I have combined my love of the all things ocean and teaching as the Watershed Investigations, Research Education, and Design (WIRED) Program Director, a program that engages 6th-12th grade students in current, ongoing, leading edge research, in a Hawaiian cultural context. My experience with oceanographic and sail training vessels as well as teaching science for the Hawaiʻi department of education have been integrated to support students engagement in research projects investigating coral reef health, water quality, and ahupuaʻa ecology. I am also PAF’s technology coordinator, network administrator, STEM coordinator, and NALU Studies science and engineering educator.
My current research is in Estuarine Ecology, specifically how human land usage practices are impacting these highly productive systems. I am a Master’s Plan C student under Yin-Phan Tsang in her stream lab.
While at NREM, I am specifically investigating the impact the sand berm that is blocking connection of Kaelepulu Stream to Kailua Bay. Addressing the questions, Is this berm contributing to the poor water quality in the stream and associated estuary and when open does the poor water quality of the stream have a negative impact on water quality along one of the world’s most popular beaches. Using students from the WIRED program, can participatory research garner a greater sense of responsibility to care for place. My goal is to provide this information to resource managers to better steward this area for humans and nature.
All photos property of Pacific American Foundation and Derek Esibill