Seven University of Hawaiʻi Marine Option Program (MOP) students netted awards at the 2020 System MOP Symposium. The 37th annual symposium that highlights MOP students’ marine science projects was hosted on Zoom on April 18.
“Even though students weren’t able to enjoy all of the benefits of an in-person symposium, like talking story during coffee breaks or over lunch, they were able to cheer each other on using their microphones and the chat box. Students were also able to invite friends and family who wouldn’t ordinarily be able to attend to Zoom in and hear their talk live,” said MOP Director Cynthia Hunter.
- Sofia Ferreira Colman (UH Hilo) won Best Research Presentation for “Seascape Ecology and 3D Photogrammetry can Elucidate the Relationships between Coral Patch Characteristics and Chaetodontidae Assemblage Patterns at Laehala, Hilo.” It is the 27th time UH Hilo has netted the award in the past 32 years.
- Sanoma Boynton (UH Maui College) captured the Sherwood Maynard Ocean Impact Award for “Cup Decomposition Rates in Salt Water.”
- Clara Whetstone (UH Hilo) won Best Internship Presentation for “Internship with Ocean Era: Hawaiian Macroalgae (limu) Culturing Techniques for Future Offshore Demonstration.”
- Jastine Honea (UH Hilo) received the PaCON Award for the project involving the best use of technology with a Pacific focus. Her project is entitled “Patterns of Morphological Variation in an Introduced Population of Peacock Grouper Cephalopholis Argus around Hawaiʻi Island.”
- The John P. Craven Award for the most inspired and inspirational presentation by a MOP “Child of the Sea” was given to two students. Kainalu Steward (UH Hilo) won for “Investigating Spawning of ʻAlamihi (Metophograpsus Thukuhar) in Relation to the Hawaiian Lunar Calendar and Tidal Changes.” Haley Chasin (UH Mānoa) was recognized for “Size and Population Dynamics of Native Ghost Crabs in Response to Invasive Ants at James Campbell National Wildlife Refuge, Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi.”
- Richard Chen (UH Mānoa) took the Ana Toy Ng Award for best exemplifying the ideal MOP student.
The symposium is held each spring semester at one of the MOP campuses. It gives students an opportunity to learn about research projects in motion at other campuses and practice their presentation skills.
—By Moanikeʻala Nabarro