Dahm, Tonry Receive 2004 ARCS Awards
The Hawaii chapter of Achievement Rewards for College Scientists
(ARCS) has selected IfA graduate student Scott Dahm as the
winner of both the 2004 Helen Jones Farrar ARCS Scholarship
in astronomy and the ARCS Scholar of the Year. In addition,
IfA astronomer John Tonry was named ARCS Scientist of the Year.
Dahm grew up in Baton Rouge, and obtained his B.S. in mathematics
from Louisiana State University in 1991. He then spent four
years as an officer in the U.S. Navy before returning to academia.
After obtaining an M.S. degree in astronomy from San Diego
State University, he transferred to the University of Hawaii
for his Ph.D. research.
Dahm is trying to understand how stars like the Sun form out
of clouds of interstellar gas. He uses the telescopes on Mauna
Kea to study the vast “nurseries” of young stars
hundreds of light-years away. He then analyzes how the newborn
stars separate themselves from their parent cloud and how they
surround themselves with the beginnings of planetary
systems. His meticulous work has already resulted in half-a-dozen
published papers, despite being unexpectedly called back for
a year’s duty with the Navy in the months following 9/11.
Tonry received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 1980, and arrived
at the IfA in 1996 after achieving the rank of full professor
at MIT. His research on distant supernovae led to the discovery
that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating—one
of the most important astronomical findings in recent decades.
He has created a new technique for measuring distances to galaxies,
and with collaborators at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratories,
he has invented a new type of CCD detector that sharpens images
by shifting charge in all four directions. A prototype of this
CCD has been installed on the UH 2.2-meter telescope.
See the ARCS Web site: