Friday, July 10, 2015

Make-A-Wish Visit - Camron island

Aloha everyone,

On Tuesday, CEP had the pleasure of hosting a Make-A-Wish child, Camron.  The Make-A-Wish Foundation is dedicated to granting the wishes of children with life-threatening diseases.  The HIMB faculty, staff and students were excited to contribute to making her wish of undertaking a genuine marine biology experience with the University of Hawaii come true.  In her honor, we renamed the island for the day!
Camron with CEP's coordinator, Mark Heckman, on their way to Moku o Lo'e. 
Photo taken by Jose Magno, UH Admissions Office

Camron and her family with HIMB's Community Education Program and the Make-A-Wish Foundation Staff
Photo taken by Lee Nakamoto, UH Admissions Office
Her visit consisted of a shark feeding with the Holland Lab and coral breakage surveys with CEP.  Over the past 4 months, we've monitored specific breaks in rice coral, Montipora capitata, and tracked their regrowth over time.  Camron assisted with the photo-taking for the day's monitoring.

The results of a few of our monitored breaks are demonstrated in the pictures below:

The photos on the left show clean breaks marked on February 9, 2015.
The photos on the right display their regrowth as of July 7, 2015.

While some of our breaks have recovered successfully, it's apparent that algae competitors are the main factors in preventing regrowth of coral tissue.  CEP is working to develop this program further in order to more closely observe coral breakage recovery steadily over longer time periods.  Camron's assistance with these photo surveys was a welcome contribution to our coral breakage study. Working with Camron and the Make-A-Wish foundation was positive reinforcement for our continued development and maintenance of citizen science programs.

Photo taken by Lee Nakamoto, UH Admissions Officer
It was our pleasure to host Camron at Moku o Lo'e for the Day.  The Community Education Program hopes to have many more Make A Wish collaborations in the near future.

Casey and Leon

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