Instructional and Research Facilities
School of Ocean and Earth Science Technology
Instructional and Research Facilities
The Hawai‘i Institute of Geophysics and Planetology (HIGP) conducts geological, geochemical, geophysical, oceanographic, acoustic, and atmospheric research, as well as remote sensing research, in Earth, space (includes moons, comets, and asteroilds), and marine sciences. Programs embrace research and advanced training in marine geology and geophysics, small satellite development and launch, infrasound, materials science and high-pressure mineral geophysics, evolution of the Solar System, seismology and solid Earth geophysics, planetary geology, meteoritics, volcanology, rock magnetism, geodetics, and petrology. The institute maintains various specialized facilities in support of its research endeavors such as a secondary ion mass spectrometry lab and advanced electron microscopy lab and has a number of instrument development programs, including the Hawai‘i Mapping Research Group who build and operate advanced sonars for seafloor mapping. Other instrument development programs include hyperspectral imagers, Raman spectrometers, and small satellites. HIGP includes the Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium, which runs a wide variety of education and fellowship programs at the K-12, undergraduate, and professional levels in the form of workforce development and also provides outreach to the Hawai‘i community. HIGP is also the home of the Pacific Regional Planetary Data Center, and maintains several websites for the community, including “Planetary Science Research Discoveries” and the “Hawai‘i MODVOLC Near Real-time Thermal Monitoring of Global Hot-spots.”
The Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) was established on the island of Moku O Lo‘e in 1965 when its name was changed from the Hawai‘i Marine Laboratory. The institute is responsible for providing leadership and support for studies in the marine environment, particularly coral reefs. It provides facilities and services for faculty members, graduate and undergraduate students, and visiting scholars for research and education in marine biology and related topics. The core faculty, plus many from other UH departments, study the life processes of marine organisms including plants, animals, and microbes. Research at HIMB covers a broad range of topics including coral reef biology and ecology, the behavior, physiology and sensory systems of marine mammals, tropical aquaculture, the behavior of reef fish, shark ecology and sensory systems, fish endocrinology, pollution and management of marine ecosystems, coastal biogeochemical processes, fisheries, and bioengineering and genetics.
HIMB is unique in that it has modern molecular biology laboratories and immediate access to the reef, Kane‘ohe Bay, and deep ocean waters. It is located on Moku O Lo‘e (Coconut Island) in Kane‘ohe Bay (on the east coast of O‘ahu), providing a unique setting for graduate-level topics courses and field-trip demonstration opportunities. Kane‘ohe Bay has many healthy coral reefs. The 28 acre island, located within a 30 minute drive distance from UH Manoa campus, is surrounded by a 64 acre coral reef dedicated to scientific research. Facilities at the marine laboratory include research vessels and skiffs, protected harbors, a pelagic fish laboratory; Hawaiian fish ponds, aquaria and tanks; a flow-through seawater system; remote environmental monitoring capabilities; reef microcosm systems; a wide array of computerized analytical and acoustic equipment; a floating marine mammal research complex; a functional genomics facility; and the Barbara Pauley Pagen Library and classrooms.
The Hawai‘i Natural Energy Institute (HNEI) was established by the Legislature in 1974 to develop renewable energy resources and technologies to reduce the state’s dependence on fossil fuels, was given a broader mandate by the Hawai‘i Legislature (ACT 253 in 2006) to also demonstrate and deploy efficient energy end-use technologies and to coordinate closely with the state’s energy resource coordinator. Today, with funding from state and federal agencies as well as industry, HNEI conducts basic and applied research on a wide range of topics to address society’s critical energy and environmental problems. Current research includes hydrogen fuel cells, ocean energy and resources, fuels and high value products derived from biomass, photovoltaics, and batteries and electric vehicles. The institute conducts studies and assessments to support policy development and conducts testing and evaluation of emerging energy generation, grid enabling, and energy efficiency technologies. Many of these activities are conducted under public/private partnerships managed by the institute, with the goal of supporting increased penetration of renewable technologies onto the electrical grid systems.
The Hawai‘i Space Grant Consortium (HSGC) is a wide-ranging community educational program supported by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) that promotes studies in scientific fields related to space. These fields include astronomy, geology, meteorology, oceanography, mathematics, physics, engineering, computer science, and life sciences. Affiliate campuses are UH Hilo, all seven community colleges within the UH System, and the University of Guam. Some of the programs supported by HSGC include undergraduate fellowship and traineeship programs (approximately 10-20 students per semester are supported); the Future Flight Program for teachers, school students, and their parents; teacher workshops; undergraduate remote-sensing classes; an undergraduate telescope classes facility; a CanSat project geared for community college students to create a satellite similar to UH Manoa’s own CubeSat project; an undergraduate internship program awarded for students to participate in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) related research at local businesses; and outreach to state and federal agencies related to the use of satellite and aircraft remote-sensing data. A significant goal of the program is to encourage interdisciplinary studies and research, and to train future generations of space scientists and engineers. Students, teachers, and researchers in Hawai‘i are encouraged to contact the UH Manoa HSGC office at (808) 956-3138 to learn more about the opportunities.
The Hawai‘i Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) was established in 1980 by a cooperative agreement between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the UH. HURL was one of six National Undersea Research Centers sponsored by NOAA’s National Undersea Research Program (NURP). HURL operates the Pisces IV and Pisces V research submersibles to conduct marine research to oceanic depths of 2,000 meters. These underwater vehicles are operated from HURL’s dedicated support ship, the 222-foot R/V Ka‘imikai-o-Kanaloa. Extensive data archives are available to the scientific and academic community for biology, geology and marine chemistry research from submersible dives dating back to 1980. Principal research projects conducted are those aligned with the mission of NOAA.
The International Pacific Research Center was established in 1997 under the U.S.-Japan Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective. Its mission is to provide an international, state-of-the-art research environment to improve understanding of the nature and predictability of climate variability in the Asia-Pacific sector, including regional aspects of global environmental change.
The Joint Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research (JIMAR) was created in 1977 through a Memorandum of Understanding between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and UH Manoa to conduct research of mutual interest. The principal research interests of JIMAR are ecosystem forecasting, ecosystem monitoring, ecosystem-based management, protection and restoration of resources, equatorial oceanography, climate research and impacts, tropical meteorology, and tsunamis and other long-period ocean waves.
The Pacific Biosciences Research Center (PBRC) is an organized research unit that supports interdisciplinary biological/biomedical research and training in basic and applied areas with particular relevance to Hawai‘i. Current research is focused on cellular, developmental and molecular biology, Hawaiian evolutionary biology and conservation, and neuro-behavioral biology; the unit has implemented plans for a more cohesive focus on biodiversity. PBRC maintains core research support facilities in molecular biology (supporting genomics and bioinformatics) and in confocal and electron microscopy that serve the entire UH Manoa campus and the state. PBRC fosters undergraduate and graduate research training through the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education and Partnership for Advanced Marine and Environmental Science Training for Pacific Islanders (ATE), and through the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC U*STAR) honors undergraduate program funded by the National Institutes of Health. PBRC administers the Bekesy Laboratory of Neurobiology and the Center for Conservation and Research Training on the UH Manoa campus and the Kewalo Marine Laboratory off-campus.
The University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program (UH Sea Grant) supports an innovative program of research, education, and outreach services directed to the improved understanding and stewardship of marine and coastal resources of the state, region, and nation. UH Sea Grant is a partnership of UH Manoa, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the State of Hawai‘i that is facilitated by strong linkages with 32 Sea Grant programs across the nation and affiliations throughout the Pacific.
UH Sea Grant research currently focuses on promoting coastal community sustainability, sustainable aquaculture, marine biotechnology, ecosystem-based use of nearshore resources and habitats, sustainable tourism, coastal water quality, and resilience to natural hazards. Knowledge is disseminated to policy makers, marine agencies, the marine industry, and the general public through UH Sea Grant’s extension faculty, outreach activities, and communications program. UH Sea Grant supports educational activities that include K-12 through graduate and postgraduate and professional training. Human resources are built in part through internships, traineeships, and fellowships. The overall goal is to develop knowledge and the will to build Hawai‘i’s economy and protect its habitats and resources through UH Manoa’s excellence and our cultural heritage.
Please note: This Catalog was prepared to provide information and does not constitute a contract. The University reserves the right to change or delete, supplement or otherwise amend at any time and without prior notice the information, requirements and policies contained in this Catalog.
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