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UH Hilo students take home awards at annual symposium

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Date: Friday, April 22, 2005
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

The 22nd Annual Marine Option Program Student Symposium was held on Saturday, April 9, at the University of Hawaii at Hilo . Each year, students from Marine Option Program campuses across the UH system give formal presentations on their projects, and awards are presented for the best projects and presentations. This year students and faculty were present from UH Manoa, UH Hilo, Windward Community College and Maui Community College.

Best Research Paper award went to Jennifer Van der Veur of UH Hilo, mentored by Drs. Jim Beets and Leon Hallacher and advised by John Coney. She presented results of a study on mangroves and reef fish titled, “The Effects of Rhizophora mangel on reef fish populations of Kapoho, Hawai’i.” This was the first such study comparing reef fish populations in mangroves on the Island of Hawai’i.

Best Internship Paper award went to Katie Kamelamela of UH Manoa, mentored by Dr. David Penn, State of Hawai’i Department of Health and advised by Dr. Sherwood Maynard of UH Manoa. Her paper was titled “Monitoring Streams of Hawai’i: A Water Quality Internship.”

The PACON International Award, for a project with a Pacific focus using technology to benefit mankind, was won jointly by Jim Gunderson of UH Hilo and Kyle VanderLugt of UH Manoa. Gunderson’s paper was titled, “Continuing Hawaii’s Russian Adventure: the Search for Knudsen’s Cannons.” He was both advised and mentored by Dr. Peter Mills of UH Hilo.

VanderLugt gave a presentation titled, “Intensive Cultivation of Calanoid Copepods and Support for Public Education.” His mentor was Dr. Petra Lenz of the Pacific Biomedical Research Center and his MOP advisor was Jeff Kuwabara.

The John Craven Award for “most inspired and inspirational presentation” was jointly awarded to Noelle Rucinski of UH Hilo and Shawn Fujimoto of UH Manoa. Rucinski presented a paper titled, “Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park Hawksbill Monitoring Project” dealing with hawksbill turtle nesting. Her mentors were Will Seitz of HVNP and Dr. Karla McDermid of UH Hilo. Fujimoto’s paper was titled, “Gambierdiscus toxicus: Toxic Tails” about the problem of ciguatera fish poisoning. His mentors were Dr. Yoshitsugi Hokama of the John A. Burns School of Medicine and Dr. Charles Birkland of UH Manoa. Her MOP advisor was Dr. Sherwood Maynard.

This year’s Anna Toy Ng Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Paula Ayotte of UH Hilo. The award is presented to the MOP student who displays the highest qualities of scholarship, service, and dedication to the program.

The UH Hilo MOP is a hands-on program open to students in any field of study who have an interest in the ocean. UH Hilo MOP is coordinated by John Coney, with the assistance of faculty advisors Captain Mike Childers, Dr. Mike Parsons,
Dr. Peter Mills, and Dr. Walter Dudley.

A student from the UH Hilo MOP has won the Best Research Paper Award at the Annual Marine Option Program Student Symposium every year since 1989.

The annual symposium rotates between UH campuses and will next be hosted by UH Hilo in 2010.


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