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Geology and geophysics assistant professor awarded prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Tara Hicks, (808) 956-3151
Julia Hammer, (808) 956-5996
School of Ocean & Earth Science & Technology
Posted: Jun 23, 2005

HONOLULU — Julia Hammer, an assistant professor in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, recently received a prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award, the most prestigious of the foundation‘s awards and the first for the Department of Geology and Geophysics.

The $530,000 five-year grant is awarded to promising young tenure-track professors in U.S. universities to help develop their careers and support their research. Hammer received the award with her proposal entitled "Crystallization Kinetics in Volcanology," which will use experimental petrology techniques to explore the dynamics of magma chambers and volcanic conduits.

Hammer uses a combination of field, analytical, and experimental methods to study magmas as they accumulate in the crust, mix and equilibrate with other magmas, and then ascend to the surface during volcanic eruptions. "My research goals involve constraining and utilizing the differences in the rates of magmatic processes in order to better understand subsurface plumbing systems and transport processes," says Hammer. To reach this goal, Hammer is building an experimental laboratory that will be capable of studying geologic materials at high temperatures (600-1700 oC) and at pressures corresponding to a depth range in the Earth's crust of 0-12 km (1 bar to 4 kbar).

"Julia's work is exciting and cutting edge. It extends our position as one of the leading geology departments in the nation and a top volcano research facility in the world," says Chip Fletcher, chair of the Department of Geology and Geophysics. "Of special note are Julia's efforts to expand natural science education opportunities for Hawaii's children - the scientists of tomorrow."

The CAREER award will also support a professional development opportunity for K-12 teachers — RET/VP, Research Experience for Teachers in Volcano-Petrology. Participation in the lab group for 4-6 weeks in the summer will immerse teachers in an ongoing project and provide opportunities to develop technical, research, and communications skills.

Hammer received her BA from Dartmouth College in 1993, her PhD from the University of Oregon in 1998, and then was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Brown University before joining the Department of Geology and Geophysics in 2002.

Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER)
The CAREER Program offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards for outstanding faculty early in their independent professional careers. The program recognizes and supports the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century. CAREER awardees are selected on the basis of creative, career-development plans that effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their institution. Such plans should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education. More than 1,800 CAREER proposals are received by NSF each year, and 350-400 awards are made annually. For more information, visit

Research contact:
Julia Hammer
Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Hawai'i, Honolulu, Hawaii 96822, USA
(808) 956-5996,

About the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) was established by the Board of Regents of the University of Hawaii 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: