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CNCS News & Events

May 1 - Three CNCS faculty members were recognized at HPU’s annual Golden Apple Awards for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of teaching, scholarship, and service.  Congratulations to Associate Professor of Mathematics Dr. Randolph Goldman who was awarded for his Distinguished Undergraduate Teaching; Associate Professor of Oceanography Dr. David Hyrenbach for Distinguished Graduate Teaching (Full-time); and Assistant Professor of Computer Science Dr. Yi Zhu for Excellence in Scholarship!

Associate Professor of Mathematics Tara Davis, Ph.D. recently co-published research entitled "Relative subgroup growth and subgroup distortion" in the journal Groups, Geometry and Dynamics with Alexander Olshanskii, Ph.D., (Vanderbilt). The team studies large scale geometric invariants of embeddings of the algebraic structures called groups. The paper contains new results on the relative growth of finitely generated subgroups in finitely generated groups, and the corresponding distortion function of the embeddings. Journal abstract here.

Congratulations to the winners of HPU's 2015 Capstone Symposium! Computer Science seniors Lindy Higa, John Garo, Nate Marder, & Jose Reque placed 2nd in the Undergraduate Presentation category for A Mobile Platform Utilizing Cloud Integration to Support Small Businesses in Hawaii. More information on this year's and past programs and capstone experiences at HPU can be found here.

Senior Marine Biology major Sabrina Hutchinson set sail on an Atlantic expedition with the Sea Education Association. She is one of 20 undergraduates from top colleges and universities taking part in the 5-week SEA Semester: Marine Biodiversity & Conservation program. The expedition started in San Juan, Puerto Rico and goes through the North Atlantic to New York City. Hutchinson also participated with SEA last summer as part of HPU’s Aloha ‘Aina program. For students interested in HPU’s June program, click here. Read the HPU news story here.

MSMS graduate Shannon Lyday (2013) published her first thesis chapter, entitled " Shearwaters as ecosystem indicators: Towards fishery-independent metrics of fish abundance in the California Current" in a special issue of the Journal of Marine Systems, with co-authors Lisa Ballance (NOAA - Fisheries), David Field (HPU) and David Hyrenbach (HPU). (See paper)

Marine Biology senior Madison Jupitz was one of only 10 students in the nation to win the Alpha Chi national H.Y. Benedict Fellowship. This fall, Jupitz will enroll at East Carolina University in its Master of Science in Biology program, studying estuarine ecology.

Dustin Moss (BS ’97), Ph.D., and Master of Science in Marine Science student Cassandra Turner provide a summary of their research on the aquaculture potential of Hawaiian polychaete worms in the March newsletter of the Center for Tropical and Subtropical Aquaculture(CTSA); CTSA is funding the research. Polychaete worms are an important food item for shrimp broodstock, and Hawai‘i-based shrimp hatcheries import more than $200,000 of frozen worms each year.

OI of HPU supplied approximately 28,000 baby mullets to the non-profit organization Paepae o He‘eia, which is working to restore an ancient Hawaiian fishpond and supplying it with the native fish, mullet, to be used as a possible food source. Director of the Finfish Program Chad Callan, Ph.D., and HPU graduate student Carly Cappelluzzo were interviewed about the raising of mullet. (Subscription required for full story)

Marine Biology student Keena Leon Guerrero of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands was one of two recipients of the inaugural scholarship funded by the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council. This scholarship is awarded to 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. Part of the program also includes an internship with the Council, Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center or other fisheries-related organization and to work at their local territorial fishery agency upon graduation. (See more)

The HPU Marine mammal stranding team was called to assist in the necropsy of a Cuvier beaked whale that was beached in Merizo, Guam. Parts were sent to HPU for analysis to help determine what caused the whale to beach itself and die. HPU is contracted by NOAA to aid with necropsy work. (See more)

Associate Professor Regina Ostergaard-Klem Ph.D. was one of the HPU faculty member recipients of the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) International Faculty Development Seminars grant and will travel this summer to China for the Exploring Environmental, Cultural, and Economic Sustainability in China’s Rural and Urban Landscapes seminar.

Computer Science Department Chair, Stewart Crawford, Ph.D. has been appointed to the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) Computing Accreditation Commission, the recognized accreditor for university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and engineering technology. Crawford’s one-year appointment begins at the installation of the 2015-2016 ABET CAC, in the summer. HPU news story posted here.

On March 8th, Dr. David Hyrenbach gave a talk entitled “Why Did the Albatross Cross the Ocean? Tracking Foraging Trips and Migrations” as part of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve’s Sundays at the Bay education program (See more).

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, make recommendations on grants, and consult on grant-making strategies to support the purpose of the medical research program.

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).

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. (See article).

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)

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