August  2018
A team of scientists led by researchers from the Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) found the first direct evidence of surface exposed water ice in permanently shaded regions (PSRs) of the Moon. The PSRs near the poles never receive direct light from the Sun. They are extremely cold areas that are known to trap volatiles such as water ice. "Given that the Moon is our nearest planetary neighbor, understanding the processes which led to water ice on the Moon provides clues to understand the origin of water on Earth and throughout the solar system," said lead author Shuai Li, a postdoctoral researcher at HIGP.
The Hawaiʻi Ocean Time-series (HOT) program has been awarded $9 million in new funding from the National Science Foundation to continue for another five years. Even more auspicious, this month marks the 30th anniversary of the endeavor that has led to so many discoveries in marine ecology and ocean and climate sciences. The program, founded by oceanography professors David Karl and Roger Lukas, will transition to new leadership with Angelicque White, a newly hired oceanography associate professor, and James Potemra, SOEST researcher, co-leading this next chapter.
SOEST faculty shared their knowledge as communities across the state awaited Hurricane Lane's arrival. Atmospheric scientists Steven Businger, Pao-Shin Chu, Jennifer GriswoldChristina Karamperidou and  Alison Nugent helped keep television and online viewers up to date on the status of the storm, reasons for track uncertainty, and more. Dennis Hwang with Hawaiʻi Sea Grant provided advice on home preparations and sheltering in place. "Even though we 'dodged a bullet' from Lane, the hurricane season is not over until the end of November and we still have to be vigilant about the future storms," said Chu.
A rapid response team of scientists from the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education completed an expedition to investigate the effects of the Kīlauea volcanic eruption on marine life near Hawai'i Island. The researchers theorize that the lava and ash, which are enriched in iron and phosphorus, are acting as a fertilizer fueling algae growth. With new funding provided by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the team will continue to gain insight into  impact of the eruption on ocean microbes and its potential effect on the broader marine ecosystem.
Researchers at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) and the State of Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources found a combination of manual removal and outplanting of native urchins was effective at reducing invasive, reef smothering macroalgae by 85% on a coral reef in Kāne'ohe Bay, O'ahu. "This management approach is the first of its kind at the reef-scale," said Chris Wall, co-author and doctoral candidate at HIMB. "Our research shows promise as an effective means to reduce invasive macroalgae with minimal environmental impact, while also incorporating a native herbivore to regulate a noxious invasive species."
The Voice of the Sea television series, produced by the  University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program, won two 2018 Telly Awards for educational episodes focused on sea-level rise and coastal erosion in Hawaiʻi. The Telly Awards honor excellence in local, regional and cable TV programming. Voice of the Sea was selected for awards out of a highly competitive field of more than 12,000 entries from all 50 states and 5 continents. Voice of the Sea has won 16 Telly Awards since 2014.

Researchers with the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education discovered that several greenhouse gases are emitted as common plastics degrade in the environment. They reported the unexpected discovery of the universal production of greenhouse gases methane and ethylene by the most common plastics when exposed to sunlight. The team tested materials used to make food storage, textiles, construction materials, and various plastic goods. Plastic as a source of greenhouse gases is not yet budgeted for when assessing global methane and ethylene cycles, and may be significant.
This summer, a new course, "SOEST Mauka to Makai" was offered by the Department of Oceanography. This six-week bridge program goes beyond the usual lectures and laboratory activities to include coastal cruises and service-learning activities. A unique aspect of the course is its connection with community groups involved in the preservation and restoration of traditional Hawaiian resource management practices in watersheds and coastal waters of O'ahu. These partnerships offer a transfer pathway from community colleges to geoscience degree programs at UH Mānoa, with a focus on Native Hawaiian and other underrepresented students.
Department of Health internships lead to employment
This summer, SOEST Student Academic Services set up an internship program with the Hawai'i State Department of Health and placed two recent graduates from the Global Environmental Sciences program, Nalani Kito-Ho and Winter Jimenez. Kito-Ho is updating air quality data and, in response to the Kilauea eruption, she is mapping out current and potential air monitoring stations on the Big Island. Both alumni will be transitioning to employee status this fall. This partnership is one path to relevant and meaningful employment for SOEST graduates.
Awards and recognition
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