MISSION AND STRATEGY: 2001-2010
The Hawaii Space Grant Consortium comprises programs at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Hilo, the seven Community Colleges within the University of Hawaii system, the University of Guam, and several non-academic partners. Our consortium is governed by a board of directors composed of the Director, Executive Director, and Associate Directors for major programs and for each campus. We outline here our collective vision for the consortium and our strategy for the future.
The Hawaii Space Grant Consortium inspires, nurtures, and trains the space scientists, space settlers, and aerospace engineers of the future. We accomplish this in the following ways:
- Enhancing undergraduate education by encouraging undergraduate research in space science, remote sensing, planetary resource exploration, and aerospace engineering, and developing innovative courses in these areas.
- Improving the research infrastructure of our member institutions.
- Training pre-service and in-service teachers.
- Educating the public about exciting new discoveries stemming from space exploration.
- Helping to strengthen local space-related industries.
Our strategy is reviewed often as we recognize new needs in our community and as new opportunities arise. The strategy is dynamic and represents our current view of our approach.
Enhance undergraduate research opportunities
Providing research opportunities for undergraduates is a major recommendation of the Boyer Commission Report on Higher Education. Space Grant fellowships have been providing such opportunities since 1990, and we will ensure that our undergraduate research program continues to flourish. This will be accomplished by:
- Continuing to work with and encourage the cadre of excellent faculty mentors we have and to actively recruit others.
- Develop ways in which community college students and their faculty mentors can work with Manoa and Hilo faculty members on research projects.
- Take a leadership role in promoting the value of undergraduate research throughout the UH system.
- Ensure through active advertising that all students know about the Space Grant research opportunities. This applies especially to members of underrepresented groups.
- Provide funding for undergraduate summer internships with local companies, in partnership with those companies. This would provide an important type of research and work experience for undergraduate students.
- Collaborate with UH faculty members on proposals for space missions that involve undergraduate and graduate students.
Enhance the undergraduate curriculum
Hawaii Space Grant has been instrumental in developing undergraduate courses in planetary science and remote sensing. We intend to expand our efforts to include courses and curricula opportunities in other areas:
- Create an upper level course in planetary economic geology, to aid in future human settlement of the Moon and Mars.
- Develop and support an upper-level course that integrates remote sensing, GPS, GIS, and field mapping techniques.
- Devise ways of sharing course materials among consortia members, and with Space Grant programs in other states.
- Develop an introductory planetary geology course for pre-service teachers.
- Enhance space education at the Community Colleges by devising a program in which senior graduate students teach new, innovative courses at a Community College.
Strengthen research infrastructure
The Hawaii Space Grant Consortium has been successful in sparking research programs at our community colleges in astronomy and remote sensing. We intend to continue to nurture research in those areas, but will seek opportunities to seed research in other areas as well. In doing so, we will be guided by the following principles:
- Catalytic effect: The research should be in a new or growing field that is likely to lead to future funding.
- Student involvement: The research should involve undergraduate students as active participants in the research.
- Proposals: The work must lead to a proposal to an extramural funding agency.
Prospecting for resources to help humans settle the Moon and Mars
The establishment of permanent space settlements will require extensive use of indigenous resources. Settlers will need materials to develop and maintain the infrastructure and to produce products for both export and local use. Most of these materials must come from local sources rather than Earth because our current home planet sits in a deep gravity well. Understanding how to use indigenous resources is a multifaceted, long-term research effort. Hawaii Space Grant will concentrate on one aspect of this problem: prospecting for resources on the Moon and Mars, the most likely places for initial human settlements. This effort follows the purposes of the Act that established the Space Grant program (Public Law 100-147). Three of seven purposes cited refer to the development and utilization of space resources. We intend to promote resource exploration and utilization by the following approaches:
- Develop the approach and technology for planetary prospecting. This will include a preliminary search and inventory of the resources of the Moon and Mars, using existing data.
- Begin training the workforce that will be the planetary economic geologists of the future. We will accomplish this by student participation in planetary prospecting and by the development of the first college course dedicated to extraterrestrial prospecting (Planetary Economic Geology).
- Start the training early by instilling a fascination for space settlements and geological prospecting in K-12 students.
- Plan a strong public outreach program to interest taxpayers and investors in the exploration of the Moon and Mars for useful resources.
- Create and maintain a web site devoted to the settlement of space (e.g., Space Settlement News Reel).
Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory (HSFL)
The HSFL is an HSGC research infrastructure-building program. Designed as a multi-disciplinary research and education activity bringing together individuals from diverse areas to explore, study and advance the understanding of the space environment, the Hawaii Space Flight Laboratory positions UH Manoa to become the first university to design, build, launch, and operate its own satellites.
The mission of the HSFL is to:
- Promote innovative engineering and science research for terrestrial and planetary space missions.
- Develop, launch, and operate small spacecraft from the Hawaiian Islands to accelerate the validation of new space technologies.
- Provide workforce training in all aspects of unmanned space missions.
- Promote synergistic collaborations between educational, governmental, and corporate institutions interested in space exploration.
We believe that scientific research is not complete until it is communicated to the general public. We have a robust public outreach program and intend to continue to place great emphasis on it. Key elements will include the following:
- Continue to maintain informative, captivating sites on the world wide web.
- Enhance scientific training for journalism majors at the University of Hawaii.
- Help educate working journalists about space science.
- Help train scientists to communicate with journalists.
- Raise additional resources to fund the family programs and school visits of Future Flight Hawaii and for the Aerospace Exploration Lab at Windward Community College.
- Participate in informal education events, such as Open Houses, and collaborate with organizations that specialize in informal education, such as the Bishop Museum.
Play a role in strengthening the economy of Hawaii
Space Grant does not have the financial resources to single handedly ignite dramatic improvements in our state's economy. Nevertheless, we can play a significant role in helping space-related businesses in Hawaii. The central theme of our strategy is workforce development. [See our Integrated Workforce Development Plan.] Our strategy includes the following:
- Establish working relationships with local space-related industries. Such collaborations could include summer internships, joint proposals for research and education, and facilitating introductions of faculty and industry.
- Help provide a solid workforce for business by developing appropriate courses, providing undergraduates solid research experience, and enhancing science education at all levels throughout the state.
Hawaii Space Grant has instituted several programs to strengthen education at the K-12 level by working with teachers and directly with students. We will continue these efforts, but place greater emphasis on instituting widespread changes in our schools.
- In consort with local teachers, continue development of effective classroom activities.
- Seize targets of opportunity to work with schools on educational projects, such as our involvement in the ERAST solar-powered plane project.
- Work with teachers in a small number of schools to help them incorporate space education into their curricula. Once accomplished, begin the process at other schools.
- Support a variety of teacher-training workshops and courses, including exploring online options.
- Continue to provide base funding for Future Flight Hawaii, but aggressively seek additional funding to support the summer residential program, school visits, weekend space conferences, and associated teacher training.
- Continue basic funding support for the Aerospace Exploration Lab at Windward Community College, and help obtain additional funding from other public and private sources.
- Collaborate with UH faculty on proposals for space missions to involve K-12 students and the public.
Increasing opportunities for women and minorities
Hawaii has a refreshingly diverse population and our programs have a broad diversity of participants. However, we intend to increase our efforts in this area in the following ways:
- Make special efforts to reach potential undergraduate fellows by advertising the program directly to minority and female student organizations.
- Concentrate Future Flight school visits in areas with large populations of Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, Southeast Asians, and other minorities.
- Form partnerships with schools with large minority populations.
Program management and funding
We will look for potential new academic partners and strengthen those now involved. We will also continue to make strategic decisions through discussions at our biannual meetings of our board of directors. The following new directions are planned:
- Make special efforts to increase our funding through grants from governmental agencies and private foundations.
- Add more non-academic partners, with special emphasis on local space-related businesses.
- Cooperate with other programs in Hawaii, including the Sea Grant and Land Grant programs, the UH Manoa Honors Program, and the Marine Option Program. (The successful undergraduate research symposium shows the value of these collaborations.)
- Systematically evaluate our programs to ensure their effectiveness.
- Maintain strong communication throughout the consortium by maintaining a user-friendly, informative, and constantly updated web site.