Waikiki Aquarium Seminar Series


Waikiki Aquarium Hosts Seminar Series presented by the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program and Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology

Sea Grant

May 17th: King Tides—A Window into the Future
Matthew Gonser Extension Agent, Community Planning & Design, Sea Grant College Program
Waikiki Aquarium Classroom 3:30-4:30pm
Hawai’i Sea Grant is engaging citizen scientists to document today’s high water level events, i.e., King Tides, to better understand tomorrow’s impacts from sea-level rise and other coastal high water events. These photographic data are entered into a free and publicly available data set and are informing research, policy, and decision making across the state and the Pacific region. First-person experiences/visuals that are place-based and familiar reinforce that climate impacts are local in nature and not a distant phenomenon. Join us to learn more about this developing program and see how you can participate this summer!

June 13th: Waikiki Beach: What Does the Future Hold?
Dolan Eversole University of Hawaii Sea Grant College Program Waikiki Beach Management Coordinator
Waikiki Aquarium Classroom 4:00-5:00pm
Waikīkī Beach is a globally recognized icon of Hawai‘i and is the state’s largest tourist destination. Waikīkī generates approximately 42 percent of the state’s visitor industry revenue and is responsible for 8 percent ($5 billion) of the Gross State Product. This talk will introduce joint state, university, and private partnerships intent on improving the management and resilience of Waikīkī Beach.

Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology

June 27th: Consequences of Ocean Acidification on Reef Building Coral
Christopher Wall Ph.D (c)
Waikiki Aquarium Classroom 3:30-4:30pm
Ocean acidification is a complex process where increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is progressively absorbed by the world’s oceans, resulting in changes to the chemistry and acidity (pH) of seawater. Changing seawater conditions can have serious consequences for marine life, including in reef-building corals which are integral to the structure and function of coral reef ecosystems. Learn about the causes and consequences of ocean acidification for coral reefs.
Register Here

July 14th: The Future of Hawaiian Corals in a Changing World
Raphael Ritson-Williams Ph.D (c)
Waikiki Aquarium Classroom 3:30-4:30pm
Corals surround the Hawaiian Islands and are critical for our way of life. Even though they are critical for our island life these are threatened by climate change and warming oceans. In both 2014 and 2015 there were widespread coral bleaching events throughout the Hawaiian Islands. This talk will discuss the basic biology of corals, the patterns of bleaching in 2014 and 2015 and then we will discuss the long term consequences of these recent bleaching events.
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Schmidt Ocean Institute

August 1st: Finding Boundaries in the Sea: Alaska, Hawai’i, and the Emperor Seamount Chain
Dr. Les Watling
Waikiki Aquarium Classroom 3:30-4:30pm
The bathyal zone (800-3500 m) is the least well-known depth zone in the ocean but contains much of the deep sea coral diversity. A recent expedition on R/V Falkor will allow scientists to explore the different deep water corals of the Aleutians and Hawaii. Scientists are unsure where the likely transition occurs between species along the Emperor Seamount chain, and hope to discover this during the cruise. The science team thinks that this boundary may be determined by the west to east flow of North Pacific Intermediate Water that crosses at the Main Gap of the Seamount. Using Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) SuBastian, the team will document the bathyal coral faunas of several seamounts in the Emperor Seamount with high resolution imagery to locate the mysterious boundary. Cruise results and imagery will be shared during this presentation.
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August 22nd: Hawaiian Coral Reefs and Rapid Sea Level Change during the Last Ice Age
Dr. Kenneth Rubin
Waikiki Aquarium Classroom 3:30-4:30pm
At the end of the last Ice Age, sea level was several hundred feet lower in Hawaii then it is today. Verdant and extensive coral reefs grew in some places in Hawaii, in a local climate that wasn’t much different than today. Rising sea level drowned those reefs and allowed new ones to grow on adjacent, newly submerged land. Studies of those drowned reefs provide abundant information about the timing of sea level change and the impacts on coral reef communities. Professor Rubin will discuss ongoing work at the University of Hawaii to observe and sample these drowned reefs at sites near Molokai, Lanai and Hanauma Bay (Oahu), including an upcoming Schmidt Ocean Institute expedition where they plan to collect data for an ultra high resolution map of the sea bed and to dive with a submersible to image ad sample these wondrous landscapes.
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