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Ocean & Earth Sciences

Undergrad helps discover new bacterium on way to marine biology degree

Terasakiispira papahanaumokuakeensis, spiral-shaped bacterium grown from a pond on the Pearl and Hermes Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.

A UH Mānoa undergraduate who conducted a research project on her way to earning a bachelor of science degree in 2014 in marine biology was instrumental in the discovery of a spiral-shaped bacterium that is the only known representative of a new genus and species. Vanessa K. Zepeda, 30, is the lead author of a paper published in the current ...

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[VIDEO] UH contributes to Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage

Hōkūleʻa arriving in Cape Town, South Africa on November 12, 2015 (photo courtesy of the Polynesian Voyaging Society and ʻŌiwi TV and Sam Kapoi)

Sailing halfway around the world from Hawaiʻi to South Africa and multiple ports and countries in between, the University of Hawaiʻi has been an integral part of the voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻaʻs worldwide voyage, also known as Mālama Honua, or “to care for our earth.” The University of Hawaiʻi is the higher education partner in the Worldwide Voyage. About 50 University ...

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[VIDEO] SOEST brings potentially $100M in convention business, named ʻElele Organization of the Year

(L to r): Debbie Zimmerman, ‘Elele Program Director; SOEST Dean Brian Taylor; SOEST Associate Dean Alexander Shor; and George D. Szigeti, president and CEO of the Hawaii Tourism Authority. Photo credit: Hawaii Tourism Authority

The School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa was celebrated by the Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority (HTA), Meet Hawaiʻi and the state’s tourism industry leaders as the ʻElele Organization of the Year for its outstanding work in helping to bring potentially more than $100 million in convention business to the state. SOEST’s ...

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Rare images reveal details of U.S. Navy seaplane lost in Pearl Harbor attack

A diver examines the gunner's forward turret on a PBY-5 Catalina resting on its right side in Kāne‛ohe Bay, Hawaii. The plane was sunk at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. Credit: UH Marine Option Program

NOAA and University of Hawaiʻi archaeologists today released rare images of a U.S. Navy  airplane sunk during the opening minutes of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor on Oahu on the morning of Dec. 7, 1941. The attack led to the United States’ entry into World War II. Minutes before attacking Pearl Harbor, Japanese Imperial Navy aircraft bombed the nearby ...

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La Niña is not helping Hawaiʻi’s rainfall and groundwater

La Niña events no longer bring excess rainfall to Hawaiʻi (courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Historically when El Niño events occur, Hawaiʻi has experienced nearly six months of drought, from November to April. Conversely, during La Niña events rainfall has been greater than normal, building up Hawaiʻi’s groundwater supply. New research published this month in the Journal of Climate by scientists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology ...

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Lessons from Katrina and implications for Hawaiʻi focus of upcoming event

Katrina satellite imagery. Credit: NOAA

Ten years after one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history tore through New Orleans, a group of experts and specialists will convene to revisit the impact of Hurricane Katrina and discuss important lessons learned from the disaster and their implications for the future of Hawaiʻi. In conjunction with World Town Planning Day, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in ...

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New research predicts bedrock weathering based on surface topography

Rock fractures in Yosemite National Park. (credit: University of Hawaiʻi/School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology)

Just below Earth’s surface, beneath the roots and soil, is a hard, dense layer of bedrock that is the foundation for all life on land. Cracks and fissures within bedrock provide pathways for air and water, which chemically react to break up rock, ultimately creating soil—an essential ingredient for all terrestrial organisms. This weathering of bedrock is fundamental to life ...

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Modeling vog for Hawaiʻi

A gas and particle rich plume emanates from molten lava beneath Halemaʻumaʻu Crater on the Island of Hawaiʻi. The plume reacts and converts in the atmosphere, forming the acidic volcanic pollution locally known as “vog.” (photo credit: Michael Poland, USGS)

A paper published this month by University of Hawaiʻi and Hawaiian Volcano Observatory researchers in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society details the development and utility of a computer model for the dispersion of volcanic smog or “vog,” which forms when volcanic sulfur dioxide gas interacts with water and coverts it to acid sulfate aerosol particles in the atmosphere. ...

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[VIDEO] Coral reef resiliency research draws high-profile investments

A healthy reef with associated high ecological, cultural and economic value. (photo credit: Robert Richmond)

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology researcher and coral expert Ruth Gates and her team are racing against time and climate change to breed corals that can withstand future ocean conditions and that can be used to restore and build resilience in our reefs. Part of that work involves figuring out why healthy brown corals thrive while ...

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Rapidly acidifying waters pose major threat for Southern Ocean ecosystem


As a result of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, the chemistry of the Southern Ocean is expected to change so fast over the next few decades that tiny creatures at the base of the food web may soon struggle to form their shells. New research by scientists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and the University of Alaska, Fairbanks ...

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