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by Paul Bender, OI staff

“Our partnership with HPU has given students an opportunity to get practical experience while contributing to a growing database instrumental in the monitoring of global oceans,” said David Ziemann, Ph.D., director of the OI Fisheries & Environmental Sciences department. “Not only does it give them real shoulder-to-shoulder work with our scientists, it gives us an opportunity to work with students who might have a refreshing approach when it comes to determining conclusions from the data they’ve gathered.”

Under the guidance of HPU marine sciences Professor Christopher Winn, Ph.D., HPU senior Ginger Lee Jahn and other students are participating in a coastal time series project in Kane‘ohe Bay that could contribute to a broader oceans monitoring program conducted by the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.

“ HPU and OI have given me a strong foundation in the basics of oceanographic research, and I have had the opportunity to carry out small-scale research projects as preparation for graduate research,” said Jahn.

The Kane‘ohe Bay monitoring project is the kind of work Dr. Winn says distinguishes the budding scientist among other students.

Austin Shelto, a marine biology sophomore from Guam, says he plans to use the knowledge he gains at OI through HPU to improve life at home.

“ I’ve made it my goal in life to try to find ways to preserve and restore the coral reefs in order to help stimulate the economy in Guam,” Shelto said. “If we could beautify it, more tourists would come, and that would help the economic situation there.”

Winn refers to the ongoing Kane‘ohe Bay project as an environmental stewardship program. “I’d like to see HPU and OI as part of a new initiative developing over the next decade in monitoring global oceans,” Dr. Winn said.

Last summer, HPU marine biology major Lucas Kearns interned in OI’s shrimp department and got hands-on experience with shrimp aquaculture. By participating in the data collecting for the Kane‘ohe project, Kearns sees the relationship between water quality and sea animals.

“ I am now using those skills I learned about aquaculture,” Kearns said. “It puts everything together—water quality testing, harvesting shrimp, and good organization skills.”

Greta Conti is an HPU undergraduate from Italy who says she treasures the experience she is gaining at OI as an HPU student.

“ For anyone who wishes to find a job in science, I recommend finding extra opportunities other than regular lab courses to apply what they learn in school and to gain valuable experience,” said Conti.
An important benefit is that students gain an appreciation of what is involved in aquaculture and in scientific research.




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