Large group photo

Community college instructors from the Pacific Islands and ocean scientists collaborated during a three-day ocean science education course at the Kewalo Marine Laboratory. (Photo courtesy Michael Hadfield, Kewalo Marine Laboratory)

A group of 10 instructors from community colleges throughout the Pacific Islands visited the Kewalo Marine Laboratory August 6–8 to learn about genetic linkages in the Pacific Ocean from scientists at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, Stanford University and the Center for Ocean Solutions in Monterey, California.

Part of a program of the National Science Foundation’s Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, the three-day course included instructors from American Samoa Community College, College of the Marshall Islands, College of Micronesia, Guam Community College, Northern Marianas College and Palau Community College.

The goal of the program is to connect community college faculty with scientists and provide curriculum support to help integrate current ocean research into courses.

“It was a great success, and 10 community college instructors from across the Pacific Ocean are headed for home with great enthusiasm for what they have learned and materials they will be able to take home for their students,” said Michael Hadfield, a biology professor at UH Mānoa and local director of the COSEE-Pacific Partnerships collaboration.

People conducting an experiment in a lab

The participants gained hands-on experience during laboratory activities in DNA extraction. (Photo courtesy Michael Hadfield, Kewalo Marine Laboratory

The participants took part in lectures and hands-on laboratory activities that provided lessons in population genetics and DNA extraction, marine management law and policy, and tagging and biologging methods to study the movement of marine animals.

Through these activities, the participants learned more about the theme of the course, which was connectivity and how populations of marine animals like coral, fish and Hawaiian monk seals are genetically linked. These linkages have implications for important ocean issues such as marine conservation and fisheries management.

Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence

Established in 2002, the Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence is a coordinated network comprised of 12 thematic and regional centers located around the United States including over 270 institutional partners with close to 2,000 network members.

The mission of the COSEE Network is to spark and nurture collaborations among research scientists and educators to advance ocean discovery and make known the vital role of the ocean.

The COSEE Network plays an important and evolving role in linking the ocean sciences research community with educators and the public outreach sector. Its intent is to foster innovative collaborations among these communities to disseminate knowledge, create broader public awareness of the role of scientific discovery in society and enhance educational opportunities.

The Kewalo Marine Laboratory at UH Mānoa is one of the partners in the COSEE-Pacific Partnerships, one of the COSEE Network’s 12 regional centers. COSEE-Pacific Partnerships is based at the University of Oregon and also includes partnering marine laboratories in California and Washington.

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