Dr. David H. Hathaway received a B.S. in Astronomy in 1973 from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, an M.S. in Physics in 1975 and a Ph.D. in Astrophysics in 1979 - both from the University of Colorado in Boulder. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Advanced Study Program at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder from 1979 to 1981 and then moved to Sunspot, New Mexico where he was an Assistant Astronomer at the National Solar Observatory. In 1984 he moved to Huntsville, Alabama where he was an Astrophysicist at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center and served as the head of the Solar Physics Branch from 1996 to 2010. In July of 2014 he relocated to NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California. He retired from NASA on December 31, 2016 but still continues to work on his areas of interest as an employee of Stanford University.
His research interests include observing, modeling, and predicting the sunspot cycle, and understanding the magneto-hydrodynamics of the Sun’s interior and how it produces the Sun’s atmospheric features. He has published over 200 papers and has three US patents.
Dr. Hathaway was a 40-year member of the Solar Physics Division of the American Astronomical Society. He served as the Division’s Vice-Chairperson, Secretary, Committee Member, Media Liaison, and Chaired its Hale and Harvey Prize Committee. He was also a member of the International Astronomical Union, the American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Asia Oceania Geoscience Society. He has received dozens of awards from NASA, including the NASA Inventor of the Year Award in 2002 for Video Image Stabilization And Registration (VISAR) and the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal in 2014 for his discoveries of the Sun’s shallow meridional return flow and giant convection cells. He also received the Space Foundation’s Space Technology Hall of Fame Medal in 2001 for VISAR.