We have five professors, one
instructor, and one support staffer as full-time Department
members. We also have several affiliate faculty who work with
faculty and students, on research or education activities.
Ph.D., Université Laval, 1992
Dr. R. Pierre Martin is an Associate Professor of Astronomy and the Director of the UH Hilo Educational Observatory. He earned his MS and PhD in astrophysics at Universite Laval in Quebec, Canada. He has held post-doctoral fellowship positions at Steward Observatory in Arizona, and with the European Southern Observatory New Technology Telescope in Chile. Between 1997 and 2008, Dr. Martin was a resident astronomer at the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope on Mauna Kea, and its Director of Science Operations for six years. Prior to joining UH Hilo, he was the Executive Director of the WIYN 3.5m telescope on Kitt Peak (Arizona) and also a consultant for the Giant Magellan Telescope project.
Dr. Martin fields of research include the evolution of the Milky Way, massive star formation in galaxies, galaxy morphology, planetary nebulae, telescopes and instrumentation, astronomy from the Moon, and the optimization of the observational process for professional observatories. Outside of work, he is a rock music drummer and an amateur historian, and he enjoys time at home with his wife and cats.
Contact Dr. Pierre Martin.
STB-222, ph: 808-932-7028, Campus Directory
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1998
Her teaching responsibilities at UH Hilo are General Physics, General Astronomy, and Stellar Astronomy.
Contact Dr. Takamiya.
STB-220, ph: 808-932-7194, Campus Directory
Ph.D., Yale University, 1989
Philippe Binder has taught at UH Hilo since 2001. He was appointed to his current rank of Professor of Physics in 2008.
Contact Prof. Binder.
STB-217, Ph: 808-932-7196, Campus Directory
M.Ed., University of Hawai'i at Manoa, 2012
Contact John Coney.
STB-218, ph: 808-932-7187, Campus Directory
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Cruz, 2009
Dr. Cooksey obtained her B.S. in Physics from Valparaiso University, Indiana, in 2003, where she also completed the humanities-based honors program and played for the women's soccer team. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. in Astronomy & Astrophysics from UC Santa Cruz in 2005 and 2009, respectively. From 2004 to 2008, she participated in UCSC's Institute for Scientist & Engineer Educators Professional Development Program, where she learned about science education and issues of diversity and equity in the sciences. She also taught a range of students, from high school to graduate, about science and pedagogy. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the MIT Kavli Institute from 2009 to 2013. For those last three years, she was a National Science Foundation Astronomy & Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow, through which she pursued her teaching and outreach interests. She joined the UHH faculty at the beginning of 2014. You can find her web site at:
Contact Dr. Cooksey.
STB-220, ph: 808-932-7195, Campus Directory
Ph.D., University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, 2015
Dr. Kaluna was born and raised in Pahoa on the island of Hawai'i, and has a strong connection to water that carries into her scientific interests. Her research combines observational astronomy with laboratory experiments to characterize water-related spectral features on various solar system bodies (e.g. the Moon, asteroids, comets). The goal of these observations and experiments are to understand how these spectral features vary in response to the harsh environment of space. In addition to teaching, Dr. Kaluna is developing a visible and near infrared wavelength spectral laboratory at UH Hilo. The lab will be used to characterize the spectral features of various minerals found in meteorites and to provide a basis for interpreting spectral data of asteroids and other solar system bodies.
UH Hilo Stories, UH Hilo alumna, working on her PhD in Australia, inspires high school students to study STEM
Contact Dr. Kaluna.
STB-221, ph: 808-932-7191, Campus Directory
PhD in Physics from UH Manoa in 1990
Contact Dr. Dan O'Connor.
STB-211, ph; 808-932-7186, Campus Directory
Ph.D., University of California at Santa Cruz, 1994
Al teaches Software Systems for Astronomy (ASTR 385) which is based on the Springer Brief he authored in 2014. As both an astronomer and a software developer, Dr. Albert Conrad has developed and used software systems for all phases of observing: from planning the observation, to taking the data, to analyzing the data in preparation for publication.
Possible future courses Dr. Conrad may teach include Computational Physics and Astronomy (ASTR 260), Observational Astronomy (ASTR 250), and a potential new experimental course that covers spacecraft mission support from ground-based telescopes.
Dr. Conrad’s research interests include asteroid systems and developing novel techniques to study comets, planets, and the moons of planets, in particular Jupiter’s moon Io. His complete bibliography includes over 100 publications including 30 articles in refereed journals. These include his early software designs for the Keck Observatory, his discovery of a small moon orbiting the asteroid 41 Daphne, and applying the resolution of a 23 meter telescope (LBT) to detect variation in a lake of lava on Jupiter's volcanic moon Io.
Al’s overall mission in astronomy is to contribute to the exploration, and eventual habitation, of the nearby Solar System. He enjoys cycling, sailing, Frisbee, and outrigger canoe paddling.
Contact Dr. Al Conrad
Ph.D., University of Leicester, 1972
Contact Prof. Griffiths.
STB-216, ph: 808-932-7190, Campus Directory
M.S., University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, 1980
Affiliate faculty with the Physics & Astronomy Dept. Univ. of Hawai'i-Hilo Currently Co-Investigator on two NASA Planetary Science & Technology from Analog Research (PSTAR) grants: BASALT-Biologic Analog Science Associated with Lava Terrains, Conops Development for Future Human Exploration of Mars & SUBSEA-Subsea Ultramafic and Basaltic Science and Exploration Analog. He was directly responsible for the logistics & execution for 3 NASA In-Situ Resource Utilization (ISRU) analog field tests operated by PISCES @ UHH: 2008 Resolve mission, 2010 International (NASA/CSA/ESA) Lunar Surface Operations ISRU Utilization Test & UHH PI for 2012 Resource Prospector Lunar Polar Mission field test. He has received 3 NASA Group Achievement Awards for this work and several NASA Certificates of Appreciation for Mars analog work on Mauna Kea and judging at the NASA KSC Robotic Mining Competition. He has also run field campaigns for several Google Lunar X-Prize teams. He served successively as Research Manager, Deputy Director and acting Director of PISCES prior to its move into DBEDT. Hamilton had an experiment on the Skylab space station prior earning BS Physics & BA Astronomy degrees with honors at University of Texas-Austin Following his MS Astronomy degree from Univ. Hawaii Mānoa, he began a career in observational astronomy at Mees Solar Observatory and LURE Lunar Laser Ranging Experiment on Haleakalā, then moved to the premier high-altitude site of Mauna Kea. There he worked at the NASA InfraRed Telescope Facility (IRTF-3m), Canada-France-Hawai`i Telescope (4m) and Gemini Observatory (8m, Inc. Gemini South, Cerro Pachon, Chile). While at UH-Hilo, Hamilton has taught over 27 distinct courses in Physics and Astronomy, including special topics on Space Exploration and served as department chair in 2006. He was awarded the UH system 2017 Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching. A founding member of the UH-Hilo Planetary and Astrogeology & Robotics (PaAR) group, and has proposed two sites for the Mars Human Landing/Exploration Zones workshop and has priority data from MRO.
Contact Mr. Hamilton.
STB-215, ph: 808-932-7189, Campus Directory
200 W. Kawili St., Hilo, Hi 96720
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