HPU again participated
in the prestigious Center for Talented Youth (CTY) summer education
program sponsored by Johns Hopkins University. HPU was the
sole Pacific site to host the residential program, which invited
about 200 exceptionally gifted 12- to 16-year-olds from here
and countries around the globe.
This year’s CTY program, again held at HPU’s oceanfront
Oceanic Institute campus, offered two courses introduced in 2006:
Oceanography: The Hawaiian Pacific and The Life Cycle of an Island:
Hawai‘i. The small classes—five to 18 students—along
with an instructor and teaching assistant, gave the students
the one-on-one attention the CTY program values.
We have been working with CTY since 2005 to develop a summer
oceanography curriculum unlike any other across the country,” said
Dr. Jeffrey Philpott, HPU vice president of student affairs.
He explained that over the two three-week sessions, up to five
sections of the oceanography class were taught and students had
hands-on experience aboard the HPU/OI research vessel, RV Kaholo,
collecting data in Kane‘ohe Bay, and analyzing NASA satellite
observations and field samples at OI’s research laboratories.
Portions of the course were taughts by Dr. Chris Winn, HPU director
of marine sciences and associate professor of oceanography; Gary
Karr, OI director of communications and education; and Monica
Traub, OI marine science education specialist.
The oceanography class, modeled on first-year college oceanography
courses, allowed students to explore the physical, chemical,
geological, and biological features of the waters of the world’s
oceans. Students examined the structure, formation, and features
of the ocean basins and of currents, tides, and waves. They investigated
the biochemical cycles that affect seawater and the ocean-atmosphere
interactions that account for Hawai‘i’s climate.
From the shorelines to the coral reefs to the deep ocean, students
explored the unique marine life and marine ecosystems of Hawai‘i
while learning how local residents struggle to balance economic
and environmental concerns. Activities included field work at
Kane‘ohe Bay and Makapu‘u Point.
The lifecycle class introduced principles of geology, ecology,
and evolutionary biology through the lens of the unique natural
history of the Hawaiian Islands, the most isolated chain on Earth,
home to many unique ecological communities whose physical features,
flora, and fauna emerged and changed through the interaction
of natural and, more recently, human processes. Students explored
island geological features, climatic regions, vegetation, insects,
and animals through field trips to various locations on O‘ahu.
They learned about the geologic formation of the island chain—how
the islands were created through volcanic action and shaped by
weather and erosion—and how organisms crossed thousands
of miles of ocean to colonize the islands, evolving into unique
native species as they adapted to a new environment.
The course concluded with students analyzing the effects of the
arrival of humans, first the Polynesians and later the Europeans,
as well as the future of the islands.