RESEARCH

RESEARCH PROJECTS

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

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
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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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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
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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
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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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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
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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.
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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
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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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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
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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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