UH Manoa researcher honored as one of the nation's top young professionals in science and engineering

Geology and geophysics associate professor Julia Hammer recognized at White House ceremony

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Julia Hammer, (808) 956-5996
School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
Kristen Bonilla, (808) 956-5039
External Affairs & University Relations
Posted: Jul 26, 2006

HONOLULU — Julia Hammer, an associate professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics in UH Mānoa‘s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), was honored today by President George W. Bush with the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the nation‘s highest honor for professionals at the outset of their independent research careers.

Hammer was recognized today amongst other researchers selected for this year‘s honor in a ceremony at the White House. She was nominated by the National Science Foundation in recognition of her research in volcanology and experimental petrology.

"This award honors one of our dynamic young faculty," said SOEST Dean Brian Taylor. "Julia‘s research is leading the way to an improved understanding of explosive volcanic eruptions."

The Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, established in 1996, honors the most promising researchers in the nation within their fields. Eight federal departments and agencies annually nominate scientists and engineers early in their independent careers whose work shows exceptional promise for leadership at the frontiers of scientific knowledge during the 21st century.

Hammer works at the forefront of a new field that uses data derived from experiments and theory to understand how volcanoes behave during eruptions. Her research focuses on understanding the kinetics of mineral growth in magma conduits and their chambers, and has potential for transforming the understanding of how fast, and at what stage of the eruptive process, magmas crystallize. Toward this goal, Hammer has built an experimental petrology laboratory that is capable of studying geologic materials at high temperatures and at pressures corresponding to a depth range in the Earth's crust from the surface to 12 km.

As volcanoes are central to the cultural and geologic heritage of Hawaiʻi, Hammer is currently working with K-12 teachers to add an important link between her research activities and the education of Hawaiʻi‘s students.

Hammer received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Earth sciences with high honors from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and a doctoral degree in geological sciences from the University of Oregon. Recently tenured and promoted to associate professor of volcanology at UH Mānoa, Hammer was formerly a senior research associate and National Science Foundation postdoctoral fellow at Brown University in Rhode Island.

She also previously received recognition for her early career accomplishments by the National Science Foundation with a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, which is the most prestigious of the foundation‘s award and was the first to be awarded to a faculty member in Mānoa‘s Department of Geology and Geophysics.


The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) was established by the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaiʻi in 1988. SOEST brings together in a single focused ocean, earth sciences and technology group, some of the nation‘s highest quality academic departments, research institutes, federal cooperative programs, and support facilities to meet challenges in the ocean and earth sciences. Scientists at SOEST are supported by both state and federal funds as they endeavor to understand the subtle and complex interrelations of the seas, the atmosphere, and the earth.

For more information, visit: http://www.soest.hawaii.edu