May 2017
Congratulations to all of our Spring 2017 Graduates! This semester, SOEST granted undergraduate degrees and advanced degrees (master's and/or doctoral) in Atmospheric Sciences, Geology and Geophysics, Global Environmental Sciences, Marine Biology and Oceanography.
To view more photos of UHM Spring 2017 graduates, visit the UH News photo gallery  .

Research highlight: Jennifer Wong-Ala, a spring GES graduate, studied Reef fish sustainability off West Hawaii Island.

The UH Sea Grant, UH Sea Level Center and Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System have been tracking high ocean water levels in the region, and advise that the state is likely to experience unusually high tide levels through the summer, in part because of peak astronomic tides, or "King Tides." Community groups and media rely on SOEST researchers for their expertise in sea-level rise and ocean observations. The public has been asked to help document high water levels and related impacts through the Hawaiʻi and Pacific Islands King Tides "citizen science" project by submitting photos online. UH researchers say summer will provide a glimpse of what will eventually become routine with continued global warming and sea-level rise.
Nearly every year, snow covers the highest peaks in the state for at least a few days. However, systematic observations of snowfall and the snow cover on Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on Hawai'i Island are practically nonexistent. A group of climate modelers from the International Pacific Research Center used satellite images to quantify recent snow cover distributions patterns. They developed a daily index of snow cover and modeled the future of Hawai'i's mountain snow. Their results show that on average the two volcano summits are snow-covered at least 20 days each winter but that the snow cover will nearly disappear by the end of the century.
SOEST was well-represented at the biannual ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meeting, a venue for over 2,000 scientists from 56 countries to address water issues and promote scientific exchange. Three plenary speakers were from SOEST and numerous SOEST undergraduate and graduate students, postdocs, scientific staff and professors presented original research. The conference theme, "From the Mountains to the Sea," emphasized the connectivity of our planet's aquatic systems, and underscored the urgent need to share knowledge and discoveries about Earth's lakes, rivers, streams, aquifers, wetlands and oceans. Oceanography professor, Kathleen Ruttenberg was the meeting co-chair.
James "Jay" Griffin, a Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute assistant researcher, has been appointed to an interim seat on Public Utilities Commission (PUC) by Gov. David Ige.  Previously, Griffin was chief of policy and research at PUC, leading staff and consultant teams in analyzing state energy policy decisions, including long-term power supply planning.  "We are excited to find a talented individual in Jay Griffin, who has demonstrated expertise and is aligned with our commitment to a 100 percent clean energy future," said Governor Ige. Griffin's interim appointment is effective June 5, 2017.
A cohort of 12 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Island undergraduate students arrived at UH Manoa this month to participate in a 10-week summer research internship called Environmental Biology for Pacific Islanders, hosted by SOEST's Pacific Biosciences Research Center (PBRC). "Our expectation is that the students trained with the support of this program will contribute significantly to conserving and restoring native species and habitats in their home islands through hands-on activities in governmental or private agencies and training new generations of islanders," said Michael Hadfield, co-director of the summer program and professor emeritus at PBRC. 
Stay informed!
Find upcoming events on the SOEST Events page and watch videos on the SOEST Videos  page.