Mālama Maunalua works with students to conduct research in the bay

Mālama Maunalua regularly works with young scientists as part of the Student Research component of our work. High school and college students are encouraged to submit proposals to collaborate on environmental research in Maunalua Bay; for more information, click here to email Pam Weiant.

Master’s Students
UH Natural Resources and Environmental Management

University of Hawai’i Natural Resources and Environmental Management master’s students recently undertook five studies focused on Maunalua Bay in order to provide scientific research data to support management decisions and presented their final projects on May 1 at UH’s Waldorf Mauka Campus.

Sediment Transport in Maunalua Bay
Evy Braum, Rodrigo Rivero-Castro, Aviv Suan, Tanya Torres, & Darcy Yogi
Students research focused on predicting how rain events can affect the movement of sediment within Maunalua Watershed, with the goal of helping stakeholders take appropriate steps to mitigate areas identified as priority sedimentation sites.

Identifying Critical Areas for Storm Water Management and Green Infrastructure
Nicholas Farrant, Casey McGrath, Wesley Piena, and Pia Ruisi-Besares
Students created a map identifying areas in Maunalua with the highest potential for stormwater mitigation via green infrastructure. The map will assist regional stakeholders in prioritizing and evaluating the costs and benefits of adopting green infrastructure.

From Lawn to Reef: Formalizing Fertilizer Best Practices in Hawaiʻi
Jonathan Fisk, Katia Chikasuye, and Hannah Hubanks
To address excess nutrients, which pose a risk to human and environmental health, students
created a draft bill for legislation that focuses on creating regulation of fertilizer use across the state of Hawaiʻi, and suggestions for best management practices.

Engineering Coastal Habitat: Past, Present and Future of Water and Seabird Habitat
Brooke Friswold, Rachelle Tom, Maggie Enzweiler
In anticipation of rising sea levels that will submerge much of the nesting habitat of native sea and water birds, students explored the past, present, and future for five key bird habitats in Maunalua Bay, including the potential of human-engineered habitat.

Social Campaigns for Community Participation in Environmental Management
Mia Iwane, Kalani Quiocho, Ardena Saarinen
Students examined social campaigns and community engagement initiatives used in place-based conservation. Using a community-based social marketing framework, they synthesized broad and place-based lessons learned from these sources.

Mackenzie Jahnke
Hawaii Pacific University

In her previous life, Mackenzie was an art student living in New York City and writing plays. However, after a visit to Hawaii, Mackenzie knew that she belonged to the islands. She promptly left the Big Apple to begin a life in the Aloha State, where she plans to devote herself to the preservation of Hawaii’s natural environment. This past year she worked on analyzing nine years of data gathered at Paiko by KCC students. The data showed a significant decrease in invasive algae populations in the bay due to the community pulls led by Mālama Maunalua.

Karissa Dunn
‘Iolani School

In the spring of her senior year, Karissa conducted researched and tested the nutrient levels of intermittent and perennial streams of Maunalua Bay to test her hypothesis that the nutrient levels in intermittent streams would be significantly higher than the nutrient levels of perennial streams because the intermittent streams retain stagnant water for long periods of time and drain into the bay during heavy precipitation. Based on her research and data, she found that perennial stream contain consistent nutrient levels whereas intermittent streams fluctuate on a larger scale.

Karissa will be attending Occidental College in the Fall and plans to continue pursuing research opportunities in the environment health field.