School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

SOEST Press Releases 2014

Majuro wave buoy and boat

Jul 15: PacIOOS wave buoy in Majuro helps keep islanders safe

If the ocean swell is too high, the safety of fishermen transiting out of the lagoon to open waters is threatened, homes and businesses may be flooded with seawater, roadways may become impassable, and even the runway strip at the airport may be rendered useless for large commercial aircraft. On July 10, 2014, PacIOOS collaborated with partners to deploy a new Datawell Directional Waverider buoy named “Kalo” about 1 mile off the eastern shore of Majuro Atoll in the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Link to the press release.

colorized microbes

Jul 10: New research finds ocean's most abundant organisms have clear daily cycles

Imagine the open ocean as a microbial megacity, teeming with life too small to be seen. In every drop of water, hundreds of types of bacteria can be found. Now, Edward F. DeLong, Oceanography professor, and a team from Massachusetts Institute of Technology discovered that communities of these ocean microbes have their own daily cycles—not unlike the residents of a bustling city who tend to wake up, commute, work, and eat at the same times. “I like to say they are singing in harmony,” said DeLong.

Link to the press release.

diving whales release plumes at surface

Jul 3: New study reveals whales as marine ecosystem engineers

Though large in size, great whales have long been considered too rare to make much of a difference in the ocean, and the focus of much marine ecological research has been on smaller organisms, such as algae and planktonic animals. While these small organisms are essential to life in the sea, they are not the whole story. As great whales recover from centuries of overhunting, scientists are beginning to appreciate their roles as ecosystem engineers of the ocean.

Link to the press release.

ROV sampling microbial mats

Jun 24: Researchers to embark on extraordinary expedition to Loihi Seamount

Brian Glazer, Oceanography Associate Professor, and colleagues will explore the dynamic Loihi Seamount from the Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel Falkor. “Lo‘ihi is a giant leaky iron mountain, providing plenty of energy for iron-eating bacteria near the hydrothermal vents, and pumping iron out into the ocean,” said Glazer. Glazer and team will learn more about the impact of these fascinating microbes on ocean chemistry. Understanding the processes occuring there has implications for the search for life elsewhere in our solar system.

Link to the press release.

map of connection between Indian and Pacific Oceans

Jun 23: New understanding of ocean passageway could aid climate change forecasts

The passageway that links the Pacific Ocean to the Indian Ocean is acting differently because of climate change, and now its new behavior could, in turn, affect climate in both ocean basins in new ways.

Link to the press release.

Preparing the CTD abpard Falkor

Jun 18: Fostering Hawai‘i's young marine scientists one expedition at a time

The third, and final, student cruise aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s R/V Falkor sailed to Station ALOHA, a long-term ocean sampling site 60 miles north of O‘ahu, to focus research on small crustaceans known as copepods. The 11 students on this cruise makes a total of 58 UH students (graduates and undergraduates) who have had an opportunity to learn and train onboard the R/V Falkor in 2014. Some of the student projects looked at the grazing habits of copepod larvae -- a critical component in ocean nutrient cycling -- while others explored fluorescence in copepods and copepod paternity.

Link to the press release.

SCOPE logo

Jun 16: Largest ever private award to UH funds microbial oceanography research

The Simons Foundation has awarded Drs. Edward DeLong and David Karl, both UH Mānoa Oceanography professors, $40 million to lead the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE), making it the largest private foundation gift UH has ever received. SCOPE aims to further our understanding of the microscopic organisms that inhabit every drop of seawater and how those creatures control the movement and exchange of energy and nutrients, from the surface waters to the deep sea.

Link to the press release.

Model image of Ala Wai brown water plume

Jun 13: New model can track brown water movement from Ala Wai Canal after rains

Have you ever wondered if you should go into the water after heavy rains? Or questioned where that brown water goes after it leaves the Ala Wai Canal? Oceanographers working with the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) within the UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology (SOEST) have focused their work to help address these questions, and they are excited to share the results of their labor: the PacIOOS Ala Wai Turbidity Plume Model.

Link to the press release.

Scotia Sea Iceberg

May 28: Antarctic ice-sheet less stable than previously assumed

The first evidence for massive and abrupt iceberg calving in Antarctica, dating back 19,000 to 9,000 years ago, has now been documented by an international team of geologists and climate scientists. Their findings are based on analysis of new, long deep sea sediment cores extracted from the region between the Falkland Islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. The study in the May 28, 2014 issue of Nature bears witness to an unstable Antarctic ice sheet that can abruptly reorganize Southern Hemisphere climate and cause rapid global sea level rise.

Link to the press release.

lunar pyroclastic glass beads

May 27: Water in Moon rocks provides clues and questions about lunar history

A recent review of hundreds of chemical analyses of Moon rocks indicates that the amount of water in the Moon’s interior varies regionally – revealing clues about how water originated and was redistributed in the Moon. Katharine Robinson, graduate assistant and Professor G. Jeffrey Taylor, both at the Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology report that these discoveries provide a new tool to unravel the processes involved in the formation of the Moon, how the lunar crust cooled, and its impact history.

Link to the press release.

map showing Oahu's 3 formative volanoes

May 15: Precursor volcano to the island of O‘ahu discovered

SOEST researchers, led by Geology emeritus professor John Sinton, and colleagues recently discovered that O‘ahu actually consists of three major Hawaiian shield volcanoes, not two, as previously thought. Extending almost 100 km from Ka‘ena Point, the western tip of the island of O‘ahu, is the submarine Ka‘ena Ridge, an area now recognized to represent a precursor volcano to the island. About 5 million years ago, Ka‘ena emerged from the seafloor and later provided the base upon which Wai‘anae and Ko‘olau volcanoes formed.

Link to the press release.

photo of fuel cells

May 5: Partnership demonstrates fuel cells for helium recovery at NASA

The Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), together with Sierra Lobo Inc., has demonstrated the recovery of high-purity helium from hydrogen/helium mixtures produced at rocket engine testing sites using proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. Capitalizing on expertise at HNEI, Sierra Lobo technologists challenged the team to use proven fuel cell technology to develop an efficient recycling process for helium.

Link to the press release.

fountain of lava on Big Island

May 4: Researchers analyze deep origins to the behavior of volcanic eruptions

Kīlauea volcano, on the Big Island of Hawai‘i, typically has effusive eruptions, wherein magma flows to create ropy pāhoehoe lava, for example. However, Kīlauea less frequently erupts more violently, showering scoria and blocks over much of the surface of the island. To explain the variability in Kīlauea’s eruption styles, a team including Geology Professor Bruce Houghton, and colleagues from the University of Cambridge and the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory of the U.S. Geological Survey, analyzed 25 eruptions that have taken place over the past 600 years.

Link to the press release.

map of Turnif seamount

Apr 15: Scientists chart seafloor of one of Earth's largest marine protected areas

On April 11, scientists returned from a 36-day mapping expedition to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) in the remote Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. PMNM is the largest protected area in the United States, encompassing an area greater than all its national parks combined, yet over half its seafloor has never been mapped in detail due to the limited availability of the advanced sonar systems required. The team mapped over 40,000 square kilometers (15,445 square miles) – an area four times the size of the Big Island – of previously unmapped or poorly mapped areas inside the Monument.

Link to the press release.

WHOI's ROV Nereus

Apr 15: Scientific mission will explore one of the deepest ocean trenches

Jeffrey Drazen, Oceanography Associate Professor, joins an international team of researchers led by deep-sea biologist Tim Shank of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) to use the world's only full-ocean depth, hybrid remotely operated vehicle, Nereus, and other advanced technology to explore life in the depths of the Kermadec Trench. The 40-day expedition, which began on April 12, kicks off an ambitious three-year collaborative effort funded by the National Science Foundation, known as Hadal Ecosystem Studies (HADES).

Link to the press release.

Float recovery during previous HUMMA fieldwork

Apr 1: UH Mānoa investigates effects of munitions disposed near Pearl Harbor

Starting on March 29, a full array of state-of-the-art technologies including several owned and operated by SOEST will be used in the latest phase of an Army-funded research effort to further investigate sea-disposed military munitions. This research will take place south of Pearl Harbor at an area designated by the U.S. Department of Defense as the Hawai‘i-05 (HI-05) site, a deep-water site that contains both conventional and chemical military munitions.

Link to the press release.

Graphic: plate techtonic boundaries on Earth

Mar 25: Finalists named to lead Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology

Three finalists have been identified for the position of Director, Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP), at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. The three are scheduled to participate in two-day visits that cover department discussions; meetings with senior administrators, faculty, staff, students, and internal and external constituents; and a public presentation.

Link to the press release.

Meteorology Professor Michael Bell

Mar 5: Intensity matters in new tropical cyclone research award

Meteorology Assistant Professor Michael Bell has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Grant, recognizing his early-career work on tropical storms and his promising future in research and science education. He is the fourth UH Mānoa professor in two years to be honored with a prestigious NSF CAREER Grant.

Link to the press release (PDF).

shark upside down in water being tagged

Feb 27: Researchers reveal insights into how sharks swim, eat and live

Instruments strapped onto and ingested by sharks are revealing novel insights into how one of the most feared and least understood ocean predators swims, eats and lives. For the first time, researchers at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the University of Tokyo outfitted sharks with sophisticated sensors and video recorders to measure and see where they are going, how they are getting there, and what they are doing once they reach their destinations.

Link to the press release.

HIMB logo

Feb 25: Finalists for Director, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology announced

Two finalists have been identified for the position of Director, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, (HIMB). The two are scheduled to participate over a two-day period of visits that covers department discussions; meetings with senior administrators, faculty, staff, students, and internal and external constituents; and a public presentation.

Link to the press release.

Tidepool and sky

Feb 21: Scientists share discoveries at Ocean Sciences Meeting

Dozens of University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) scientists and student researchers will present new research findings at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting at the Hawai‘i Convention Center on February 24-28. This 17th biennial meeting will be the largest international assembly of oceanographers and other aquatic science researchers and policy makers, with attendance expected to exceed 4,000.

Link to the press release.

David Karl

Feb 20: David Karl named fist Pavel Endowed Chair in Ocean and Earth Science

The Victor and Peggy Brandstrom Pavel Endowed Chair in Ocean and Earth Science and Technology at the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at UH Mānoa has been established with a $2,080,000 gift. Oceanography's David Karl has been named as the first recipient of this Chair.

Link to the press release.

Short-finned pilot whale

Feb 14: Graduate students lead research effort aboard the R/V Falkor

UHM PhD candidate Adrienne Copeland is the chief scientist for an expedition aboard the R/V Falkor, the oceanographic research ship belonging to the Schmidt Ocean Institute, which will focus on deep-diving toothed species found in Hawaiian waters—beaked, short-finned pilot, and endangered sperm whales. While extensive work has been done throughout most parts of the world to study whale migrations and concentrations, much less work has been done to understand the factors that control these migrations.

Link to the press release.

Shark being tagged at side of boat

Feb 5: Researchers tag more tigers to track online

Researchers Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) completed the second phase of a project to observe the movements of tiger sharks caught and tagged around the island of Maui. The State of Hawai‘i's Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) plans to use the results of the study to guide future decisions regarding management of shark populations in Hawai‘i.

Link to the press release.

Graphic of sun and interplanetary dust particles

Jan 24: New UH Mānoa faculty make a big splash

Researchers from SOEST, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and University of California discovered that interplanetary dust particles could deliver water and organics to the Earth and other terrestrial planets. “It is a thrilling possibility that this influx of dust has acted as a continuous rainfall of little reaction vessels containing both the water and organics needed for the eventual origin of life on Earth and possibly Mars,” Hope Ishii, new Associate Researcher in the Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP).

Link to the press release.

Energy efficient classroom

Jan 13: HNEI Expands Energy Research With Solar Net Zero Energy Classrooms

As part of ongoing energy efficiency and solar research being conducted by the Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), six solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays totaling 15 kW in capacity were recently installed in Hawai‘i on three net zero energy buildings created by California-based Project Frog, Inc. Emerging and innovative technologies are being evaluated and compared against traditional and well-established products in the solar industry.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Pisces V Submersible arm sampling coral

Jan 6: HURL enables discovery of dramatic long-term shift in Pacific Ocean ecosystem

The Hawai‘i Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) has enabled scientists to determine that a long-term shift in nitrogen content in the Pacific Ocean has occurred as a result of climate change. Researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and the University of California – Santa Cruz analyzed deep-sea corals gathered near the Hawaiian Islands using the HURL Pisces V submersible. Additionally, HURL’s submersible and crew obtained the cover image on this edition of the prestigious scientific journal.

Link to the press release (PDF).

SOEST News | Go to press release archives for: 2013201220112010200920082007200620052004 and earlier
See also: SOEST Bulletin • News Archives: 201320122011201020092008200720062005200420032002


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