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News and Seminar Archive for 2012   [Links open in a new window.]

    • Spring 2012 and Fall 2012 Planetary Seminar Series — view the entire schedules.

December 5, 2012 — January 29, 2013
Antarctic Search for Meteorites team patch. Welcome home! HIGP Affiliate Faculty Joe Boyce was on the 2012-2013 Antarctic Search for Meteorites expedition along with 11 others from four countries. Boyce, a veteran of two previous ANSMET expeditions, was on the ice for another season of collecting extraterrestrial materials that support scientific studies of our Solar System. For more, see the ANSMET blog at http://artscilabs.case.edu/ansmet/.

December 4, 2012
Dr. Patty Fryer, DEEPSEA Dive Group at 2012 AGU Update from the 2012 American Geophysical Union annual meeting in San Francisco: HIGP Professor Patricia Fryer (second panelist from right) at the DEEPSEA CHALLENGE/Dive to Earth's Deepest Point lecture. See news item below. Photo courtesy of HIGP Director Peter Mouginis-Mark.

November 7, 2012
Dr. Patty Fryer, DEEPSEA Dive Group The American Geophysical Union has announced a special event slated for December 4, 2012 during its AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco featuring four members of this year's DEEPSEA CHALLENGE dive expedition to the Mariana Trench, including HIGP Professor Patricia Fryer. Additional panelists are James Cameron, National Geographic Explorer-In-Residence; Douglas Bartlett, Microbiologist from Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Kevin Hand, Astrobiologist from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Fryer will discuss preliminary scientific findings in the context of scientific exploration at extreme depths. For more information, see the AGU event page: DEEPSEA CHALLENGE: New Science and Technology at Extreme Depths. Read more, with quotes from Dr. Fryer, at National Geographic News, Solo Sub Dive is Deepest Ever. The expedition website is deepseachallenge.com.

October 24, 2012
Plume of magmatic gases erupt from a vent that formed in 2008 within Halema'uma'u Crater, Kilauea summit caldera. Credit: Michael Poland/USGS HVO. HIGP researchers James Foster, Cecily Wolfe, and Benjamin Brooks are co-authors on a paper in the November issue of Nature Geoscience detailing a new numerical model to explain eruptive patterns at Kilauea and Mauna Loa. The paper includes first author Helge Gonnermann (Rice University) and Michael Poland and Asta Miklius (both from Hawai'i Volcano Observatory). From their research of these adjacent Hawaiian volcanoes, they propose an upper-mantle link that accounts for inflation (upward bulging) and eruptive patterns. The Kilauea and Mauna Loa GPS networks are supported by grants from USGS, NSF, and NASA and operated in collaboration by the USGS, Stanford University, and the Pacific GPS Facility at the University of Hawai'i. See the UH Press Release, the paper in Nature Geoscience and news article in ScienceDaily.

September 24, 2012
Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory. The work of UH-system students, engineers, and faculty of the Hawai‘i Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL) is highlighted on the front page of today's Honolulu Star Advertiser. The HSFL team is preparing for the first launch of its low-Earth-orbit HiakaSat satellite project a year from now from the Pacific Missile Range Facility, Kaua‘i. HiakaSat mission goals include the collection of thermal hyperspectral images that HIGP Specialist and HSFL Director, Luke Flynn, says "will provide data on global warming, ocean temperatures, coral bleaching, volcanoes, and a whole host of issues that affect Hawai‘i and the rest of the world."

July 30, 2012
2011 FACSS Innovation Award to Shiv K. Sharma. The Federation of Analytical Chemistry and Spectroscopy Societies (FACSS) has announced the recipients of the 2011 Innovation Awards. Among them is HIGP Researcher/Associate Director Shiv Sharma, coauthor on the paper, "Large-Area Standoff Planetary Raman Measurements Using a Novel Spatial Heterodyne Fourier Transform Raman Spectrometer" with S. Michael Angel and Nathaniel R. Gomer (University of South Carolina) and J. Chance Carter (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory). These awards showcase the newest and most creative science papers debuted orally at the 2011 FACSS conference in Reno, NV held October 2-7, 2011. We extend our warmest congratulations. Sharma will receive the award at the FACSS SciX conference to be held September 30-October 5, 2012 in Kansas City. See the FACSS announcement for more information.

July 26, 2012
2012 AGU Fleming Medal awarded to Michael D. Fuller. The American Geophysical Union announced today the recipient of the 2012 John Adam Fleming Medal is HIGP Affiliate Faculty and AGU Fellow Michael Fuller, senior researcher in paleomagnetism and geomagnetism. This medal, established in 1960, is presented annually to an individual for outstanding contributions in original research and technical leadership in geomagnetism, atmospheric electricity, aeronomy, space physics, and related sciences. AGU union medals are among the most respected in the Earth and Space Science communities worldwide, and we extend our warmest congratulations. Fuller will receive the medal at an Honors Ceremony to be held on December 5, 2012 at the Fall AGU Meeting in San Francisco.

July 16, 2012
We are pleased to announce the 2012 promotion and tenure list approved by the Board of Regents includes four from HIGP. Congratulations to:
  • Sarah Fagents to Researcher, working on planetary volcanism
  • James Potemra to Associate Specialist, working on ocean circulation and its relationship to climate
  • Mark Rognstad to Specialist, working on sonar design for seafloor mapping
  • Pavel Zinin to Researcher, working on high-pressure mineral physics

June 6, 2012
Jeff Taylor, HIGP HIGP Researcher G. Jeffrey Taylor has been selected as a Guest Investigator for NASA's Gravity Recovery And Interior Laboratory (GRAIL). Launched in September, 2011, the mission involves two spacecraft in lunar orbit that will make the most accurate map of the Moon's gravity field ever made, improving our knowledge of the nearside gravity by a hundred times and of the farside gravity by a thousand times. When combined with existing detailed topographic data the gravity data will enable scientists to determine the Moon's interior structure and place firm constraints on its composition. Taylor will work with the GRAIL geophysics team to determine the chemical composition of the Moon. He says the new data "will shed light on the origin of the Earth-Moon system and on the formation of the lunar core, mantle, and crust." It complements his related work on the chemical composition of Mars. The Principal Investigator of the GRAIL mission is Dr. Maria Zuber of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

June 5, 2012
The Transit of Venus on June 5 will be visible in its entirety in Hawai‘i (weather permitting) from 12:09 p.m. to 6:42 p.m. Hawai‘i Standard Time. SOEST and HIGP will be showing the live webcast of the event from the summit of Mauna Kea as well as the geological perspective of Venus on the HD video wall in room HIG 131.
Composite image of June 2004 transit of Venus as seen from Waldenburg, Germany. Courtesy of Jay Pasachoff, Williams College. Honolulu's Bishop Museum is hosting a Transit of Venus Festival on June 5 to mark the event as well. Highlights of the day include lectures by notable researchers: HIGP Director, Peter Mouginis-Mark, speakes about Venus at 3:00 p.m. Volunteers from the Hawaiian Astronomical Society, including HIGP's Chris Peterson (Manager of the Pacific Regional Planetary Data Center), will be on the great lawn from noon to 5 p.m. Solar filters on their telescopes will allow safe viewing of the sun. Additional information about the transit of Venus is available from NASA Goddard Space Flight Center: Watch the video "Hawai‘i and the Cosmos" to find out what King David Kalakaua, Mauna Kea summit, and the transit of Venus all have in common. For more on the transit viewing venues in Hawai‘i, go to http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/transit/. Remember: Never look directly at the sun without properly protecting your eyes. Use solar filters. Sunglasses are not enough. [Composite image of the June 2004 transit of Venus as seen from Waldenburg, Germany courtesy of Jay Pasachoff, Williams College. This year Venus will cross the northern hemisphere of the Sun.]

May 30, 2012
The Insitute for Astronomy will sponsor a free panel discussion on May 30 at 7:30 p.m. about the transit of Venus. The location for the event is the Art Auditorium on the Mānoa campus. HIGP Director, Peter Mouginis-Mark, will talk about Venus itself; IfA astronomer Paul Coleman will speak about the role of Hawai‘i during the 1874 transit of Venus; IfA solar physicist Shadia Habbal will speak about the sun and its connection to Venus and Earth; and IfA's Roy Gal will speak about the transit on June 5. Free solar viewers will be distributed. For more information about this Frontiers of Astronomy Community Event, go to http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/transit/panel.shtml. For more on the transit viewing venues in Hawai‘i, go to http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/transit/. Remember: Never look directly at the sun without properly protecting your eyes with solar filters. Sunglasses are not enough.
May 7, 2012
HIGP Assistant Researcher James Foster, with Associate Researcher Ben Brooks, and colleagues have reported the first shipboard tsunami detection by kinematic GPS.
Dr. James Foster, HIGP The researchers found the advanced GPS system onboard the University of Hawaii's R/V Kilo Moana recorded sea-surface wave height data during a tsunami event that mirrored the tsunami predictions issued from the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center. The team is interested in working with the commerical shipping fleet to establish a distributed GPS network for a new real-time, rapid tsunami warning system. They hope to launch a demonstration system on at least two commercial ships before the end of the year.
• Foster, J. H., Brooks, B. A., Wang, D., Carter, G. S., and Merrifield, M. A. (2012) Improving Tsunami Warning using Commercial Ships. Geophysical Research Letters, v. 39, L09603, doi:10.1029/2012GL051367 [link to paper].
• Technical coverage: American Geophysical Union Editor's Highlight, Nature Research Highlights.
• News coverage: KITV, KHON.

April 19, 2012
Sarah Crites, HIGP Congratulations to Sarah Crites, doctoral student with Paul Lucey, for receiving the Outstanding Student Paper Award at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco, as just announced by the American Geophysical Union's Planetary Sciences Section. Sarah's winning presentation is titled, "In-situ Production of Organic Molecules at the Poles of the Moon."

April 18, 2012
Arjun Aryal, doctoral student with Ben Brooks (HIGP Associate Researcher and Director of the Pacific GPS Facility) is researching surface displacements in landslides with a fluvial dynamics model. His paper in the March 2012 issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research—Earth Surface is an Editor's Highlight. Read more about "Interdisciplinary technique helps model landslides" from the American Geophysical Union.
March 12, 2012
Deepsea-challenger-sub, photo by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic.    
HIGP Professor, Patricia Fryer, is in Guam as a member of James Cameron's DEEPSEA Challenge project. A partnership with National Geographic and Rolex, this is a dive expedition to the deepest ocean regions on Earth. The project's goal is to support Cameron's descent to the Challenger Deep in the Pacific Ocean's Mariana Trench in a new submersible custom-built with multiple cameras and mechanical arm for sampling rocks and animals. Dr. Fryer, whose research involves characterizing the geology of the Mariana Trench region, including seafloor mud volcanoes, is on hand during the sea trials and dives. As expedition geologist, she will provide analysis of samples and data during the main dive. For more about the expedition, see the National Geographic News. UPDATE: James Cameron completed the record-breaking Mariana Trench Dive on March 25, 2012. Read more, with quotes from Dr. Fryer, at National Geographic News, Solo Sub Dive is Deepest Ever.

February 29, 2012
Composite image of jet release from comet Wild 2 from NASA's Stardust Mission. NASA/JPL/Caltech. HIGP scientists analyze a tiny comet grain to date Jupiter's formation.
Particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 brought to Earth in 2006 by NASA's Stardust spacecraft indicate that Jupiter formed more than three million years after the formation of the first solids in our Solar System. Published in the Feb. 1, 2012, issue of the Astrophysical Journal Letters are new results from laboratory analyses on a tiny fragment in one of the comet Wild 2 particles. Post-doctoral researcher Ryan Ogliore conducted the work with Researchers Gary Huss and Kazuhide Nagashima and colleagues from the University of California at Berkeley, University of Washington, and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. For more see the Press releases at EurekAlert, UH news, and Star Advertiser. Read the PSRD science summary, and hear Ryan on the air, March 12, 2012. His interview, "Teenie tiny meets big and burly...a new study with a different take on Jupiter's formation," starts at the 37:25 mark (after the Stargazer segment) at Hawaii Public Radio.

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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.

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