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Fred M. Bullard Endowed Graduate Fellowship

September 23, 2013
  • Emily First

After Dr. Fred M. Bullard died in 1994, his daughter Thais wrote a biography of his life. She documented the life of a brilliant, successful, well-travelled geologist and volcanologist who, in 1939, was a research assistant under Dr. T. A. Jaggar at Volcanoes National Park. His experience in Hawai‘i prepared him to research and document the Parícutin volcano in Mexico that first erupted in 1943.

By all accounts, Thais was devoted to her father and attributed all that she had to him. These feelings were reflected in her last will and testament that left her estate to the academic institutions that had played important roles in her father’s life.

She left 30 percent to the University of Hawai‘i, establishing The Fred M. Bullard Endowed Graduate Fellowship “to provide graduate fellowships to assist outstanding students with high potential for scholarship and research in the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Ocean & Earth Science & Technology. In establishing this endowment, the donor is honoring her father, Fred M. Bullard, who was a pioneer in the studies of volcanology and general geology and geophysics.”

More than 12 graduate students have received this prestigious fellowship. Here are two of their stories:

imageEven growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, Emily First had a life-long love for volcanoes. After receiving her undergraduate degree in geology and French from the University of Georgia, Emily was able to move to Hawai‘i for her graduate study thanks to the Bullard Fellowship.

With her love of volcanology and interest in planetary science, Emily is researching the mineralogy and texture of the Martian meteorite Yamato 980459. By experimenting with replicating the conditions to create rocks similar to that of the meteorite, she’s been able to determine that Yamato, in its final stages, cooled slower than previous works suggest and that it was likely part of the upper portion of a lava flow on Mars.

As Emily explains, “By studying a rock from Mars, we’re not only learning more about our neighbor planet, but about processes that are applicable to volcanic settings here on Earth.” Emily is most appreciative of her fellowship for this research as well as the opportunities she’s had to visit different volcanoes in the course of her studies here.

Tiffany Anderson, a single mother originally from Kaua‘i, has a mathematics/computer science degree from UH Hilo. She was working as a software engineer for a Department of Defense contractor when she decided to return to school to become a coastal scientist. Although the decision to leave a well-paying job was difficult as a parent, she chose to make the change to set an example for her daughter to pursue her dreams.

The goal of her research is to improve methods of identifying shoreline behavior trends and predicting future shoreline evolution using mathematical modeling and statistical techniques. This research will help better calculate shoreline setbacks from the ocean for new structures so fewer structures and beaches will be lost in the future. The fellowship has been invaluable to Tiffany because it’s given her uninterrupted time to really concentrate on complex portions of her research and writing.

If you would like to learn how you can support UH students and programs like this, please contact us at 808 376-7800 or send us a message.