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Simon Kattenhorn

Simon Kattenhorn, professor of geological sciences and recent associate dean of math and natural sciences at the University of Alaska Anchorage, will be the new permanent dean at University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo’s College of Natural and Health Sciences. The appointment was approved by the UH Board of Regents at their July 6 meeting.

Kattenhorn’s appointment begins August 14. He replaces Professor Brian Wissman, who will continue to serve as interim dean until Kattenhorn starts.

“I am grateful that we had such a capable interim dean in Brian Wissman, and we are all excited to have Dean Kattenhorn join our team,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Bonnie Irwin. “His rich experience will serve UH Hilo well in the coming years.”

Kattenhorn recently served as associate dean in the University of Alaska Anchorage’s College of Arts and Sciences. He has taught courses in structural geology, geomechanics and geohazards, and has conducted extensive research into both field-based structural geology on Earth and satellite-based investigations of other bodies in the solar system.

His structural geology research considers tectonic and volcanic processes in developing extensional fault systems such as continental rifts and mid-ocean spreading centers, with application to geohazards. His planetary geoscience research considers the tectonic evolution of solid surfaces throughout the solar system, including Mars and its moon Phobos as well as outer solar system icy moons such as Europa, Enceladus, Titan and Dione.

Covering 29 years of research and dissemination activity, Kattenhorn’s portfolio includes 20 competitive federal grants, 45 peer-reviewed journal articles as primary or co-author and 184 conference abstracts. Over the course of his career, he has taught 65 course sections and has mentored 26 graduate students and 11 undergraduate students in research projects. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, and a member of various professional organizations, including as a fellow at the Geological Society of America.

Kattenhorn also is a former chair of the Planetary Geology Division of the Geological Society of America and lead investigator of the CRAFTI (Continental Rifting in Africa: Fluid-Tectonic Interaction) collaborative research group that was developed with funding from the National Science Foundation and involved researchers from University of Alaska Anchorage, University of Rochester, University of New Mexico, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Syracuse University.

Kattenhorn earned his PhD in geological and environmental sciences from Stanford University (1998) and his master of science in geology from University of Akron (1994). He also holds a master of science degree (1994) and a bachelor of science degree with honors (1991) from University of Natal, Durban, South Africa.

Learn more about Kattenhorn’s teaching and research at his website.

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