RESEARCH

RESEARCH PROJECTS

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

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
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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
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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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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
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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
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Coral scape with a few small yellow fish

Responses to transplanting corals to enhance reef resilience

PI: Crawford Drury, Affiliate Researcher, Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology, UH Mānoa
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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Yellow tang graze on coral in sun-dappled waters

Effect of extreme tidal events on future sea-level rise scenarios for He‘eia fish communities

PI: Yoshimi Rii, Research Coordinator, He'eia NERR/HIMB, UH Mānoa
Co-Is: Rob Toonen, Research Professor, HIMB, UH Mānoa; Kawika Winter, Reserve Manager, Heʻeia NERR/HIMB, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2021
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Scenic view towards low waves pushing onto a tree-lined beach

Developing the American Samoa climate and GIS data portal

PI: Christopher Shuler, Assistant Hydrologist, Water Resources Research Center, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Annie Chien, Earth and Planetary Sciences, UH Mānoa Funded: FY2021
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Plant seedlings grow in small black buckets

Vulnerability of coastal ecosystems to increased salinity from climate change

PI: Kasey Barton, Associate Professor of Botany, UH Mānoa
Co-PI: Anna McCormick, Department of Botany, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2020
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Students examine rocks and marine life at the oceanʻs edge.

He ala ʻae kai – The path near the sea: Climate inflictions upon intertidal

PI: John Burns, Assistant Professor of Marine Science, UH Hilo
Co-PI: Lauren Kapono, Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science, UH Hilo; Haunani Kane, Post-doctoral Researcher, Marine Science Department, UH Hilo
Funded: FY2020
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Airplane view looking down along a line of small, tree-covered islands surrounded by shallow lagoons and ocean waves

Enhancing Stakeholder Capacity for Coastal Inundation Assessment in the Marshall Islands

PI: Dean Gesch, Research Scientist, USGS Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center
Funded: FY2020
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Student examines plants along a greenery-bordered path

2020 SURF Projects

Three students completed projects in climate adaptation science for the 2020 SURF program, investigating salinity tolerance in coastal plants, fire-plant interactions, and new techniques to improve reforestation efforts.
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A small reef fish, with bright yellow rings around the eyes.

How will changing reefscapes affect the prevalence of ciguatera on Hawaiian reefs?

PI: Tim Grabowski, Fish Biologist, Hawai‘i Cooperative Fishery Research Unit, USGS/Adjunct Professor of Marine Science, UH Hilo
Co-PI: Nikola Rodriguez, Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science, UH Hilo
Funded: FY2020
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Corals spread across an outcrop, some beautifully purple, others deadly white

Using cutting-edge technology to assess coral reef bleaching and recovery in Guam and CNMI

PI: Romina King, Associate Professor of Geography, University of Guam
Co-PI: Ved ChirayathResearch Scientist, NASA Ames Research Center
Funded: FY2020
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