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2004 Annual Science Report

University of Hawaii, Manoa Reporting  |  JUL 2003 – JUN 2004

Executive Summary

Water is the medium in which the chemistry of all life on Earth takes place. Water is the habitat in which life first emerged and in which all of it still thrives. Water has modified Earth’s geology and climate to a degree that has allowed life to persist to the present epoch. We propose to create a research and education framework that links the biological, chemical, geological, and astronomical sciences to better understand the origin, history, distribution, and role of water as it relates to life in the universe. We focus on scenarios involving the sources and distribution of water in planetary systems and the delivery and incorporation of water into rocky planets that orbit within the “habitable zones” of their parent stars. Our framework will include and connect research on major aspects of planetary water—in effect we aim to understand the terms of a ... Continue reading.

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12 Project Reports
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Project Reports

  • Water-Rock Chemistry and Habitats for Life

    An exciting development related to this NAI project is the funding of a grant to design, construct, and test a prototype instrument for contamination-free sampling of basement rock fluids from deep-sea boreholes.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 5.1 5.2 5.3 6.1
  • Subglacial Sampling in Iceland

    University of Hawaii (UH) NAI-funded preparations for July field work at several sites in Iceland are underway.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.2 5.3 7.2
  • Development of an Intelligent Telescope Scheduler

    Co-I K. Binsted has been working with University of Hawaii (UH) undergraduate and graduate students to develop a scheduler for the Lowell observatory 31-inch telescope which is being used in a collaborative UH-NAI research and educational outreach program.

  • Autonomous Sensor Networks for Hydrology Research

    Co-I Kim Binsted has started a collaboration with Chris McKay (Ames NAI team) by submitting a proposal to develop a system of autonomous sensor networks in the Arctic for hydrology research. Autonomous sensor networks are desirable for conducting research on Earth, and essential on other planets. In remote locations with extreme environments, it is expensive and often hazardous to retrieve data manually.

  • Extraterrestrial Ice Laboratory Experiments

    We commissioned and calibrated a novel ultra high vacuum surface scattering machine to investigate the formation of astrobiologically important molecules in the interstellar medium, and in our solar system.

  • Miniature Mass Spectrometer Development

    The NAI has allowed us to collaborate with Steven Smith at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to expand development of a miniature mass-spectrometer that is well suited for measuring liquid water directly.

  • Post Doc Recruitment – Water and Its Relation to Life in the Universe
    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 2.1 2.2 3.1 3.2 4.1 5.2 5.3 6.1 6.2 7.1 7.2
  • Cometary Water and Volatile Abundances
  • UH NAI Visiting Faculty Scholars Program

    The University of Hawaii (UH)-NAI has established a Visiting Faculty Scholars program that brings external collaborators to work with local researchers.

    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 1.1 1.2 2.1 2.2 3.1 3.2 4.1 4.3 5.1 5.2 5.3 6.1 6.2 7.1 7.2
  • Ultramafic-Hosted Springs in Subduction Zones
    ROADMAP OBJECTIVES: 2.1 4.1 5.1 5.2 5.3 6.1 6.2
  • University of Hawaii Facilities Infrastructure

    he University of Hawaii, as part of its cost-sharing commitment to the NAI, agreed to provide space on campus for our proposed “Water-Hole,” the shared office space facility for the core group of team postdocs. In addition to this collaborative space, lab and desk space will be made available in individual departments where their research is most closely related.

  • Young Stellar Activity & Early Solar System Heating

    Bo Reipurth has been working on eruptive events in young Solar-like stars, the so called FUor and EXor eruptions. Observations of the prototype eruptive variable, FU Orionis itself, with the 8m Subaru telescope at Mauna Kea, has revealed that a nearby star is in fact a physical companion with characteristics similar to the T Tauri stars.