HPU has always had an excellent marine science
research program, but its president, Chatt G. Wright, had a
vision for how HPU’s program could be made even better.
When Wright approached Oceanic Institute about how our two
could work together to create a world-class marine science
program for HPU students, we jumped at the opportunity.
Let me tell you a little about Oceanic Institute and why I
am especially excited about its affiliation with HPU, which
launched in June 2003.
A career in the marine sciences is one of the most personally
rewarding—and globally critical—fields a young person
can prepare for today. That’s because so much is at stake
in the race to understand how to preserve and protect the world’s
oceans. As we grapple with the challenges of a growing population
struggling to live on a planet with limited resources, the marine
science industry will become even more critical, both for Hawai‘i
and for the world.
from the sea
Oceanic Institute is one of the world’s leading applied
research and development organizations dedicated to marine aquaculture,
biotechnology, and coastal resource management. We probably know
more about growing fish and shrimp–two important aquaculture
products that can help feed the world–than anyone.
In fact, almost half of the shrimp from Asia—which produces
most of the shrimp in the world today—comes from stock
that was originally produced at Oceanic Institute and provided
to U.S.-based companies for export.
The marine research taking place at Oceanic Institute is setting
the standard of excellence for ocean science internationally.
Our work is creating tremendous excitement and interest among
marine scientists, aquaculture farmers and marine environmentalists
around the world.
While Oceanic Institute may not be recognized by many people
in Hawai‘i, we are well known and highly respected in
aquaculture circles around the globe.
Hawai‘i has one of the finest, most envied environments for marine research
in the world. Our pristine ocean water and relatively isolated setting is perfect
for growing marine animals. The nation’s leading universities would jump
at the opportunity to send student interns to study marine science at Oceanic
However, only a few of the top schools in the nation offer
a quality marine science program, and most of them cannot
provide the array of facilities and
capabilities available at Oceanic Institute. The program being offered via
the affiliation between Oceanic Institute and HPU is truly the first of its
in the nation.
We at Oceanic Institute are proud to be able to offer such
a unique educational opportunity to HPU students, and to
help foster, right here in Hawai‘i,
what we hope is the next generation of the world’s top aquaculture scientists.
To date, more than 90 students have enrolled in the Oceanic
Institute/HPU program, with more expected to enroll in the
winter semester. These students are receiving
one of the highest-quality marine science educations available anywhere. They
are getting to work with some of the top scientists on Oceanic Institute’s
staff. They are also getting to experience–first hand–sustainable
environmental management practices that can help keep our oceans healthy, both
for this generation and the next.
Leah Wold, a 23-year-old undergraduate from Minnesota, is just
one of the many students enrolled in this important program.
As part of her internship with
us, Wold is a member of the research team that is working to understand the
needs of newly hatched fish. If her team is successful, it will be another
important step toward understanding how fish can be effectively bred for food,
wild fish species from possible depletion through commercial and recreational
A bright future
A career in marine sciences is not an easy one. Students must
be prepared to put in long hours, grapple with complex scientific
and social issues, and devote
months–and sometimes years–to research that does not always produce
Also, students must be prepared to get wet! Oceanic Institute’s education
program with HPU includes plenty of field research—diving in Hawai‘i’s
near-shore waters. Yet the many rewards of a career in marine science can make
all of the hard work–both in the laboratory and under the water–well
We will be sharing more about this exciting new affiliation
between Oceanic Institute and Hawai‘i Pacific University in future issues of Kalamalama. If you are
interested in learning more, visit the HPU Web site, at www.hpu.edu, or OI’s
Web site at oceanicinstitute.org, or e-mail Gary Karr, OI’s communication,
education, and training manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.