OPIHI (Our Project in Hawaii’s Intertidal) is a school-based monitoring program of Hawaii’s rocky intertidal where students improve their scientific skills while providing assistance gathering data in an area that has not been well studied in Hawaii.
While taking part in OPIHI, students will learn about topics in marine ecology and conservation, species identification, and sampling techniques. Most importantly, students will build their confidence and interest in science. OPIHI provides opportunities for students to develop and investigate their own questions within the framework of monitoring biodiversity in the intertidal. We hope this place-based learning connects students to their local environments and natural resources and encourages wise stewardship.
On this website you’ll find information on Hawaii’s unique intertidal, details on OPIHI methods and survey sites, and educational materials designed to assist teachers and students in exploring the intertidal and becoming part of this exciting monitoring project.
The opihi is a large limpet found only in the rocky intertidal in Hawaii, and its cultural importance and threatened status are representative of why we are interested in the intertidal. The rationale behind OPIHI is summarized beautifully in the following passage from the Log of the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck:
It is easy to remember when we were small and lay on our stomachs beside a tide pool and our minds and eyes went so deeply into it that size and identity were lost, and the creeping hermit crab was our size and the tiny octopus a monster. Then the waving algae covered us and we hid under a rock at the bottom and leaped out at fish. It is very possible that we, and even those who probe space with equations, simply extend this wonder.
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