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Ocean & Earth Sciences

International collaboration expands knowledge of munitions dumped at sea

Collecting a sea star near a sea-dumped munition. Credit: HUMMA

A special issue of the academic journal Deep-sea Research II, published recently, is devoted to expanding understanding of the global issue of chemical munitions dumped at sea. The publication was edited by Margo Edwards, interim director of the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Institute of Geophysics and Planetology, and Jacek Beldowski, Science for Peace and Security MODUM (Towards the ...

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Geology graduates investigate Fukushima-derived radioactivity in Hawaiʻi

Trista McKenzie in the lab. Credit: Warren McKenzie

On March 11, 2011, following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, several reactors at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant suffered damage and released radioactive chemicals into the atmosphere and contaminated wastewater into the nearby Pacific Ocean. Hannah Azouz and Trista McKenzie, two recent graduates from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) ...

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NSF funds undergraduate DNA and biodiversity research

REU undergraduates

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has received a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Through this award, undergraduates will use high-throughput DNA sequencing, phylogenetic methods and bioinformatics to study microbiomes and the identities and origins of Hawaiʻi’s endemic, native and introduced organisms. Mentorship will be provided by faculty from the UH Mānoa ...

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Climate experts to help vulnerable coastal communities

Coastal home at risk from coastal erosion and high surf

The University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (Hawaiʻi Sea Grant) formed its newest center of excellence to assist coastal communities throughout Hawaiʻi and the Pacific islands prepare for the impacts of both natural and human-induced coastal hazards. Hawaiʻi Sea Grant’s Center for Coastal and Climate Science and Resilience brings together world-renowned university scientists and outreach professionals with government and community partners to focus ...

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Organism responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning could affect fisheries

Schooling jack mackerel. Credit: Adam Obaza/ NOAA

New research published in Scientific Reports by scientists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology suggests that ingestion of the toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense changes the energy balance and reproductive potential of a particular copepod, a small crustacean, in the North Atlantic that is key food source for young fishes, including many commercially important species. Alexandrium fundyense is a photosynthetic ...

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Corals and humans share genes


University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa scientists at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) have published new research showing that corals share many of the genes humans possess, especially those that can sense temperature and acidity, both of which are important to keeping both coral and humans healthy. The findings, published in the journal eLife, are the ...

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Scientists discover world’s largest known sponge in Papahānaumokuākea MNM

The massive sponge — the size of a minivan, the largest on record — was found in summer 2015 at a depth of 2117 m in the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Image courtesy NOAA.

Researchers in the summer of 2015 were surveying an ocean ridge in a marine conservation area off the shores of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and amid ordinary ocean floor fare — a bit of coral, some volcanic rock — they came across something surprising: they discovered what they say is the world’s largest known sponge. Roughly the size of a ...

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UH Mānoa partners in National Microbiome Initiative

President Barack Obama at the National Institute of Health. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

On May 13, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy announced a new National Microbiome Initiative (NMI), a coordinated effort to better understand microbiomes—communities of microorganisms that live on and in people, plants, soil, oceans and the atmosphere—and to develop tools to protect and restore healthy microbiome function. This initiative represents a combined federal agency investment of more ...

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Fishing networks study may save sharks

Bigeye thresher shark (photo courtesy of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Fisheries)

Tuna fishers who network with their competition may be able to stop thousands of sharks a year from being accidentally captured and killed in the Pacific Ocean. Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa found if fishers communicated more with their rivals, it could lead ...

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[VIDEO] Shark study helps explain higher incidence of encounters off Maui

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa researchers Carl Meyer, left, and Kim Holland tagging a tiger shark.

Important research out of the University of Hawaiʻi is providing state leaders with critical information to better develop outreach and awareness efforts to minimize possibly dangerous encounters with tiger sharks. After a spike in shark bites off of Maui in 2012 and 2013, the State Department of Land and Natural Resources turned to the experts at the UH Mānoa Hawaiʻi ...

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