ARCS Scientist of the Year

Honolulu Chapter Honors Outstanding University of Hawai‘i Faculty

Patricia Lee and Margaret McFall-Ngai in lei

Since 1983, ARCS Honolulu Chapter annually honors one University of Hawai‘i at Manoa faculty member as its Scientist of the Year.

The award recognizes recipients both for their own remarkable research careers and for their role as outstanding mentors to young scientists, so it is no suprise that many have also been advisors to ARCS Honolulu Scholars. Scientists of the Year are invited to speak at the Scholar Banquet or another ARCS Event (or safely distanced recorded online talks during the pandemic).

At right, ARCS Honolulu member Patricia "Patty" Lee, left, congratulated 2019 ARCS Scientist of the Year Dr. Margaret McFall-Ngai, who spoke of the important opportunities unrestricted ARCS Scholar funding provides and tendered her support by subsequently becaming a member of the chapter.

Dr. George Walker inset on East Iceland map and museum
The ARCS Foundation name is found in Breiðdalsvík, Iceland, where the engraved koa bowl presented to 1987 Scientist of the Year Dr. George Walker sits atop a file cabinet In a recreation of his University of Hawai‘i office at the Breiðdalssetur Research and Heritage Center. Considered to be the father of modern volcanology, the geologist received Iceland’s Order of the Falcon (equivalent to a knighthood) among his many honors.

ARCS Honolulu
Scientists of the Year

Video Presentations

2023 Scientist of the Year Dr. Rachel Novotny on Children's Healthy Living in the Pacific

2021 Scientist of the Year Mark Hixon
2020 Scientist of the Year Loic LeMarchand
Other Talks by Scientists of the Year


Dr. Karen Meech2018 Scientist of the Year and NASA missions co-investigator Dr. Karen Meech discusses comet ‘Oumuamua, the first object from another star to traverse our solar system. View the highlights video or watch the full 55-minute interview.

She also discussed possible end-of-earth scenarios as a panel member for a UH College of Natural Sciences Pilina Ao program. Watch the YouTube video.