The Division for Planetary Sciences of the American Astronomical Society has awarded the 2007 Harold C. Urey Prize in Planetary Science to Francis Nimmo, associate professor of Earth and planetary sciences. Nimmo will receive the prize and give an invited lecture at a meeting of the division in Orlando, Florida, in October.

The Urey Prize recognizes and encourages outstanding achievements in planetary sciences by a young scientist. In announcing the award, the Division for Planetary Sciences cited Nimmo "for fundamental contributions to the understanding of terrestrial planets and icy satellites and their evolution."

Nimmo is interested in understanding the structure of planets and satellites and how they have evolved to their current states. In recent work, he and his collaborators have made significant contributions to scientific understanding of Saturn's moon Enceladus (see press release). He is a member of the NASA Enceladus Science Definition Team and the Committee on Lunar and Planetary Exploration of the National Academy of Sciences.

Nimmo earned his B.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Cambridge University. He joined the UCSC faculty in 2005.