Abstract

We will initiate a student-led water quality observation and sampling network in the Ala Wai watershed, estuary, and adjoining reef (the ahupuaʻa). While UHM researchers have the expertise required to rigorously understand the Ala Wai watershed and make recommendations for restoration efforts and resilience-building, the watershed has only garnered limited research attention despite the potential for extramural funding; the resulting lack of adequate field data has seriously hindered efforts to understand and properly manage the watershed.

The SMART Ala Wai project brings together a diverse group of faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students from six units at UHM, and ten community stakeholders to establish a comprehensive monitoring and sampling network and a data dissemination and outreach plan.

This effort will help inform restoration and resilience efforts in the ahupuaʻa while providing first-hand undergraduate and graduate education and research experiences with meaningful, applied outcomes relevant to the local community. This project also presents a unique investment opportunity for UHM to catalyze new faculty collaborations to seek new sources of extramural funds, to provide an infrastructure for future extramural support, and to promote UHM’s visibility in this vitally important ecosystem.


Project contributors

Brian Glazer (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology), lead, glazer@hawaii.edu; (808) 956-6658

Rosie Alegado (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – microbial ecology, OCN320), Brian Chee (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – wireless telemetry), Paula Chinn (College of Education – scientific literacy, EDCS640P, EDCS623), Michael Cooney (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – sustainability analysis, OCN101, OCN399, CEE/OCN441), Eric De Carlo (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – geochemistry, ocean acidification, OCN201, OCN320), Henrietta Dulai (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – groundwater-surface water interactions), Carl Evensen (Natural Resources and Environmental Management – conservation land characteristics, Lyon Arboretum outreach), David Garmire (College of Engineering – sensors, EE323/6), Tom Giambelluca (College of Social Sciences – precipitation, evapotranspiration), Brian Glazer (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – sensors, biogeochemistry, OCN401, OCN318/418), Michael Guidry (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – undergrad research-education experience), Stanley Lio (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – embedded systems (College of Engineering)ineer), Margaret McManus (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – hydrodynamics, PacIOOS), Chris Measures (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – water quality, OCN201), Craig Nelson (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – microbial biogeochemistry, OCN457), Jim Potemra (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – data management, OCN363, PacIOOS), Brian Powell (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – hydrodynamic modeling, OCN310), Frank Sansone (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – biogeochemistry), Danielle Spirandelli (College of Social Sciences – urban design, planning & ecological integrity, PLAN620), Grieg Steward (School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology – pathogen microbiology, OCN626), Yin-Phan Tsang (Natural Resources and Environmental Management – stream ecology & hydrodynamics, (NREM662, NREM664)

Synergistic collaborations

Education Incubator, Hawaii Department of Education, ʻIolani School, Kamehameha Schools, Kānewai Cultural Resource Center, Lyon Arboretum, PacIOOS, Purple Maiʻa, Sea Grant, UH STEM Pre-academy, Waikiki Aquarium