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Ocean & Earth Sciences

Four new algae species discovered in Hawaiʻi’s deep waters

Ulva ohiohilulu, collected at 307 feet depth from south Maui. (photo credit: Hawaiʻi Undersea Research Laboratory)

Researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi botany department and Friday Harbor Laboratorieshave discovered and described four new algal species from Hawaiʻi’s mesophotic coral ecosystems. The new species (Ulva ohiohilulu, Ulva iliohaha, Umbraulva kuaweuweu, and Umbraulva kaloakulau) are part of a group commonly known as sea lettuces. Sea lettuces are not well described in mesophotic environments (100–500 feet deep), but are known from shallow waters worldwide. This ...

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Helping Hawaiʻi prepare for coastal hazards aim of NOAA grant

Shoreline erosion, North Shore of Oʻahu

To help Hawaiʻi communities reduce their vulnerability to natural hazards and climate change, NOAA’s National Ocean Service awarded the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (Hawaiʻi Sea Grant) $845,160 in grant funding through the Regional Coastal Resilience Grants Program. Hawaiʻi is particularly vulnerable to coastal hazards. Since the state is heavily reliant on tourism, and most of the development and infrastructure in Hawaiʻi are ...

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Disaster preparedness the focus of Pacific Risk Management ʻOhana conference

Infrared images from NOAA’s GOFS and IMA’s MTSAT geostationary satellites. For each of the 15 tropical cyclones this season, a daily image was extracted from the period when the cyclone was active in the Central North Pacific basin.

On Wednesday, March 16, the University of Hawaiʻi, a member of the Pacific Risk Management ʻOhana (PRiMO), will be co-hosting a free community event on disaster preparedness at the Hawaiʻi Convention Center from 3:30 to 7 p.m. In addition to expert speakers on topics related to insurance, climate adaptation and making cities more resilient, there will be many displays, demonstrations and activities for ...

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SOEST researcher recognized with National Science Foundation CAREER Award

Dr. Bin Chen

Bin Chen, assistant researcher in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, has received the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award. As the most prestigious award for junior faculty from NSF, it is bestowed on teacher-scholars performing outstanding research and classroom education at the university level. Chen will be awarded $570,000 over a ...

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Coral reef society honors UH Mānoa professor

Mark Hixon surveys a patch reef at Hanauma Bay. (photo by Jeff Kuwabara)

Mark Hixon, the Sidney and Erica Hsiao Endowed Chair in Marine Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, has been recognized as a first-cohort fellow of the International Society for Reef Studies for “scientific achievement and service over a significant period of time.” A professor in the Department of Biology, Hixon’s research has been valuable for both conserving and ...

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Plankton network linked to ocean’s biological carbon pump revealed

Plankton (credit: Christian Sardet/Tara Oceans/CNRS Phototheque)

The biological carbon pump is the process by which carbon dioxide (CO2) is transformed to organic carbon via photosynthesis, exported from the surface ocean as sinking particles and finally sequestered in the deep sea. While the intensity of the pump is directly correlated to the abundance of certain plankton species—free-floating micro-organisms—the underlying ecosystem structure driving the process has remained poorly ...

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Sea pig and sea spider encounters highlight of Antarctic expedition

A sunny day in the inner basin of Andvord Bay. (photo credit: McKenna Lewis)

McKenna Lewis, a global environmental science (GES) undergraduate major in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, recently returned from a 6-week expedition to Antarctica—“a once-in-a-lifetime experience in and of itself!” she said. Lewis traveled to Antarctica to be part of FjordEco, a collaborative research project led by scientists from UH Mānoa, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, and the University of Alaska ...

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Research explains near-island biological hotspots in barren ocean basins

The productive waters surrounding remote Palmyra Atoll. (photo credit: Zafer Kizilkaya)

Coral reef islands and atolls in the Pacific are predominantly surrounded by vast areas of ocean that have very low nutrient levels and low ecological production. However, the ecosystems near these islands and atolls are often extremely productive and support an enhanced nearshore food-web, leading to an abundance of species and increased local fisheries. An international team of scientists from ...

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“3D Under the Sea” selected as finalist in national video competition


  A three-minute video produced by a team from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology’s Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology and University of California, San Diego has been selected as one of nine finalists in the Ocean 180 Video Challenge, a video competition calling for video abstracts that not only summarize recently ...

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How bacteria induce settling and transformation of marine larvae investigated

A close-up image of the tubeworm Hydroides elegans with its feather-like tentacles extended from its tube. The tentacles both collect microscopic food particles from the water and serve as the place for gas exchange for the worm, passing carbon dioxide from the worm and gaining dissolved oxygen from the water. Credit: Brian Nedved.

For more than 100 years, marine biologists have sought an understanding of how the minute larvae of marine invertebrate animals—cast out into the vast ocean—find and settle in the right ecological settings for survival, growth and reproduction. A grant, totaling more than $870,000, from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to the University of Hawaiʻi will support research to understand the ...

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