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

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.
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 clear waterway snakes between tall trees with interwoven, gnarled root systems

Developing a Pacific mangrove monitoring network (PACMAN) in response to sea-level rise

PI: Richard Mackenzie, Research Ecologist, USDA FS Pacific Southwest Research Station
Co-PI: Maybeleen Apwong, TCBES, UH Hilo
Funded: FY2022
Waves wash up a golden beach where two Monk seals sleep, with the Waikiki skyline in the distance

Embedding climate impacts into routine decision-making by applying natural capital accounting

PI: Kirsten Oleson, Associate Professor of Ecological Economics, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Louis Chua Bing Chao, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2022
A sun-dappled, dense understory of ferns mixes with mature ʻōhiʻa trees

Developing a climate-resilient restoration approach combining functional, climate, and geographic data

PI: Rebecca Ostertag, Professor of Biology, UH Hilo
Co-PIs: Konapiliahi Dancil, TCBES, UH Hilo; Jonathan Price Professor of Geography, UH Hilo
Funded: FY2022
Resource habitat mapping and diet characterization of native and non-native mullet species in Heʻeia Fishpond

Resource habitat mapping and diet characterization of native and non-native mullet species in Heʻeia Fishpond

PI: Shimi Rii, Research Coordinator, Heʻeia NERR/HIMB, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Sheldon Rosa, Dept of Oceanography, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2022
Five SURF students pose in front of a steep vegetated slope

2022 SURF Projects

Five students completed projects in climate adaptation science for the 2022 SURF program, investigating fire-prone invasive grasses, spillover effects of Marine Protected Areas, shifts in estuarine fish biodiversity, optimal regeneration conditions for koa, and effects of marine warming on different phytoplankton strains.
A large clam with deep blue flesh showing between the slightly opened lips of the shell sits on a bland coral reef

Genetic assessment of giant clam stocks in American Samoa

PI: Robert Toonen, Research Professor, Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Paolo Marra-Biggs, Department of Marine Biology, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2022
An elder shows students a fishing net at the edge of a rocky pool

Integrating social and cultural considerations into community-based monitoring

PI: Mehana Vaughan, Associate Professor, Natural Resources and Environmental Management, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Kapono Gaughen, Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, UH Mānoa
Co-I: Meghan Tait, Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2022
High, aerial view of coral-fringed vegetated coastline

Coral response to land-to-ocean freshwater flux

PI: John Burns, Assistant Professor of Marine Science, UH Hilo
Funded: FY2021
A wide brown stream meanders across lush grass and tree-covered plain into a bay

Prioritization planning for coastal wetland restoration on Molokaʻi

PI: Judith Drexler, Research Hydrologist, USGS California Water Science Center
Co-Is: James Jacobi, Biologist, USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center; Curt Storlazzi, Research Geologist, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Funded: FY2021