Waiakea Intermediate School 8th Grader Ann Nakamoto Recognized at 2014 Hawaii District Science
and Engineering Fair
Gifted science student Ann Nakamoto has always been interested in native and non-native species studies on Maunakea. When Ann asks for suggestions for a science project, or asks a question relating to Maunakea, the Office of Mauna Kea Management and Ann's mentor - Dr. Jesse Eiben, are quick to help out.
In preparation for her science fair entry, Ann asked Dr. Eiben if there were any insects up on the mountain that needed further study. Eiben suggested she investigate Cardiocondyla kagutsuchi, the only ant species known at the 9,000-ft level of Maunakea.
|Ann's 2014 Science and |
Engineering Fair Entry
Although the Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) is taking measures to control this non-native species, not much is known about the ant's habits. What is known is this ant seems to colonize around invasive plants like fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis). Following Ann's commitment to help care for Maunakea, she wanted to investigate the types of food this introduced ant prefers hoping they could be used as baits to lure these ants and help OMKM with its control efforts.
Ann Nakamoto's 2014 Hawaii District Science and Engineering Fair entry focused on testing food item(s) to determine which would be the most and least effective in attracting these ants. Of the three most common types of ant baits, protein, carbohydrate and oils, she discovered C. kagutsuchi favored raspberry jam (carbohydrate) and Spam (protein) equally, while not paying much attention to peanut butter (lipids / oils).
Ann Nakamoto's impressive list of 2014 Hawaii District Science and Engineering Fair awards include: Overall Honorable Mention; Best in Subject Category, Junior Research, Animal Sciences; Hapai Enterprises Second Place Outstanding Entomology/Zoology Award; American Association of University Women Certificate of Merit; Junior Research Honorable Mention and The Robert and Alice Fujimoto Foundation Award.
|Ann volunteering to malama Maunakea!|
Projects like Ann's support OMKM's invasive weed control efforts at Halepohaku and will be used to develop effective ant control baits.
Even more noteworthy though, Anne's project advanced to the State fair in early April.
Congratulations and good luck!