Groundwater & Geothermal Resources Center
Hawaii Groundwater & Geothermal Resources Center Nicole Lautze (HIGP Assistant Researcher) and Don Thomas (HIGP Researcher) along with a team of students and colleagues have established the Hawaii Groundwater & Geothermal Resources Center (HGGRC).

The HGGRC online repository provides historical and newly developed information relating to groundwater and geothermal resources in Hawai‘i. HGGRC strives to increase access to data regarding these resources, encourage research and innovation in water management and geothermal energy, provide an informational platform for the public, and supply policymakers with the necessary information to optimally utilize Hawai‘i's natural resources. Read more in the UH News Release and West Hawaii Today.

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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
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