HPU Hosts NatGeo-sponsored SACNAS Conference Participants

Submitted by Gary Karr, Science Outreach Director 

On November 2, 23 participants from the 2019 SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native American in Science) Diversity in STEM Conference held in Honolulu visited HPU’s Makapuu campus and Oceanic Institute (OI). The conference visitors were on a field trip sponsored by National Geographic’s (NatGeo) Expand the Field office. Several HPU College of Natural and Computational Sciences faculty (CNCS) and staff hosted the group on a tour that allowed them to interact with graduate students and research staff working on various projects, including visiting a molecular science lab to learn about eDNA and the HPU-NOAA NIST Center for Marine Debris Research to learn about their research in plastic waste. 

During the Oceanic Institute portion of their field trip, OI staff provided information about the marine ornamental finfish and marine shrimp research being conducted. In addition to touring the Makapuu Campus and OI, they went to the Makapuu Lookout and the tide pools at Makapuu Beach where they learned about the Island’s geology and local aquatic species. 

The 23 field trip participants were a mix of students and professionals in STEM education at different stages of their careers. NatGeo worked with HPU CNCS faculty and staff including Dean Brenda Jensen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor Matt Iaachei, Ph.D., Associate Professor Andrew Greene, Ph.D., Science Outreach Director Gary Karr, CMDR staff Melissa Jung and Kayla Brignac, and others to develop the field trip itinerary and serve as subject matter experts. Furthermore, OI staff and Master of Science in Marine Science students, Spencer Davis and Tim Alonzo, explained to the group about the work and accomplishments of OI’s finfish and shrimp research departments, respectively.