Hope Ishii recognized for outstanding contributions

Hope Ishii, researcher in SOEST’s Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, was elected as a Fellow of The Meteoritical Society in recognition of her outstanding contributions to the field of meteoritics. This honor is reserved for only 1% of the membership every two years.

Ishii studies the chemistry and structure of extraterrestrial material from comets and asteroids to gain insight into the processes that formed our solar system. She is also the director of the Advanced Electron Microscopy Center, which houses an aberration-corrected transmission electron microscope and a focused ion beam instrument, and Ishii uses these high powered microscopes and others to study meteorites and space dust at the nano-scale.

Ishii’s contributions to the field of meteoritics have improved our understanding of NASA Stardust mission comet dust and its capture, with implications for large-scale transport in the early solar system and the existence of a comet-asteroid continuum.  She played a role in demonstrating that water is produced during space weathering, relevant to precursors for the development of life on Earth and elsewhere in the universe. Ishii also found low temperature carbon compounds in certain components in comets that indicate they have origins in interstellar dust present before the formation of our sun.  Ishii is currently involved in studies of interplanetary dust, lunar regolith, and samples returned from the asteroid Itokawa by JAXA’s Hayabusa mission.

“This is a completely unexpected honor!  As a new Fellow of the Meteoritical Society, I find myself in the company of the great names in my field,” says Ishii.

Due to the global pandemic the Fellows selected for this year will be announced during the society’s virtual Business Meeting that will be held on Wednesday, August 12. A certificate recognizing this achievement will be presented to Fellows at the Annual Meeting scheduled next year in Chicago.