RESEARCH

RESEARCH PROJECTS

PI-CASC supports research that generates actionable climate science within several key focus areas defined by regional stakeholder needs.

Four students pose, smiling, outdoors with a vegetated background

2024 SURF Projects

Four students completed projects in climate adaptation science for the 2024 SURF program, investigating the effects of ocean warming on cleaner wrasse behavior, finding the best soil amendments for encouraging native Hawaiian plant regeneration, modeling the optimal pathway for using the RAD framework on Hawaiʻi biomes, and using non-intrusive methods to investigate climate effects of coral growth rates.
A small yellow bird perches on green leaves.

Development of new technologies and techniques to advance wildlife monitoring and improve management of endangered Hawaiian bird species in a changing climate

PI: Patrick Hart, Professor of Biology, UH Hilo
Co-Is: Amanda Navine, TCBES, UH Hilo; Ann Tanimoto-Johnson, TCBES, UH Hilo; Bret Mossman, Hawaiʻi Island Avian Technician, DOFAW
Funded: FY2023
A school of small fish churn the surface waters of a greenish pool of water

Impacts of climate change on water quality and fish recruitment in Native Hawaiian fishponds

PI: Cherie Kauahi, Aquaculture Specialist, Hawaiʻi Sea Grant
Co-Is: Kamala Anthony, Co-founder, Hui Hoʻoleimaluō; Bradley Fox, Aquaculture Extension Specialist, Hawaiʻi Sea Grant; Darren Okimoto, Associate Director, Hawaiʻi Sea Grant; Anne Rosa, Marine Education Specialist, Hawaiʻi Sea Grant
Funded: FY2023
Underwater image of hundreds of pale yellow jellyfish with clear bells and short bundles of stingers floating in green-tinged water

Predicting and managing the future of Ongeim’l Tketau (Jellyfish Lake), Palau in a changing climate

PI: Romina King, Associate Professor of Geography, University of Guam
Co-PI: Sharon Patris, Research Biologist, Coral Reef research Foundation
Funded: FY2023
Two large trees with sprays of long green leaves show their distinctive clusters of woody base stalks.

Lauhala: Weaving knowledge and practices with a climate resilient and culturally significant plant on Hawaiʻi Island

PI: Noa Kekuawa Lincoln, Associate Researcher, CTAHR, UH Mānoa
Co-Is: Udi Mandel Butler, Climate Action Program Manager, Hawaiʻi Climate Change Commission; Kū Kahakalau, Executive Director, Kū-A-Kanaka
Funded: FY2023
A palm tree stands in the foreground against a backdrop of green pali mountains shrouded in clouds

Improving the availability and accessibility of climate data and information for users in Hawaiʻi, American Samoa, and Guam

PI: Ryan Longman, Assoc. Climatologist, Water Resources Research Center
Co-Is: Abby Frazier, Asst. Professor, Clark University; Christian Giardina, Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service; Tammy Tabe, Research Fellow, East-West Center
Funded: FY2023
A landscape view up rolling ridges covered in trees and bushes of many shades, shapes, and species, with blue sky and white puffy clouds overhead.

Climate smart restoration: Establishing baselines and developing adaptive management approaches

PI: Michala Phillips, Research Ecologist, USGS Pacific Island Ecosystem Research Center
Co-Is: Corie Yanger, Botanical Research Technician, USGS PIERC; Aurora Kagawa-Viviani, Asst. Professor of Geography, WRRC, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2023
Four students wearing lei pose by PI-CASC banner

2023 SURF Projects

Four students completed projects in climate adaptation science for the 2023 SURF program, investigating how forests vegetation shifts in response to climate change, the connection between climate and humpback whale health, whether added nutrients can improve coral thermal resilience, and sea-level rise impacts to community infrastructure.
Close up of two delicate 6-petalled white flowers against dark green leaves; a black round seedpod is visible to the left.

Assessing the success and vulnerability of Hawaiian rare plant introductions to inform future stabilization efforts

PI: Tamara Ticktin, Professor of Botany, UH Mānoa
Co-Is: Clay Trauernicht, Associate Specialist, UH Mānoa; Tim Chambers, Center for Plant Conservation Officer, ANRPO; Lucas Fortini, Research Ecologist, PIERC, USGS; Julia Douglas, School of Life Sciences, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2023
A variety of plants from grasses to tall trees cluster together in an open space

Enhancing social-ecological resilience through restoration of coastal agroforestry systems

PI: Leah Bremer, Assistant Specialist and Conservation Scientist, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Tressa Hoppe, Botany Department, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2022
Healthy, colorful corals on diplay with butterfly fish swimming around them, reflected in the underside of the shallow water’s surface

Unlocking reef resilience drivers to inform Pacific coral reef management

PI: Megan Donahue, Marine Researcher, HIMB, UH Mānoa
Co-PIs: Jessica Glazner, Dept of Marine Biology, UH Mānoa; Chad Wiggins, Palmyra Program Director, The Nature Conservancy
Funded: FY2022
Three wading birds perch on a small islet amidst a wetlands area

Applying a novel spatial prioritization technique to support climate-resilient conservation planning in Maui Nui

PI: Lucas Fortini, Research Ecologist, USGS Pacific Islands Ecosystem Research Center
Co-Is: Christina Leopold, Conservation Ecologist, Hawaiʻi Cooperative Studies Unit, UH Hilo; Scott Fretz, DOFAW Maui Branch Manager, Hawaiʻi DLNR
Funded: FY2022
A crew of six in life vests steer a colorful double-hulled sailing canoe on deep blue ocean waters

Using oral histories of Marshallese and Yapese voyaging to develop sustainable sea transport

PI: Joseph Genz, Associate Professor of Anthropology, UH Hilo
Co-PIs: Jerolynn Myazoe, Dept of Anthropology, UH Hilo; Shania Tamagyongfal, Dept of Anthropology, UH Hilo; Alexander Mawyer, Associate Professor, Center for Pacific Island Studies, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2022
A picturesque ʻōhiʻa forest with tall trees spread about nicely with ferns and green grass beneath.

Improving tools to monitor bird abundance and detect mosquito invasion in Hakalau Forest

PI: Patrick Hart, Professor of Biology, UH Hilo
Co-PIs: Josephine Tupu, TCBES, UH Hilo; Donna Ball, Deputy Refuge Manager, Hakalau Forest NWR
Funded: FY2022