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News and Seminar Archive for 2019   [Links open in a new window.]

    • 2019 HIGP Seminar Series

July 19 – HIGP Special Seminar Celebrates the Apollo 11 Landing 50th Anniversary
LROc WAC mosaic image of lunar nearside

Hear HIGP recollections of the amazing Apollo 11 landing, astronaut training, science results, subsequent missions to the Moon, and some of the plans for our return to the Moon over the next few years. The speakers will be Klaus Keil, Joe Boyce, Lingzhi Sun, Tom Giguere, David Trang, Shuai Li, and Jeff Taylor. Coordinated by Peter Mouginis-Mark. This HIGP Special Seminar, Celebrating the July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 Moon Landing, will take place on Friday, July 19, from 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. in POST 723. Also, see the article "Scientific Discoveries from the Apollo 11 Mission" by Jeff Taylor on the Planetary Science Research Discoveries website.

18 July 2019
Hawai‘i Public Radio hosted HIGP for a Conversation about Apollo 11 Moon Landing 50th Anniversary
Apollo 11 Astronaut Aldrin's boot and bootprint on the Moon. A trio from HIGP joined Hawai‘i Public Radio's host of The Conversation, Bill Dorman, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. Klaus Keil (Emeritus), Peter Mouginis-Mark, (Researcher) and Lingzhi Sun (PhD candidate) talked about Apollo, today's research projects, and future lunar enterprises. Listen to the full conversation, from HPR.

18 July 2019
Denise B. Evans Fellowship in Oceanographic Research Award Announcement
Link to Evans Fellowships With our congratulations, HIGP is pleased to announce the awarding of the 2019–2020 Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanographic Research to three outstanding graduate students. The fellowships were established by virtue of a very generous gift from the estate of Denise B. Evans in support of the work by SOEST graduate students in many different fields of Oceanographic research. For details, please visit the Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanographic Research website.
  • Emmett Michael Henley, PhD candidate in the Marine Biology program through the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology working with Mary Hagedorn. Henley's focus is on effects of climate change on coral reproduction, specifically examining variations in coral reproduction, sublethal stress on coral gamete quality and potential resilience and restoration techniques of reef-building corals in Kaneohe Bay.
  • Mika Siegelman, a PhD candidate in the Department of Oceanography working with Mark Merrifield. Siegelman's is working on the FLEAT (Flow Encountering Abrupt Topography) experiment to examine the processes involved when major current systems encounter island topography.
  • Emily L. Young, a PhD candidate in the Department of Oceanography working with Craig R. Smith from Biological Oceanography. Young's dissertation title is "Biodiversity, trophic ecology and ecosystem function at organic-rich whale-bone and wood-fall habitats in the deep sea."

02 July 2019
Earth Scientists Share Expertise in International Volcanology Training Course
Group photo of participants in CSAV 2019 volcanology Training course.

Every year since 1990, technicians and scientists from developing countries with active volcanoes have come to Hawai‘i for a six-week course to learn the latest volcano-monitoring techniques. The course is run by the Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes (CSAV), based out of the University of Hawai‘i (UH) at Hilo, and led by HIGP's Donald Thomas. This year, Nicole Lautze (HIGP) and Scott Rowland (Department of Earth Sciences) shared their expertise in physical volcanology and remote sensing with participants from Guatemala, El Salvador, Argentina, Ecuador, Peru, and The Philippines. Read more at SOEST News.

17 June 2019
University Tenure and Promotion Announcements
We are pleased to announce the tenure with promotion to Researcher of Hope Ishii (Director of the Advanced Electron Microscopy Center) and the tenure with promotion to Associate Researcher of Bin Chen in Mineral Physics research. Congratulations.

07 June 2019
Lāna‘i Island Project Updates from Hawai‘i Groundwater & Geothermal Resources Center
Hawaii Groundwater & Geothermal Resources Center Nicole Lautze (HIGP Associate Researcher) and Don Thomas (HIGP Researcher) and project team from the Hawaii Groundwater & Geothermal Resources Center (HGGRC) are posting updates on current HGGRC groundwater research on Lāna‘i. This hydro-geo-chemical assessment of groundwater systems is taking place in Pālāwai Basin.

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.

22 May 2019
Lab Results Show How Water in Lunar Soil Can Be Produced by Combination of Solar-wind Proton Implantation and Micrometeorite-impact Heating
SEM image of lab experimental result. Credit: UH Advanced Electron Microscopy Center and PNAS doi: 10.1073/pnas.1819600116. For the first time, a cross-disciplinary study has shown chemical, physical, and material evidence for water formation on the Moon. Two teams from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa collaborated on the project: physical chemists in the Department of Chemistry's W.M. Keck Research Laboratory in Astrochemistry and HIGP planetary scientists Jeffrey Gillis-Davis, Hope Ishii, John Bradley, and Laura Corley, utilizing the UH Advanced Electron Microscopy Center (AEMC). The results of their laboratory simulation experiments combined with imaging analyses explain how thermal shocks (produced by micrometeorite impacts) on lunar material, which has been implanted with solar-wind protons, can make and trigger the release of water from broken vesicles. The team's publication in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences appeared online May 20: Untangling the Formation and Liberation of Water in the Lunar Regolith. Read Marcie Grabowski's SOEST News Release and more at Space.com.

20 May 2019
Patty Fryer Advises Expedition to World's Deepest Ocean
Left to right: Don Walsh, Patricia Fryer, Steve Chappell, Victor Vescovo. Photo credit: Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
HIGP Professor Patricia Fryer participated as science advisor for the recent Mariana Trench expedition led by extreme explorer Victor Vescovo. During the expedition, which ended on May 9, 2019, the submersible DSV Limiting Factor dove four times in the Challenger Deep area, reaching the greatest depth record, and once in the Sirena Deep, the second deepest part of the Mariana Trench.

Left to right: Don Walsh (Mariana Trench diver on the bathyscaphe Trieste in the Navy's 1960 Operation Nekton), Patricia Fryer, Steve Chappell, Victor Vescovo. Photo credit: Paul-Henri Nargeolet.
Fryer, who is also an alumna of the SOEST Department of Earth Sciences (formerly Department of Geology and Geophysics), was requested on this expedition for her expertise in the Mariana Trench. She was there when the first remotely-operated vehicle from the United States dove to the Challenger Deep in 2009. And Fryer was a member of the expedition in 2012 during which James Cameron became the first person to complete a solo dive to the deepest place on Earth to that date, see our 2012 news item. "Being a part of this recent expedition was thrilling!" said Fryer. "This exemplifies the incredible, incremental advances we are making as a scientific community in looking at the world's deepest ocean." Vescovo brought back sediment and a couple of rocks from the Sirena Deep that Fryer is examining at UH Mānoa. By Marcie Grabowski. See the SOEST Press Release, UH News, and BBC News Report.

15 May 2019
Jeff Taylor on Blue Origin's Blue Moon Science Advisory Board
Dr. Jeff Taylor, Researcher Emeritus on Blue Origin's Blue Moon Science Advisory Board.
HIGP/SOEST/UH Mānoa Researcher Emeritus Jeff Taylor has been named a member of the Science Advisory Board for the Blue Origin lunar lander, called Blue Moon. Board membership was revealed during a press conference by Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos on May 9, 2019 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, D.C. The five other scientists on the advisory board are Harrison "Jack" Schmitt (Apollo 17 astronaut, geologist), Steve Squyres (professor of astronomy at Cornell University), Bradley Jolliff (Scott Rudolph professor of earth and planetary sciences at Washington University in St. Louis), Dean Eppler (former geologist at the Johnson Space Center in Houston and field tester of experimental spacesuits), and Ryan Watkins (research scientist with the Planetary Science Institute). The Board provides feedback to the Blue Moon team about lunar surface composition and material properties, sampling strategies, lander design, landing site selection, lunar science goals, and resource exploration.
"Serving on this advisory board and working with Blue Moon is one of the most exciting opportunities I have had," Taylor said. "The Blue Moon project is the beginning of the second stage of human exploration of the Moon, and the one I hope leads to permanent settlement." For more information on Blue Moon, visit www.blueorigin.com. "Space exploration is far from a diversion in addressing pressing problems on Earth," Taylor said, "it's part of the solution. Using space resources expands Earth's natural resources and opens up vast new opportunities for the benefit of people on Earth." See also UH News.

15 May 2019
HyTI CubeSat Mission Selected For NASA Launch Initiative
Schematic of the HyTI nanosatellite. Credit: HyTI, HIGP/HSFL/SOEST/UH Manoa.

The Hyperspectral Thermal Imager (HyTI), a 6U CubeSat satellite designed and developed by researchers and engineers at UH Mānoa, is among 16 small research satellites from 10 states that NASA has selected to fly as auxiliary payloads aboard space missions planned to launch in the next three years. The Hawai‘i team has now received confirmation of placement on a launch manifest.

Schematic of the HyTI nanosatellite. Credit: HyTI, UH Mānoa.

Currently, 12 UH Mānoa team members, nine of whom earned degrees at UH Mānoa, are working to ready the HyTI CubeSat for launch. HIGP received $3.9 million from NASA in August 2018 in support of a two-year project to develop HyTI. "HyTI represents an important interdisciplinary project involving HIGP instruments and science along with Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) engineering support, all in a very small satellite format," said Robert Wright, Interim Director of HIGP and principal investigator of the HyTI project.

CubeSats, also known as nanosatellites, are small satellites intended for low-Earth orbit that can explore a variety of scientific and technological questions. HIGP, in collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and several companies, will demonstrate with the HyTI CubeSat Mission how new technology, some of which was invented in HIGP, can be used to monitor water resources and volcanic hazards from space. "This project is a highly collaborative effort, building on many previous federally funded projects in remote sensing, instrument development, and small satellite technology that HIGP, HSFL, and SOEST have executed in the past," said Wright. For more see NASA's CubeSat Launch Initiative. By Marcie Grabowski for SOEST News.

07 May 2019
"The Future of Space Tourism" Public Lecture by Alumnus Jim Bell
poster for talk by Dr. Jim Bell.

The UH Department of Earth Sciences is hosting Alumni Days on May 17–18, 2019, including a special public lecture titled "The Future of Space Tourism" by Jim Bell (M.S. 1989 and Ph.D. 1992). Bell's doctorate research at ES/HIGP focused on Mars surface mineralogy and climate variations. The lecture is scheduled for May 17 at 6 p.m. in the Art Auditorium room 132. See the flyer.

03 May 2019
Enrollment is Open for Summer Fieldschool Program in Hydrogeophysics in Volcanic Environments
Student using geophysical field instrument. GG 699: Summer Fieldschool in Hydrogeophysics in Volcanic Environments is a 3-credit directed-research course being offered for the first time by Niels Grobbe, who holds joint positions in HIGP and the Water Resources Research Center (WRRC). The course will run from June 1-24 (June 2-22 for people already on-island), and it is partly sponsored by the Society of Exploration Geophysicists. The course fee of $226 includes tuition, local transportation to and from the study sites, and food/drinks. For more information about the course and registration, please see and the UH Summer 2019 Class Availability webpage and the GG 699 course flyer (pdf). Registration information is also available by contacting Alan Hunley, hunley@hawaii.edu or 808-956-3411.

01 May 2019
Students Strive
Exploring Earth and Space Frontiers HIGP/G&G doctorate students, Casey Honniball and Abigail Flom are featured in "Meet the Daring Young Women Striving for a Life in Space," an article written by Alex Lin for supercluster.com. Read it here.

05 April 2019
Nominations Open for Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanographic Research
Link to Evans Fellowships Please note: The deadline has passed. Nomination packages were due at HIGP Office (POST 602) by 4:00 p.m. on May 16, 2019. By virtue of a very generous gift from the estate of Denise B. Evans, the Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) has established the Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanographic Research. These awards support outstanding SOEST graduate students in many different fields of oceanographic research. Deadline for receipt of nomination packages at the HIGP Office (POST 602) is 4:00p.m. on Thursday, May 16, 2019. For complete details, please visit the Denise B. Evans Fellowships in Oceanographic Research website.

05 April 2019
Shiv Sharma Elected as Fellow of the Society for Applied Spectroscopy
Dr. Shiv Sharma, Researcher HIGP/SOEST/UH Manoa. The Society for Applied Spectroscopy, also known as SAS, has elected HIGP Researcher Shiv Sharma to the 2019 Class of Fellows. Dr. Sharma is a leading researcher in stand-off, remote-sensing spectroscopy for elemental and molecular analysis. He has been "at the forefront of the development of new technologies" for 40 years, said HIGP Interim Director Dr. Rob Wright. Dr. Sharma is currently on NASA's Mars 2020 Rover SuperCam instrument team, providing Raman and fluorescence spectroscopy expertise (see the 2018 HIGP News Item). SuperCam will provide imaging and chemical compositional analysis, and will be able to detect the presence of organic compounds in rocks on Mars, if any, from a distance. As a SAS Fellow, Dr. Sharma is recognized for his outstanding achievements in and contributions to the science, the profession, and the Society for Applied Spectroscopy. Less than 1% of the membership may be selected as Fellows per year. Congratulations!

19 March 2019
HIGP Connection: NASA Selects Teams to Study Untouched Moon Samples

NASA has announced its selection of nine teams to continue the science legacy of the Apollo missions by studying returned lunar samples that have been carefully stored and untouched for nearly 50 years. A total of $8 million has been awarded to the teams, with HIGP represented on two teams. See the NASA News item

One of the teams is led by David Blake (Principal Investigator) and Richard Wolroth (Science PI/Co-I) of NASA Ames Research Center and includes Co-Investigator Hope Ishii (HIGP Associate Researcher and Director of the Advanced Electron Microscopy Center (AEMC) at UHM, Co-Investigator Jeffrey Gillis-Davis (HIGP Associate Researcher), and Collaborator John Bradley (HIGP Researcher and AEMC Manager). The UH/HIGP contingent will be performing simulated space weathering in the laboratory for comparisons with the lunar environment and electron energy loss spectroscopy on lunar simulants and on Apollo lunar samples.
A second team is led by Chip Shearer (Principal Investigator) of University of New Mexico with Paul Lucey (HIGP Researcher) and international partners, including Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt. The team will examine rock, in the double drive tube core, collected by astronauts Schmitt and Gene Cernan from a landslide deposit during their exploration of the Taurus-Littrow Valley in December 1972. The rock core is from a region that had been cold enough for water to freeze–called a cold trap. Since the astronauts sealed the core inside a special vacuum container while on the lunar surface, Shearer and Lucey and colleagues will be the first to examine the rock in the lab to look for gas, water, and other volatile compounds, which hold great importance for future human activities on the Moon.

12 March 2019
New Mineral, Edscottite, Named After UH Emeritus Researcher
Dr. Ed Scott, Emeritus Professor HIGP/SOEST/UH Manoa. The first natural occurrence of the iron carbide Fe5C2 has been found in the Wedderburn iron meteorite and the discovery team has named the new mineral edscottite, as reported in issue 31 of the European Journal of Mineralogy. Approved by the Commission on New Minerals, Nomenclature, and Classification of the International Mineralogical Association, the name honors Edward R. D. Scott, HIGP Emeritus Professor, known for his achievements in meteoritics, especially for studies of iron meteorites. The mineral discovery was led by Chi Ma of CalTech and Alan Rubin of the University of California at Los Angeles.

March 2019
HIGP Alumni News
Dr. Julie Stopar, LPI HIGP Alumni News: We are pleased to share the news that Dr. Julie Stopar (M.S. 2007), a staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) in Houston, TX, has been named the Director of the Regional Planetary Image Facility at the LPI. Stopar studies the formation and evolution of lunar impact craters, volume-limited volcanism, and regolith at the meter-scale and is part of the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera team; highlighted in this LPI video.

February 28, 2019
HIGP Researcher is Part of Two Consortia Supporting Nuclear Nonproliferation Research and Education
Dr. Milton Garces, ISLA Milton Garces, HIGP Researcher and Director of the Infrasound Laboratory (ISLA), is one of three University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa researchers receiving federal funding to develop and demonstrate new technologies that advance nuclear nonproliferation. The two other scientists from UH Mānoa are Henrietta Dulai in the Department of Earth Sciences and John Learned in the Department of Physics and Astronomy. As a member of two new consortia funded by the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) for cutting-edge nuclear nonproliferation efforts, Garces has been awarded funds for five-year projects. For more, please see the UH News Release, DOE/NNSA News Release, the Consortium for Enabling Technologies & Innovation, and the Consortium for Monitoring, Technology, and Verification.

February 2019
Emeritus Faculty
Dr. Jeff Taylor, Emeritus Professor HIGP/SOEST/UH Manoa. The University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents and UH President/UH Mānoa Interim Chancellor have named Dr. G. Jeffrey Taylor an Emeritus Professor in HIGP. Dr. Taylor began his research and teaching career at HIGP in 1990, moving here from the Institute of Meteoritics at the University of New Mexico. Among his accomplishments are the publication of over 200 reviewed research papers, conference proceedings, and books. He is also the recipient of the 2008 Carl Sagan Medal awarded by the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society–for excellence in public communication of planetary science and the 2011 Shoemaker Distinguished Lunar Scientist Award, presented by the NASA Lunar Science Institute–in recognition of his significant scientific contributions and leadership roles. Congratulations Emeritus Professor Taylor, and we wish you continued success in your publication of Planetary Science Research Discoveries (PSRD) and all your research and writing endeavors.

11 January 2019
HIGP Job Opportunities: Lunar and Planetary Sample Return and Exploration for Space Resources
HIGP seeks to hire two tenure-track, full-time, permanent positions. One appointment will be made at the Assistant Researcher level, the other at the Associate Researcher level. 75% State funds provided. Position 0082103: Lunar and Planetary Sample Return: we are looking for individuals with interests and skills to take advantage of the anticipated return of new samples from the Moon, Mars, asteroids, comets, and other objects. Position 0088583: Exploration for Space Resources: we invite candidates who can identify and aid in the assessment of resources beyond the Earth using remote sensing, analysis of in situ data, or planetary analogs. We seek individuals with strong interests in participating in, or leading, space missions beyond low-Earth orbit relevant to the areas sought. Filling this position is subject to position clearance. Application reviews begin April 15, 2019. For full details of the duties, minimum and desirable qualifications, and how to apply please search for the relevant position numbers (0082103; 0088583) at https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/hawaiiedu. The University of Hawai‘i is an EEO/AA Institution.

07 January 2019
Spring 2019 Course Offerings with HIGP
UH Manoa seal Welcome to the first day of the Spring 2019 semester. HIGP faculty are teaching these courses: Course syllabi available here.

HIGP News and Seminar Archives for [ 2019 | [2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 |2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 ].

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, POST 602
Honolulu, HI 96822
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