Stay current via free talks on sea science
Have you listened to the shrimp lately? A fish? A whale? OK, few of us have. But there are University of Hawaii researchers who are listening to these and other marine organisms to see what they can tell us about their world (as well as our world).
They'll share this information and more beginning in August in free talks at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach. The public lecture series about Hawaii's dynamic ocean environment is part of the Outrigger's year-round observance of the Year of the Coral Reef.
The talks will be held on the second Wednesday of each month through February, catching us up on what experts at UH-Manoa are learning in Hawaii waters.
Mark these dates:
Aug. 13: "The Kilo Nalu Reef Observatory: A Window into Hawaii's Coastal Environment"
Geno Pawlak, associate professor in the Department of Ocean and Resources Engineering, will explain how researchers use underwater instruments, ships and free-swimming, autonomous underwater vehicles to measure waves, currents and water quality -- and how they affect the everyday lives of Hawaii's residents.
Sept. 10: "How Local Rain Events Affect Greenhouse Gas in the Atmosphere"
Eric Heinen De Carlo, professor of oceanography, will explain how our land, oceans and atmosphere are intimately connected and how monitoring buoys in Kaneohe Bay and Waikiki provide new information about these connections. This is a good opportunity to learn how rain and the tiny microscopic life forms in the ocean affect carbon dioxide (CO2, an important greenhouse gas) around the world.
COURTESY HAWAII AND PACIFIC ISLANDS
OCEAN OBSERVING SYSTEM
A diver services a sensor on the Kilo Nalu Reef Observatory off the South Shore of Oahu, which is the subject of the first talk in a lecture series that begins Aug. 13.
"Tracking Tuna and Sharks Around Hawaii and the Pacific"
Kim Holland, researcher with the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, will show us how far fishes and sharks travel in the Pacific Ocean -- and which habitats they prefer. Researchers have recently found that some animals travel much farther than originally thought, while others don't seem to move as much as expected. The more that is understood about these important marine animals, the better equipped we are to sustain the ocean's resources.
Nov. 12: "Ears in the Sea"
Marc Lammers, assistant researcher, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, will let us in on what whales, shrimp and fish can tell us about their world. Listening to the snaps, crackles and pops produced by fish, mammals and invertebrates provides insightful information about what is happening in the marine environment.
Feb. 11: "Water Quality and Health of Hawaii's Coastal Recreational Waters"
Grieg Steward, assistant professor of oceanography, provides the good, bad and ugly findings about microbial life in Hawaii waters. Bacteria and viruses are the most abundant and widespread life forms on the planet, and our coastal waters are teeming with them. One of the great challenges in monitoring water quality is detecting the few harmful microbes among the many good ones.
teaches botany, ethnobotany and environmental science at Chaminade University. Her column runs on the last Monday of the month. E-mail her at email@example.com