GES graduates focus on sustainability and stewardship in Hawai‘i

Three recent graduates of the Global Environmental Science (GES) Bachelor of Science degree program in the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) demonstrate stewardship as they work toward a healthy and sustainable Hawai‘i.

When Honour Shore Ai Lin Booth began surfing regularly as a teenager, her mother always reminded her to use sunscreen, and she would argue that sunscreen was putting chemicals into the environment. The question of how much sunscreen actually goes into the environment remained with her into college. This question inspired her to develop her research project with mentor, Professor Philip Williams in the UH Mānoa Department of Chemistry. Since entering UH Mānoa and the GES program in the fall of 2016, Honour has been on the Dean’s List, received various scholarships, and attended conferences including the International Coral Reef Symposium. In addition, Honour was selected as a Peter J. Rappa Sustainable Coastal Development Fellow, which gave her the opportunity to work with the City & County of Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency, an achievement of which she is most proud. This spring, Honour graduated with a Bachelor of Art degree in Chemistry. Honour was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai‘i.

Noʻeau Machado knew the GES program was perfect for him as soon as he read about it. The program allowed him tailor his curriculum to study the environment, sustainability, and science, and also Hawaiian culture and sustainable food production systems. He wanted a research project which allowed him to give back directly to Hawaiʻi. Noʻeau chose a research project at Heʻeia Fishpond under the mentorship of oceanography Associate Professor Rosie Alegado, whom he deeply respects. Since entering UH Mānoa and the GES program in the fall of 2015, Noʻeau has consistently been on the Dean’s List and has been a recipient of various scholarly awards, including the ʻŌiwi Distinguished Scholars Award and ʻOiwi Undergraduate Research Fellowship, both from the Lāhui Hawaiʻi Research Center. Noʻeau was born and raised in Kāneʻohe, Hawai‘i.

Cuong Tran was admitted to UH Mānoa in the fall of 2015, and decided to transfer to the GES program after participating in a service project trip to Molokai in the spring of 2016, where he rediscovered his passion for environment conservation. Cuong has always enjoyed going to the beach. Baby Beach in his hometown of Lāhainā is his “happy place”, a place to think, reflect, and get inspired. A family tragedy along this very beach propelled him into researching anthropogenic climate change, which affects shoreline communities. Cuong conducted his research with earth sciences professor and SOEST Associate Dean and Professor Chip Fletcher. Cuong is consistently on the Dean’s List and recipient of multiple scholarships and awards, including the NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholarship and National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. He is an active member of honor societies on campus and has participated in several conferences. Cuong was selected as a student marshal to represent and lead the SOEST graduating class in the 108thAnnual Commencement Exercises. Cuong was born in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and raised in Lāhainā, HI.

The GES program trains passionate and high-quality students to be knowledgeable in Earth-system science and to think creatively about the challenges facing communities and natural resources now and in the future.  As a GES degree requirement, each student is guided by a faculty mentor and performs original scientific research, writes a research thesis and presents their findings publicly. Mentors include SOEST faculty, global leaders in the fields of ocean, earth and space science, as well as technology. Throughout the GES degree program, students are engaged in fieldwork, laboratory work, and field trips, and have access to deep ocean and coastal research vessels, SOEST’s world-class Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, and an active volcano.

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