MEDIA ADVISORY: University of Hawaii ocean research program reaches milestone

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Marcie Grabowski, (808) 956-3151
Outreach Specialist, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
Dan Meisenzahl, (808) 348-4936
Spokesman and Director, UH Office of Communications
Posted: Feb 27, 2018

HOT scientists recovering sampling equipment on the deck of the Kilo Moana. Credit: UH SOEST/ HOT.
HOT scientists recovering sampling equipment on the deck of the Kilo Moana. Credit: UH SOEST/ HOT.

The University of Hawai‘i (UH) research vessel Kilo Moana will return from the 300th scientific expedition of the Hawai‘i Ocean Time-series (HOT) program after 30 years of approximately monthly research cruises to observe and interpret habitat variability and to track climate impacts on Hawai‘i’s marine ecosystem.

Wednesday, February 28, at 8 a.m.

UH Marine Center at Pier 35 in Honolulu Harbor
965 N. Nimitz Hwy 
Honolulu, HI 96817

The following people will be available for interview upon the ship’s arrival:

  • Dave Karl, UH Mānoa Oceanography professor and founding investigator of HOT
  • Chris Winn, Hawai‘i Pacific University professor emeritus and founding participant of HOT
  • Angel White, UH Mānoa Oceanography associate professor and co-lead investigator of HOT
  • Marion Carlson, director of Life Sciences for Simons Foundation
  • Tara Clemente, operations manager of HOT and chief scientist on HOT 300


On November 3, 1988, the scientists and crew aboard UH research vessel Moana Wave successfully established a deep ocean observation station dubbed ALOHA (A Long-term Oligotrophic Habitat Assessment), 60 miles north of Oahu, as the benchmark site for the HOT program. Karl and Roger Lukas, who at the time were both professors of oceanography in UH Mānoa’s newly created School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), led the expedition.

Completion of 300 research cruises marks a major scientific milestone and makes Station ALOHA one of the best-sampled places in the world’s oceans with a decades-long record of how the ocean responds to climate change. In addition to the monthly ship-based observations, HOT program scientists have access to real-time satellite-based remote observations, unattended mooring measurements, autonomous instrumented gliders and floats, and a fiber optic cabled observatory with an internet connection back to Oahu. This has provided invaluable documentation on progressive ocean acidification, changes in seawater temperatures, and changes in plankton biodiversity.

“It is really satisfying to reach this milestone, and to see the growing importance of the HOT program accomplishments,” said David Karl, UH Mānoa Oceanography professor and co-founder of the HOT program. “Here we are at 30 years and counting. Each additional year of observations brings us closer to a fundamental understanding of how the ocean functions, and its relationships to climate.”

The HOT program receives primary funding from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) in partnership with the Simons Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and the State of Hawai‘i.

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BROLL (1 Minute 18 seconds) available here:

0:00-0:09: shot from the hull of Kilo Moana
0:09-1:00, 7 shots: samples dropped into and retrieved 
1:00-1:11, 2 shots: researchers looking at the samples
1:11-1:18: sunset shot