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CNCS News & Events

MSMS graduate students Sarah Youngren and Dan Rapp presented part of their thesis research at the Pacific Seabird Group Conference in San Jose, California. Their paper, co-authored with their advisor Dr. David Hyrenbach, was entitled "Quantification of plastic loads ingested by Tristram's Storm Petrel nestlings from Tern Island, Northwestern Hawaiian Islands".

Dr. David Horgen was recently named to the Hawaii Community Foundation Medical Research Advisory Committee for a three year term. The Committee is composed of peer scientists from the state of Hawaii, and its functions are to review proposals, makerecommendations on grants, and consult on grant-making strategies tosupport the purpose of the medical research program.

Shrimp Department Director Dustin Moss (BS ’97), Ph.D., and Research Associate Steve Arce, who participated in the Aqua Aquaria India 2015 conference, speak about marine exports in India and their work with Marine Products Export Development Authority/Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture. (See article)

Scientists, including Associate Professor of Marine Science, David Field, Ph.D., and surfers comment on global climate change impact to surf (See article)

Gideon Berger, Ph.D., and seven student/alumni researchers published in the January 2015 peer-reviewed academic journal Tetrahedron Letters. The team’s findings include a new synthetic methodology, marking progress toward the development of an analogue for a natural product from soft coral endemic to Hawai‘i, waixenicin A. Waixenicin A was previously shown by Professor David Horgen, Ph.D., and his collaborators at The Queen’s Medical Center to selectively close an ion channel of cells, TRPM7. The significance of this is TRPM7 may potentially be an avenue to pursue for cancer medications and possibly stroke treatments.

Shrimp Department Director at OI of HPU Dustin Moss (BS ’97), Ph.D., and Research Associate Steve Arce and representatives of research partner Marine Products Export Development Authority/Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Aquaculture published an article in Global Aquaculture Advocate on their broodstock production activities in India. Click here to read the article on pages 30-32. They are also  invited speakers at the Aqua Aquaria India 2015 conference, which will be held Feb. 20-22. Moss will be presenting on shrimp genetics and selective breeding and Arce will be presenting on the importance of biosecurity in shrimp farming.

SB1227, related to commercial food waste, has been introduced at the Hawaii State Legislature, and there will be a public hearing on Thursday, Feb. 5. Hawaii Public Radio's “The Conversation” reached out to Regina Ostergaard-Klem, Ph.D., to discuss the possible effects of this in the state of Hawai‘i should the bill be passed into law. Ostergaard-Klem provides examples of disposal programs on the mainland. (Listen here).

The Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council has announced a scholarship for students from the U.S. Pacific Territories to complete the junior or senior year of their undergraduate degree, or a Master’s degree, in a fisheries-related program in Hawaii. HPU’s B.S. in Oceanography with a Fisheries Science Concentration, and MS Marine Science programs are included in this scholarship. More information can be found here. The deadline to apply is Feb. 15, 2015.

In collaboration with colleagues from the University of Toronto and The Queens Medical Center, CNCS Chemistry Professor David Horgen, Ph.D. co-authored a paper entitled, “TRPM7 Regulates Axonal Outgrowth and Maturation of Primary Hippocampal Neurons," which was recently published in journal Molecular Neurobiology. The research used waixenicin A -- a naturally-occurring compound produced by a softcoral endemic to Hawaii -- to establish the involvement of the TRPM7 ion channel in regulating the growth of neurons, and could lead to new approaches in treatment of nerve tissue damage after injury. (See article)

3-2 Engineering student Demie Grace Delos Santos was awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.  During Spring 2015, Delos Santos will study at Soonchunhyang University in South Korea. (See more)

Dec. 3 – Alumnus Eileen Downs (MSMS ’11) and Natural Science Department Chairperson Dr. Carrie (Holl) Jones coauthored “Nitrogen isotope fractionation and amino acid turnover rates in the Pacific white shrimp Litopenaeus vannamei” in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.  The paper is based on Ms. Downs’ master’s thesis work; her amino acid turnover rate study strongly supports the use of a recently reported method to determine trophic position from a single consumer's tissues.  (See more)

Nov. 18 - We'd like to warmly recognize the successful defense of CNCS Biology Lecturer James Lawrence's doctoral dissertation at the John A. Burns School of Medicine (JABSOM). Congratulations Dr. Lawrence!

Nov. 15 - Two HPU teams won their respective divisions at the Hawai‘i site of the 2014 Pacific Northwest Regional ACM Programming Contest. The winning teams are Division 1 Team 00FF00 (hexadecimal for the color green) with Kevin Goo, Jon Real, and Allison Diller; and Division 2 Team FF0000 (hexadecimal for red, predominant in Norway's flag) with Demie delos Santos and two visiting students from Norway, Christian Hunstad and Chris Forberg. The teams’ coach is Associate Professor Curt Powley, Ph.D. Story posted here.

Adjunct faculty member Dustin Moss, Ph.D., was one of five experts consulted on nutritional advice surrounding the question, “Should I Eat Shrimp?” for TIME magazine. Read the article here.

Biology Lecturer James Lawrence recently co-authored "Regulation of Presynaptic Ca2+, Synaptic Plasticity and Contextual Fear Conditioning by a N-terminal β-Amyloid Fragment" in the Journal of Neuroscience. The study examined how the N-terminal portion of AB enhances LTP. (see more)

Two alumni were first authors of recent journal articles, publishing with Associate Professor of Biology Brenda Jensen, Ph.D. Frannie Nilsen (MSMS '10) authored "Use of indicator chemicals to characterize the plastic fragments ingested by Laysan albatross," in Marine Pollution Bulletin, which demonstrates a new analytical method for identifying the resin type of plastic fragments that are ingested by Laysan Albatross and other seabirds. Kerry Foltz (MSMS '12) authored "Cytochrome P4501A1 expression in blubber biopsies of endangered false killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) and nine other odontocete species in Hawaiian waters," in Ecotoxicology, which demonstrated contaminant-related toxic responses in blood vessels in blubber biopsies from 10 species of Hawaiian cetaceans, providing evidence that Hawaiian cetaceans, and the endangered Hawaiian insular stock of false killer whales in particular, are experiencing contaminant-related stress.

Oceanic Institute of HPU research assistant Dean Kline (BS Marine Biology '08, MS Marine Science '11) recently published "Development of intensive copepod culture technology for Parvocalanus crassirostris: Optimizing adult density" in the journal Aquaculture.  OI-HPU grows copepod nauplii (baby copepods) to provide as a first feed for larval yellow tang. Copepod nauplii production is quite limited compared to traditional first feeds used in aquaculture. The article discusses work done to allow higher culture densities and increasing nauplii production for in-house larval rearing research. As a consequence, the team at OI-HPU, including affiliate faculty member Chatham Callan, Ph.D. were able to culture yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavscens) to a record of 83 days. (see more)

Regina Ostergaard-Klem, Ph.D., recently published “GPI Island Style: Localizing the Genuine Progress Indicator to Hawaii.” From the abstract: “Applying the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) to an island setting offers insight into whether and how standardization of subnational GPI models can adequately capture important local conditions and inform local policy.” (see paper)

Through the Aloha ‘Āina Sea Semester Program, a partnership between HPU and the Sea Education Association, HPU faculty and students had the opportunity to work with students in the “E ‘Ike Hou IaLanai — Embracing Lanai's History Through Language and Literacy,” summer enrichment program. See a video including HPU Associate Dean Brenda Jensen, Ph.D., student Sabrina Hutchinson and Assistant Professor of Biology Carrie Jones, Ph.D.

Alumni Emily MacNintch (BA Environmental Studies ’14) and Nicholas Holvik (BSBA Economics ’14) were finalists in the National Geographic Channel Grant. Their project goal is to install bio-toilets in economically deprived areas such as India and sub-Saharan Africa, to improve the quality of life in those regions. Read more about it in the Star-Advertiser and watch MacNintch in her video at the National Geographic Expedition Grant site.

Alumnus Aris Zikos (MSMS ’13), recently published in Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology, along with faculty mentor Dr. Keith Korsmeyer and colleagues at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. The study on an important aquaculture fish species, the Mozambique tilapia, examined the metabolism and energetics of osmoregulation in fresh water versus seawater, as well as changes in gene expression in the gill in response to salinity stress (see paper).

We would like to officially welcome Mr. Roland “Bud” Jenkins to his new role as interim dean of the CNCS while expressing our sincere thanks to outgoing interim dean Dr. David Horgen for his years of service to the college as he returns to his other full-time roles as chemistry professor and research scientist.

August 1 - HPU marine mammal stranding team investigated the death of a melon-headed whale. The adult melon-headed whale was seen distressed near the boat ramp of Kailua bay. It died on Fridayand was taken to HPU for a necropsy. (HNNKITVStar-Advertiser)

Lei Wang, Ph.D., (corresponding author) and Yongli Chen, Ph.D., wrote chapter seven in the recently published book “Protein Aggregation in Bacteria,” working with colleagues from Harvard University and ETH Zurich. The group’s research helps to understand the mechanism of protein misfolding. This is significant to the treatment of illnesses such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Dr. Brenda Jensen and alumnus Frannie Nilsen (MSMS '10) recently published "Investigating the potential role of persistent organic pollutants in Hawaiian green sea turtle fibropapillomatosis" in Environmental Science and Technology. Their work was highlighted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. (see article)

July 15-17 - MSMS students presented portions of their thesis research at the Hawaii Conservation Conference. Presenting were Grace Chon on “Native Collector Sea Urchins, not so Hawa‘e after all," Laura Stanley on  “Native Collector Sea Urchins, Friend or Foe," Nicole Williams (MSMS ’14) on “Evaluating the Status of Scaridae Species in Shallow Coral Reef Habitats on O‘ahu” and Kelly Ratana on “Two Sciences: Towards Developing an Integrated Bioassessment for Hawaiian Stream Mouth Estuaries.”

MSMS student Jessica Lopez and faculty mentor Dr. David Hyrenbach recently published in Endangered Species Research, "Geographic variation of persistent organic pollutants in Hawaiian monk seals Monachus schauinslandi in the main Hawaiian Islands." The  study followed monk seals, testing for geographic variation in the levels of persistent organic pollutants (see paper).

Alumnus Davey Cagle (BS Biology) has been recognized as the Male Scholar Athlete of the Year for 2014. He is pursuing an MBA and Masters of Communication at HPU while running his last year of cross country. (see full story)

Dr. David Hyrenbach was one of four scientists who participated in a study of red-footed booby birds in the Ulupa‘u Wildlife Management Area coordinated by theU.S. Geological Survey Western Ecological Research Center to study various types of seabirds on multiple Hawaiian Islands. The week long study provided more information about the birds' daily activities, how renewable energy sources may affect seabirds and how they fit into the local ecosystem. (see full story)

Dr. Mary Smith has been selected to receive this year's Distinguished Achievement in Education Award for her contributions and dedication to AFCEA education at the Hawaii Chapter. The AFCEA Education Foundation Board was particularly impressed with her successful implementation of CEUs during the Asia-Pacific Conference.

Marine Biology undergraduate student Adrien "Kat" Mowle received a summer internship with National Marine Fisheries Service Panama City, FL to study shark life history.

Environmental Studies undergraduate student Cameron Mitchell received a summer internship through the Kupu Gateway program with the Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps.

John Johnson (BS Marine Science) co-authored a recent paper in Marine Ornithology, and is doing a MS in marine science at James Cook University in Australia. 

Alumnus Brittany Anderson (MS Marine Science 2010) is now a Junior Officer, Marine Operations Center, NOAA.

Alumnus Lennon Thomas (MS Marine Science 2011) is now a Project Researcher with the Sustainable Fisheries Group at the School of Environmental Science and Management at University of California Santa Barbara

Malin Meyer (BA Env Studies) was accepted to the master's program at Earth Institute at Columbia University to begin in Fall 2014.

George Tsiartas (BS Env Science) was accepted to master's programs at University of Pennsylvania and Boston University. 

Oceanography undergraduate student Luke Snedaker has recently been hired by NOAA

Alumnus Caroline Ritson (BS Biology-HHS 2013) has been accepted at the John A. Burns School of Medicine at University of Hawaii at Manoa

Alumnus Jason Koerner (BS Biology-HHS 2013) has been accepted at the University of Colorado, School of Medicine

Alumnus Jeffrey Schenck (BS Biology-HHS 2013) has been accepted at Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Alumnus Kim Leong (BS Biology-HHS 2014) has been accepted to Creighton University College of Pharmacy

Alumnus Jaimie Nevins (BS Marine Biology 2011) recently published "Characterizing Neckton use of the Largest Unfished Oyster Reef in the United States Compared with Adjacent Estuarine Habitats" in the Journal of Shellfish Research. (see paper)

Marine Science undergraduate student Pierre De Wit recently published in Nature.  “Forensic genomics as a novel tool for identifying the causes of mass mortality events.”  Nature Communications DOI: 10.1038/ncomms4652

April 28 - HPU professor of physics, Dr. Steve Dye, presented at the Japan Geoscience Union Meeting 2014 in Yokohama, Japan on an overview of Neutrino Geoscience entitled "Neutrino Geoscience A collaborative journey with geoscience and particle physics." (see abstract)

April 25 - Biology undergraduate students Kelsey Higa, Michelle West, Kim Leong and James Ligeralde presented the poster entitled "Nitrifying Biofilms in High Density Recirculating Aquaculture" at the annual meeting of the Hawaii Branch of the American Society for Microbiology.

April 25 - Biology undgergraduate students Caress Baltimore, Kathryn Demarre, Emily Komarczyk, and Lauren Shinego presented the poster entitled "Community Assessment of Microbial Biofilms in High Density Recirculating Aquaculture: a source of supplemental nutrition to the Pacific White Shrimp, L. vannamei” at the annual meeting of the Hawaii Branch of the American Society for Microbiology.

April 24 - Chemistry/biochemistry undergradute students Danae DeRaad and Aaron Thomas won Best Oral Presentation at the April 2014 HPU Capstone Symposium for their presentation entitled "Mutations in the GABAA Receptor Involved in Epilepsy." Dr Yongli Chen served as their capstone instructor.

April 24 - Applied math undergraduate students Cole Parks and Matt Troglia placed second in Best Oral Presentation at the April 2014 HPU Capstone Symposium for their presentation "Are you safe in your apartment building? Modeling the effect of earthquakes on tall buildings."

April 24 - Computer Science/Computer Information Systems undergradute students Kevin Goo, Brent Nagareda, and Revelyn Cabaya placed third in Best Oral Presentation at the April 2014 HPU Capstone Symposium for their presentation "‘Olelo Online Form Redesign."

April 24 - Computer Information Systems and Computer Science undergraduate students Matt Archick, Jabari Brooks, and Estefania Duterte placed third in Best Poster Presentation at the April 2014 HPU Capstone Symposium for their work "Ulu Hoku: Project Management & Android Development."

HPU undergraduate student Akimasa Iijima won the Bonnie Revelle Prize in Molecular & Cellular Biology at the Alpha Chi national honor society convention in St. Louis, MO, March 27-29, 2014, for his presentation "Mechanism of Inhibition of Recombinant GABAA Receptors by Pentylenetetrazole and Alleviation by Anticonvulsants." (see photo) (see press release)

Environmental Studies undergraduate student Emily MacNintch presented a poster at the Hawaii Sustainability in Higher Education Summit in March 2014 based on the practicum she is doing with Hui o Ko'olaupoko.

MSMS student Meagan Putts (advised by Dr. Sam Kahng) won the Student Presentation Award at the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting for "Recolonization and community succession of deep-water precious corals in response to disturbance." Evaluations were based on the clarity/effectiveness of the presentation, quality of the experimental design, clarity of the conclusions, and its innovation/scientific insight. (see abstract)

HPU graduate student Robert Thompson and faculty mentors Drs. Sam Kahng and Chris Winn recently published in the scientific journal Aquatic Geochemistry. The study assessed the magnitude and extent of the elevated calcium carbonate saturation state observed on previous expeditions to the Hawaiian Archipelago. (see paper)

March 9-13 - Dr. Yi Zhu, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, will present a paper entitled, "Reliability-Constrained Resource Allocation for Optically Interconnected Distributed Clouds," at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC), to be held in San Francisco. Co-authors includes HPU undergraduate Yan Liang (Computer Science) and collaborators from the Fujitsu Laboratories of America.
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