UH Hilo Marine Science student wins best oral presentation at Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference

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Date: Tuesday, September 29, 2020
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

A University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Marine Science student received the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Oral Presentation award at the 2020 Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference held virtually September 1 -3, 2020.

Sofia Ferreira made a presentation on “Examining coral community composition and 3D habitat structure on shipwrecks located in Apra Harbor, Guam.” Her research used innovative 3D mapping technology to examine how underwater cultural heritage sites influence coral reef composition and habitat structure. Guam has a storied maritime history resulting in a high abundance of wrecks in the naval submerged lands surrounding the island. Ferreira worked to analyze 3D maps of natural reefs and wreck substrate to determine if the submerged artifacts influence the composition and growth forms of corals.

“Sofi is a talented undergraduate student with advanced statistical and data science skills,” noted Dr. John Burns, assistant professor of marine science and data science. “She has become an integral part of the Multiscale Environmental Graphical Analysis (MEGA) Lab at UH Hilo.

“Sofi exemplifies the high caliber of training students obtain in the Marine Science, Data Science and Marine Option Programs at UH Hilo,” he added. “She is directly involved in conducting cutting-edge research, which is exceptional for an undergraduate student. She is well deserving of this award and I look forward to watching her career develop.”

The Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference is sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Conservation Alliance and is an annual statewide event attended by hundreds of conservationists, scientists, managers, practitioners, and students.

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