Home / Astronomy & Space / 2014 Regents’ Medal for excellence in research

2014 Regents’ Medal for excellence in research

Manoa Awards Winners 2014
A group shot of the 2014 Manoa Awards honorees at Orvis Auditorium. In center, with tan pants, is Chancellor Tom Apple. Student Regent Jeffrey Acido is at far left.

Each year, the Chancellor recognizes the leadership and service of UH Mānoa faculty, staff, and students committed to enhancing the University’s mission of excellence. The 2014 UH Manoa Awards ceremony was held on April 30 in Orvis Auditorium at 2:30 p.m.

The Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Research is awarded by the Board of Regents in recognition of scholarly contributions that expand the boundaries of knowledge and enrich the lives of students and the community.

Ruth D. Gates

Ruth Gates
Pictured center with Regent Jeffrey Acido (left) and UHM Chancellor Tom Apple (right): Ruth Gates, Researcher, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology

Ruth Gates is a tenured researcher at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. She capitalizes on the combination of close proximity to living coral reefs and world-class research infrastructure to address questions on how corals and reefs function. Her work crosses spatial scales from molecules to ecosystems; it employs tools from the fields of molecular, cell and computational biology, biochemistry, physiology and ecology. Her goal is to build human, biological and educational capacity to slow and stop declines in reef integrity, and to improve the prognosis for coral reefs in the face of intensifying impacts from climate change and human use. She mentors postdoctoral fellows, graduate students and undergraduates, and works with a diversity of national and international collaborators that encompass biologists, engineers, writers and artists.

Andrew Howard

Andrew Howard
Pictured center with Regent Jeffrey Acido (left) and UHM Chancellor Tom Apple (right): Andrew Howard, Assistant Astronomer, Institute for Astronomy

Andrew Howard is an Assistant Astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy. This modern-day explorer has discovered dozens of planets orbiting stars other than the Sun in our Milky Way galaxy. Using telescopes in Hawai‘i and in space, he explores the chemical compositions, formation histories, and diversity of these extrasolar planets. His research team was the first to show that an Earth-size extrasolar planet is made of rock and iron like our Earth, and that temperate, Earth-size planets are common in our galaxy. The latter study was recognized by the 2013 Cozzarelli Prize for the top paper in the physical and natural sciences in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. He is enabling future discoveries by developing the next generation of planet-finding instruments for telescopes on Mauna Kea.

Nick Kaiser

Nicholas Kaiser
Pictured center with Regent Jeffrey Acido (left) and UHM Chancellor Tom Apple (right): Nicholas Kaiser, Astronomer, Institute for Astronomy.

Nicholas Kaiser, an Astronomer at the Institute for Astronomy, has performed research mostly in the field of Observational Cosmology. His first contributions, at a time of revolution in the subject, was on theoretical interpretation of fluctuations in the cosmic microwave background. He played a significant role in developing what is now the standard model for cosmological structure formation, having elucidated the phenomenon of “biased galaxy clustering” and other effects. He then went on to advance several other essential probes of cosmology, including cosmic flows, galaxy clustering and gravitational lensing. After arriving at the UHM campus in 1997, his focus moved to developing wide-field telescopes, and he has been the Principal Investigator of the University’s Pan-STARRS project. He has been recognized with several awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society.

For more information on the 2014 UH Manoa Awards, visit:  http://manoa.hawaii.edu/chancellor/awards/