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
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 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
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
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
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
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 small orange and brown bird with a metal band around its leg is held gently by a hand

Predicting and mitigating avian disease at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge

PI: Dennis LaPointe, Research Ecologist, USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
Funded: FY2021
Low cascading waterfall with overhanging trees

How do Hawaiʻi stakeholders use and contribute to land-to-sea ecosystem service analyses

PI: Clay Trauernicht, Ecosystem and Fire Extension Specialist, NREM, UH Mānoa
Funded: FY2021
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