History of MOP

Surveying Molokini in a small boatMOP’s Voyage: History and Highlights

(Compiled by Sherwood Maynard and Annie Orcutt)


  • Early 1970: Founding Fathers Craven and Davidson created a vision called MOP
  • Fall 1970: MOP began at UHM with support from Sea Grant and the Marine Affairs Coordinator


  • Early 1971: Barry Hill, the first MOP Director, came aboard to chart and navigate MOP’s course for the first four years
  • March 1971: MOP support continues with the addition of a University Innovation Grant
  • November 1971: MOP is approved by Arts & Sciences Program & Curriculum Committee
  • December 1971: One month later, MOP is approved by UHM Council of Deans
  • First MOP Office coexisted with Barry Hill’s office in Spalding 253
  • MOP moves to Holmes Hall, Rm 404, with the Office of Marine Programs
  • First Newsletter Begins: Marine Option Program News

1972 – 1973

  • February 1972: MOP wins approval by the University of Hawaii Board of Regents
  • UH Hilo begins their MOP Program
  • MOP office moves to Snyder Hall
  • Hanauma Bay snorkeling tours initiated by UHM students
  • Blue-Water Marine Laboratory Program launched by MOP students
  • NSF-SOS Baseline Study at Mokapu Outfall, Oahu
  • Floating City design begins for Kaneohe Bay, Oahu by MOP students and Dr. John P. Craven
  • Sand Recovery Project
  • Hawai’i State Legislative Internship Program enlists MOP students
  • Naval Ocean Systems Center (NOSC) Internship Program implemented

1973 – 1974

  • Newsletter Renamed: MOP Hotline
  • PBRC pipeline installed with the help of MOP students
  • NSF-SOS Project: Artificial Reef Study
  • MOP Students Research “Hawaii and the Sea”

1974 – 1975

  • MOP office moves to temporary building on Maile Way
  • Papohaku Beach, Moloka’i baseline survey
  • Construction of aquaculture ponds at Pearl City Instructional Facility
  • Moli’i Fishpond Project in Kaneohe Bay, Oahu
  • NSF:SOS Survey for Oahu & Big Island Marine Life Conservation Districts

1975 – 1976

  • Windward Community College (WCC) starts a MOP program
  • MOP office moves to George Hall, Room 230
  • Model Floating City built in Kaneohe Bay by MOP students

1976 – 1977

  • Kauai Coastal Zone Resource Study completed by UHH and UHM MOP students
  • Baseline Surveys: Papohaku, Moloka’i and Molokini & Honolua Bay on Maui
  • MOP students research Hawaii State Aquaculture Plan

1977 – 1978

  • Honolulu Community College (HCC) begins a MOP program
  • Major lobbying at Hawaii State Legislature to secure personnel and operating funds for MOP
  • Baseline Survey: Papohaku Beach, Moloka’i

1978 – 1980

  • Recreational scuba diving ends at University of Hawaii with OSHA dive regulations
  • Maui Community College (MCC) begins a MOP program
  • UHH MOP shuts down during the period of 1979-80
  • Hawaii Backyard Aquaculture Program (HBAP) begins at WCC
  • NSF-SOS Molokai Baseline Studies
  • First UHM Ocean Fair
  • Pacific Beach Oceanarium designed by a MOP Student
  • Maui Coastal Resource Inventory for U.S.Army Corps and AECOS
  • Cooperative Gracilaria Project
  • MOP students research Hawaii State Fisheries Plan
  • UHM conducts the first Quarry Pond Fishing Derby
  • MOP student wins Gordon Conference Prize

1980 – 1981

  • Kauai Community College (KCC) begins a MOP program
  • UHH MOP starts again
  • HCC MOP inaugurates new aquaculture facility
  • Mokauea Fishpond Project begins with cooperative sponsorship from the Hawai’i State Aquaculture Development Program (ADP), Sea Grant & the Marine Affairs Coordinator
  • NSF-SOS Kahoolawe Baseline Study
  • Second Ocean Fair conducted by UHM MOP students

1981 – 1982

  • MOP Five-Year Plan developed by the MOP Advisory Council
  • Hotline Newsletter Renamed to Seaword then Seawords
  • Leeward Community College (i-CC) begins a MOP program
  • NSF-SOS Baseline survey of Ni’ihau
  • UHM MOP sponsors a Marine Art Fair
  • Hilo Bay Arsenic Pollution Project begins by UHH MOP
  • UHH-Waikiki Aquarium Docent Program begins
  • Grove Farm Project conducted by KCC MOP
  • First Annual Transecting Systemwide Workshop, also known as Maui Transecting Workshop (MTW-1) convened at Olowalu, Maui
  • Third Ocean Fair sponsored by UHM MOP

1982 – 1983

  • UHM MOP moves into the new Marine Science Building
  • Hurricane Iwa–UHM Disaster Assist Team helps Waianae, O’ahu hurricane victims
  • KCC MOP completes a coastal survey of Hurricane Iwa’s damage
  • Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum-National Marine Fisheries Service (BPBM-NMFS) Invertebrate Collection Transfer & Cataloging
  • Maui Transecting Workshop-II (MTW-11) held at Olowalu, Maui
  • MOP Week conducted at Windward Community College (WCC)
  • Mokauea Fishpond Project turned over to residents
  • UHM MOP sponsors the fourth Ocean Fair

1983 – 1984

  • MOP Suspended at KCC, HCC, LCC
  • Office of Marine Programs abolished
  • UHM receives first microcomputer from a UHM MOP Alumnus as a donation
  • Hanauma Bay Symposium sponsored by UHM MOP
  • First Annual MOP Student Skill Project Symposium is held at UHM with systemwide participation by MOP students from all campuses
  • A marine theme ceramic mural created by WCC students and mounted at WCC MOP
  • UHH/NMFS Green Sea Turtle Project
  • UHH MOP completes the Richardson Ocean Center Underwater Trail Project
  • MOP students participate in the Molokai Coastal Resource Inventory Project sponsored by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
  • Lake Tegano Biology Project, Solomon Islands
  • MOP students assist at the First Pacific Congress on Marine Technology (PACON)
  • Maui Transecting Workshop III (MTW-III) convened at Olowalu, Maui
  • Fifth Ocean Fair held at UHM

1984 – 1985

  • Presentation on MOP at Oceans’84, Washington, D.C.
  • MOP Co-Sponsors the Hawaii State Fish Campaign with the Waikiki Aquarium
  • MOP is awarded a new Naval Ocean Systems Center (NOSC) contract for student help
  • MOP students revise Hawaii State Aquaculture Plan
  • Trout Aquaculture Project begins at UHH MOP
  • Ika Shibi Fisheries Research Project begins in Hilo with assistance from UHH MOP students
  • Puna Canyon Sediments Video Project completed by UHH
  • Maui Transecting Workshop IV (MTW-IV) convened at Olowalu, Maui
  • Second MOP Student Skill Project Symposium held at UHM
  • MOP student wins National Sea Grant Undergraduate Research Award

1985 – 1986

  • Presentation given on the Transecting Workshop (MTW) at the American Academy of Underwater Sciences Conference by the MOP Director
  • Baseline Surveys: Hanauma Bay, Halepalaoa Landing, Lanai, and Kaneohe Bay
  • MOP students help produce video “Dive Tips”
  • Hanauma Bay Signage Project with the Honolulu Parks & Recreation Department
  • MOP Students assist in the WCC Summer Program for Enhancement of Basic Education
  • National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Ichthyoplankton Research Internship Program
  • Hawai’i Transecting Workshop convened at Hawaii Preparatory Academy (HPA) on Hawai’i
  • Third MOP Student Skill Project Symposium held at UHH
  • MOP students assist at the PACON 86

1986 – 1987

  • Presentation on MOP at a UNESCO Workshop on Undergraduate Marine Science Education in Paris by the MOP Director
  • Baseline Surveys: Lana’i, Kahului Harbor
  • Shrimp Harvests by MOP students at the Mariculture & Research Training Center (MRTC)
  • Department of Health (DOH) Hilo Bay Water Quality Project completed by UHH MOP students
  • MCC-MOP Beach Trips for Department of Education (DOE)
  • Scientific Transecting Workshop at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at Coconut Island, ‘Oahu (also known as Crash Transecting Workshop (CTW))
  • Fourth MOP Student Skill Project Symposium convened at MCC
  • Baseline Surveys: Halepalaoa Landing, Lana’i (Club Lana’i)

1987 – 1988

  • University of Guam (UOG) begins a MOP Program located at the UOG Marine Laboratory
  • Blue-Water Marine Laboratory (BML) leaves MOP for the Waikiki Aquarium 1987-88
  • UH-Manoa Undergraduate Marine Certificate Program begins
  • Presentation on MOP at UNESCO Marine Science Curriculum Workshop in Qingdao, Chinaby the MOP Director
  • UH Campuses linked by electronic mail
  • Large increase in funding from UH
  • Baseline Surveys: Lopa-Naha, Lana’i (Castle & Cooke); Kaua’i & Maui (DAR); Molokini (Pacific Whale Foundation & MOP)
  • Quantitative Underwater Ecological Survey Techniques (QUEST) Workshop held at HIMB
  • MOP students assist at PACON 88

1988 – 1989

  • Sealetters newsletter begins
  • Molokai Mangrove & Baseline Study
  • Fifth MOP Student Skill Project Symposium convened at WCC
  • New School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology

In Progress

  • New Graduate Ocean Policy Certificate
  • Underwater Archaeology Workshop
  • Maui Ocean Center Baseline Study