January 2015

Happy 2015! Best wishes to everyone for a healthy and prosperous new year. We look forward to another exciting year of discovery and learning.


Congratulations to all our December 2014 graduates!

New Sea Grant Director, Darren T. Lerner

 Darren Lerner is the new director of the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (UH Sea Grant), and interim director of the UH Water Resources Research Center. Dr. Lerner served for seven years as UH Sea Grant's associate director and helped position UH Sea Grant at the forefront of issues that are of critical importance to the state and region. Previously, Dr. Lerner worked as the program manager for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Fisheries Cooperative at Oregon State University managing projects and conducting research on fish endocrinology and migration, as well as serving as a research physiologist with the USGS Conte Anadromous Fish Research Center.  Dr. Lerner is currently an affiliate faculty member of the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, where his research focuses the impact of environmental contaminants on fish growth, physiology, and behavior. 

Voice of the Sea television series wins six Telly Awards


The Voice of the Sea television series, a signature project of the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant Center for Marine Science Education, recently received six 2014 Telly Awards, which are the premier regional television awards honoring excellence in programming. Voice of the Sea promotes ongoing scientific and cultural work in the Pacific from recognized experts in a half-hour television show shown Sundays at 6 p.m. on KFVE (K5 The Home Team).


Read more in the announcement or go to the Voice of the Sea website to watch full episodes or learn more about the show.

USS Kailua discovered 70 years after being sunk 
Researchers from SOEST's Hawai'i Undersea Research Laboratory and NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries announced their discovery of an intact "ghost ship" in 2,000 feet of water nearly 20 miles off the coast of Oʻahu. Sitting upright, its solitary mast still standing and the ship's wheel still in place, the hulk of the former cable ship Dickenson, later the USS Kailua, was found on the seabed on a maritime heritage submersible mission. No longer needed by the Navy, the former USS Kailua was sunk as a target by submarine torpedo fire on February 7, 1946. The exact location was not recorded, and the final resting place of the ship had remained a mystery. Read more on UH News.
SOEST on the forefront of coral reef research

SOEST scientists are advancing understanding of the complex physiology, biology and ecology of coral reefs across the Pacific and beyond. Fall 2014 saw the worst coral bleaching event ever recorded in Hawaiʻi. In response, scientists and researchers with the  Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) have been diligently monitoring and testing affected coral reefs in Kāneʻohe Bay, along with other areas on Oʻahu, and parts of the Northwestern Hawaiian islands. Click on the image at right to view a video about the latest research. 


In the past, researchers have largely focused on the negative impacts of acidification on reef growth. But new research from scientists at  HIMB relied on CT scans of coral to determine that lower ocean pH also increases reef breakdown: a double-whammy for coral reefs in a changing climate.

Another human footprint in the ocean:  

Rising anthropogenic nitrate levels

Human-induced changes to Earth's carbon cycle - for example, rising atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean acidification - have been observed for decades. However, David Karl, Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Daniel K. Inouye Center for Microbial Oceanography, and researchers from Korea, Switzerland and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration recently published a study showing human activities, in particular industrial and agricultural processes, have also had significant impacts on the upper ocean nitrogen cycle. "This is a sobering result, one that I would not have predicted," said Karl. "The North Pacific is so vast it is hard to imagine that humans could impact the natural nitrogen cycle." Read more on UH News

Research in Mariana Trench sets new record for deepest fish 

A ghostly never-before-seen fish with wing-like fins has set a new depth record for fish. During a recent 30-day expedition aboard the Schmidt Ocean Institute's research vessel Falkor to the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean - the deepest place on Earth - the previously-unknown snailfish was filmed several times floating along the dark sea floor, reaching a record low of 8143 meters below the surface. The unusual fish, spotted on the expedition led by Oceanography professor Jeff Drazen and Hawai'i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) professor Patty Fryer, has a different body shape from other known varieties of snailfish. It boasts broad, translucent fins, stringy appendages, and an eel-like tail that allows it to glide smoothly.

Read more on UH News about the expedition that set many new records, such as the deepest rock samples ever collected, and finding new species. 

Kikowaena Campaign raised $170,000 in three months!

SOEST would like to thank each person who contributed to the 2014 Kikowaena Campaign. There was broad participation from all units within the School and its thrilling to see so many faculty, staff, alumni, and partners get behind such an important venture: the achievement and success of our students!


Over the course of our three month campaign, more than $170,000 in private gifts were received by our partners at the UH Foundation, with an astonishing $127,000 of that directed to support undergraduate education, scholarships, and field learning activities.  This is a fantastic investment in the future of our undergraduate students and underlines the importance that we all place on the role of education within the School.

SOEST Club T-shirt sales

We have a limited number of SOEST 25th anniversary t-shirts for sale.  These navy blue ring spun cotton shirts are ultra comfy and  a collector's item. The SOEST Club sponsored a 25th anniversary t-shirt design contest and the winner was Carolyn Parcheta, a GG alumni and current postdoc at JPL.


Each shirt is $15 and proceeds benefit the SOEST Club.  The goal of the SOEST Club is to create and sustain a community of students within the school through engagement and community service. Over the years, the club has sponsored field trips, hiking trips, and lunch bunches.


Go to HIG 135 and see Leona Anthony if you would like to purchase a Small, Medium or Large t-shirt. Cash or checks made out to "cash" will be accepted.

Upcoming Events
Visit the SOEST Bulletin for a calendar of events and announcements.