Ka'imi'ike Program receives $540,000 to increase Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders in geosciences

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Barbara Gibson, (808) 956-7184
Pacific Biosciences Research Center
Noelani Puniwai, (808) 956-6846
Ka'imi'iki Program
Posted: Oct 22, 2007

HONOLULU - The Kaʻimiʻike Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa has received a five-year, $540,000 grant from the Opportunities for Enhancing Diversity in the Geosciences (OEDG) Program at the National Science Foundation. The award will support the program‘s initiative to engage Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander undergraduate students in geoscience degree programs and careers.

Pathways into the fields of geoscience are being encouraged through an exploratory summer institute where local geoscientists showcase their careers and research to students.

"Through project activities, students will become more aware of geoscientist role models and job opportunities within the Hawaiian Islands," said Barbara Gibson, researcher with the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at UH Mānoa and principal investigator on the grant. Also supporting her on the project are co-investigators, David Sing and Sharon Ziegler-Chong of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

Ten students will be selected to participate each year in the three-week summer institute, which will feature instruction on use of geotechniques such as GIS, remote sensing, and GPS technologies; field trips to geologically interesting sites; visits to the laboratories of UH researchers in the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology; and presentations by scientists working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association and US Geological Survey, among others. Cultural connections to Native communities and locally important features are being integrated with Western science concepts.

Freshmen and sophomore students are being recruited within the University of Hawaiʻi system and area community colleges, with particular emphasis on those who have undeclared majors or an interest in geoscience degrees. Paid internships with professional geoscientists and scholarships will be provided to a subset of students who wish to continue in these fields following the summer institute.

Students interested in the summer institute can obtain more information and apply by visiting http://hbmp.hawaii.edu/kaimiike/.