TOPICS: COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS

A comprehensive approach to value Waikīkī Beach

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Nori Tarui Co-INVESTIGATORS: Takahiro Tsuge Graduate Fellow: Marcus Peng How much would we lose with further Waikīkī Beach erosion? Though the value is likely substantial, no study has a holistic estimate of various types of values ...

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. Watch the trailer for Season 3, Episode 12 on Vimeo or Youtube. FULL EPISODE Or watch this episode on YouTube Curriculum Connections: Grades 6-12: ...

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 Fellow: 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 Fellow: 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 Graduate Fellows: Jordan Mason, Lucas Ellison The risk that sewage effluent released to the environment poses to human health and the environment is well documented, and ...

Collaborative Study of Groundwater Transport Paths and Discharge Loads of Wastewaters and Other Land-Uses that Impact the Ewa Coastal Zones of West Oʻahu

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Craig Glenn Co-INVESTIGATORS: Aly El-Kadi, Celia Smith, Marek Kirs, Niels Grobbe, Robert Whittier Graduate Fellows: John Cameron, Matthew Duff The risk that sewage effluent released to the environment poses to human health and the environment is well ...

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 Fellow: 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 research in a changing environment. 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 ...

Differentiating treated and untreated wastewater contamination in a tropical coastal community using microbial community genomics

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Craig Nelson Co-INVESTIGATORS: Tracy Wiegner Graduate Fellow: Nicolas Vanderzyl Sewage contamination of coastal waters is a global phenomenon and is an important public health concern. In tropical areas where coral reefs thrive in relatively pristine waters, even trace ...

Effects of watershed restoration to traditional Hawaiian land use practices on health of nearshore coral reef ecosystems

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Rob Toonen Co-INVESTIGATORS: Chris Jury Graduate Fellow: Paolo Marra-Biggs Native Hawaiians used the ahupuaʻa system to successfully manage their natural resources for centuries prior to Western contact. Following Western contact, this land management system was largely abandoned, ...

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 Fellow: 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 ...

Enhancing social-ecological resilience and ecosystem services through restoration of coastal agroforestry systems

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Leah Bremer Co-INVESTIGATORS: Tamara Ticktin, Clay Trauernicht, Kawika Winter Graduate Scholar: Gina McGuire Agroforestry systems have the capacity to support resilient coastal communities through providing food, conserving native biodiversity, and supporting multiple ecosystem services, and represent ...

Envisioning In Situ Sea Level Rise Adaptation Strategies for a Densely Developed Coastal Community, Waikiki

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Wendy Meguro Co-INVESTIGATORS: Charles Fletcher Graduate Fellows: Josephine Briones, Ireland Castillo This proposal addresses the problem of adaptation of a coastal urban area to flooding as sea level rises in Waikīkī, with globally replicable methods. Waikīkī, ...

Fish Flow: Filling the gap between spawning and settlement

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Brian Bowen Co-INVESTIGATOR: Stephan Karl Graduate Fellow: 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 for Hawaii

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management Home PRACTICE SUMMARY Permeable surfaces reduce runoff volumes and pollutant loads by allowing stormwater to infiltrate into the ground and through pavement, rather than flowing across it. These surfaces are particularly cost effective in flood-prone ...

Green Infrastructure Recommended Practices for Streamside Homes

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management Home The Streamside Guide: Recommendations for Hawaiʻi Owners of land along waterways have the important responsibility to maintain areas of river and stream frontage on their properties. This guidance was created to encourage the application ...

Green Infrastructure-Runoff + Reuse in the Hawaiian Context

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management Home As the development of Hawaiʻi's urban and residential areas has increased, the land's natural capacity to absorb rainwater and and filter pollutants has been diminished. The draining and filling of floodplains, including lowland wetlands ...

Green Infrastructure-Stormwater + Flooding in the Coastal Zone

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management Home Water has sculpted the Hawaiian islands into the beautiful and dramatic archipelago we see today. For millenia, water has fallen from the sky and followed the force of gravity from mountains to sea. This ...

Green Infrastructure-Streamside Recommendations

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management Home ...

Green Infrastructure-Tools + Resources

Green Infrastructure for Stormwater Management Home 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 ...

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 climate.hawaii.gov). The primary purpose of ...

Harnessing environmental DNA for healthy reefs

 Research Projects 2018-2020 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Brian Bowen Co-INVESTIGATOR: Michelle Gaither Graduate Fellow: Cassie Lyons, Mykle Hoban 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 ...

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 ...

Identifying hot spots of sewage pollution in Hilo, Hawaiʻi

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Tracy Wiegner Co-INVESTIGATORS: Steven Colbert, Craig Nelson Graduate Fellow: Shayla Waiki, Joseph Nakoa With the majority of the world’s population living within coastal areas, sewage pollution is a growing global problem. In rural areas, like much of ...

Intertidal Algae and Invertebrates

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 Watch the trailer for Season ...

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 Fellow: Evan Barba 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

Click on the cover image to view the full issue. Welcome to our inaugural issue of the new Ka Pili Kai! Embracing knowledge from generations past and present: For our dedicated readers who have been receiving and reading our quarterly ...

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 Fellows: Eileen Nalley, 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, ...

Land-based pollutants on Hawaiian reefs

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Megan Donahue Co-INVESTIGATORS: Kim Falinski Graduate Fellow: Honour Booth This research will examine land-based pollutants, such as metals and persistent organic pollutants (e.g., PCBs), in coastal ecosystems in Hawaiʻi. Ongoing habitat degradation and coastal development, along with ...

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

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Kanesa Seraphin Co-INVESTIGATOR: Joanna Philippoff Graduate Fellow: 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 ...

Microbial biogeochemical cycling across a chronosequence of mangrove introductions across Hawaiʻi

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Rosanna Alegado Graduate Scholar: Becca Lensing The red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) was introduced to Molokaʻi in 1902 and has spread quickly across the main Hawaiian islands. Mangroves are critical to the health of environment where they ...

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. Watch the trailer for Season 3, Episode 10 on Vimeo or Youtube. FULL EPISODE Or watch ...

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. Watch the trailer for Season 3, Episode 8 on Vimeo or Youtube. FULL EPISODE Or watch this episode on YouTube Curriculum ...

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 Fellow: Patrick Nichols 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. Watch the trailer for Season 3, Episode 9 on Vimeo or Youtube. FULL EPISODE Or ...

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 #1: Waterworks

Dr. Peter Fuleky and Sisi Zhang are conducting an innovative study to identify the relationship between economic conditions in different sectors (tourism, health, agriculture, etc.) and the state’s limited water resources. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #10: Metallic Phish

Dr. Megan Donahue and Eileen Nalley look for traces of land-based, metallic pollutants in tissues of commonly eaten reef fishes and the mechanisms involved in their transport from land to fishes. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #11: DNA Detection

Dr. Brian Bowen, Cassie Lyons, and Mykle Hoban capitalize on a new technique of using free-floating environmental DNA sampled from above coral reefs to monitor their health based on the species present. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #13: Waialua Wastewater

Jordan Mason and Lucas Ellison work with Dr. Craig Glenn using drones to explore possible pollution of Waialua Bay from local on-site sewage disposal systems leaking into groundwater that flows to the bay. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #3: Pathogen Investigation

Dr. Craig Nelson and Jessica Bullington tackle the issue of bacterial pathogens in the Ala Wai Canal, developing a model to determine the risks of infection along the canal and offshore. 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 ...

Podcast #6: Intertidal Changes

Dr. Joanna Philippoff and Patrick Nichols are leading a longterm project that enlists the help of students to characterize the algae and invertebrate species of Hawaiʻi’s intertidal zone. Read more about their project here ...

Podcast #9: Mesophotic Mapping

Dr. Rob Toonen and Evan Barba explore sediment distribution across the sensitive ecosystems of the mesophotic zone and its connection to land use management decisions. 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 Fellow: 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 ...

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 Fellow: 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 ...

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 ...

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 Fellow: 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 ...

Super corals in Kāneʻohe Bay provide hope for survival of coral reefs around the globe

May 16, 2019 (Honolulu, HI) – A journal article published this week by researchers at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa’s School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology concluded that naturally occurring super corals in Kāne‘ohe Bay, O‘ahu are ...

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 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 role of sponges in nitrogen cycling in Kāneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Brian Popp Graduate Fellow: 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, ...

The role of surface and groundwater inputs in driving water quality in Kāneʻohe Bay, Oʻahu

 Research Projects 2016-2018 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Henrietta Dulai Co-INVESTIGATORS: Craig Glenn, Paul Lucey Graduate Fellow: 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 ...

Tracking groundwater nutrients using novel tracers to inform coastal watershed management in South Kohala, Hawaiʻi

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Henrietta Dulai Co-INVESTIGATORS: Kim Falinksi Graduate Fellow: Casey McKenzie We propose to provide land use managers in the South Kohala Coastal Partnership information that identifies the path of the groundwater that emerges at the coast, and estimates ...

Vulnerability of Coastal Ecosystems to Increased Salinity from Climate Change

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Kasey Barton Co-INVESTIGATORS: Dustin Wolkis, Seana Walsh, Tamara Sherrill Graduate Scholar: Anna McCormick Coastal habitats are critical for the welfare of island people, providing food, ensuring clean water, stabilizing beaches, and promoting cultural well-being. Due to ...

What can seascape-scale vegetation patterns on coral reefs tell us about reef health?

 Research Projects 2020-2022 PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR: Elizabeth Madin Graduate Fellow: Zackery Rago Coral reefs worldwide are threatened by a variety of human impacts. Fishing is among the most pressing threats to reefs, because it occurs on most reef systems and alters the ...

Zooplankton in The Deep Sea

In this episode, we take a look at zooplankton—tiny ocean animals—with researcher Cecelia Hannides and learn how she studies zooplankton samples. — Season 3, Episode 18.  FULL EPISODE Or watch this episode on YouTube Additional Resources: Schmidt Ocean Institute profile ...