TOPICS: COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS

About the Center

"Smart Building" is the process of designing and constructing a structure while considering how it will interact with its inhabitants and its environment. Is it a nice place to work? Is it an efficient place to work? Does it take ...

Building Science Experiments

In this episode, we’re designing, building, and conducting underwater experiments to learn about macro algae, fish, and the reef’s interdependencies. — Season 3, Episode 12.  30 second PROMO (Vimeo) Or watch this promo on YouTube FULL EPISODE (Vimeo) Or watch this ...

Building Super Corals

In this episode, we're at the Gump Research Station, on the island of Moorea in French Polynesia, checking out the molecular lab. They're studying corals, fresh from the reef for long-term studies that will teach us about the future of ...

Climate Change Impacts in Hawaii

The University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program  prepared this climate change impacts report to provide Hawai‘i communities with a foundational understanding of the effects of global climate change on Hawai‘i’s resources and ecosystems. The report presents a summary of ...

Coastal Ocean Hawaiʻi Acidification Monitoring Network (COHAMN) and carbonate mineral dissolution study

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Eric DeCarlo Co-INVESTIGATORS: Michael Guidry, Fred Mackenzie Graduate Trainee: Lucie Knor Human emissions of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere have led to partial uptake of this gas by the oceans. This process increases the acidity ...

Collaborative investigation of hydraulic and geochemical connectivity between wastewater and land-use and the oceanic waters of Kāneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Craig Glenn Co-INVESTIGATORS: Henrietta Dulai, Aly El-Kadi, Craig Nelson, Celia Smith, Robert Whittier Graduate Trainee: Michael Mathioudakis The risk that sewage effluent released to the environment poses to human health and the environment is well documented, ...

Collaborative investigation of hydraulic and geochemical connectivity between wastewaters and other land-uses and the ocean waters of Waialua Bay, Oʻahu

 Research Projects 2018-2020 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Craig Glenn Co-INVESTIGATORS: Aly El-Kadi, Henrietta Dulai, Celia Smith, Robert Whittier The risk that sewage effluent released to the environment poses to human health and the environment is well documented, and human-health risks and environmental impacts ...

Coral reef CO2 variations at the Coastal Ocean Hawaiʻi Acidification Network (COHAMN): Impact of basin scale oceanographic forcing

 Research Projects 2018-2020 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Eric DeCarlo Co-INVESTIGATOR: Michael Guidry Graduate Trainee: Lucie Knor This study offers to continue the highly successful MAPCO2 buoy program that we have been conducting at four coral reef sites around the island of Oʻahu, ...

Coral Reseach on Moorea

In this episode, we learn about the importance of long-term marine reseach in a changing enviornment. Researchers from UC Santa Barbara have been studying the reefs in French Polynesia, on the island of Moorea, for over two decades. Their research ...

Corals in a Changing World

In this episode, scientist Ruth Gates talks about why corals are dying at alarming rates across the world. She explains the effects that coral reefs have on the food chain as well as the role science can play in trying ...

Defining Ecosystem-based Management Boundaries Using Genetics and Fisheries Data

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: ROBERT TOONEN Graduate Student: Johanna Wren The exchange of individuals among populations, termed connectivity, is a central element of population persistence and maintenance of genetic diversity, and influences most ecological and evolutionary phenomena. To date, field studies of ...

Enabling real-time predictive modeling of microbial pathogen risk along the Honolulu shoreline

 Research Projects 2018-2020 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Craig Nelson Co-INVESTIGATORS: Anna Neuheimer, Grieg Steward, Margaret McManus Graduate Trainee: Jessica Bullington Microbial pathogen contamination of coastal ecosystems in Hawaiʻi is a significant threat to both human and ecological health and can have major impacts on ...

External Websites

The Environmental Protection Agency site on Green Infrastructure. This site contains information to help you build and learn about national partnerships.The National Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Network is a collection of outreach education programs across the U.S. that ...

Fish Flow: Filling the gap between spawning and settlement

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Brian Bowen Co-INVESTIGATOR: Stephan Karl Graduate Trainee: Derek Kraft The proposed research will track fish from egg production to the reefs where they settle and enter local fisheries on Oʻahu and adjacent islands. To promote sustainable use of ...

Green Infrastructure Practices

Green infrastructures have a lot of benefits and can be implemented during construction or as retrofits. On this page you can browse summaries on green infrastructures practices. Rain Garden/Bioretention Area Bioswale Permeable Pavements Flow-Through Planters Green Roofs Loʻi Kalo Rain ...

Harnessing environmental DNA for healthy reefs

 Research Projects 2018-2020 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Brian Bowen Co-INVESTIGATOR: Michelle Gaither Graduate Trainee: Cassie Lyons This proposal is to use environmental DNA (eDNA) to monitor the health of coral reefs in protected and non-protected areas around the Hawaiian Islands. All organisms shed eDNA, ...

Hawaiian Reef Plants

The University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program is pleased to present Hawaiian Reef Plants. The book is written by John M. Huisman, Isabella A. Abbott and Celia M. Smith, three of the world’s leading botanists, and is in full ...

How Fish help Corals Grow

In this episode, scientist Andy Brooks shows off his research in the beautiful waters of French Polynesia. Andy and his colleagues have mapped changes in the reefs of Moorea for over 15 years and are studying the effects of fish ...

Inputs driving water quality in Kāneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Henrietta Dulai Co-INVESTIGATORS: Craig Glenn, Paul Lucey Graduate Trainee: Trista McKenzie Recent findings suggest that in the Indo-Pacific region total submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) is estimated to be 3 to 4 times greater than riverine freshwater ...

Intertidal Algae and Invertebrates

In this episode, we’re learning about different types of algae and invertebrates with researchers from the OPIHI project, who are working with teachers and students around the state of Hawai’i to monitor the health of the intertidal environment — Season 4, ...

Investigating the origin and impact of sedimentation on the health of Hawaiian mesophotic reefs for sustainable coastal development

 Research Projects 2018-2020 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Robert Toonen Graduate Trainee: Evan Barca Hawaiian coral reefs have been valued at over $33.5 billion per year to the US public, and are a major driver of tourism revenue in the State. Yet, coral ...

Ka Pili Kai Fall 2016

Center of Excellence: Coastal and Climate Science and Resilience Center of Excellence: Marine Science Education Center of Excellence: Smart Building and Community Design Center of Excellence: Sustainable Coastal Tourism Institute of Hawaiian Language Research and Translation To address the needs, ...

Ka Pili Kai Ho‘oilo 2018

Embracing knowledge from generations past and present: For our dedicated readers who have been receiving and reading our quarterly magazine for many years, mahalo for embarking on this new adventure with us and a big ʻohana welcome to all our ...

Ka Pili Kai Spring 2016

Humpback Whale Vocal Communications Between Mothers and Calves Wastewater’s Influence on Coastal Groundwater Quality and the Health of Coral Reefs in Maunalua Bay, O‘ahu Attack of the Drones: Characterizing Groundwater Discharge on Maui Using the Latest Research Tools Simulating Sea-Level ...

Ka Pili Kai Summer 2016

Hawai‘i ’s Water Resources Submarine Groundwater Discharge Water Resources Research Center Highlight: Dr. Aly El-Kadi UH Water Resources Research Center and Sea Grant Partner on $20 M Water Sustainability Project Increasing Access to Safe Drinking Water on Hawai‘i Island The ...

Ka Pili Kai Winter 2016

50 Years of Putting Science to Work for Coastal Communities O‘ahu Maui Hawai‘i Island Kaua‘i Pacific Region 50 Years of Putting Science to Work for Coastal Communities In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed The National Sea Grant College and Program ...

Land-based pollutants in herbivorous reef fishes on Hawaiian reefs

 Research Projects 2018-2020 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Megan Donahue Co-INVESTIGATOR: Stephen Karl Graduate Trainee: Julie Zill Pollutants, such as metals, pose a serious threat to coral reef ecosystems. In the past century Hawaiʻi has experienced significant changes in land use, and on ...

Longitudinal assessment: Our Project in Hawaiʻi’s Intertidal (OPIHI)

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Kanesa Seraphin Co-INVESTIGATOR: Joanna Philippoff Graduate Trainee: Florybeth LaValle At the base of the watershed, the intertidal zone is affected by everything that happens upstream, from pollution to development. The intertidal is also vulnerable to threats such ...

Macroalgae Attack!

In this episode, we're in Cook's Bay, on the island of Moorea in French Polynesia, checking out the reef study of PhD student Samantha Davis. Sammy is looking at the relationship between macroalgae and herbivores as macroalgae threatens to overwhelm ...

Mutualism on the Reef

In this episode, we're in French Polynesia, on the island of Moorea at the Gump Research Station. Scientists are discovering exciting new examples of mutualism on the reef. — Season 3, Episode 10.  30 second PROMO (Vimeo) Or watch this promo ...

Ocean Acidification and Snail Overpopulation

In this episode, we learn about competition on the reef and how large populations of snails are affecting coral growth in French Polynesia. — Season 3, Episode 8.  30 second PROMO (Vimeo) Or watch this promo on YouTube FULL EPISODE (Vimeo) ...

Ongoing Projects

Campus Spatial Survey and Integrated Planning Light Pollution in Hawaiʻi Delamping Initiative Forest City Military Community Energy Efficiency Monitoring Kuykendall Hall Water Resources Working Group ...

Our Project In Hawaiʻi’s Intertidal (OPIHI): Examining change over time

 Research Projects 2018-2020 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Joanna Philippoff Co-INVESTIGATORS: Heather Spalding, Craig Nelson Graduate Trainee: Florybeth LaValle Although a culturally and ecologically important ecosystem, the intertidal is vulnerable to climate change, species invasions, overharvesting, and land-use practices. However, the intertidal zone of ...

Our Tiny Worlds

In this episode, we’re creating tiny ocean replicas to better understand how climate change will affect coral reefs—and to see what reefs may look like in the next century. — Season 3, Episode 9.  30 second PROMO (Vimeo) Or watch this ...

Podcast #1: Fish Flow

Meet Dr. Brian Bowen and Michael Hoban and learn about their project tracking important aquaculture fish species from egg production to the reefs where they settle and grow. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #4: Is it freshwater or saltwater?

Meet Dr. Henrietta Dulai and Trista McKenzie and learn about their efforts to map submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) into Kāneʻohe Bay to measure the nutrient flow from groundwater compared with streams. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #5: The two-to-three-day rule

Meet Dr. Craig Nelson and Krissy Remple and hear about their attempts to develop a new rapid, cost-effective tool to determine water quality where groundwater contamination might occur. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #6: Filter feeders

Meet Dr. Brian Popp and Leilei Shih as they describe their project to evaluate the role of a recent invasive sponge population in Kāneʻohe Bay--for bad or good. Read more about their project here ...

Predicting and mapping Hawaiian mesophotic coral ecosystems for sustainable coastal development

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Robert Toonen Graduate Trainee: Lindsay Veazey Although there is little question about the economic, ecological, cultural, and conservation value of coral reef habitats, growing population, tourism, and coastal development are rapidly degrading them. Our fundamental ...

Quality and Quanitity

Strategically placed Green Infrastructure (GI) Best Management Practices (BMP) can go a long way towards managing stormwater runoff from a water quality and flood mitigation perspective. As the development of urban and residential areas increases, so does the generation of ...

Rapid Response: Application of a qPCR-based test for Enterococci as a rapid beach management tool in Hawaiʻi

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Marek Kirs Graduate Trainee: Eduardo Guimares Climate change is projected to increase the risk of loss for people, assets, economies and ecosystems as extreme weather events, such as tropical storms and hurricanes, are projected to increase ...

Sammy’s Reef

In this episode, we're back in Cook's Bay with graduate student Samantha Davis studying how Moorea's reefs recover from massive die-offs while other reefs around the world are not recovering. Perhaps the Moorea reefs will offer insights for maintaining reef ...

Sea Urchin Disaster

In this episode, we look at the dramatic decline in the sea urchin population along Moorea's eastern reefs. Researcher Stella Swanson takes us out in the field as we look for evidence of what caused an entire species to be ...

Source tracking coastal groundwater and runoff contamination with microbial genomics and dissolved organic fluorometry

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Craig Nelson Graduate Trainee: Kristina Remple Contamination of Hawaiian coastal waters by human activities is widespread and threatens coastal ecosystems and water quality. The high density of cesspools in Hawai‘i is potentially a significant source of ...

Stella’s Sea Urchins

In this episode, we meet researcher Stella Swanson's and learn about her sea urchin study in French Polynesia. Stella and her colleague snorkel the reefs of Temae, on the island of Moorea, gathering corals for analysis and setting up fish ...

Teaching Science as Inquiry (TSI)

Teaching science as inquiry means teaching science as it is practiced. In this form of learning, content is both an end goal as well as a framework for knowledge construction. By testing principles and connections through the generation and interpretation ...

The role of sponges in nitrogen cycling in Kāneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Brian Popp Graduate Trainee: Joy Shih Coastal ecosystems are regions of remarkable biological productivity and diversity, yet they are among our most disturbed natural environments. Although many human activities cause change in the coastal zone, ...

Tools and Resources

The Hawaiʻi LID Atlas is a collection of alternative stormwater management practices currently installed across the state. The Atlas is hosted by the National Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) Network and the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant Program. It ...

Zooplankton in The Deep Sea

In this episode, we take a look at zooplankton—tiny ocean animals—with researcher Cecilia Hannides and learn how she studies zooplankton samples. — Season 3, Episode 18.  30 second PROMO (Vimeo) Or watch this promo on YouTube FULL EPISODE (Vimeo) Or watch ...