Biogeochemical Cycles & Geobiology

Origin of Earth's Water – Astrobiology Postdoctoral Fellow – Institute for Astronomy, University of Hawai'i Manoa

By Keith Cowing
September 28, 2011

The Institute for Astronomy (IfA) invites applications for a Postdoctoral Fellowship with interests in the origin of Earth’s water to work with the University of Hawai’i’s NASA Astrobiology Institute lead team (see The UH lead team maintains an innovative and multi-disciplinary research environment linking astronomical, biological, microbiological, chemical, and geological sciences to investigate the origin, history, distribution and role of water as it relates to life in the universe. The program centers around interactions with an interdisciplinary group of postdoctoral fellows. We have a particular need for an individual interested in the origin of Earth’s water, and, by analogy, terrestrial planetary volatiles. The work involves geological field work to sample primitive, deep-mantle-plume materials, preparation of samples of melt inclusions in olivines from Hawaiian and Icelandic basalts for isotopic measurements using the petrographic microscope, scanning electron microscope, and electron microprobe, and measurements of D/H ratios and hydrogen abundances in the melt inclusions using the UH Cameca ims 1280 ion microprobe. The Fellowship is for one year and may be renewable up to a total of 3 years assuming satisfactory progress and continued availability of funds. The fellow will receive a stipend of approximately $5,000 per month, a small relocation allowance and basic research costs.

Minimum qualifications include a Ph.D. in Geology, Geophysics, Volcanology Cosmochemistry or a related field and a record of research (including sample preparation and use of an ion microprobe) in one or more of these fields as demonstrated by publications, and presentations. Education and public outreach is an integral part of the Astrobiology program and experience with or interest in E/PO will be considered positively in an application.

Further details about the bioinformatics research projects being carried out within the UH Astrobiology effort can be obtained from Dr. Karen Meech (

Questions about the UH Astrobiology lead team’s program may be directed to Dr. K. J. Meech (

To apply, please submit the following:
* Contact information – name, email, phone(s), fax, address.
* Current position and location
* Date of Ph.D, where it was obtained, and in what field
* Date available if selected for Fellowship.
* If non-US citizen, visa status (note: funding only allows support for fellows on J1- visas)
* Current CV and Bibliography
* Letters of recommendation – Please provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of 3 people we may contact for letters of recommendation.

Application materials can be sent (preferably by email) to:, with copy to
Via fax to: NAI Postdoc application, Fax no. (808) 956-9852
Via snail mail to: Steven Freeland, Institute for Astronomy, 2680 Woodlawn Drive, Honolulu, HI 96822.

Source: NAI newsletter

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