April 24, 2017
Fostering Science Discoveries in Young Students
Talented science sisters Ann, a junior at Waiakea High School, and Waiakea 8th grader Megan Nakamoto are very serious about science on Maunakea. The Nakamoto sisters, already known for several outstanding science fair projects, both attended the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair in Honolulu, held earlier this week at the Hawaii Convention Center.
Science fair projects have been an integral part of their school life since 2014 when Ann, then an 8th grader, was recognized at the Hawaii District Science and Engineering Fair for her ant study on Maunakea. Her impressive list of 2014 Hawaii District Science and
Engineering Fair awards included: Overall Honorable Mention; Best in Subject
Category, Junior Research, Animal Sciences; Hapai Enterprises Second Place
Outstanding Entomology/Zoology Award; American Association of University
Women Certificate of Merit; Junior Research Honorable Mention and The Robert
and Alice Fujimoto Foundation Award.

The relationship with the Nakamoto family and the Office of Maunakea Management began a few years ago when older sister Ann reached out to OMKM for a resource on the natural world of flora and fauna on Maunakea. Happy to help, former Maunakea Management Board member Ron Terry suggested to Ann that she meet with OMKM Natural Resource Manager Fritz Klasner and Dr Jesse Eiben, Assistant Professor of Entomology at UH Hilo. Many in our community know Dr. Eiben as the leading expert in Wēkiu bugs and their habitat on Maunakea.

Megan with her 2017 Best in Category for Animal Sciences awards
Megan's Spiders

Ann in 2014 recognized at the Hawaii District Science and Engineering Fair for her ant study on Maunakea
This year, Megan's entry focuses on Maunakea's Lycosidae wolf spider. She studied the growth cycle of the wolf spider at varying temperatures, attempting to answer "What Temperature is Best for Its Growth?" This purpose was something she and Dr. Eiben had discussed. He and other spider specialists agree that these spiders are unique because of the high elevations on Maunakea where they live.  
Megan qualified for the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair with a Best in Category for Animal Sciences, was awarded the Hapai Enterprises Outstanding Entomology/Zoology Award, a Certificate of Merit from the Association of University Women and is a nominee for Broadcast MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering Rising Stars), the premier science and engineering competition for middle school students. Maintaining the family tradition, Ann also attended the Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair this year for her work on Rapid ʻŌhiʻa Death.  
Megan's advice to other students, "Do something you are interested in and passionate about. You will put more effort in the experiment."
Mentoring scientific inquiry with young students is a passion OMKM shares with the UH Hilo and its dedicated professors. We support student efforts in their quest to help answer some of the scientific wonders here on Hawaii Island. 

The Office of Maunakea Management is charged with day-to-day management of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve as prescribed in the Master Plan. The adoption of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan by the University of Hawaii Board of Regents in June 2000 marked a critical milestone in the management of Maunakea.


Meetings and public hearings spanning a period of nearly two years went into the formulation of the Master Plan, which established management guidelines for the next 20 years. The Master Plan reflected the community's deeply rooted concerns over the use of Maunakea, including respect for Hawaiian cultural beliefs, protection of environmentally sensitive habitat, recreational use of the mountain, and astronomy research.   


It places the focus of responsibility with the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH). The UH-Hilo Chancellor established the Office of Maunakea Management and the Board of Regents established the Maunakea Management Board in the fall of 2000. The Maunakea Management Board in turn formed Kahu Ku Mauna, a council comprised of Hawaiian cultural resource persons to serve as advisors.
OMKM Mission

To achieve harmony, balance and trust in the sustainable management and stewardship of Mauna Kea Science Reserve through community involvement and programs that protect, preserve and enhance the natural, cultural and recreational resources of Maunakea while providing a world-class center dedicated to education, research and astronomy.


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