Scroll Top


See something of interest? Complete a publication request to order a digital or hard copy.

The Three ‘Io Brothers and The Rising Tide

by Keri Kodama On a bright summer day on the Island of Hawai‘i, the three ‘Io brothers packed their bags and got ready to leave for a well-earned vacation. They were on their way to visit their old friend ‘Apapane who lived by the ocean in Kapoho, and they were all very excited for it had been many years since they could visit. “I can’t wait to go swimming!” said the first ‘Io brother, the most playful of the three. “I hope the waves are good,” said the second ‘Io brother, who was the coolest. “I remember there were many

ʻAha ʻIke Pāpālua – 2020 Report

In January 2020, we came together in a visioning ʻAha - to assemble around the questions of who, what, and why our Sea Grant Center of Excellence should focus its time, energy, and efforts. In this period of change, the Center made significant progress building out existing projects and as we have grown and assumed new kuleana, we felt it appropriate that our new name, Ulana ʻIke, reflect our evolving roles and function. The  ʻAha ʻIke Pāpālua Report reflects our collective aspirations directed by community partner manaʻo and advice. The report includes: An explanation of the intentionality and meaning behind
Cover of the 2022 Hawaii Dune Restoration Manual

Hawaiʻi Dune Restoration Manual

The Hawaiʻi Dune Restoration Manual was written and created by the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (Hawaiʻi Sea Grant). Hawaiʻi Sea Grant supports and conducts innovative research, education, and extension services toward the improved understanding and stewardship of coastal and marine resources nationwide. The Hawaiʻi Dune Restoration Manual is written in response to increasing awareness of the importance of preserving, restoring, and maintaining coastal dunes. There are clear ongoing impacts associated with climate change, including sea-level rise, coastal flooding, and more frequent and severe storm events, all causing beach and dune erosion. However, there are also direct human

University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program Biennial Report (2018-2019)

The University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (Hawaiʻi Sea Grant) is organized into Centers of Excellence, a unique structure within the 34 university-based Sea Grant programs across the network. This allows the work of our faculty and staff to engage across our universities to bring multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary approaches and solutions in service to communities throughout the region. The cover images depict the passion, commitment, and diversity of people and projects that are genuinely representative of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant and our expansive focus areas. Our program’s service is truly region-wide, with responsibilities spanning a geographic area greater than

Energy Targets and Efficiency Measures in Multifamily Subtropical Buildings

The Technology | Architecture + Design journal article by associate professor Wendy Meguro and Elliot Glassman from WSP, "Evaluating Energy Targets and Efficiency Measures in Multifamily Subtropical Buildings through Automated Simulation" (April 2021) is available free online here This study demonstrates a replicable process using early design phase energy modeling to reduce energy use in multifamily residential buildings in subtropical climates and achieve net-zero site energy. Why was the study initiated? Buildings produced almost 40% of annual global GHG emissions in 2018, so reducing energy use in buildings is key to meeting climate change mitigation targets. Who is the audience?
Article 'From loss to recovery to resilience' by Lurline McGregor. Includes images on turtles resting on a beach and a map of the North West Hawaiian Islands

From Loss to Recovery to Resilience

by Lurline Wailana McGregorIn 2018, Hurricane Walaka circumvented the Hawaiian Islands before circling back to pass directly over Kānemilohaʻi, also known as the French Frigate Shoals, an atoll 550 miles northwest of Honolulu. It washed away East Island, an 11-acre islet in the Lalo group, destroying one of the primary nesting and birthing spots for Hawaiian green sea turtles and Hawaiian monk seals, respectively; the Hawaiian monk seal is one of the most endangered seal species in the world. Not only did this Category 4 storm severely damage terrain, it obliterated the pristine Rapture Reef that lies about 24 meters
Article 'turning up the heat: the evolving threat of wildfire' by Keri Kodama. Includes images of fire damage on West Oahu

Turning up the Heat: the evolving threat of wildfire

by Keri KodamaIn July 2019, an 8000-acre brush fire, fueled by an abundance of dry vegetation and an oppressive heat wave, consumed Central Maui. The blaze began as a roadside fire and spread rapidly with help from the wind. Within only a few hours, it had jumped across a six-lane highway and forced the shutdown of Kahului Airport and the evacuation of residents and visitors. By the time firefighters managed to contain it, the fire had become Maui’s largest on record. On average, 17,000 acres, or 0.4 percent of Hawaiʻi, burns annually, a larger percentage of the statewide land area
Article 'Climigration: A look to the future for environmental migrants' by Amanda Millin. Includes an image of Kwajalein Atoll in the Marshall Islands.

Climigration: A look to the future for environmental migrants

by Amanda MillinNearly three decades ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicated that “the gravest effects of climate change may be those on human migration.” Estimates differ widely, but most experts agree that upwards of 25 million people will be forced to leave their homes by 2050. Yet, international and domestic laws around the world continue to take a cautious and nuanced approach to the problem. Confusion and a lack of global consensus surround even what to call these displaced persons. Nor is there agreement on where they are going, what causes their movement, and how these future
Article 'The Ocean is Feeling the Heat' by Lonny Lippsett. Includes images of a feeding Blue Whale, Coastal flooding, melting ice sheets.

The Ocean is Feeling the Heat

by Lonny LippsettA fever is rising in the ocean. Our rampant burning of fossil fuels has produced a heat-trapping blanket of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere that has warmed the Earth. But the situation would be much worse without the ocean, which has absorbed more than 90 percent of that excess heat. Scientists reported that in 2020, the ocean held the most heat ever recorded. In recent decades (1987-2019), ocean warming has increased by 450 percent, compared to the three decades before that (1955-1986). Last year, the ocean absorbed more than 200 times as much heat as it did
Article 'Turning Down the Temperature on Urban Heat Islands' by Josh McDaniel. Includes an aerial view image of Oahu and a map of Oahu.

Turning Down the Temperature on Urban Heat Islands

by Josh McDanielAugust 31, 2019, tied the record for the hottest temperature ever recorded at the Honolulu airport. On the same day, volunteers and city workers placed sensors on their vehicles and drove through O‘ahu neighborhoods throughout the day. Staff from the City and County of Honolulu (City) Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency (Resilience Office) used the resulting measurements to construct a detailed heat map of the island. Though it is no surprise that many hotspots were in the concrete jungle of Honolulu’s urban core, certain other windward and leeward locations also registered extreme heat indices, which was
article spread including headshot of Matt Gonser and community volunteers

Q & A with Matthew Gonser

by Cindy Knapman and Kanesa SeraphinMatthew Gonser, former extension faculty with the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program, was recently appointed as the chief resilience officer and executive director of the City and County of Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency. He took the time to share his thoughts and vision for the office, and how it is fostering connectivity and collaboration to turn community visions into action. Can you tell me about the City and County of Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency, and how it came about? The office was created by the
lead article spread with aerial image of the KIUC soalr farm.

Harnessing the Elements by 2045

by Natasha VizcarraHawai‘i Senator Glenn Wakai was in a Zoom meeting in late January when he noted a kink in the islands’ renewable energy plans. The state’s only coal-fired power station was shutting down in September 2022. However, solar power projects replacing the plant’s 180-megawatt generation were delayed six months to a year. The Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO) somehow needed to source enough renewable energy to feed the grid. The whole process would include time-consuming requests for proposals, sorting bids, picking winning contractors, requesting permits, procurement, building, and testing. And they had to do it in less than two years,

RMI Homeowner’s Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards

Introduction When a natural hazard occurs - whether it be a tropical cyclone, tsunami, extratropical storm, king tide, flood, sea-level rise, erosion, or drought - the results can be devastating for your land, your home, your family, and your possessions. Financial losses can be particularly high in the two administrative centers of the northern and southern Marshall Islands - Majuro and Ebeye, Kwajalein - which have seen explosive growth in both population and land area since the mid-1940s. This has been especially true in Majuro, where a number of lagoonal openings along Majuro Atoll were connected by the US Navy
Lead spread fro Ka Pili Kai article Reimagining Education in a Post-COVID World. Group is gahtered around a long fishnet on a grassy area near the shoreline. The fish net is being pulled taut on the outer side, which forms a semi circle.

Reimagining Education in a Post-COVID World

by Lonny LippsettWhen COVID-19 shut off the lights in schools throughout Hawai‘i, it starkly illuminated long-ignored cracks and constraints in its educational system. The crisis-mode quick fix—using modern technology to create virtual online schooling—spotlighted age-old problems and exposed new ones. Not everyone had access to the internet, and a lot of households couldn’t afford service, highlighting a “digital divide.” Many teachers hadn’t received training in online instruction. And students, boxed in to their screens and homes, felt isolated and unmotivated. “The pandemic has indeed made very visible the many warts that have grown upon the skin and the soul of
Lead spread for Ka Pili Kai article Protecting Public Health. Includes composit image of student in full PPE and COVID virus renderings, image of UH medical school building exterior and close up shot of gloved hands in a lab with a syringe-like device. and test tubes.

Protecting Public Health

by Sara LaJeunesseIn 2019, Hawai‘i was ranked by U.S. News & World Report as the top state in the nation for health care. Yet, it’s no secret that problems with access to care, affordability of care, and disparities in care remain to be addressed. Now, with COVID-19 spreading throughout the state, the disease is further highlighting some of Hawai‘i’s health care deficiencies. “With COVID-19, everything is happening so quickly,” said Dr. Jane Chung-Do, associate professor of public health studies. “Public health practitioners, who normally focus on prevention, are spending all of their time reacting to the pandemic. The resulting problems
Lead spread for Ka Pili Kai article Hawaiʻi’s Vulnerable Food Supply. Historic black and white image of Oahu pineapple fields, photo of small scale farm and banana trees, close up image of hands processing fresh produce, and close up of eggplant, beets, ochra.

Hawaiʻi’s Vulnerable Food Supply

by Lurline Wailana McGregorThe COVID-19 pandemic didn’t close down Honolulu harbor or wreak havoc on the environment, but it was a somber reminder of how our lifestyles and economy are dependent on the outside world for everything, from food supply chains to tourists. A fear of shortages caused buyers to panic as they emptied grocery shelves and hoarded supplies. Restaurant closures initially left many local farmers unable to sell their produce and forced fishermen to leave their boats tied to the docks. In an island state that is striving to become less dependent on imported food, why does it take
lead spread for Ka Pili Kai article A Reset for Hawai‘i’s Ecosystems. Photos of green Hawaiian fern, trees with large roots, diver conducting survey abouve coral bed, closeup of blenny, and school of silver fish

A Reset for Hawai‘i’s Ecosystems

by Jake BuehlerQuiet. For the first time in generations, the schools of ulua, pāpio, and ‘o‘io glinting across the outer edge of Hanauma Bay’s crater experienced relative silence. The perpetual din of thousands of thunderous splashes and shrill voices reverberating from the shoreline fell away, and the inner bay became perplexingly inviting. The humans had retreated overnight, a measure taken to slow the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, leaving a world newly open to ocean wildlife. But while nature has reaped benefits from COVID-19 shutdowns across the islands, humans are left to reflect on the impact of our usual presence,
Lead spread for Ka Pili Kai article Reexamining Island Mobility. Images of two pairs of bike riders in bike lanes along a main honolulu street.

Reexamining Island Mobility

by Josh McDanielNot all disruptions from the coronavirus pandemic have been negative. Honolulu often sits at the top of the rankings for the worst traffic in the country, ahead of cities notorious for roadway congestion such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Boston. But in April 2020, during the height of the early pandemic lockdown, Hawaiʻi saw a 47 percent drop in gasoline sales compared to previous years. For a few weeks, Oʻahu’s normally clogged roads and freeways were eerily empty, and even once restrictions began easing, traffic still did not return to pre-pandemic levels. Oakley Davis, an emergency room
Spread for Ka Pili Kai aricle Mālama during COVID-19. Collage of photos and text highlighting the career ofCeleste Connors.

Mālama During COVID-19

by Amanda MillinFor Celeste Connors, living with aloha extended far beyond the shores of Hawaiʻi. The former American diplomat worked overseas for 20 years and served as the White House director for Climate Change and Environment. But she is from Kailua, and it is her connection to host culture values of aloha, mālama, kuleana, and ʻohana that have driven her. “I was involved in negotiations at the highest levels of government,” says Connors. “I realize now that my actions were informed by host culture values having grown up in Hawaiʻi, which I wouldn’t have connected to unless I came home
Title page for Ka Pili Kai article Rebooting Hawaii's Visitor Industry. Two swimmers entering the ocean on a sunny day.

Rebooting Hawai‘i’s Visitor Industry

by Shannon WianeckiDuring the last week of March 2020, the fallow sugarcane fields next to the Kahului Airport on Maui began to fill with cars. Hundreds, then thousands of nearly new Camaros, Jeep Wranglers, and SUVs appeared, parked bumper to bumper alongside the road. By the time Governor Ige issued a stay-at-home order in response to the emerging COVID-19 pandemic, the island’s entire rental car fleet—around 22,000 vehicles—had been put out to pasture. The global health crisis effectively pulled the emergency brake on Hawai‘i’s tourism industry. Across the state, car rental agencies, resorts, restaurants, and tour operations shut their doors,
Report cover for 'Guidance for Using the Sea Level Rise Exposure Area in Local Planning and Permitting Decisions: A supplement to the Hawaii Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report'. Contains an aerial image of coastal erosion on Oahu's North Shore

Guidance for Using the Sea Level Rise Exposure Area in Local Planning and Permitting Decisions

This document is a supplement to the Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report (“Report”; Hawaiʻi Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Commission, 2017) and the Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Viewer (“Viewer”) (both available at The primary purpose of this document is to assist state and county planners, natural resource and infrastructure managers, and others with understanding and using the Sea Level Rise Exposure Area (SLR-XA) from the Report and Viewer in day to day planning and permitting decisions, particularly at the project or property-level scale (Figure 1). This guidance was developed in response to requests from county planning

Loko Iʻa Needs Assessment

This report is the first comprehensive compilation of the research ideas and needs within the community of fishpond managers, landowners, and stewardship organizations to inform adaptation of fishpond practices toward their resilience, adaptation, and sustainability in the face of a changing climate. It reflects the needs, interests, visions, and ideas of the Hui Mālama Loko Iʻa as documented in their collective and cumulative conversations in 2019. The report was synthesized by a collaborative of Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo, the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program, and the Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center. Download the pdf

Tilapia Market Report: American Samoa, 2019

 Introduction From December 2018 to April 2019, 15 retail grocery stores, one fish market, and nine restaurants in American Samoa were surveyed by Hawai‘i Sea Grant Extension Agent Kelley Anderson Tagarino and American Samoa Community College student interns Raijeli Toanivere, Fuamai A. Tago, and Xu Yi Pan to determine: 1) the origin and volume of frozen tilapia imported by local wholesalers in American Samoa; 2) how often tilapia was purchased by local retailers and restaurants; 3) the size of a typical order; and 4) the imported price, the wholesale price, and the retail price of the frozen tilapia sold in

Retaining a Healthy Indoor Environment in On-Demand Mixed-Mode Classrooms

Retaining a Healthy Indoor Environment in On-Demand Mixed-Mode ClassroomsA study to measure energy performance and CO2 concentrations was conducted in two Hawai‘i classrooms to determine the impact of user decision-making on adequacy of fresh air. Using CO2 as a marker for indoor air quality and fresh air exchange, significantly different CO2 concentrations were observed in the two identical classrooms. In the Hawai‘i mixed-mode classrooms, ventilation and CO2 levels were dependent upon: user awareness of how fresh air was introduced; user training; availability of operable windows; and outside fresh air supply from the air-conditioning unit. This research has been a collaboration between The University
Cover of Guidance for Addressing SLR in Community Planing in Hi document. Includes three images of beach inundation/erosion.

Guidance for Addressing Sea Level Rise in Community Planning in Hawaiʻi

Through a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Regional Coastal Resilience Grant, the Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program together with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR), Office of Planning, and Tetra Tech, Inc., developed statewide guidance documents and tools to improve community resilience to coastal hazards and sea level rise effects, building on the work of the State of Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report. This Guidance for Addressing Sea Level Rise in Community Planning in Hawaiʻi is intended to assist county planners to build upon and improve existing efforts to address sea
Cover of Sea Level Rise and Coastal Land Use in Hawaii. A collage of 5 hawaii coastal images.

Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Land Use in Hawai‘i

Rising sea levels along Hawai‘i’s shorelines call for state and local governments to take action by means of a wide range of coastal land use policy tools designed to help Hawai‘i successfully adapt to climate change. Hawai‘i is expected to experience sea-level rise of one foot by 2050 and three feet by the end of the century. Sea-level rise of this magnitude poses significant economic, social, and environmental challenges requiring leadership and bold action by state and local governments, which are uniquely positioned to implement land use policy tools to shape Hawai‘i’s efforts to successfully adapt to rising sea levels
Entire article layout featuring images of various maps, webplatform and community preparedness group photo

Selected Tools for Awareness and Preparation

by Rachel LentzOften, coping with natural hazard preparation involves being aware of key information pertinent to that event. But sometimes that information may be hard to find or understand. Here are four resources that should prove useful to your own personal awareness and preparation as well as the preparation of your community. NOAA NWS National and Central Pacific Hurricane Center During the Central North Pacific hurricane season from June 1st to November 30th, the National Weather Service’s National and Central Pacific Hurricane Centers website presents a variety of resources for the Central and Eastern Pacific regions, as well as the
Title layout including sattelite pacific hurrican image, Hilo flooding, and community planning group around a table

Facing the Storm

by Mara Johnson-GrohSince the day it was born out of the Pacific, 65 million years ago, Hawaiʻi has been sculpted by storms, volcanic eruptions, hurricanes, earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis. In the 21st century Hawai‘i is facing an increasing frequency of disasters as climate change exacerbates weather patterns and raises the sea level. Over the past few decades, the sea level has already risen by several inches and even if carbon emissions remain the same, conservative estimates suggest a further 3.2 feet of rise by later this century. A 2017 report, the Hawaiʻi Sea Level Rise Vulnerability and Adaptation Report, found
Title layout including black and white photo of people running from 1946 tsunami surge in Hilo

“Like the Whole Ocean Was Coming at You”

by Josh McDanielThe science of tsunamis has expanded in leaps in recent decades. From advances in detection and alert systems to coastal inundation modeling and mapping, we now know more about the seismic forces that trigger tsunamis and can forecast how tsunamis will flood distant coastlines hours before the waves arrive. However, successful preparation for a tsunami still occurs at the community level, preparing infrastructure for the unique destructive forces that occur and educating people on how to react and get to safety. While there have been several tragic tsunamis in the recent past across the globe, we are learning

Going Beyond Code

To support Hawai'i's 100% renewable energy goal by 2045, Hawai'i Sea Grant faculty, their colleagues, and seven student researchers just published a paper to show how house design and construction practices can be modified to meet the newly adopted, more restrictive energy codes and renewable energy goals. The research was conducted through a collaboration between The University of Hawai'i's: Hawai'i Natural Energy Institute's energy efficiency program, School of Architecture's Environmental Research and Design Lab and  Sea Grant College Program. The paper is accessible for free online: A brochure explaining the take-aways of the research can be found here:  2020 Residential

Hawaiʻi Sea Grant Resources