September 2016
Researchers from the  International Pacific Research Center used one of the first integrated climate-human migration computer models in an attempt to quantitatively re-create the grand journey of Homo sapiens over the past 125,000 years and determine the role of climate in human dispersal. According to their new study published in Nature, a small group of Homo sapiens left Africa around 100,000 years ago in a series of astronomically-paced slow migration waves and arrived for the first time in southern Europe around 80,000-90,000 years ago. These results challenge prominent anthropological models that assume a single exodus out of Africa around 60,000 years ago.
Watch the video on Vimeo.
The Hawai'i Wave Energy Test Site (WETS), the United States' first grid-connected test site, generates electricity from the rise and fall of passing waves off Oahu's windward coast. Recently, a blessing and dedication ceremony was conducted by the Navy at the site. Wave energy has enormous potential to address global renewable energy goals. The Hawai'i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) provides key research support to this national effort through environmental monitoring, independent analysis of the performance and durability of wave energy conversion devices, and critical marine logistical support.
Watch the video to learn more about HNEI's contribution to WETS.
The Hawai'i Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) teamed up with the non-profit group Conservation International to dive on seamounts 100 miles southwest of the Big Island of Hawai'i, two of which have never been explored by human-occupied submersibles. Cook and McCall Seamounts, which are part of the Geologists Seamounts, and Lo'ihi were the destinations for this three-day series of dives using the Pisces IV and Pisces V, HURL's two submersibles. In addition to the impressive volcanic formations, the team spotted such wonders as a rare Dumbo octopus, a purple chimaera, and a large, elusive Pacific sleeper shark.
A new study by researchers at the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Level Center in SOEST shows that sea level rise in the northern Indian Ocean rose twice as fast as the global average since 2003. This represents a stark contrast to the previous decade when the region experienced very little sea level rise. A change in the prevailing trade winds in the Indian Ocean caused heat to build up in the northern Indian Ocean and enhance the rate of sea level rise.
Many of the world's populations most vulnerable to sea level rise can be found in these parts of the Indian Ocean, including those in Bangladesh and Jakarta.
Ten scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, including three from SOEST, partnered with ten members of the Honolulu Printmakers in the ArtSci 2016 Where Art and Science Meet exhibition at the Honolulu Museum of Art School. The scientists and artists shared processes and insights into their respective practices to create the pieces for the exhibition. The result is the creation of a portfolio of prints using a traditional printmaking processes and an explanatory scientific poster designed for the public to accompany the artwork. The participating artists and scientists explored ways to collaborate: listen, share, observe, learn, experiment and discover.

Watch the video at UH News.

Christina Karamperidou recently joined the SOEST Department of Atmospheric Sciences as an assistant professor. Her research focuses on integrating earth and environmental science, engineering and social science in studies of large-scale climate mechanisms and their impacts on decadal to centennial time scales. She uses observational data and climate model experiments and collaborates with paleoclimate scientists in field work aimed at developing new tools to estimate past variability of climate and water resources in the Pacific. Karamperidou completed her PhD at Columbia University in New York City and initially came to SOEST as an assistant researcher.
Chris Wall, a UHM marine biology doctoral candidate with Ruth Gates, was selected for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Science to Achieve Results (STAR) graduate fellowship program. With this honor, Wall received a $132,000 award to support his research on the impacts of near-shore stressors, such as nutrient pollution, and global stressors, such as rising seawater temperature, on coral reefs. Environmental stress can reduce the performance of reef corals and lead to the breakdown of the relationship between coral and its algae symbionts--epitomized by the phenomena known as coral bleaching.
Middle school students visit SOEST
Fifty middle school students from the School for Examining Essential Questions of Sustainability (SEEQS) visited SOEST recently to gather information to inform their guiding question for the year: "What are the reasons and ways to improve our relationship with the ocean in Hawai'i?" The students and their teachers worked with SOEST researchers and graduate students to learn about microbes, climate change, and the carbon cycle; marine debris; coral reef organisms and biodiversity; and the interaction between groundwater and the ocean as the connection between the land and sea.
Stay informed!
Find upcoming events on the SOEST Events page and watch videos, including the latest additions from JIMAR and Sea Grant, on the SOEST Videos page.