Kip Hodges’ research is wide-ranging and integrates field, laboratory, and theoretical science, with a dash of systems engineering for extra flavor.
One major research focus of his earth science research is the geodynamic development and evolution of mountainous regions around the world, particularly the Himalaya. He directs the Group 18 Laboratories at ASU, which is noted for creative approaches to constraing the thermal evolution of terrestrial and extraterrestrial samples through noble gas isotope geochemistry. Through thermal-kinematic modeling, isotopic data can provide imortant insights regarding earth surface processes in active mountain belts. In order to develop the necessary tools, Professor Hodges and his Group 18 colleagues have become involved in numerous studies of the diffusivity of noble gases in a wide variety of planetary materials.
His planetary research has two themes: the high accuracy and high precision determination of the impactor flux in the inner Solar System through time using the tools of isotope geochronology, and the development of advanced strategies for planetary field science by humans working with robots on site, by humans teleoperating robotic assets proximal to planetary research targets, and by robots operating autonomously.
Professor Hodges came to ASU in 2006 to be the founding director of the School of Earth and Space Exploration and served in that capacity until 2013. A fellow of both the Geological Society of America and the American Geophysical Union, he has served on the Planetary Science Subcommittee of the NASA Advisory Council, and currently chairs the Advisory Committee on Geosciences for the National Science Foundation. He is chairman of the editorial board for the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) journal Science Advances.