July  2018
A study led by Pacific Biosciences Research Center researchers revealed that the parasitic nematode Angiostrongylus cantonensis, or rat lungworm, was present in numerous species of snails and slugs on five of the six largest Hawaiian islands (it may be present on all islands but just not detected). Under future climate conditions, rat lungworm is predicted to expand its range to higher elevations in Hawaiʻi. The findings imply that the parasite could also expand its primarily tropical and subtropical range globally to regions that are currently more temperate.
Atlantic cod. Credit: NOAA
In seasonal environments, timing is everything: ecosystem dynamics are controlled by how well predators can match their prey in space and time. A recently published study, led by SOEST oceanographer Anna Neuheimer , revealed that fish parents anticipate environmental conditions for their offspring, resulting in populations "adjusting" spawning time so the young can meet their prey. "This timing match is a challenge for the parents, as eggs take weeks to develop before the young fish need to feed-that is, they must 'predict' when their young's food will occur weeks in advance," said Neuheimer.
ROV Luukai on the R/V Kilo Moana after a successful dive
An international team led by SOEST scientists recently returned from a 34-day expedition to study deep-sea biodiversity and ecological processes in the western Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ). The expedition, aboard the UH-operated Kilo Moana, studied an area in the Pacific Ocean where numerous manganese nodule mining exploration claims are located. Scientists will use data collected to assess the adequacy of conservation measures presently in place to protect deep-sea biodiversity. Further, these data will be used to make science-based recommendations to the International Seabed Authority and others concerning environmental protection and management for deep-sea mining in the CCZ.
The Honolulu Climate Change Commission, chaired by UH Urban and Regional Planning professor Makena Coffman and vice chaired by Charles Fletcher, professor of Geology and Geophysics and SOEST Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, presented its recommendations on sea level rise guidance and climate change to Mayor Kirk Caldwell and the Honolulu City Council. In response, Caldwell issued a formal directive to all city departments and agencies to take action in order to address, minimize the risks from, and adapt to the impacts of climate change and sea level rise.
Margaret McFall-Ngai, professor and director of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center (PBRC) in SOEST, and PBRC researcher Edward (Ned) Ruby have been selected to receive a MERIT award of over $5 million from the National Institutes of Health. MERIT (Method to Extend Research In Time) awards are offered to "distinctly superior" investigators who have demonstrated high levels of competence and productivity and "who are highly likely to continue to perform in an outstanding manner." The awards are designed to give scientists long-term support, without the burden of constantly devoting time and resources to applying for new funding.
Kīhei are traditional Hawaiian garments worn during ceremony and protocol, often adorned with symbols representing the expertise of the wearer. To celebrate the achievements of the SOEST Maile Mentoring Bridge program graduates, students and mentors designed and created kīhei for the students to wear during their Spring 2018 Graduation Ceremony. Rosie Alegado, assistant professor in Oceanography and Hawai'i Sea Grant invited traditional ʻohe kāpala practitioners Uncle George Place and Chantal Chung for the first SOEST Hana Noʻeau Workshop to design and carve stamps and create their graduation kīhei.
A cohort of ten motivated undergraduate students arrived at SOEST recently to participate in a summer research internship, Earth Science on Volcanic Islands, hosted by the Department of Geology and Geophysics. The opportunity, funded for three years, seeks to increase participation in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) workforce by underrepresented groups. The highly qualified students will conduct a wide range of original research with faculty throughout the school-with mentors from the geology and geophysics and oceanography departments as well as the Hawai'i Institute for Geophysics and Planetology-for nine weeks.
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