April  2017
The ALOHA Cabled Observatory (ACO), the deepest operating ocean observatory on the planet that provides power and internet communications to scientific instruments on the seafloor, recently celebrated 10 years of operations. The development and deployment of the nearly 3-mile deep observatory was led by SOEST. In 2007, a retired AT&T cable was brought to Station ALOHA. A pressure sensor and hydrophone were attached to the free end of the cable and lowered down--connecting equipment on the seafloor to a shore station in Mākaha, Oʻahu. With a toehold in this extreme abyssal environment, ACO researchers have observed never-before-seen animal interactions and gained new understanding of deep ocean processes.
SOEST scientists showed for the first time that many novel viruses are present in the fluids circulating deep in the rocky crust of the seafloor known as the ocean basement. Viruses infect every living thing on earth and viral infections have been one of the major creative forces that shape the nature of life on our planet. This pioneering work provided the first look at the diverse and unusual viruses infecting the microorganisms in warm basaltic crust. This work was inspired by and was made possible in part by the pioneering work of the late James P. Cowen, an esteemed and long-serving faculty member in the Department of Oceanography.
With the Chancellor's Awards, UHM recognizes its finest faculty, staff and students with teaching, research and service.
The Chancellor's Faculty Diversity Enhancement Award is awarded to Barbara Bruno. In her 20-year tenure with the Hawaiʽi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, she has served in a variety of roles, including co-creation of the minority-focused C-MORE Scholars Program that provides cutting-edge research and educational opportunities to students. As co-principal investigator of ʽIke Wai, she obtained a $20-million National Science Foundation EPSCoR grant to secure Hawaiʽi's water future. She is the project director and co-founder of SOEST Maile Mentoring Bridge programs that inspire Native Hawaiian, kamaʽāina and individuals of other underrepresented ethnicities to pursue ocean, Earth and environmental science professions.
The Chancellor's Citation for Meritorious Teaching is awarded to Jennifer Griswold, assistant professor of atmospheric sciences at SOEST. She strives to engage students through innovative labs, challenging problem-solving projects, peer-to-peer interaction and real-world examples of the principles of the field. She has developed two new courses in atmospheric sciences, one that merges weather and climate information with the cultures of the Pacific Islands and another that teaches satellite data acquisition and analysis techniques. She is recognized by her students as a remarkable professor and advisor whose influence draws students from disciplines outside of science to study the atmospheric sciences.
SOEST and Tohoku University (TU) recently formalized a collaborative research and academic program that will last for five years with an option to renew. The new program has two channels for institutional interaction: exchanges of students and short-term faculty visits. Faculty at SOEST will jointly supervise students obtaining a doctoral degree at the Graduate School of Science at TU. The first students will visit SOEST in the fall semester and with International Pacific Research Center as the driving force behind the plan, they will have a climate science focus to their studies. SOEST students of all disciplines are invited to visit TU to take advantage of their facilities and broad faculty specialties.
Team Geology Rocks raised funds for American Cancer Society's Relay for Life
The Geology Rocks team from Geology and Geophysics, organized by graduate students Marissa Camero and Elizabeth Benyshek, participated in American Cancer Society's Relay for Life this month. Out of 44 teams, they ranked fourth, having raised $2,236! They shared geology-related activities and games at their tent and made a contribution to eliminating cancer as a major health problem. At the event, they took turns walking around the track to raise money and awareness to help the American Cancer Society in their lifesaving mission.
Tyler Lum, a Hawai'i Sea Grant Hanauma Bay Education Program student employee, was the overall winner of both UH Mānoa's Student Employee of the Year (SEOTY) award and also the State of Hawai'i! Tyler skillfully combined the experience and knowledge gained through the UH Mānoa marine biology program with effective education and outreach targeting nearly 800,000 annual visitors to the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve. He also helps with volunteer training, group visits, service learning, and the weekly outreach seminar series. This award program has special meaning for Hawai'i Sea Grant as Myrtle Ching-Rappa, the wife of the late Peter Rappa who worked at Sea Grant for over 30 years, established the program in 1986.
Roosevelt High School visits to SOEST    
SOEST has developed an interactive tour for high school students that includes a series of hands-on activities and sessions designed to engage and educate about the ocean, earth and planetary sciences that comprise the SOEST academic disciplines and research endeavors. This month, 65 students from Roosevelt High School participated in these sessions. Researchers and graduate and undergraduate students from all four SOEST departments and multiple research units shared their knowledge and enthusiasm with the students. The students learned about deep-sea and coral reef ecosystems, autonomous technologies such as SeaGliders and spectroscopy, weather phenomena and more.
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Find upcoming events on the SOEST Events page and watch videos on the SOEST Videos  page.