Friday, December 5, 2014

Newest Member to HIMB's Community Education Program

Aloha Everyone!

I'm Casey Ching, the new Kupu intern here under the AmeriCorps organization.  I just finished my first month working on Moku o Lo'e and am grateful to have the chance to be here for the next year.

Taken by Mark Heckman

Having been born and raised in Kailua and Kane'ohe, I've grown up hearing about HIMB.  Even my advisors at Boston University often spoke about it while I pursued my Bachelor's degree in marine science.  When I made the decision to move home following graduation, I also made it a personal goal of mine to seize the first opportunity I was given to visit.  Even better though was actually landing the position here through Kupu allowing me to work for the Community Education Program.

After spending the past four years in Boston, I have a lot of catching up to do in Hawaii's marine science community.  I'm still unsure what type of career I'd like to establish for myself, but being at HIMB is the best place to figure it out.  I've had experience with educational programs as well as research, so this position allows me to apply skills I've previously learned while exploring other possibilities.  I find all aspects of Hawaii's marine life engaging, but am looking forward to honing in on a specific focus that stimulates my interest while I'm here.

Me with a colleague, Ka'ilikea Shayler, at our program's touch table.
Taken by Mark Heckman

Mark has got me starting on a few projects, but I am most excited to map out an invasive algae clearing event around Coconut Island.  When I was in elementary school, these community events caused me to aspire towards a career in marine biology.  Gracilaria salicornia (common name, Gorilla Ogo) was the first scientific name I learned at the age of 10.  I'm thrilled to contribute to the alien algae removal efforts and to hopefully instill the same passion I received into its participants.

I'm also getting trained in a few skills, my favorite is learning how to drive the Boston whalers! Hopefully I'll be able to do my boating check out soon and help shuttle our groups to and from the island.

Taken by Mark Heckman

I'm thankful to the HIMB Community Education Program for giving me the chance to work with all of the wonderful HIMB volunteers, staff and faculty.  I'm looking forward to an exciting first year here.


1 comment:

  1. I can't express how proud I am to know and work with you. Mahalo Nui Loa for all of the hard work and love that you give each day. Have a great weekend.