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Issue 0114
February 24, 2014 

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!




The Office of Mauna Kea Management is charged with day-to-day management of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve as prescribed in the Master Plan. The adoption of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan by the University of Hawaii Board of Regents in June 2000 marked a critical milestone in the management of Maunakea.


Meetings and public hearings spanning a period of nearly two years went into the formulation of the Master Plan, which established management guidelines for the next 20 years. The Master Plan reflected the community's deeply rooted concerns over the use of Maunakea, including respect for Hawaiian cultural beliefs, protection of environmentally sensitive habitat, recreational use of the mountain, and astronomy research.   


It places the focus of responsibility with the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH). The UH-Hilo Chancellor established the Office of Mauna Kea Management and the Board of Regents established the Mauna Kea Management Board in the fall of 2000. The Mauna Kea Management Board in turn formed Kahu Ku Mauna, a council comprised of Hawaiian cultural resource persons to serve as advisors.

eradicating fire weed



OMKM Mission

To achieve harmony, balance and trust in the sustainable management and stewardship of Mauna Kea Science Reserve through community involvement and programs that protect, preserve and enhance the natural, cultural and recreational resources of Maunakea while providing a world-class center dedicated to education, research and astronomy.