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Astronomer Donald Hall Named AAAS Fellow

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For immediate release
Monday, November 25, 2013


Dr. Donald Hall
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Donald N. B.  Hall
Donald N. B. Hall
Photo courtesy D. Hall

Dr. Donald N. B. Hall of the University of Hawaii at Manoa has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Election as a AAAS Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

As part of the astronomy section, Hall was elected as an AAAS Fellow “for distinguished contributions to the Hubble Space Telescope, astronomy at the University of Hawaii and on Mauna Kea, and infrared telescope, instrument, and sensor technology.” 

Hall served as the director of the UH Institute for Astronomy from 1984 until 1997. Prior to that he served as deputy director of the Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates the science program for the Hubble Space Telescope, from 1984 to 1997. He currently holds the position of astronomer within the IfA, and works at the IfA’s office in Hilo on the island of Hawaii.

The main focus of his current work is developing infrared detector arrays for astronomical instruments that are mounted on telescopes on the ground and in space. The HAWAII detector arrays he has worked to develop have already been flown on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, Deep Impact comet mission and Wide Field Survey Explorer (WISE). Fifteen of them, totaling over 60 megapixels, are now being integrated into scientific instruments of the James Webb Space Telescope for launch in 2018. His arrays are also in use at ground-based observatories around the world, including all eight optical-infrared telescopes on Mauna Kea.

Hall will be one of the 388 new Fellows to receive an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on February 15, during the 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting in Chicago.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer. Fellows must have been continuous members of AAAS for four years by the end of the calendar year in which they are elected.

Each steering group reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.

The Council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.

Founded in 1967, the Institute for Astronomy at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, with offices and laboratories in Manoa, on Maui, and on Hawaii island, conducts research into galaxies, cosmology, stars, planets, and the sun. Its faculty and staff are also involved in astronomy education, deep space missions, and in the development and management of the observatories on Haleakala and Mauna Kea.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science ( as well as Science Translational Medicine ( and Science Signaling ( AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes 261 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS ( is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy, international programs, science education, and more.