School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

SOEST in the News: 2006 Archive

Shatar, a herdsman on the Alashan Plateau, feeds his goats. PETE SOUZA / CHICAGO TRIBUNE.

December 28: Bet you never thought I'd write about cashmere here..

But I am! Turns out that the rising popularity of cashmere with big-box retailers such as Costco and Walmart has increased demand for cashmere product. More demand means more goats grazing on the vegetation and killing plant life. As a result, wind storms are picking up huge dust clouds, and transport these dust storms all over the world. Barry Huebert from the Department of Oceanography comments on the resulting dust storms.

Read more about it in the Seattle Times. Image courtesy Pete Souza / Chicago Tribune.

Photo of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) courtesy of Bill Boyce.

December 15: Paper in Science refutes recent claims of imminent collapse of ocean ecosystems

Research conducted by scientists at SOEST’s Pelagic Fisheries Research Program (PFRP) and reported in a paper to be published in the December 15, 2006 issue of Science refutes the claims that ocean ecosystems are on the brink of collapse. Although the new research finds significant decreases in abundance of some fish stocks resulting from increased fishing, the picture is not nearly as gloomy as has been previously reported.

Read more about it in the SOEST press release (PDF) and in the Honolulu Star-Bulletinand the Honolulu Advertiser. Photo of yellowfin tuna (Thunnus albacares) courtesy of Bill Boyce.

Landsat image courtesy of NASA

December 10: Study of Kaua‘i’s coastal erosion progressing

Department of Geology & Geophysics chair Chip Fletcher and his coastal geology team are halfway through a three-year study of Kaua'i's coastal erosion, which county officials hope to use to develop building setback regulations that take moving shorelines into account.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Advertiser. Landsat image courtesy of NASA.

 

Milton Garces measuring wind speed in preparation for taking infrasound readings at Keahole Point, Hawaii. (Image from Wired.com)

December: The Sound of Silence

Militon Garces, Associate Researcher and Director of Infrasound Laboratory in the Hawaii Institute for Geophysics and Planetology talks to Wired Magazine about the varied uses for Infrasound technology, including forensics on the space shuttle Columbia breakup, studying and forecasting of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, hurricanes, big waves and other prevailing geophysical conditions.

Read more about it in Wired Magazine December 2006. Image courtesy Wired Magazine.

Emergency operations center. Photo courtesy KGMB9

November 27: Earthquake Hoax Concerns Authorities

A strange prank prompted panicked calls to Oahu Civil Defense and radio stations about a earthquake and tsunami that was to happen November 27. Hawaii Institute for Geophysics and Planetology Assistant Professor Cecily Wolfe comments on the dangers that these hoax false alerts can have during a real emergency.

Read more about it in the KGMB9 News site. Image courtesy of KGMB9.

Photo courtesy of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Science Foundation and Ridge 2000.

November 23: Scientists Lose Instruments, Gain First Look at Seafloor Formation

Seismometers that had been placed on the ocean floor fell silent, so a rapid response cruise was organized by SOEST oceanographer Jim Cowen to investigate their fate. When it was discovered that the seismometers had been trapped in fresh lava flows, it became an opportunity to study the formation of the seafloor. Ken Rubin, and Brian Glazer are also involved in this cruise and study, whose results were shared in the November 23rd edition of Science Express. Read more about it in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, or the SOEST press release.

Cover of the November issue of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society

November: Development of the smart balloon makes cover of the Nov ’06 issue of Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS)

The corresponding paper, by Steve Businger and colleagues, highlights the 2004 field deployment of a smart balloon carrying a miniature ozone sensor, which successfully crossed the Atlantic Ocean from Long Island, New York, to the African coast of Morocco.

Read more about it in the BAMS Online. Image courtesy of BAMS/ Steve Businger (click on it to see full version).

New volcano near Tonga

November 13: New Island Discovered Near Tonga

Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory Science Program Director John Smith talks about the dangers associated with exploring active underwater seamounts, like the new island that emerged near Tonga.

 

Read more about it in KGMB9. Image courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute Global Volcanism Program.

This false-color composite image shows titanium basalts and a fresh impact crater (in blue) that remain exposed within the Ina structure on the moon, suggesting relatively recent volcanic activity.

November 7: How geologically active is our Moon?

The Earth's Moon is generally not thought of as a geologically active body, but planetary geologists have nailed down a location where the moon may still be active. Their work indicates that volcanic eruptions could have taken place within very recent geologic history--possibly only a couple of million years ago. Jeff Taylor, Professor of planetary sciences in the Hawaii Institute for Geology and Planetology, comments on the findings.

Read more about it in ScienceNOW Daily News and Planetary Science Research Discoveries: Recent Gas Escape from the Moon. Image courtesy of NASA.

Snowflake coral

November 4: Monitoring the snowflake coral invasion

Sam Kahng, a Department of Oceanography doctoral candidate, wrote his dissertation on the aggressive soft coral that was first seen in the state in 1972 and now has spread to every major island. He monitors the “snowflake” coral regularly to analyze the invasion and to hopefully eradicate the problem.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of Sam Kahng.

Coconut Island

October 31: Coconut Island works to conserve energy

Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology facility at Coconut Island currently uses four times more energy than even the biggest building on the Manoa campus. In an effort to cut the electric bill, they will put in a more modern, energy-saving air conditioning unit, reseal the building and use solar power. Gordon Grau, Director of Hawaii Sea Grant and a Professor in Zoology, explains how Coconut is the test case for the rest of campus to follow.

Read more about it at KGMB9 News. Image courtesy HIMB / SOEST.

Kuhio Beach

October 28 : Waikiki finally gets a “sandlift”

UH Sea Grant coastal geologist Dolan Eversole is managing a project to vacuum offshore sand to replenish Kuhio beach in Waikiki. In total, approximately 1000 dump trucks worth of sand will be replenished. The project was originally scheduled for the spring, but the Ala Wai canal sewage spill delayed the replenishment.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Advertiser, KHNL and KGMB9. Image courtesy of the Coastal Geology Group / SOEST.

El Nino could spell bad news for farmers with drier than normal conditions. Photo courtesy KGMB9

October 24 : El Niño may mean dry winter after longer Pacific hurricane season

Meteorology professor Shang-Ping Xie and IPRC atmospheric scientist H. Annamalai believe the current El Niño may gain strength over the next couple of months as a result of unusually cool conditions in the eastern tropical Indian Ocean. “This happens about once every 10 years,” said Xie. “We’re saying that when it happens, we better pay attention.”

Read more about it in the IPRC News Release, West Hawaii Today, UH News, Honolulu Star Bulletin, and the KGMB9 News site. Image courtesy of KTMB9.

Image of David Karl,
          Klaus Keil, Steven Stanley, and Klaus Wyrtki

October 18: David Karl, Klaus Keil, Steven Stanley, and Klaus Wyrtki honored by Chancellor for their National Academy of Sciences awards

David Karl was honored for his election into the National Academy of Sciences, Klaus Keil for his J.Lawrence Smith Medal, Steven Stanley for his Mary Clark Thompon Medal, and Klaus Wyrtki for his Alexander Agassiz Medal.

Congratulations to all!

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of Pete Mouginis-Mark.

Julian McCreary, IPRC director, Kevin Hamilton, Meteorology Chair and IPRC research team leader, Alvin Adams (the host)  Andy Nash, National Weather Service Forecasting on campus, and Gerard Fryer.

October 17 : Mother Nature: Earthquakes, global warming, and hurricanes

International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) director Julian McCreary, Meteorology Chair and IPRC research team leader Kevin Hamilton, join Andy Nash Director of Operations at the National Weather Service Forecast Office, and former HIGP researcher Gerard Fryer (now a Seismologist at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center) on the Hawaii Public Radio program, "Beyond the Reef" to discuss "Mother Nature".

Listen to the interview at the Hawaii Public Radio website. Image courtesy of Gisela Speidel, IPRC (click on it so see the full image).

The Kalahikiola Congregational Church in Kapaau, Hawaii, was severely damaged by Sunday's earthquakes. Photo courtesty Honolulu Star Bulletin

October 16 : Explaining the October 15th earthquake

Hawaii Institute for Geophysics and Planetology Assistant Professor Cecily Wolfe explains some of the details surrounding the October 15th earthquake, including what type of earthquake it was, its location, and how it compares to historical events. The USGS has archived information about the magnitude 6.7 earthquake

A sampling of articles includes nature.com, The Honolulu Advertiser, KGMB9, The Washington Post, and KHNL  (with video). The Honolulu Advertiser, The New York Times and the Honolulu Star Bulletin all did follow-up stories as well. Image courtesy of Honolulu Star Bulletin / AP.

Open-cage aquaculture

October 3: Grant received to research open-cage aquaculture

Hawaii Institute for Marine Biology Assistant Researcher Teresa Lewis and Chuck Helsley, former director of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology and Sea Grant researcher emeritus, are combining forces with the Oceanic Institute and have received $400,000 for research on open-ocean fish farming that will help improve aquaculture off O‘ahu and the Big Island.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of the Oceanic Institute .

Sea lice on a juvenile salmon

October 2 : Salmon farms kill wild salmon

Geology & Geophysics Professor Neil Frazer was part of a research study that has confirmed that sea lice from salmon farms can have severe impacts on wild salmon. Sea lice are natural parasites of salmon, but sea lice transmission is altered by fish farms, which eliminate a disease refuge for juvenile fish. Up to 95% of wild juvenile salmon killed by parasites from salmon farms.

 

Read more about it in the Seattle Times or read the press release. Image courtesy of Alexandra Morton, Raincoast Research Society (click on it so see the full image).

UH Sea Grant Publication

October 2: Homebuyers need Sea Grant booklet on erosion

Thinking about a new home on the beach? UH Sea Grant's Zoe Norcross-Nu‘u and Dolan Eversole have a new publication “Natural Hazard Considerations for Purchasing Coastal Real Estate in Hawai'i: A Practical Guide of Common Questions and Answers.”

Read more about it in the Honolulu Advertiser. Image courtesy of UH Sea Grant.

UH Sea Grant logo

Sep. 29: Famous stretch of North Shore beach is missing

UH Sea Grant's Dolan Eversole comments on the large scale erosion of beach sand that occurred at Pipeline this summer. A lack of swells during the winter and strong trades in the summer seem to be the culprit.

Read more about it at KHON2. Image courtesy of UH Sea Grant.

Photo of And Nash, National Weather Service director of operations.

Sep. 26: “Smart” balloons carry instruments to probe Gulf of Mexico air

Using "smart" balloons developed by NOAA in collaboration with UH Manoa, SOEST faculty and students work with colleagues at the Univ. of New Hampshire and NOAA as part of the Texas Air Quality Study II team. This study is an investigation of how the pollutant ozone is exported from "mega-polluted" areas such as Houston and Mexico City, and what its impact is on the air quality of the Northern Hemisphere.

Read more about it as a NOAA website top story and in NOAA News Online. Image courtesy of NOAA (click on it so see the full image).

change in OHCA between 2004-2005

Sep. 22: Short-term ocean cooling suggests “speed bump” in warming

New research by scientists from NASA, NOAA, and the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) suggests that global warming trends are not always steady in their effects on ocean temperatures. The average temperature of the water near the top of the Earth’s oceans has significantly cooled since 2003, but the decline is a fraction of the total ocean warming over the previous 48 years.

Read more about it at NOAA News Online and BBS News. Image courtesy of NOAA (click it to see full version).

SOEST Dean Brian Taylor

Sep. 19: UH research funding up

SOEST Dean Brian Taylor speaks about the rise in research funding this past year, following UH President David McLain's State of the University address at convocation. The primary interview was shown during the broadcast.

Read more about it at KHON2. Image courtesy of SOEST.

The rate of spread of winter flu was delayed by two weeks, say researchers from study in PLoS Medicine.

Sep. 12: Post 9/11 Drop In Air Travel Delayed Flu Spread

After the terrorists attacks of 9/11, when air travel dropped dramatically in the USA, the rate of spread of winter flu was delayed by two weeks, say researchers from study in PLoS Medicine. Geophysicist Cecily Wolfe of the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology was a co-author on this study, which she worked on while on sabbatical at the Children's Hospital Informatics Program at the Harvard–MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology.

Read more about it at Medical News Today. Image courtesy of PLoS Medicine (click on it to see the full version).

Photo of And Nash, National Weather Service director of operations.

Sep. 10: Hawai‘i meteorologists celebrate a 50-year milestone

University of Hawai‘i and federal meteorologists are celebrating a rich history of weather forecasting, teaching and research in Hawai‘i and Pacific. Leaders in the field will mark the department’s 50th anniversary with a Meteorology Department symposium starting at 9 a.m. on Monday 11 September at the East-West Center.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of Dennis Oda, Honolulu Star Bulletin (click on it so see the full image).

Photo of SCSIO's Ping Shi and IPRC' Julian McCreary.

Sep. 10: IPRC Studies South China and Indo-Pacific Waters

The International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) signed an agreement of understanding for collaborative research with the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology (SCSIO) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Read more about it at News @ UH. Image courtesy of UH (click on it to see a larger version).

Photo of 2003 CubeSat team.

Aug. 29: Hawaii Space Grant Consortium supports small-satellite program

Undergraduate electrical and mechanical engineering students, including Hawaii Space Grant Consortium fellows, in the CubeSat program develop soda can-sized satellites. "[It’s] a rich breeding ground for training excellent students," according to Wayne Shiroma, UH associate professor of electrical engineering.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin; see the UHSGC Fall 2005 newsletter (PDF) for more about the UHSGC fellows. Image courtesy of Richard Ambo, Honolulu Advertiser (click on it to see full version).

Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services logo.

Aug. 25: SOEST Researchers working on beach hazard forecast system

Geology and Geophysics professor and department chair Chip Fletcher and his team are working with Ralph S. Goto, administrator of Honolulu’s Ocean Safety and Lifeguard Services, on a system to recommend beach conditions to Hawai‘i’s beachgoers based on current wave conditions.

Read more about it in the New York Times and on Honolulu’s KITV news web site. Image courtesy of OSLS.

Photo of Pat Cooper, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.

Aug. 21 : Pat Cooper: SOEST Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

We are pleased to report that on August 12th, University of Hawai‘i President David McClain approved the appointment of Pat Cooper as the SOEST Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, effective August 16th. This appointment is on the recommendation of SOEST’s Executive Committee and Dean Brian Taylor, via the Chancellor. Please join with us in congratulating Pat on her well-deserved appointment after so many years of exemplary service!

Photo of man pouring water on his head.

Aug. 13 : SOEST researchers to study how global warming affects isles

Kevin Hamilton, professor and chair of the Department of Meteorology and a research team leader at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC) and Tom Schroeder, professor of meteorology and director of the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) discuss the need for more research into the potential impact of global climate change on the climate of Hawai‘i.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of Craig T. Kojima, Honolulu Star Bulletin.

Kuhio Beach in need of more sand

Aug. 07: Beach erosion on O‘ahu and Maui “widespread”

As much as 25 percent of sandy beach land on O‘ahu and Maui has been lost in the past 50 years, according to UH scientists who compared old and new aerial photos and maps of waterfront property. “The problem is a lot more widespread than most people understand,” said Zoe Norcross Nuu, a UH Sea Grant extension agent on Maui.

Read Geology & Geophysics department chair Chip Fletcher’s opinion piece, “Stemming the Tide”, and another recent article, in the Honolulu Advertiser. Image courtesy of the Coastal Geology Group / SOEST.

Photo of Kevin Hamilton.

Aug. 01: Kevin Hamilton advances climate modeling

The American Geophysical Union (AGU), which publishes 19 different scientific journals, has selected a paper by Kevin Hamilton, professor and chair of the Department of Meteorology and a research team leader at the International Pacific Research Center, as a featured article in its “Journal Highlights.”

Read more about it in the UH News, the AGU Journal Highlights, and download the IPRC press release PDF . Image courtesy of Kevin Hamilton.

C-MORE logo.

Aug. 01: New ocean center will explore world of marine microbes

SOEST’s Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education (C-MORE) will facilitate collaborations and partnerships among the disciplines of oceanography, microbiology, ecology, and genomics. “We are on the verge of a revolution in our understanding of the sea around us…” said David M. Karl, C-MORE director.

Read more about it at Boston.com, the UH News, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, the Pacific Business News, and download the UH press release PDF. Image courtesy of C-MORE (click on it to see a larger version).

Image of Julia Hammer

July 27: Julia Hammer honored as one of the nation’s top young scientists

Julia Hammer, an associate professor of Geology and Geophysics, was honored today by President George W. Bush with the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the nationís highest honor for professionals at the outset of their independent research careers. Congratulations on this great honor, Julia!

Read more about it in the UH News and the Pacific Business News, and download the press release PDF. Image courtesy of UH (click on it to see the full version).

Image of Stephanie Ingle.

July 26: Stephanie Ingle finds evidence for partial upper mantle melt

Geology and Geophysics researcher Stephanie Ingle and a team of scientists from Japan and California have found evidence for the existence of partial melt in the Earth’s upper mantle using geophysical and geochemical data and age dating techniques. The study is to be published in the journal Science and previewed online now in Science Express.

Read more about it in the Ascribe Newswire and download the UH press release PDF. Image courtesy of S. Ingle.

Image of crab on whale bone.

July 25 : Whaling seen as threat to scavengers

Craig Smith, a marine biologist in the Department of Oceanography, has been visiting continental marine canyons off the California coast since the late 1970s and has identified entire ecosystems with hundreds of animals that live on dead whale carcasses. He says whaling continues to be a threat to these ecosystems.

Read more about it in The San Diego Union-Tribune. Image courtesy of Craig Smith.

Image of Sea Grant logo.

July 24 : Working on “green design” for Hawai‘i and the world

Steve Meder, Director of the Center for Smart Building and Community Design, is featured in two different stories about the benefits of green building design: “Schools will try to beat isle heat” in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and “Islanders warm up to green-home design” in the Honolulu Advertiser.

Image courtesy of UH Sea Grant.

Photo of students working on ROVs.

July 12 : Students build robots, learn that science and math can be fun

A tech program—the Sea Perch project—teaches Hawai‘i teens how to build and test remote-controlled underwater robots. Done in conjunction with the UH Sea Grant College Program, the program also allowed students to each build their own high-end computer.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Image by George F. Lee of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin.

Image of borehead.

July 10 : Modeling the climate of the future with data from ancient ice

Thomas Stocker (University of Bern) is on sabbatical at the International Pacific Research Center (IPRC), working with IPRC researcher Oliver Timm and Oceanographer Axel Timmermann. He uses cores from ancient ice sheets to study the clear links between carbon dioxide and global temperatures — and obtain a pretty clear picture of our future.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Advertiser. Image courtesy of IPRC.

Image of drilling into Icelandic glacier.

July 09 : “Extreme environment” of subglacial lake sampled

Postdoctoral Fellow Brian Glazer (who will soon join the Oceanography Dept) and Mary Miller, a volunteer researcher, successfully drilled into and sampled a lake deep beneath a glacier in Iceland. The lake and other subglacial lakes may resemble potential habitats on Mars and icy satellites in the outer Solar System.

Read more about it in News@UH. Image courtesy of UH.

Image of UH Sea Grant publication.

July 02 : UH Sea Grant publishes Managing Boat Wastes guide

UH Manoa’s Sea Grant College Program has published Managing Boat Wastes: A Guide for Hawai‘i Boaters, which has tips on how to keep the environment clean. It also covers federal laws regarding boat wastes and has local phone numbers and dock information. The PDF is available on UH Sea Grant’s publications page.

Read more about it, including a list of sections, in News@UH. Image courtesy of UH Sea Grant.

July: Barry Huebert’s work noted for increase in citations

Oceanography professor Barry Huebert was interviewed and featured on the Essential Science Indicators website. Huebert’s work was singled out by Essential Science Indicators as having the highest percent increase in total citations in July 2006. Congratulations, Barry!

Read more about it in News@UH and read the interview in the ESI in-cites article (links open new windows).

 

Photo of James Foster next to a GPS station

June 27 : “Slow” quakes show how Kilauea volcano is slipping into sea

Ben Brooks, James Foster, Neil Frazer, and Cecily Wolfe have identified three new “slow” earthquake events on Kilauea’s southeast flank that could provide further understanding of catastrophic landslides, which can cause tsunami.

Read more about it in News@UH, the Honolulu Advertiser, and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Image courtesy of Ben Brooks (click on it to see the full version). Kilauea Landsat image courtesy of NASA.

Image of HURL's Pisces V submersible.

June 26 : Hawai‘i’s clear waters support deepest photosynthetic corals

Oceanography Dept student Samuel Kahng and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service coral expert Jim Maragos recently published the results of research on deep-sea corals. They collected specimens, including one previously-unidentified species, in the Hawai‘i Undersea Research Laboratory’s Pisces V manned submersible.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Advertiser. Image courtesy of HURL.

ASUH logo

June 26 : Message from SOEST’s ASUH Representative

Mike Theune, a Geology & Geophysics student, is the SOEST representative to the Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i (ASUH), the undergraduate student senate. In this open letter to SOEST undergraduate students, he invites students to contact him with questions, comments, or issues they want to have addressed by the university.

Brian Taylor

June 18 : Brian Taylor appointed Dean of SOEST

The University of Hawai‘i Board of Regents (BOR) approved the appointment of Brian Taylor as dean of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). Taylor’s appointment is for three years, effective July 1, 2006. Continued...

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of SOEST.

Tricas and shark at HIMB

June 18 : Tuning in to sharks’ electrosensory “sixth sense” at HIMB

UH Zoology Department professor Tim Tricas and doctoral student Ariel Rivera-Vicente, working at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB), are studying the behavior, sensory biology, and ecology of juvenile hammerheads, sandbar sharks, and stingrays in Kane‘ohe Bay.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star-Bulletin. Image courtesy of Dennis Oda at the Star-Bulletin.

Sampling water quality in the Ala Wai Canal

June 18 : Monitoring bacteria levels in Hawai‘i’s waters

“What I found comforting, under the conditions we sampled, is that we don’t have a hotbed of high levels of vulnificus in the canal,” said assistant professor Grieg Steward, one of the researchers from the UH Dept of Oceanography investigating water quality in the Ala Wai boat harbor following a major sewage spill last April.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Advertiser. Image courtesy of the Advertiser.

Energy Star logo

June 5 : Researchers working on Energy Star plan for Manoa campus

In a project coordinated by the UH Sea Grant College Program through the Center for Smart Building and Community Design, Energy Star-rated lights and appliances were installed in a UH Manoa student dorm. Results were so encouraging that researchers are now preparing to introduce plans for Energy Star conversion..

Read more about it in the Honolulu Weekly. Image courtesy of the EPA.

SOEST emergency icon

May 31 : SOEST Emergency Page Online

Our SOEST emergency web site is now online; it will provide information about what to do in case of storms, floods, and other emergency information. Now available is a Hurricane Checklist PDF (hurricane season is June 1st through November 30th) and links to information about avian flu.

NOAA Ship Hi'ialakai

May 23 : Voyage with HIMB scientists to the NW Hawaiian Islands

Join HIMB scientists aboard the NOAA Ship Hi‘ialakai on an expedition to the NW Hawaiian Islands focusing on topics including coral health monitoring, apex predator migration, coral reef and invertebrate population genetics, and fish population genetics. Outreach Specialist Malia Rivera will be sending back reports, including photos and podcasts.

Read Honolulu Advertiser’s Science Writer Jan TenBruggencate’s first report from the ship. Image courtesy of NOAA.

David Karl

May 9 : David Karl elected to the National Academy of Sciences

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) announced the election of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer. Included in this list of notables is David M. Karl (UH Dept of Oceanography).

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of David Karl / SOEST.

UH Marine Center Logo

May 7 : UH Marine Center may be displaced

The state Department of Transportation wants to move the UH Marine Center to give the land to shipping companies. Issues for SOEST include disruption of research and ongoing oceanographic projects, and locating a new suitable facility.

Read more about it in the Pacific Business News. Image courtesy of UH Marine Center.

Hawaii Sea Grant Logo

May 7 : Marine safety guide for tsunamis and hurricanes

The UH Sea Grant College Program has a booklet called the Hawaii Boater's Hurricane Safety Manual that contains several pages devoted to tsunamis and how to survive them, as well as valuable information about hurricane safety.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of Hawaii Sea Grant.

Modeling tsunami waves

May 6 : Modeling tsunamis from Tonga region

Tsunami evacuation maps may have to be redrawn after the recent large earthquake near Tonga. Kwok Fai Cheung (Ocean Resources and Engineering) said he will be working on a computer model of a tsunami from the region that could be used to determine how far inland the tsunami would reach and what kind of wrap-around effect it would have.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of the Dept of Ocean and Resources Engineering.

Hawaii Sea Grant Fish Cage

April 30 : Hawai‘i Sea Grant supports Aquaculture in Hawai‘i

UH Sea Grant College Program supports a wide range of aquaculture research and outreach programs throughout Hawaii and the Pacific, including aquaculture farms and an open ocean fish cage.

Read more about it in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald. Image courtesy of Hawaii Sea Grant.

Damaged house in Kealia (courtesy of HSB)

April 16 : Hawai‘i volcanoes a “natural laboratory” for quake research

The thousands of small earthquakes that occur every year under the Big Island of Hawai’i don’t hurt anybody, but provide “a wonderful natural laboratory” for seismologists to study earthquakes and fault zones and how they interact with volcanoes, according to geophysicist Cecily Wolfe of the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Archival Image courtesy of the Honolulu Star Bulletin, 1951.

Using a super sucker to remove alien algae from reef in Kaneohe Bay

April 12 : Sucking up alien algae

Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology researchers are working with scientists from the Nature Conservancy to combat the alien algae problem in Kaneohe Bay. This super sucker removes the alien algae onto a barge above water, so that marine life can be sorted and returned to the water.

Read more about it in the Star Bulletin and the Advertiser. Image courtesy of the Nature Conservancy.

"Waves of Energy"

April 10 : Waves of Energy

Hawaii Natural Energy Institute scientist Bor Yann Liaw is working on a project to utilize ambient radiation as a source of energy. He calls it the "recycling of radio waste."

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of the Honolulu Star Bulletin.

Sampling water quality in the Ala Wai Canal

April 9 & 11 : Water sampling in the Ala Wai Canal

Oceanography Assistant Professor Grieg Steward and grad student Olivia Nigro are collecting water samples from the Ala Wai Canal to test for bacteria, following the sewer line rupture that polluted the canal and local beaches.

Read more about it in the Star Bulletin and the Advertiser. Image courtesy of the Advertiser, Gregory Yamamoto.

Landslides on Oahu

April 4 : Landslide concern for hillside homes after heavy rain

Geologist Steve Martel warns about landslide and rockfall dangers after Oahu suffers through 43 straight days of rain. Absorbent clay and older crumbly basalt found in the soil are factors in the instability of the slopes.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Advertiser. Image courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser, Gregory Yamamoto.

Marine Debris clean up

April 2 : Helping our Ocean

Carey Morishige, who addresses the threat of ocean trash as marine debris outreach coordinator for the Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program, helps illustrate ways to help rejuvenate our ocean and coasts.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Advertiser. Image courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser, Jeff Widener.

Logo for Center for Marine Microbial Ecology and Diversity

March 21 : Staph-fighting organism found by SOEST researchers

Oceanography department marine microbiologists Robert Bidigare (director of CMMED) and Ed Laws (director of PRCMB) have found a Staphylococcus-fighting bacteria in a marine organism in Kaneohe Bay. Resulting antibiotics could possibly help with infections obtained from Hawaii waters.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of the PBCMB / SOEST.

Beach shorline

March 20 : Defining the state’s shoreline

UH Sea Grant shoreline specialist Chris Conger and coastal geologist Dolan Eversole are helping the state determine how to define a shoreline, and how it should impact development guidelines.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of Dolan Eversole / SOEST.

Kuhio Beach in need of more sand

March 8 : Waikiki gets a “sandlift”

UH Sea Grant coastal geologist Dolan Eversole is managing a project to vacuum offshore sand to replenish Kuhio beach in Waikiki. In total, approximately 1000 dump trucks worth of sand will be replenished.

Read more about it in the Star Bulletin, and USA Today. Image courtesy of the Coastal Geology Group / SOEST.

Landslides on Oahu

March 5 : Streaky upper mantle shows its “stretch marks”

Ken Rubin of the Geology & Geophysics department), and others have found ancient material distributed in 40 km thick streaks in the mantle beneath the Indian Ocean. The study, published in the March 9, 2006 issue of the journal Nature, used isotopes in sea floor volcanic rocks to determine the size and number of streaks in the Indian Ocean upper mantle.

Download the SOEST press release PDF or visit the UH News Page (opens a new page). Image courtesy of SOEST.

Landslides on Oahu

March 5 : Soaked hillsides might be landslide concern

Geologists Steve Martel, John Sinton, and Chip Fletcher address the concern that the heavy rainfall seen in the islands in the past week may cause landslides in waterlogged hillsides. A new wave of rain expected this week could increase the dangers, as the ground becomes more unstable.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Advertiser. Image courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser, Rebecca Breyer.

Maui High School

February 27: Maui High wins Hawaii Ocean Science Bowl (again!)

The team from Maui High School has won the Hawai‘i Ocean Science Bowl (the “Aloha Bowl”) for the 4th straight year! The team will represent Hawai‘i in the National Ocean Science Bowl in Pacific Grove, CA in May. Congratulations to Maui, and to all the teams that participated!

Read more about it in the Maui News. Image courtesy of the SOEST.

Charcoal fired fuel cell

February 26 : HNEI Researcher Develops Charcoal-fired Fuel Cell

Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) researcher Michael Antal has developed a fuel cell using charcoal as its fuel. The Antal system, an aqueous alkali biocarbon fuel cell, is unusual in that it uses a renewable fuel source and does not require particularly high temperatures.

Read more about it in The Honolulu Advertiser. Image courtesy of the Honolulu Advertiser.

Wade Bortz

February 26: Oceans hold vast secrets

Research on a neurotoxic amino acid in certain marine algae by the SOEST Center for Marine and Microbial Ecology and Diversity (CMMED) director Robert Bidigare was just one of the hundreds of topics covered at the AGU Ocean Science Meeting here in Honolulu last week.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of the Honolulu Star Bulletin.

Testing robots in Waikalua fish pond

February 17 : Sea Grant robotics workshop thrills teachers

UH Sea Grant faculty worked with visiting MIT Sea Grant colleagues to hold a robotics workshop for local teachers at Windward CC and Waikalua Fish Pond.

Read more about it in the Star Bulletin, the Advertiser and the UH Manoa Ka Leo. Image courtesy of the Advertiser.

Sand loss on Maui

February 12 : Maui supply of sand is shrinking

Coastal geologist Chip Fletcher and UH Sea Grant extension agent Zoe Norcross-Nu'u address the reasons behind the increasing loss of beach sand on Maui, including both increased development, and Oahu beach replenishing projects.

Read more about it in the Maui News and KGMB news. Image courtesy of Coastal Geology Group / SOEST.

Wade Bortz

February 06 : Dream Jobs

Wade Bortz of HIGP's Infrasound Laboratory talks about his "Dream Job" as a project engineer in the February issue of IEEE Spectrum.

Read more about it in the IEEE Spectrum. Image courtesy of the Wade Bortz, HIGP / SOEST.

Remote sensing image of Mt. Belinda

February 06: Fire Meets Ice

The first-ever observed eruption of Mt. Belinda, on Montagu Island in the South Sandwich islands, began in October 2001 and has continued steadily for an impressive four years.

Read more about it in Discover Magazine. Image courtesy of the Matt Patrick, HIGP / SOEST.

Diagram of genome sequencing research

January 30 : Sequencing our Seas

Using data collected at Station Aloha, scientists have sequenced and compared the genomes of planktonic microbes living throughout the water column in the Pacific Ocean. The pioneering study yielded insight into the specialization of microbial communities at each depth—ranging from 40 to more than 13,000 feet.

Download the PDF press release. Image courtesy of Nicolle Rager Fuller, NSF. (Click on it to open full version.)

Sampling water at Station Aloha

January 30 : Is global warming threatening ocean life?

Phytoplankton can be affected by climate change, according to a study published in Nature. Oceanographer David Karl worked with colleagues in the Netherlands to compare climate models to results from Station Aloha

Read more about it in the Advertiser and the Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of the HOTS / SOEST.

Hawaii Sea Grant logo

January 22 : Keeping Hawai‘i’s waters blue

A recent UH Sea Grant publication Managing Boat Wastes, A Guide for Hawaii Boaters is hoping to elevate the awareness of all boaters of their responsibilities to our shared ocean environment.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of UH Hawaii Sea Grant College Program.

Klaus Keil and Steven Stanley

January 19 : Keil and Stanley win National Academy of Sciences awards

They are two of 15 national scientists to receive awards this year. Klaus Keil (HIGP), Interim Dean of SOEST, has been awarded the J. Lawrence Smith Medal, and Steven Stanley (GG) has been awarded the Mary Clark Thompson Medal. Both awards come with a cash prize.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of UH University Relations.

Barry Raleigh

January 11 : Running on algae

Former SOEST Dean Barry Raleigh, currently a researcher with the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, is studying the use of algae as a source of fuel.  Algae is one source that will help the state reduce its use of petroleum-based gasoline by nearly 9 percent.

Read more about it in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. Image courtesy of the Honolulu Star Bulletin.

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