February  2018
Credit: J S Jackson/ MKThink
The Hawaiʻi Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) partnered with the Hawaiʻi Department of Education (HIDOE) to monitor and adjust classroom temperatures. Beginning this month, classroom temperatures and environmental data collected at public school campuses will be posted to a new HIDOE Thermal Comfort website. Data are gathered from weather stations and sensors that monitor classroom temperatures statewide. The linkage to interior environmental conditions also offers the opportunity to further the understanding between environment and building performance. HNEI is using the data to analyze performance of its net-zero classrooms on Oʻahu and Kauaʻi to encourage sustainable design.
The Honolulu City Council confirmed two SOEST faculty members to serve on the city's Climate Change Commission. Rosie Alegado, assistant researcher in the Department of Oceanography and the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education, and Chip Fletcher, SOEST associate dean of academic affairs and professor of Geology and Geophysics were appointed by Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell. The role of the commission is to gather the latest science and information on climate change impacts to Hawaiʻi, and provide advice and recommendations to the mayor, city council, and executive departments of the city that will draft policy and planning for future climate scenarios.
Credit: Andreas Andersson
Many of the world's coral reefs could begin to erode within 30 years as a result of increasing ocean acidity, according to new research co-authored by two researchers from SOEST and others. Their study shows the rate at which coral reef sediments dissolve is ten times more sensitive to ocean acidification than the rate at which corals grow. Corals are expected to grow more slowly due to ocean acidification and this new study shows dissolving sands could greatly exacerbate reef loss associated with this reduction in coral growth. While an important process, dissolution of coral reef sands had largely been ignored prior to this work, said co-author and oceanography professor Eric DeCarlo.
Lars Bejder recently joined the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) as the director of the Marine Mammal Research Program (MMRP). For nearly two decades Bejder's research has focused on cetaceans, that is, whales, dolphins and porpoises. Bejder comes to HIMB from Murdoch University where he was a professor and research leader of the Cetacean Research Unit.  He has worked closely with wildlife management agencies to integrate research findings into conservation and management strategies.  Attracting him to Hawai'i is the strong and long history of marine mammal research at HIMB. "I am finding it exciting and also humbling to move the MMRP into its next phase," Bejder said.
Fit humans lead to a fit planet. That's the idea behind a new wellness course built recently at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) by Seth D. Williams through his Eagle Scout Service Project. In order to achieve the coveted Eagle Scout rank, a Scout must plan, develop, and provide leadership in a service project that is helpful to others. Williams worked closely with HIMB Facilities Manager Andrew Brown to make sure the project effectively supported and furthered the needs of the island campus. The HIMB Wellness Course is just over one mile in length and offers a scenic walk or jog through the most picturesque locations of the island.
February 3 marked a day of fierce competition at UH Mānoa as ten high school teams from six island schools went head-to-head in Hawaiʻi Sea Grant's 2018 Aloha Bowl, the regional competition of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership's National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Teams impressively answered questions for hours on ocean biology, geology, policy, technology, climate, and physical oceanography. The Maui High School A team ultimately triumphed in the finals over the NESI Homeschool team, earning a trip to the national competition in Boulder, CO, on April 16-17. Congratulations, Maui! The organizers profusely thank the SOEST volunteers who helped make the day a success.
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