Hands-On Research

Students work side-by-side with UHH researchers, graduate students and native Hawai’ians to learn about how the island thrives ecologically, economically, culturally and socially via hands-on work at locations throughout the island.

Former Park Rangers Susan and Rob McGovern, start the week leading the students through at day at Volcanoes National Park covering the history of Kilauea volcano, the geology, and the flora and fauna of this island volcano. The day includes hiking across a dormant lava lake, tunneling into a dormant lava tube and viewing the current activity of the volcano.

The week continues with University of Hawai’i faculty at UHH’s Agriculture Farm planting seedlings, the Aquaculture Farm diving for oysters, and with Dr. Jason Adolf at the Marine Science Facility collecting and studying water quality and plankton samples. Weather permitting, students have the opportunity to board the University’sMakai ‘Eha research vessel and collect their own samples and later work on a SEM- Scanning Electron Microscope to view those samples.

The week continues visiting the watershed across Saddle Road with native Hawai’ian, Cheyenne Perry, and studying the climate differences between the two sides of the Island.

The last few days are spent staying at the Hawai’i Preparatory Academy in Waimea and working with UHH graduate students at Holoholokai Beach collecting data on the current conditions of the near shore coral reef.

Through the scientific studies and the evening leadership activities, students come to appreciate and learn how to take the lead in sustaining our planet environmentally, be it as future scientists, environmental educators, or simply concerned, informed and action-oriented citizens.