RESEARCH

RESEARCH PROJECTS

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

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
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A wide, chaotic streambed is flanked by green trees and underlain by irregular pahoehoe lava rocks.

Shifts in carbon exports from a Hawaiian watershed under a changing climate

PI: Tracy Wiegner, Associate Professor of Marine Science, UH Hilo
Co-PIs: Walter Boger, TCBES, UH Hilo; Steven Colbert, Assistant Professor of Marine Science, UH Hilo
Funded: FY2022
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Two students stand recording data at the water’s edge near a black rocky outcropping, while another student walks up the sand.

Predicting sea level rise impacts to coastal wastewater infrastructure and water quality

PI: Tracy Wiegner, Professor of Marine Sciences, UH Hilo
Co-PI: Ihilani Kamau, TCBES, UH Hilo
Co-Is: Steven Colbert, Associate Professor of Marine Sciences, UH Hilo; Ryan Perroy, Professor of Geography, UH Hilo
Funded: FY2022
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Map of the Hawaiian Island chain is colored in bands, illustrating the strong variability of temperatures around and across the islands

Making regional climate model outputs more accessible to diverse user community

PI: Tom Giambelluca, Professor of Geography, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Co-PI: Oliver Elison Timm, Research Assoc. Professor of Atmospheric and Environmental Science, University of Albany
Funded: FY2021
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Six students smile from within zoom boxes

2021 SURF Projects

Six students completed projects in climate adaptation science for the 2021 SURF program, investigating stream flow quality and variability, coastal erosion, fish thermal tolerance, fishpond phytoplankton distribution, and reef microplastics.
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Open forest view of taller trees and lower ferns

Machine learning approaches to improve projections of future climate in Hawai‘i

PI: Tom Giambelluca, Professor of Geography, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Yusuke Hatanaka, Department of Computer and Data Science, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2020
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Spume-capped waves crash against a low black basalt rock shoreline

A shoreline inventory for Hawai‘i island to increase resilience

PI: Ryan Perroy, Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Science, UH Hilo
Co-PI: Aloha Kapono, Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science Program, UH Hilo
Funded: FY2020
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View down a white sandy beach overhung with palms, being lapped by sparkling waters with steep green mountains further along the coast

Sea-level rise viewer for American Samoa

PI: Phil Thompson, Associate Director of UH Sea Level center, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Carla Baizeau, Department of Oceanography, UH Mānoa
Co-Is: Kelley Anderson Tagarino, Extension Specialist, American Samoa Community College; Justin E. Stopa, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa; Curt Storlazzi, Research Geologist, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Funded: FY2020
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Underwater scene of colorful corals and fish

Sea-level rise impacts on coral reef and mangrove interactions and resulting coastal flooding hazards

PI: Curt Storlazzi, Research Geologist, USGS Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center
Co-I: Karen Thorne, Research Ecologist, USGS Western Ecological Research Center
Funded: FY2020
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A patch of fire amidst dry grasses

Predicting the Effects of Climate Change on the Spread of Fire-Promoting Plants in Hawai‘i

PI: Curt Daehler, Professor of Botany, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Lucas Fortini, Research Ecologist, USGS Pacific Islands Ecosystem Research Center; Clay Trauernicht Associate Fire Specialist, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2019
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A small historical hut backed by palms sits on a rocky headland with waves in the foreground.

Visualizing Sea-level Rise at Pu‘uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historic Park

PI: Philip Thompson, Assoc. Director of UH Sea Level center, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Nemanja Komar , Scientific Programmer, UH Sea Level center, UH Mānoa; Darren Lerner, Director, Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program
Funded: FY2019
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A student, grinning at the camera, sits in a small boat beached on a sandbar while she takes water samples from a bag

Coral reef CO2 variations at the Coastal Ocean Hawai‘i Acidification Network (COHAMN): Impact of basin scale oceanographic forcing

PI: Eric DeCarlo, Professor of Oceanography, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Lucie Knor, Department of Oceanography, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2018
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Student controls a drone that has lifted off from an orange landing spot in a scrubby landscape.

Developing geospatial models in Hawaiian watersheds to mitigate erosion and climate change

PI: Ryan Perroy, Assistant Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies (TCBES), UH Hilo
Co-PIs: Kimo Melcher, Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science, UH Hilo; Rebecca Ostertag, Professor of Biology (TCBES), UH Hilo
Funded: FY2018
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Narrow strips and circles of land rise barely above sea level.

Characterizing inundation risk for Majuro Atoll

PI: Dean Gesch, Research Scientist, USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Co-PI: Jeff Danielson , Physical Geographer, USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Funded: FY2017
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