May 2016
Congratulations to all of our Spring 2016 graduates! This semester, we granted a record number of undergraduate degrees with additional advanced degrees (master's and doctoral) in Atmospheric Sciences, Geology, Marine Biology and Oceanography.

To view more photos of UHM Spring 2016 graduates, visit the UH News photo gallery.

Hope Jahren  (Image courtesy of Matt Ching/TIME)
Hope Jahren, a geobiologist at SOEST, has been named on Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People 2016.

"It is a rare breed of scientist who is both a leader in her field and a great writer, but Hope Jahren is both. A tenured professor at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa, Jahren has built a career and a reputation in science by unearthing secrets hidden in fossilized plant life."

Her new memoir, "Lab Girl", debuted on the New York Times best-seller list. Congratulations, Hope!
A team of researchers from SOEST recently published a study that estimated the probability of a Magnitude 9+ earthquake in the Aleutian Islands - an event with sufficient power to create a mega-tsunami that would be especially threatening to Hawai'i. According to the study, in the next 50 years there is a 9% chance of such an event. 

An earlier State of Hawai'i report has estimated the damage from such an event would be nearly $40 billion, with more than 300,000 people affected.

Using µCT (micro-computed tomography) scans, Nyssa Silbiger and colleagues were able to calculate detailed rates of the breakdown of coral reefs from borers (sponges and marine worms, for example) and grazers (such as parrotfish and urchins); and growth from encrusting algae and invertebrates ---work she performed as a graduate student at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology ( HIMB). This novel method exposes how these processes, which are critical for reef sustainability, respond to varying environmental conditions, including changing ocean acidity.
Important research from SOEST is providing state leaders with critical information to better develop outreach and awareness efforts to minimize possibly dangerous encounters with tiger sharks. After a spike in shark bites off of Maui in 2012 and 2013, the State Department of Land and Natural Resources ( DLNR) turned to the experts at the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology ( HIMB). After years of work, HIMB shark researchers Carl Meyer and Kim Holland and a team of students completed an important study in 2016 revealing movement patterns of tiger sharks around Maui and Oʻahu .
A study led by researchers at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology ( HIMB) identified key and novel components of the molecular "toolkit" that allow corals to build their skeletons (called biomineralization) and described when, during the transformation from floating larvae to coral skeleton, these components are used. Hollie Putnam, co-lead author and HIMB assistant researcher, and Ruth Gates, senior researcher and director of HIMB, collaborated with scientists from Rutgers University, and the University of Haifa to examine gene expression and the production of proteins at these different life stages.
The Hawai'i State Department of Health (DOH) and the East Hawaiʻi Liaison to the Office of the Governor established a Joint Task Force to assess the threat of rat lungworm disease (Angiostrongyliasis) in Hawaiʻi. Robert Cowie, research professor at the Pacific Biosciences Research Center, is one of the 16 task force members. Rat lungworm disease is caused by a nematode, which is a roundworm parasite. Humans can become infected when they consume infected raw or undercooked intermediate hosts. Although rat lungworm has been found throughout the State, Hawai'i Island has a majority of the cases.
Mike Garcia, professor of  Geology, was featured in National Science Foundation's (NSF) Science Nation for his work on Hawai'i Island's Kilauea volcano. With support from NSF, Garcia has been leading studies of Kilauea for a generation, adding to the extensive knowledge base on this volcano. Its high eruption frequency, easy access to lavas, and distinct geologic setting far from plate boundaries or continents make Kilauea is one of the best places on Earth to study processes within basaltic volcanoes. Kilauea is also one of the longest currently erupting volcanoes. Its current active period began in 1983! 
Stay informed on the SOEST Events page.