Photo Credit: UH News

UROC Member Leads K–12 Education Program Incorporating Hawaiian Values and Space Science

February 12, 2024

UROC member Professor Stuart Donachie, a Professor in the UHM School of Life Sciences, lent his expertise to the development of a joint research-education program with ‘Iolani School’s ‘Āina Informatics Network to combine hands-on learning with traditional Native Hawaiian values to explore extraterrestrial microscopic life forms.

Photo Credit: UH News

UROP Attends Research Day at the Capitol

February 6, 2024

Faculty, staff, and students involved in more than 50 research projects and programs at UH Mānoa—including UROP—converged on the fourth floor of the Hawai‘i State Capitol to share about their work to legislators and to each other as part of the second annual UHM Research Day.

Members of the Women of UH esports leadership team with Madeline Gilbert (center) in 2022 (Photo Credit: UH News)

UROP Alumnus Gains Valuable Undergraduate UROP Alumna Aids in Paving Way for Gender Equality in eSports

January 9, 2024

Madeline Gilbert, a UROP Project funding recipient and a UH Esports Player Support Coordinator, works alongside the Women of UH Esports (Women of UHE) to ensure that females and all marginalized genders have an equal opportunity to play and engage in the gaming industry.

Keanu Rochette-Yu Tsuen presenting their senior thesis research (Photo Credit: UH News)

UROP Alumnus Gains Valuable Undergraduate Research Experience

January 2, 2024

UROP Project funding and Presentation funding recipient, Keanu Rochette-Yu Tsuen, worked alongside their mentor, SOEST Associate Professor Rosie Alegado, to test for Leptospiraceae bacteria in samples from the Heʻeia fishpond on Oʻahu. This family of bacteria has pathogenic members that can cause leptospirosis, and their efforts to better understand the contents of the Heʻeia fishpond can aid in efforts of community outreach regarding the risks of exposure.

Cuong Tran (Photo Credit: UH News)

UROP Alumnus Works with the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center to Take On Disaster Related Projects

November 22, 2023

A previous UROP funding recipient and Hawai’i Sea Grant Gordon E. Grau fellow, Cuong Tran, collaborated with the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) to take on numerous local, national, and international projects related to disasters. Tran has co-designed the Red Hill Information Hub and co-planned the Pacific Risk Management ‘Ohana Conference this year. Once completing his Grau fellowship, he intends to take on the role of a training technology program coordinator at NDPTC.

How Ma (Photo Credit: UH News)

UROP Alumnus Earns Coveted Spot in Swiss Science Program

November 6, 2023

Howin Ma (Mechanical Engineering major), a Spring 2023 UROP Project funding recipient, was one of three UHM undergraduate students who earned the chance to travel to Switzerland for RD51—a special, one-week program related to micro-pattern gaseous detector technologies. Ma’s participation in the program, from November 27 to December 1, 2023, builds on his involvement in the Earth and Planetary Exploration Technology (EPET) Program in the UH Institute of Geophysics and Planetology.

UHM First-Gen Forward Committee Members (Photo Credit: UH News)

UROP Encourages First Generation Students to Participate in Research/Creative Work

November 2, 2023 

UROP participated in the annual First Generation College Celebration Day on November 8, 2023 at the Queen Liliʻuokalani Center for Student Services to encourage first generation students to participate in its research and creative work opportunities.

Students performing on stage at Kennedy Theatre (Photo Credit: UH News)

UROC Member Leads Students in Production for LGBTQ+ Pride History Month 

October 24, 2023

UROC member, Pei-King Kao, led 27 students in Are We There Yet, Baby?, a production centered on an imaginary non-binary world that conveyed various stories using diverse artistic expressions including monologues and acting improvisation. Through this production, Kao aimed to convey the challenges inherent in a society ingrained with binary assumptions and how those assumptions impact our thinking and behaviors.

Medium Ground Finch (Photo Credit: Andres Cruz)

Once-in-a-Lifetime Research Opportunity in the Galápagos Islands

October 9, 2023 

The National Science Foundation–International Research Experiences for Students (NSF–IRES) via the UROP is offering an all-expenses paid research opportunity in the Galápagos Islands over the next three summers to a select group of students. This opportunity hopes to encourage students to engage in western scientific knowledge as well as ‘ike kupuna (ancestral knowledge).

Qing Li (Photo Credit: UH News)

UROC Member Honored as American Chemical Society Fellow

September 8, 2023 

UROP is proud of Dr. Qing X. Li, a professor in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering (MBBE) at UHM and a former UROC member, for being recognized as an American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow. Dr. Li has authored many peer-reviewed journal publications in addition to being an editorial board member of five journals. He has numerous accomplishments thus far and we are proud that he has acquired yet another honor.

Jonas Vibell (Photo Credit: UH News)

UH Lab Dedicated to Better Understanding the Brain and Behavior

August 8, 2023 

In addition to being an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology, a UROC member Dr. Jonas Vibell is the lab director for the Brain and Behavior Lab at UHM. The lab includes equipment and technology that allows researchers – faculty, undergraduates, and graduates – to gain a better understanding of the brain and its impact on our behavior. See also the Hawaii News Now coverage of this story

UROP’s 2023 SURE Symposium on August 4, 2023 (Photo Credit: Elinor Cruz)

UH News on UROP’s 2023 SURE Symposium

August 7, 2023

UROP hosted the SURE Symposium this past summer with around 75 UHM students presenting their projects during the event. Highlighted projects include Sarah Rice and Tristan Fleming-Nazara’s project titled “Creating A Culturally Responsive Education System and Equitable Outcomes through Hawaiʻi-Based Learning Opportunities” where they retain academic growth of K-12 students in Hawai’i, as well as Adam Joseph Parrilla’s creative work project, “Weaving Cultural Narratives into Art: Character Design Inspired by Hawaiian Moʻolelo (stories),” which centers around preserving Native Hawaiian moʻolelo through character design production.

Sample “Search for Faculty” view on ForagerOne

ForagerOne: One-Stop-Shop for Research/Creative Work Opportunities

August 2, 2023 

A barrier that can prevent undergraduate students from engaging in faculty-mentored research and creative work is finding a suitable faculty mentor. To address this barrier, UROP has partnered with ForagerOne – an online, searchable database of student and faculty profiles. It is a one-stop-shop for undergraduate research/creative work opportunities where students will be able to discover and connect with a faculty mentor and faculty will be able to search for and recruit undergraduate mentees.

Mapuana Antonio (Photo Credit: UH News)

UROC Member Appointed a Prestigious Endowed Professorship

August 1, 2023 

UROP is honored that a UROC member, Dr. Mapuana Antonio, is the first faculty to be awarded the Queen Liliʻuokalani Distinguished Professorship in Native Hawaiian Culture. Dr. Antonio currently leads the Native Hawaiian and Indigenous health program in the Office of Public Health Studies in the Thompson School, and much of her work focuses on the health and well-being of Native Hawaiians.

Maile Wong leads cultural protocol before the work day (Photo credit: UH News)

Volunteers, Including UROP Recipient, Work to Restore a Windward Oʻahu Agroforest

July 16, 2023 

A UROP funding recipient, Maile Wong, is a work day lead for Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi, an organization whose mission is to preserve spiritual and cultural practices of Native Hawaiians. This organization, in partnership with UH researchers and a large group of volunteers, began working on restoring and maintaining Puʻulani to become a diverse and valuable agroforest in Windward Oʻahu. Through these efforts, volunteers are able to continuously build connections with the ʻāina and each other.

Ke Cao and Tharindu Malintha in an on-campus lab. (Photo credit: UH News)

Mentor’s Fish Research is Continued by UROP Student 

May 23, 2023

A UROP funding recipient, Ke Cao, is continuing his mentor’s research on how aquatic environment changes allow fish to adapt. Cao’s project was presented at the 46th annual Albert L. Tester Memorial.

Published work with Kozuke Tsuzuki as a contributing author as it appears in the peer reviewed journal Science Direct (Photo credit: Science Direct)

UROP Student Publishes Article in Peer-Reviewed Journal

May 13, 2023

A UROP funding recipient, Kosuke Tsuzuki, published an article titled “Elucidating antibacterial activity of heteroleptic triarylbismuthanes and synthesis of amide derivatives through activated ester intermediate”. Congratulations Kosuke and Dr. Jakub Hyvl!

Students collaborating to design the satellite. (Photo credit: UH News)

NASA delegates launching of CubeSat to UH Mānoa student group

April 25, 2023

UROP funded students, James Crawford and Yan Shan Liu are part of a student team chosen by NASA to create a small research satellite called the CubeSat, which can discover possible reasons for global warming by measuring the sun’s solar particles. The students’ design will be used for the NASA CubeSat Launch Initiative (CSLI) and is estimated to be launched between 2024 to 2027 as one of eight satellites nationwide to launch aboard NASA missions. 

Caleb Olaso is in an on-campus lab. (Photo credit: Marie Hobro)

UROP Student Receives Luce Scholars Fellowship

April 24, 2023

A UROP funding recipient Caleb Olaso (double major in Marine Biology and Chemistry) was chosen as one out of 18 recipients for the nationally competitive Henry Luce Scholars Fellowship. The scholarship provides one fully funded year of study in Asia, and Caleb will spend one year in Nepal before attending graduate school for Bioengineering in Stanford University with a full scholarship.

Jiin Park presented at the National Conference for Undergraduate Research. (Photo credit: UH News)

UROP student attends National Conference for Undergraduate Research

April 13, 2023

A UROP funding recipient Jiin Park attended the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR) to share his UROP project on the comparison of Japan vs. US students’ perception on concussions.

UROP is very proud of Jiin and appreciative of Dr. Shirahata’s faculty mentorship. Sharing one’s scholarship outside of our campus is an integral part of conducting faculty-mentored research and creative work. We are pleased to have supported Jiin throughout his undergraduate research journey at UHM as Jiin applied for and received not only UROP Project funding to do research, but also UROP Presentation funding to share his research with a national audience. UROP encourages all undergraduate students at UHM to participate in undergraduate research opportunities, both inside and outside of UROP, to elevate their academic experience at UHM. For questions about UROP or to get started on your journey, please reach out to UROP at

person performing research in a lab

Aniqua Mehdi is working on a project related to the recent ban of certain sunscreens in Hawaiʻi due to their harmful chemicals. (Photo courtesy: Aniqua Mehdi)

Get up to $3K to explore undergrad research and creative work

March 28, 2023

Undergraduate students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa can get funding for research and creative work (fulfills undergraduate institutional learning objectives) early in their academic careers. The new Entering Research and Creative Work (ERC) UROP opportunity launched in Fall 2022, provides motivated early-career undergraduate students with up to $3,000 in scholarship funding. ERC funding allows students to experience research and creative work without having to write a full project proposal. Awardees receive a stipend of $1,500 for one semester or $3,000 for two semesters. 

rainbow by mountains

Rain cloud over Oʻahu. (Photo credit: Hendrik Cornelissen via Unsplash)

Storm threats spur first atmospheric sciences bachelor’s and master’s student

March 24, 2023

UROP funded student, Dennis Trotter, is the inaugural student in the Atmospheric Sciences Bachelor’s and Master’s (BAM) program in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST). Beyond the classroom, Trotter conducts research with atmospheric sciences professor Giuseppe Torri to analyze the isotopic composition of rainfall around Oʻahu. With funding from UROP, they collect rain from multiple sites around Oʻahu on a weekly basis to understand how different weather systems affect the isotopic composition of rainfall.

people at research day

UH Mānoa undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers and staff presenting research at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol on February 7.

UH Mānoa showcases research excellence at the State Capitol

February 7, 2023

UROP, as well as more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, researchers and staff across 40 disciplines at UH, participated in the first Mānoa Research Day at the Hawaiʻi State Capitol on February 7. Organized by the Office of the Vice Provost for Research and Scholarship, the event allowed Hawaiʻi lawmakers, staff, and visitors to learn about the wide variety research being conducted at UH Mānoa.

people kneeling with a measuring tape

Students conduct measurements for a public parklet design.

Public parklets, incarcerated wāhine reentry solutions among undergraduate projects

December 13, 2022

Expanding public parklets to improve business in Kailua Town and investigating the reentry of Indigenous wāhine (women) from incarceration were two of the featured projects at the Fall 2022 Undergraduate Showcase, hosted by the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Honors Program and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). Approximately 50 students presented at the on-campus academic conference that highlighted undergraduate research and creative work at UH Mānoa.

My Dog Has Fleas. A half Hawaiian young woman returns from the mainland to her birthplace of Oʻahu only to be greeted with judgment and shame, directed by Justin Pascua.

Hawaiʻi International Film Festival mentors students, showcases shorts

November 29, 2022

Students from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Academy for Creative Media (ACM) in the College of Arts, Languages and Letters are walking away from the 42nd annual Hawaiʻi International Film Festival (HIFF) with invaluable lessons. From presenting their filmmaking chops to working behind the scenes at HIFF, ACM students gained priceless experiences at the world-renowned film festival this November. HIFF selected six ACM UH Mānoa student shorts to showcase in HIFF’s University Shorts program which included animation, drama and even a musical. Participating students included two UROP funded students, Justin Ocampo and Justin Pascua.

three people smiling

Diego Chavez poses for a photo with David and Roselyn Yun, sponsors of the $1,000 Most Promising Award.

Surfboard fin keys using recycled plastics wins $1K innovation award

November 21, 2022

Entrepreneurship major and UROP funded student, Diego Chavez, is the founder of Gecko Plastics, a company that uses recycled plastics to produce fin keys for surfboards. His five-minute presentation impressed the judging panel and won him the $1,000 Most Promising Award, from the UH Breakthrough Innovation Challenge. The company was one of eight finalists that received up to $1,000 in funding to launch their inventions. The surfer from Guatemala has big dreams of removing plastics from Earth’s coastlines and recycling the materials into other products.

Group of awardees

UHM student researcher Joseph Caldwell

New Mānoa awards highlight teaching innovations

November 15, 2022

The Innovation and Impact Showcase (IIS) initiative, started in 2021, provides a platform to celebrate UH Mānoa faculty members’ innovative and high-impact teaching practices. Out of 55 nominations, 10 showcase applications rose to the top that demonstrated “skillful integration of innovative techniques/approaches to systematically engage students in deep learning and application of knowledge and skills,” practices deemed by the peer reviewers as representing a new teaching paradigm, a key criterion for the selected showcases. Among the award winners included Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member Aaron Ohta, as well as previous UROP mentors Rebecca Chong, Scott Lozanoff, Brandy McDougall, and Brett Oppegaard.

two people testing water quality

Valdez and Marabella testing water quality in the lab.

ʻOpihi spawning research to rebuild Oʻahu population

November 14, 2022

Oʻahu has the lowest population of ʻopihi, endemic intertidal limpets, across the Hawaiian Islands. To help rebuild the population of this Hawaiian delicacy, two former UROP funded students, now graduate students, Angelica Valdez and Mitch Marabella, are attempting to spawn and rear ʻopihi to adulthood in their lab on campus. Valdez and Marabella began their work with limpets as UROP funded undergraduate students mentored by Assistant Professor, Dr. Jon-Paul Bingham.


woman in lab

Sofia Suesue filtering water in the lab.

Undergraduate investigates pollution’s effect on watershed microbes

October 27, 2022

After joining the GES bachelor’s degree program in the Department of Oceanography, UROP funded student Sofia Suesue focused her senior thesis research on the potential impacts of pollutants—including caffeine, the herbicide glyphosate and the broad-spectrum antibiotic sulfamethoxazole which is used to treat infections—on microbial communities in stream and coastal environments. She was guided by (SOEST) mentors Henrietta Dulai, Earth sciences professor, and Craig Nelson, associate researcher in the Department of Oceanography and Hawaiʻi Sea Grant and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member.

two men smiling by poster

From left: Jacob Vasquez and Godwin Severa in front of Vasquez’s award-winning poster.

First place, scholarship for student’s clean-energy tech presentation

October 19, 2022

UROP funded student, Jacob Vasquez’s work to improve the efficiency of fuel-cell technology was awarded first place in the student poster presentation session at the 13th World Filtration Congress in October. The honor came with a scholarship from the American Filtration Society. 

UHM student researcher Joseph Caldwell

UH research suggests honeybees have problem-solving skills

September 22, 2022

UROP funded student Joseph Caldwell and Associate Professor Patricia Couvillon’s research suggests honeybees may have problem-solving skills previously only thought to be found in mammals and primates. Caldwell’s project challenged the bees’ ability to distinguish between patterns and form an abstract concept called “oddity,” with a majority of bees successfully completing the tasks. 

Associate Professor Cheehyung Harrison Kim

North Korea architecture, urban development spotlighted in Fulbright-Hays project

October 4, 2022

Cheehyung Harrison Kim, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Department of History professor and Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member, earned a Fulbright-Hays Faculty Research Abroad Fellowship that will cover travel, housing and other research-related expenses. Kim’s project will focus on the history of architecture and urbanization of North Korea from after the Korean War in the early 1950s to the 1980s.

Brandon Dela Cruz collecting water samples for analysis.

Protecting Hawaiʻi’s water resources ignites passion in UH student

September 30, 2022

“Almost all of Hawaiʻi’s drinking water is sourced from groundwater, so it’s extremely important to me to maintain its quality for future generations,” said UROP funded University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa undergraduate student Brandon Dela Cruz when asked what his plans are for the future. Dela Cruz’s focus on preserving this precious natural resource has been a touchstone in his academic journey through the Global Environmental Sciences (GES) degree program in UH Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST).

Haley Currier presenting research at the MTV conference.

Using lasers to detect lead focus of undergrad research

August 26, 2022 

A UROP funded University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa undergraduate’s research project could eventually lead to better environmental contamination detection. Earth sciences major Haley Currier was awarded funding from UROP to support her project that will test two laser systems’ ability to detect physiological changes in Azolla, a type of waterfern, caused by lead contamination and determine how these systems can be further used.


Professor Miriam Stark and Tep Sokha (Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia) consult during a Khmer Production and Exchange Ceramics Workshop at APSARA National Authority, June 2017

Anthropology professor among key appointments by President Biden to national board

August 25, 2022 

President Joe Biden announced his intention to appoint University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Professor, and former Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member, Miriam T. Stark to serve in one of the three archaeologist positions on the 11-member U.S. Cultural Property Advisory Committee in the U.S. Department of State.

The Botanical Society of America 2022 Botany conference logo.

UH Mānoa excellence in botany receives national spotlight

August 9, 2022 

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa’s excellence in the field of botany was showcased nationally at the Botanical Society of America (BSA) 2022 annual conference in Anchorage, Alaska, July 24–28. Ten UH Mānoa faculty members, post-doctoral researchers, graduate and undergraduate students from the School of Life Sciences delivered talks, and organized workshops and symposia, both virtually and in person. Those in attendance included UROC member and UROP mentor Kasey Barton, UROP mentors Karolina Heyduk and Christopher Muir, as well as UROP Project funding recipient McKenna Bonn-Savage.

Poster presentations were held in the Campus Center Ballroom (Photo credit: Sylvia Kondo).

Kimchi benefits, smart honeybees, among summer undergraduate research projects

July 29, 2022 

Exploring the health benefits of the tasty side dish kimchi and discovering the intellectual abilities of honeybees were just two of the more than 70 projects showcased at the 2022 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Symposium on July 29. Hosted annually by UROP, the nine-week University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa summer research and creative work experience culminated with student presentations in a hybrid format, including in-person poster presentations for the first time since 2019 and hybrid oral presentations for the first time ever.

The ITA All-Academic Team & Scholar-Athletes.

All-academic team honors for UH Mānoa tennis teams

July 12, 2022 

Both the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa men’s and women’s tennis teams were named Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-Academic Teams while a combined 13 student-athletes earned scholar-athletes honors for 2022, including current UROP funding recipient Madison Kim.

From left: Kristina Togafau, Kalilinoe Detwiler, Arielle Lowe, Haʻani San Nicholas at the inaugural Indigenous poets cohort in Washington D.C.

Emerging Indigenous UH Mānoa poets part of inaugural national cohort

July 6, 2022

This past April, former UROP funding recipient Kalilinoe Detwiler, as well as three other UH Mānoa students Kristina Togafau, Arielle Lowe and Haʻani San Nicholas, were selected to participate in an inaugural Indigenous poetry cohort in Washington D.C. Hosted by national poetry organization, Indigenous Nations Poets, also known as In-Na-Po. The five-day retreat featured an array of writing workshops led by Indigenous authors and U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo at the Library of Congress. The national event is part of an ongoing movement to mentor and nurture the growth of emerging poets of Indigenous descent.

A health provider meeting with a parent and child during a well-child visit discuss oral health.


UH-developed oral health toolkit aids keiki in Hawaiʻi and beyond

July 5, 2022

Deborah Mattheus, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member and Associate Professor from the Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing (NAWSON), has developed an oral health toolkit to teach nurses, doctors and healthcare students how to effectively integrate oral health into their practice. This project is a collaboration between the Hawaiʻi State Department of Health (HIDOH) Family Health Services Division and NAWSON.

From left: CSU student, Mya Sears, and former UROP funding recipient Katie Ackerman preparing to launch weather balloon in Japan.

Extreme rainfall focus of UH summer field work in Taiwan, Japan

June 24, 2022

To understand how and why the most violent rainstorms in the world occur, an international team of experts, including University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa atmospheric scientists Yi-Leng Chen and UROP mentor Alison Nugent, along with former UROP funding recipient Katie Ackerman, are spending the summer identifying the key physical processes and environmental ingredients that cause high-intensity, long-duration rain events in parts of Taiwan and Japan. Their goal is to improve models for forecasters and eventually save lives.

Mac Uchimura

Sketch of Parthend Paeus

Uchimura’s sketch for his musical project

Classics scholarship winner plans to set ‘dead’ language to music

June 6, 2022

UROP Yamamaura Scholar and classics major Mac Uchimura, is one of two recipients in the nation to receive the coveted Society for Classics Studies‘ Frank M. Snowden Undergraduate Scholarship, geared toward historically underrepresented groups across North America. Uchimura will use the award to complete a Latin intensive course this summer while also composing a musical based off of the Latin epic poem, Statius’ Thebaid, with his UROP funding.

Shannon Murphy studied four plots in Hanauma Bay bimonthly for nine months.

Hanauma Bay impacts, more in undergraduate research showcase

May 3, 2022

The 2022 Spring Undergraduate Showcase was hosted virtually by the Honors Program and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program on April 29. Nearly 100 undergraduate research and creative work projects were on display. Highlights include the visitor impact on Hanauma Bay’s coral reef and how geographic locations affected students’ college experience.

Jessica Lau

UH Mānoa student named 2022 Truman Scholar

April 19, 2022

A former UROP funding recipient has been selected as one of 58 exceptional college students across the U.S. to be named a 2022 Truman Scholar by the Truman Foundation. Jessica Lau, a double major in psychology and human development and family studies with minors in peace studies and communicology, is a recipient of the highly-competitive Truman Scholarship, the premier graduate scholarship for aspiring public service leaders in the United States.

Past UROP funding recipient discovers ‘āina-based kuleana at UH

December 17, 2021

Kahealani Acosta, a past UROP funding recipient, is featured in UH Mānoa’s “Finding Our Kuleana” campaign. In this campaign, Acosta shares her personal narrative of purpose and sense of responsibility as a Native Hawaiian student. Acosta’s UROP project examined the effects of nutrient deficiencies in the Hawaiian breadfruit (‘ulu), wherein she deprived the breadfruit of a single nutrient at a time and analyzed the resulting growth. She continues her study of ‘ulu as a food source as she pursues a graduate degree in Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences from the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR).

Inaugural Nancy Atmospera-Walch Professor in School Health named

December 6, 2021

The Nancy Atmospera-Walch School of Nursing has named Undergraduate Research Opportunities Council (UROC) member and Associate Professor Deborah Mattheus as the inaugural Nancy Atmospera-Walch Professor in School Health. As an inspirational leader committed to the efforts of the Hawai‘i Keiki: Health & Ready to Learn Program (HK), Mattheus is continuously engaging in research projects that address the vulnerability of children, with a focus on oral health and increased access to health services.

Freezing seawater to create freshwater among undergrad showcase projects

December 14, 2021

A featured project at the Fall 2021 Undergraduate Showcase was presented by senior undergraduate UROP recipients Justin Yip and Deylen Nekoba, both mechanical engineering majors. This project evaluates the importance and revitalization of freeze desalination as the new process to freeze and rinse seawater to yield freshwater. This emerging method will reduce the large amounts of energy used in conventional ways such as boiling water for safe drinking. Through this project, Yip and Nekoba hope that others can consider the importance of water conservation and the constant need for fresh drinking water.

Honors undergrad wins UROP scholarship to contribute to melanoma cancer research

December 10, 2021

Senior undergraduate UROP recipient Lauryn Liao, a molecular biosciences and biotechnology major, earns the Douglas S. Yamamura Scholarship for her vital research on melanoma at the UH Cancer Center. Liao’s project aims to identify how a protein (phosphoprotein enriched in astrocytes) contributes to melanoma cancer cell survival and proliferation. This scholarship is awarded to outstanding undergraduate students enrolled in any field of study who are involved in research and creative work initiatives.

Former UROP Project Funding Recipient Debuts at the 41st Hawaii International Film Festival

November 11, 2021

Malia Adams makes her filmmaker debut at the 41st Hawaii International Film Festive (HIFF) with the production of “I Will Be Your Breath”, a creative short film inspired by Adams’ own family. The personal film is about a young Hawaiian woman named Kamahina and her journey as she learned about her great-grandmother’s experience as a Hawaiian woman in the early 1900s. Through this film, Adams hopes to encourage the audience to be open with their past and to connect with their roots. Adams and her group member Mahina Smith produced the creative short film with UROP Project funding under the guidance of their faculty mentor, Lisette Flanary.

From LEGOs to lasers, UH student’s passion for science continues

October 12, 2021

Undergraduate student John Fast received UROP funding for a research project that analyzed oxygen and hydrogen isotopes from five rainwater collection stations across the island of O’ahu. The purpose of the project was to create an annual database of isotopic rainfall composition that can be used to predict rainfall events and impact on the availability of drinking water. 

Music of Lili’uokalani, urban ag, among featured undergraduate projects

August 4, 2021

At the 2021 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE) Symposium hosted by UROP, over 300 students, staff, faculty, and community members attended research and creative work presentations by 85 undergraduate students. Highlights include a first-ever documentary film on the music of Queen Lili‘uokalani and urban agriculture in Honolulu.

Balloon project to detect dark matter receives multi-million dollar boost

July 26, 2021

Undergraduate student Hershel Weiner, with funding from UROP, participated in calibrating sensor detectors on a balloon designed to fly approximately 24 miles above Antarctica in an effort to search for very rare cosmic antimatter.

Shelby Cerwonka and Jasmine Reighard maintaining a moss roof.

Could moss, recycled fishing net roofs keep homes cool?

June 30, 2021

Shelby Cerwonka and Jasmine Reighard, who graduated in spring 2021 from the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, are the creators of an environmentally-friendly and sustainable roof design that combines natural moss with recycled fishing nets. The Leucobryum glaucum (pincushion moss) helps to decrease a house’s internal temperatures. Their project was created with the goal of tackling climate change at a household level.

Engineering students release driverless delivery vehicle prototype

June 13, 2021

With funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), members of UH Parcel Service (UHPS) created a wireless prototype delivery vehicle capable of traveling up to four miles per hour, carrying a load of up to 300 pounds, traversing up inclines of 15 degrees (more than most wheelchair ramps) and delivering and receiving packages.

Brooke Fisher

Root causes of houseless crisis revealed in UH Mānoa student’s documentary

May 28, 2021

Brooke Fisher, an undergraduate student in the Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) program, produced a film investigating the deeply-rooted issue of homelessness in Hawai’i. Her 9-minute documentary, Bridging the Gap, was funded by a UROP award. Combined with classroom knowledge, this hands-on experience helped her address topics like the cause and effects of a challenging upbringing.

Undergraduate research, work, internship opportunities through the Student Opportunity Center (SOC) database

March 4, 2021

The Student Opportunity Center (SOC) database is a one-stop-shop for students who are interested in getting involved in research and creative work opportunities under faculty mentors. Undergraduate students Jessica Lau and Vanessa Liang saw an opportunity to work under Assistant Professor David Royer and together, they learned the skills to help educators work with students who have challenging behaviors through Project KUALIMA.

Funding applications for undergraduates, faculty mentored projects

February 23, 2021

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) supports undergraduate students pursuing faculty-mentored research and creative work. Undergraduate students Bryce Dolph and Iroha Mochida demonstrated diverse academic goals as they dive into topics such as understanding homelessness in Hawai’i and exploring the effects of online media in Shimauta folk music.

University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Fall 2020 Undergraduate Showcase
December 14, 2020

The Fall 2020 Undergraduate Showcase was hosted virtually by the Honors Program and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP). This semester’s featured undergraduate projects include drone technologies, directing a film from a cultural perspective, and the creation of a custom solar water heater.

SOEST undergraduate leads study on food webs in ocean’s deepest trenches
September 28, 2020

Andrew Tokuda, a senior in SOEST’s Global Environmental Sciences program, along with his co-authors, has recently published a scientific study regarding the food webs in the Mariana and Kermadec ocean trenches. With partial support from UH Mānoa’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, they were able to collect organisms in each trench and assess the nutrients flow in the food web.

photo of zoom meeting

Virtual symposium draws record number of participants
August 7, 2020

Nearly 100 University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa undergraduate students who conducted faculty-mentored research and creative work in various disciplines showcased their projects at the 2020 Summer Undergraduate Research Experience Symposium.

UH Wind Ensemble

Students, faculty mentors adapt undergraduate research and creative work
May 26, 2020

Amid COVID-19, students who received funding from UROP continued to develop plans and changes to allow them to carry forward with their research while still following state and university policies regarding COVID-19.

Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research & Creative Work
May 15, 2020

The Faculty Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research and Creative Work was created in 2020 by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. Congratulations to our inaugural awardees Brittany Biggs, assistant professor in the Academy for Creative Media, and Pratibha Nerurkar, associate professor in the Department of Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering.

Nataliya Panova presents her project at the spring 2019 Undergraduate Showcase.

Research opportunities for students continue during COVID-19
April 21, 2020

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program offers financial and programmatic support to all undergraduate students in all disciplines to engage in faculty-mentored research and creative work.

Nicholas YamaKevin Kam

UH Manoa student, alum earn $135K NSF research fellowships
April 6, 2020

A current and a recent graduate of University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Engineering, both previously funded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, have each been awarded a $135,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship. They are two out of only 59 electrical engineering students selected nationwide.UHM

Kahealani Acosta assesses physical and physiological effects of nutrient deficiencies in Hawaiian breadfruit.Leo Louis studies fungal species diversity, documenting edible species sold in markets in Bhutan.

One-stop shop for UH Manoa undergraduate research opportunities
September 16, 2019

A new UROP resource is the Student Opportunity Center (SOC), a searchable database with thousands of online opportunity listings: research and creative work positions, internships, co-ops, conferences and more. Access is open to all undergraduate students, faculty and staff.UHM


SURE students volunteer at Lyon Arboretum.

UH Manoa summer research experience connects students with ‘aina
July 28, 2019

Undergraduate students receive valuable hands-on experience in community engagement at the Lyon Arboretum as part of UROP’s Summer Undergraduate Research Experience (SURE).

UH Mānoa engineering students Adam James Macalalag, Eric Takahashi, Efren Enriquez and Matthew Nakamura

UH Manoa Students in New Mexico prep for rocket launch competition
June 18, 2019

Team Hōkūlele’s 11.5-foot rocket named Kahekili is scheduled to launch and deploy two experimental payloads they built for the Spaceport American Cup. The project has received $10,000 in funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program which allowed the team to cover the cost of the rocket and some travel expenses.

plant in a pot

UH students successfully test Box Farm
June 3, 2019

Four UHM senior mechanical engineering students funded by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program have designed, developed, and tested a Box Farm that is an automated hydroponic growing system designed to sustain life on the moon and Mars.

Soldiering on in the pursuit of excellence
November 5, 2018

Andrew Kecskes Tokuda is a junior majoring in Global Environmental Science and is aspiring to become an officer in the U.S. Army and a scientist specializing in fisheries studies. With a great passion to study the food availability in the hadopelagic zone and fisheries studies, Tokuda’s career goal is to serve in a federal science agency.

Janey GuoSasha Canovali

Microbiology undergraduates supported with UROP awards
June 15, 2017

Students working in the Prisic lab have received support from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program to study organisms that may lead to more effective treatments for tuberculosis.

students holding up awards

Mānoa Undergraduate Showcase highlights research and creative work
May 16, 2017

The Undergraduate Showcase of Research and Creative Work held on May 5th, 2017 was supported by the Honors Program and the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program. The showcase represented more than 75 presentations and posters by 100 undergraduate students.

Alex Lee

Genome sequence of a new bacteria species published by UHM undergraduates
December 13, 2016

Alex Lee discover and characterize the second species in the genus Piscirickettsia. To complete the genome sequence of the new species, Lee was awarded $5,000 from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program.

manoa horizons cover

Undergraduate journal Mānoa Horizons publishes first issue
November 1, 2016

A new peer-reviewed academic journal will feature high quality creativity, innovation, and research conducted and synthesized by undergraduate students at UHM. Mānoa Horizons represents a partnership among the UHM’s Honors Program, Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program and the honors faculty.

Trista McKenzie in the lab. Credit: Warren McKenzie

Geology graduates investigate Fukushima-derived radioactivity in Hawaiʻi
June 3, 2016

UHM’s Hannah Azouz and Trista McKenzie advance knowledge on radioactivity in soil and locally-caught fish. Both students were able to conduct their research by funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) at UHM.

Undergraduate Makana Silva Presenting at SACNAS Conference with Funding Provided by UROP

October 4, 2016

Makana Silva, an undergraduate student working with UHM Assistant Professor Sarah Post, will be traveling to the annual Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) conference. There, he will present the results from the research collaboration with funding granted from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at UHM.

Alexandra McDougle crosses a landslide while traveling through the Ifugao Rice Terraces.

UHM graduate Alexandra McDougle selected as Luce Scholar
February 18, 2016

Alexandra McDougle is the first Luce Scholar to be nominated by UHM and is the first selectee in the program’s history with a physical anthropology background. McDougle’s was also supported by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) in relation to her fieldwork on the study of skulls of juvenile skeletons in the Ifugao region.

students working outside

Student involvement in UHM research, from the ground up
July 19, 2015

Students interested in research for the glory of their own research project can seek the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) for funding assistance. Students who have found a faculty mentor and established a project proposal can apply for the UROP program for further assistance regarding research funds, conference attendance, publication and more.

Undergraduate researcher Stephen Matadobra

Uncovering a hidden shark heiau in Pelekane Bay
July 11, 2014

Matadobra’s research focused on finding out what he anomalies lied around the area of the submerged site by using a sub-bottom profiler device. Through the support from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), Matadobra was able to create a layout that shows the approximate location of the anomalies and where the ancient site of the Hawaiian shark heiau was located.

Matthew Lim began his research as part of UHM’s Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP).

Culture and family influence on smoking in Filipina girls
July 11, 2014

The Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program allowed Matthew to begin creating a sensitive survey tool that could be given to the local youth regarding smoking rates amongst Filipina girls.

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