Our Team


Christian Andersen profile photo

Christian Andersen

Director of Research

Christian is an engineering pro with a background in physics and additive manufacturing. He oversees daily operations related to personnel, budget, and project development, while leading applied research in volcanic basalt and ISRU technology. Christian also heads up the logistics and execution of planetary analog site tests on Hawaiʻi Island. Previous tests have involved NASA and CSA technology demonstrations, including the CheMin instrument which now studies the chemical makeup of rocks on Mars aboard NASA’s Curiosity rover.

Christian has a B.S. in Physics from San Jose State University and a M.S. in Engineering from U.C. Davis. His career began with research in inertial confinement fusion at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Ecole Polytechnique and Rutherford Appleton Laboratories. In recent years, he has served as a lecturer and instructor for the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UH Hilo.


Chris Yoakum profile photo

Chris Yoakum

Communications Officer

Chris is a strategic communications specialist with an interest in technology and design. His role includes branding and marketing, social media management, public and internal communications, and press relations. He also coordinates STEM outreach events and programs in partnership with other science and technology-related organizations in the Big Island community.

Chris grew up in Hawaiʻi and earned a B.A. in Communications and Minor in History from UH Hilo. His professional background includes experience as a journalist, copywriter, and writing tutor. In his free time he enjoys playing music, surfing the local break, and spending time with his son.


Ashley Truchan

Ashley Truchan

Administrative Officer

Ashley is a hardworking, self-motivated team player. Her role at PISCES includes assisting with management and organization of office operations. She also functions as the senior budget and fiscal administrator and assists the PISCES board administrator with agendas, scheduling, and other duties.

Ashley is a Hilo native who earned her B.A. in Integrated Media with a Minor in Coaching (with emphasis on Wrestling) from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. Her professional background includes a decade of work in the hospitality field from tour guiding and ziplining to office management. Most recently, she work in the UH Hilo Office of Contracts, Procurement and Payments. When she isn’t at work she enjoys spending time with her family, or binge watching a crime show.


Board of Directors

David Lassner

President, University of Hawaiʻi


Designated Alternate

Brennon Morioka

Dean of UH Mānoa College of Engineering

Mary-Alice Evans

Mary-Alice Evans

Representative for State of Hawaiʻi Dept. of Business, Economic Development, and Tourism


amber imai-hong

Amber Imai-Hong

Avionic Engineer, Hawaiʻi Space Flight Laboratory

Kim Binsted

Professor of Computer Science, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Bonnie Irwin

Chancellor, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo



PISCES holds more than a dozen Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with partners around the world. These formal agreements enable collaboration on mutually beneficial projects with added expertise and technical support.