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Ocean & Earth Sciences

[VIDEO] Coral reef experts bridge science to public policy

ICRS video screen capture

Experts say the world’s coral reefs are in severe decline. Coral bleaching reached historic levels over the last several years. This important ecological, economical and cultural resource is at risk. That is why about 2,500 delegates including three Pacific heads of state met in Hawaiʻi in June for the 13thInternational Coral Reef Symposium. The meeting’s convener, the University of Hawaiʻi …

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New analysis reveals large-scale motion around San Andreas Fault System

Aerial view of San Andreas Fault in the Carrizo Plain, 8,500 ft. altitude. (credit: Ikluft/Wikimedia)

An array of GPS instruments near the San Andreas Fault System in Southern California detects constant motion of Earth’s crust—sometimes large, sudden motion during an earthquake and often subtle, creeping motion. By carefully analyzing the data recorded by the EarthScope Plate Boundary Observatory’s GPS array researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, University of Washington and Scripps Institution of …

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Explore world’s deepest ocean trench with live feed from expedition

Left: A beautiful stalked crinoid, likely Proisocrinus ruberrimus (credit: NOAA OOER) . Right: An anemone living on a manganese-encrusted rock. (credit: NOAA.).

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ship Okeanos Explorer will begin the third of three cruise legs to explore the deepest oceanic trench on the planet, the Marianas Trench in the western Pacific. Leg 3 will take place June 16–July 10, as the exploration team maps and explores the northern part of the the Marianas Trench Marine National Monument and …

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[VIDEO] UH playing important role in NASA coral study


The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology is playing a significant role in NASA’s Coral Reef Airborne Laboratory, a 15-million dollar three-year field study of Earth’s coral reef ecosystems announced in June 2016. A sophisticated new NASA airborne instrument called PRISM will fly at 28,000 feet and survey reefs at multiple locations from Hawaiʻi to Australia. …

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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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