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Ocean & Earth Sciences

Reptile skin grown in lab for first time, helps study endangered turtle disease

Scientists, including Tina Weatherby with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), published a study wherein they reconstructed the skin of endangered green turtles, marking the first time that reptile skin was successfully engineered in a laboratory. In turn, the scientists were able to grow a tumor-associated virus to better understand certain …

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UH researchers help community understand and prepare for king tides

Researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa were out in force again this month to document and study the king tides that occurred on June 23 and 24. The water level along the coast, already expected to inundate nearshore areas with the some of the highest annual tides was enhanced by elevated water levels and a large south swell …

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New wave buoy off Pearl Harbor to measure ocean conditions

On June 6, the Pacific Islands Ocean Observing System (PacIOOS) deployed a new wave buoy near the entrance to Pearl Harbor, approximately 1.5 miles offshore. The wave buoy provides accurate information on wave height, direction and period, and also measures surface currents and sea surface temperature. Wave buoy data benefit the entire community and are important to make well-informed and …

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Forecasting coral disease outbreaks across Pacific Ocean

Researchers at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) were recently awarded a $1.026 million grant from NASA to develop coral disease forecasting models for Hawaiʻi, U.S.-affiliated Pacific Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. Megan Donahue, principal investigator and HIMB researcher, and Jamie Caldwell, HIMB post-doctoral fellow on the project, will lead an international team as …

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STEM teacher recruitment effort reaps $350,000 in funding for UH Mānoa

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has received more than $350,000 in grant funding from the National Science Foundation to support the training and recruitment of future science, technology, environment and mathematics (STEM) teachers. Part of the grant funding will establish pathways for undergraduate students majoring in STEM fields to pursue a double major with secondary education, in order to …

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New Earth Science on Volcanic Islands summer internship begins

A cohort of 10 motivated undergraduate students arrived at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa this week to participate in a summer research internship called Earth Science on Volcanic Islands, hosted by the UH Mānoa Department of Geology and Geophysics. The opportunity, funded for three years by the National Science Foundation’s Research Experience for Undergraduates program, seeks to increase participation …

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New evidence reveals source of 1586 Sanriku, Japan tsunami

A team of researchers, led by Rhett Butler, geophysicist at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, re-examined historical evidence around the Pacific and discovered the origin of the tsunami that hit Sanriku, Japan in 1586—a mega-earthquake from the Aleutian Islands that broadly impacted the north Pacific. Until now, this was considered an orphan tsunami, a historical tsunami without an obvious …

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President Lassner signs to support the Paris Agreement

University of Hawaiʻi President David Lassner signed the open letter to the international community and parties to the Paris Agreement from U.S. state, local, higher education, and business leaders in response to President Donald Trump’s June 1 announcement to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord. The letter reads: We, the undersigned mayors, governors, college and university leaders …

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Reef fish sustainability off West Hawaiʻi Island

Jennifer Wong-Ala, a 2017 spring graduate from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s Global Environmental Science (GES) degree program, conducted original research to determine how biological and physical factors affect the number of fish surviving to sustain populations of reef fish off West Hawaiʻi Island. Adult reef fish, like yellow tang, release eggs strategically—in places where the eggs can be …

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UH at the forefront of King Tides and sea-level rise research

Community groups and media have been relying on University of Hawaiʻi researchers for their expertise in sea-level rise and the state’s record high tides. UH is also seeking the public’s help and involvement. Related UH News story: Summer flooding expected after water levels break 112-year record, May 19, 2017 The UH Sea Grant Center for Coastal and Climate Science and …

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