School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

SOEST Press Releases 2013

Student using a magnifying glass to view rocks

Dec 2: SOEST offers Master’s degree for Geoscience professionals

A Professional Master’s Degree in Geoscience (MGeo) will be offered by SOEST starting Fall 2014. Providing Master's-level training and practical experience in applied geoscience, the MGEO is intended to prepare students to pursue a career in a variety of fields including geological and environmental consulting, geotechnical engineering, hydrology, natural hazard mitigation, climate change adaption, natural resource exploration, renewable energy development, and more.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Student using a magnifying glass to view rocks

Dec 2: Giant World War II aircraft-carrying submarine discovered off Oahu coast

A World War II-era Imperial Japanese Navy mega-submarine, the I-400, lost since 1946 when it was intentionally scuttled by U.S. forces after its capture, has been discovered in more than 2,300 feet of water off the southwest coast of O‘ahu. The new discovery of the I-400 was led by veteran undersea explorer Terry Kerby, Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) operations director and chief submarine pilot.

Link to the press release.

Student using a magnifying glass to view rocks

Nov 14: Safety in Numbers? Not so for corals.

A team of scientists from the Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) and NOAA has revealed that global changes in climate and ocean chemistry affect corals whether scarce or abundant, and often it is the dominant, abundant corals with wide distributions that are affected the most.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Student using a magnifying glass to view rocks

Oct 22: SOEST hosts 12th Open House!

Exploding volcanos! Powerful tsunamis! Undersea exploration! These are just a few of the fascinating and educational hands-on exhibits being offered at the 12th biennial SOEST Open House on October 25 and 26.

Link to the press release (PDF).

SOEST representatives at the blessing of ROV, Lu'ukai

Oct 18: SOEST adds remotely operated vehicle Lu‘ukai to ocean exploration fleet

SOEST held a ceremony yesterday to name and launch operations on a new remotely operated vehicle (ROV) that will extend the vertical reach to 6000-m, over 3 miles, deep for ocean exploration in the state and throughout the Pacific. The Lu‘ukai, meaning “sea diver,” will comple¬ment the capabilities of the existing fleet of UH ocean exploration vehicles.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Topography and seafloor relief near the Big Island

Oct 4: Extrusive volcanism formed the Hawaiian Islands, study determines

A recent study by researchers at SOEST and the University of Rhode Island changes the understanding of how the Hawaiian Islands formed. Scientists have determined that it is the eruptions of lava on the surface, extrusion, which grow Hawaiian volcanoes, rather than internal emplacement of magma, as was previously thought.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Mount St. Helens media encampment, 2004

Sep 20: New NSF award examines 'volcanic crises in the USA: from precursors to resilience'

SOEST has been awarded one of the first grants in a new large-scale research direction by the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). The grant is one of several made this month by NSF seeking to mitigate disasters by creating broad, interdisciplinary, multi-institutional teams of individuals that often have not worked together previously.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Researchers tagging shark

Sep 5: Female tiger sharks migrate during fall pupping season

A quarter of the mature female tiger sharks plying the waters around the remote coral atolls of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands decamp for the populated main Hawaiian Islands in the late summer and fall, swimming as far as 2,500 kilometers (1,500 miles), according to new research from SOEST and University of Florida.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Front of Project Frog Classroom at Kawaikini School

Aug 29: Sea-level rise drives shoreline retreat in Hawaii

Sea-level rise (SLR) has been isolated as a principal cause of coastal erosion in Hawaii. Differing rates of relative sea-level rise on the islands of Oahu and Maui, Hawaii remain as the best explanation for the difference in island-wide shoreline trends (that is, beach erosion or accretion).

Link to the press release (PDF).

Kaneohe Bay submarine canyons

Aug 26: Submarine canyons a source of marine invertebrate diversity, abundance

Submarine canyons play an important role in maintaining high levels of biodiversity of small invertebrates in the seafloor sediments of the main and northwestern Hawaiian Islands, according to new research. What’s more, scientists have used this data to draw new connections between the levels of faunal diversity and the heterogeneity of submarine canyon landscapes at various spatial scales.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Fish samples

Aug 26: Ocean fish acquire more mercury at depth, research ascertains

Exciting new research combines biogeochemistry and direct marine ecology observations to show how the global mercury cycle is colliding with ocean fish—and the human seafood supply—at different depths in the water.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Diver working on acoustic receiver

Aug 22: Scientists develop new method of estimating fish movements underwater

There’s no "Google Maps" for finding fish. Rethinking the traditional, ad hoc approach to tracking fish, researchers have proposed a new state-space model for analyzing fish movement data collected by marine observation networks. The goal of their new model is to quantify the uncertainty associated with this imperfect locating system, and to improve its accuracy.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Earth from space - NASA

Aug 5: Carbon emissions to impact climate beyond the day after tomorrow

Future warming from fossil fuel burning could be more intense and longer-lasting than previously thought. This prediction emerges from a new study by Oceanography Professor Richard Zeebe, who includes insights from episodes of climate change in the geologic past to inform projections of man-made future climate change.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Wave model prediction near Guam

Jul 30: New models provide 7.5 days of wave predictions in Mariana Islands

Mariners and ocean recreationalists in Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands will benefit from new high-resolution wave forecasts offered by the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS). The new forecasts provide 7.5 days of predicted wave height, period and direction—updated twice per day.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Plastics found in fish

Jul 23: Plastic for dinner? Big fish eat more than you expect

Large, predatory fishes from the offshore waters around Hawaii have been ingesting a surprisingly large amount of plastic and other marine debris, according to new research by scientists at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. These observations are the first of their kind in scope and in number, and they suggest that more attention should be given to marine debris in subsurface waters, as well as to the potential food web implications for human consumption.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Coral polyp as seen with confocal microscope

Jul 22: Laser scanning confocal microscope generates artful images of science

As part of a new PBS digital video series called UnderH20, viewers see live corals -- and their associated microorganisms -- from a whole new perspective. Using a revolutionary new tool, a laser scanning confocal microscope, scientists at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology generate images that are one part art and one part science.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Dr. Steven Stanley

Jul 16: Professor wins top national honor for research in paleontology

Dr. Steven M. Stanley of the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Department of Geology and Geophysics is the recipient of the 2013 Geological Society of America (GSA) Penrose Medal, the society’s highest honor. This medal, which is awarded for eminent research in pure geology,

Link to the press release (PDF).

Graphic of mantle upwelling locations

Jun 27: Location of upwelling in Earth's mantle discovered to be stable

Researchers discovered that large-scale upwelling within Earth's mantle mostly occurs in only two places: beneath Africa and the Central Pacific; and that these upwelling locations have remained remarkably stable over geologic time, despite dramatic reconfigurations of tectonic plate motions and continental locations on the Earth's surface.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Coastline with river inputs

Jun 10: Study reveals significant leakage of carbon stored on land to rivers, lakes, estuaries and coastal regions

New research suggests that human activity could be increasing the movement of carbon from land to rivers, estuaries and the coastal zone indicating that large quantities of anthropogenic carbon may be hidden in regions not previously considered.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Yellow Tang - Keoki Stender

Jun 4: Delving into the origins of tropical marine biodiversity

For more than 30 years, biologists have assumed that Hawaii was an evolutionary graveyard for marine fauna. New research is showing that Hawaiian marine animals are radiating across the ocean, spreading their genes and adapting to new environments as part of a complementary process of biodiversity feedback.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Hawaiian Coral

May 20: Abundance and distribution of potentially threatened or endangered Hawaiian coral species predicted by model

Researchers developed species distribution models of the six dominant Hawaiian coral species around the main Hawaiian Islands including two species currently under consideration as threatened or endangered. This integrative, modeling approach provides a truer picture of total coral abundance.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Front of Project Frog Classroom at Kawaikini School

May 6: HNEI to Conduct Energy Research at Kawaikini School Utilizing New Project Frog Classrooms

At Kawaikini New Century Public Charter School, in Lihue, Kauai, students will now have the unique opportunity to learn in new classrooms that are research and learning platforms in and of themselves. Two 1,200-squarefoot, state-of-the-art structures have been installed at the school for energy research that will test the effectiveness of innovative energy efficient buildings powered by renewable energy.

Link to the press release (PDF).

White Shark in water off Mexico

Apr 18: SOEST and Hawai‘i DAR researchers provide new understanding of rare white shark movement around Hawai‘i

A study published in the Journal of Marine Biology sheds new light on the relatively rare but occasionally recorded presence of white sharks in waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands, and suggests a new method to help distinguish between white sharks and close relatives, such as mako sharks.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Sunset over the Everglades mangrove ecosystem

Mar 20: NSF grant supports investigation into effects of water management and climate change on Everglades ecosystem

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a total of $5 million to David Ho, Oceanography Professor and his collaborators to support a 5-year project that will explore the hydrologic, ecologic and economic impacts of management strategies designed to increase the resilience of the Florida Everglades ecosystem to climate change and sea level rise.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Scientists working on back deck of ship

Mar 9: Hawaii Ocean Time-series Program reaches milestone

On March 9, 2013, the UH research vessel Kilo Moana returned from the 250th scientific expedition of the Hawaii Ocean Time-series (HOT) program after nearly 25 years of approximately monthly research cruises to observe and interpret habitat variability and to track climate impacts on Hawaii’s marine ecosystem.

Link to the press release (PDF).

Maui high school students with first place award

Feb 27: Maui High School wins 2013 Hawai‘i Ocean Sciences Bowl

Five high school students from Maui High School won the 11th annual Hawai‘i regional competition for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), the “Aloha Bowl” and will represent Hawai‘i in the 16th annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl in April in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Among 13 competing teams, Punahou School took second place and Waiakea was awarded third.

Link to the press release (PDF).

coral polyp as seen under confocal microscope

Jan 31: HIMB researchers recognized in the 10th Annual International Science & Technology Visualization Challenge

Drs. Christine Farrar, Zac Forsman, Ruth Gates, Jo-Ann Leong and Robert Toonen HIMB were awarded Honorable Mention for their video submission, Observing the Coral Symbiome Using Laser Scanning Confocal Microscopy in the 10th annual International Science Technology Visualization Challenge.  

Link to the press release (PDF).

Climate Change book cover

Jan 25: SOEST scientist publishes first climate change textbook for college students

Dr. Charles Fletcher, Associate Dean and Professor of Geology and Geophysics, released the first edition of "Climate Change: What the Science Tells Us" (published by J. Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ).  Fletcher offers the first real textbook to present the science surrounding climate change at the right level for an undergraduate student. 

Link to the press release (PDF).

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