HI-MEET 2016 Proceedings and Presentations
Teams of students and teachers from several Hawai‘i Island schools presented findings from place-based scientific research projects conducted this school year through The Kohala Center’s Hawai‘i Island Meaningful Environmental Education for Teachers (HI-MEET) program. The environmental education symposium took place on Thursday, May 5, 2016, at the W.M. Keck Observatory headquarters in Waimea.
» Read “Connections to Sustainability” (North Hawaii News, May 13, 2016)
» Read the Press Release
Waimea Middle School
Tina Benson’s students researched climate change data on the island to look for trends if global warming was affecting Hawai‘i Island. Students went on a field trip to Kahaluʻu Bay to explore marine ecosystems. With funding from The Kohala Center, Tina Benson was able to purchase a broadcast-quality camera and hire a professional filmmaker to help a group of students make a short documentary interviewing elders and kūpuna about climate change on Hawai‘i Island. The students interviewed several people in West and North Hawai‘i about the observations of changes in the climate they have made over the years. Ms. Benson and the filmmaker were able to take the students in the school van to film on location in the interviewees’ homes or places of work. Students filmed, wrote and read the script, wrote and asked the interview questions, filmed B-roll, and helped to edit the film.
» Watch “The Change”: Waimea Weather Stories
West Hawai‘i Explorations Academy
Heather O’Connell’s high school class compared sea urchin populations at Old Airport Beach Park (Old A’s) Marine Life Conservation District (MLCD) and Honokōhau Harbor. The students wanted to determine whether the ban on harvesting urchins during the winter months at Old A’s was effective. It was hypothesized that the urchin population would be greater at Old A’s because the urchins are protected there unlike at Honokōhau Harbor. Students collected data throughout the school year by counting urchins along a transect line and recording the numbers in a data table.
» Urchin Survey Research (Zea Levine)
Susan Rickards’ biology students were introduced to the Koaiʻa Tree Sanctuary and field research methods on several field trips, then allowed to formulate their own research projects in small groups. Two groups presented their research:
- Lively Lichen Coverage on Koaiʻa Trees
These students researched whether there was a correlation between lichen coverage and the girth of Koaiʻa trees.
» Lively Lichen Coverage on Koai’a Trees (Jadyn Ashcraft and Jenna Harris)
- Fountain Grass Impacts on ʻĀweoweo
Asked the question how does the growth of the fountain grass impact the abundance of thenatuve shrub ʻāweoweo. They hypotehsized that that the fountiaing rass woutl negatively inpact the growth of the ʻāweoweo and that with higher amounts of fountaing rassm there would be lower amounts of ʻāweoweo.
» Fountain Grass Impacts on ‘Āweoweo (Shea Ervin, Abigail Jeremiah, Sara Mundon)
Kealakehe High School
Kathy Okumoto-Miller partnered with University of Washington Landscape Architecture graduate students to explore the differences between their high school campus and the new Hawai‘i Community College campus at Pālamanui. The students were introduced to stormwater management techniques in building and landscape design and observed many of these features at Pālamanui. Students then developed suggestions for their own hillside campus to reduce stormwater runoff.
» Ideas for Improving Kealakehe High School’s Storm Flooding
Kanu o ka ʻĀina High School
As part of Kanu o ka ʻĀinaʻs mission to produce food on campus for the school’s new cafeteria, the 12th grade environmental science class conducted a preliminary survey of the snail/slug population on campus, and worked with Kay Howe at UH-Hilo to test snails to determine if Kanu’s campus has rat lungworm disease, which could potentially adversely affect their efforts to grow food for the cafeteria from their school gardens. Kiteta Belford-Smith’s students studied rat lungworm disease and investigated whether it was present at their school campus. The class exterminated over 3,000 snails to prevent the disease from infesting their campus. Students created a Snail Eradication Manual to help others learn more about and prevent the disease from reaching their property.
» Rat Lungworm Report
» Snail Collection Manual
Kanu o ka ʻĀina Middle School
Mahina Patterson’s students investigated native forests and learned about the importance of native trees in the landscape. They developed a native plant restoration project on two acres of pastureland where they planted and recorded the plants condition and survival throughout the school year.
» Honokai‘a Restoration Project
Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy
Laura Jim’s middle school students went on several field trips to introduce them to formuating testable questions and learning field sampling techniques. They visited a forest state park (Kalōpā) to explore and investigate their topic of interest. In small groups they collected their data and each student produced a research paper. Several of the students papers are included here.
» What Invertebrates Hide Under the Nursery Logs? (Alexander Laros, Kai Selman, Jon Kuyper)
» Non-Native Plants in Kalōpā? (Isaiah Clarry, Noah Balaam)
» Kalōpā Lab Report (Ethaniel Wilson, Chris Hodges)
Other Participating Schools:
Kealakehe Middle School
Jessica Manton’s 6th grade science students went on two field trips to explore the differences between a forested and deforested area in terms of plant species diversity, soil moisture and temperature, and relative humidity. Students learned how to do vegetation transect sampling and learned to identify many native tree and shrub species.
Honokaa High School: ‘Ōhiʻa Studies in Volcano National Park
Alison English; Andrea Buskirk; Aaron Tanimoto
Each year Ms. English takes her students to Volcano to study ‘ōhi‘a and how they have adapted to different living conditions (sun/shade, hot/cold, soil conditions, etc.). Students took data samples at four different locations within walking distance of the Kilauea Military Camp.