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The Pacific Islands CASC was recently the focus of two half-hour episodes of the Hawai’i Sea Grant-produced science program, "Voice of the Sea".

The Pacific Islands CASC was recently the focus of two half-hour episodes of the Hawai’i Sea Grant-produced science program, Voice of the Sea. The first episode, “Climate from the Mountains to the Past,” highlights two important projects of the center: the role that high elevation forests play in the islands’ freshwater resources, and using local observations recorded in 19th century Hawaiian language newspapers to uncover evidence of past El Niño events. The second episode, "Adapting Culture to Climate Change," investigates the relationship between a changing environment and water quality in local fishponds as well as the relationship between changing ocean conditions and people’s personal connection to place.

Climate from the Mountains to the Past: This episode begins by discussing with Tom Giambelluca, from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, and Abby Frazier, from the US Forestry Service, their work on Maui investigating how climate change may affect the role that high elevation forests play in the freshwater resources for island communities. Then, host Kanesa Seraphin talks with Rosie Alegado and Kilika Bennett, of Hawai‘i Sea Grant’s Center for Integrated Science, Knowledge, and Culture, about their work using century-old local observations, as recorded in archived Hawaiian language newspapers, to discover evidence of past El Niño events in changes to weather patterns.

Adapting Culture to Climate Change: The episode begins by discussing with PI CASC-funded graduate students Kamala Anthony and Cherie Kauahi, from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, their two projects aiding the restoration of Hawai‘i Island fishponds. Their research examines the impacts of climate change on the fishpond conditions by examining salinity effects on algae growth and nutrient variability through groundwater influx. Side by side with this is the effort to enhance their community by promoting the fishpond restoration, to strengthen their connection to place and thus community adaptive capacity. The third PI CASC project presented is one conducted by Noelani Puniwai, who explores people’s perception of the effects of climate change on an important social place, namely a favored surf spot. She discusses an unexpected correlation she found between a positive outlook on climate changes and an individual’s connectedness to their beloved community location. 

Voice of the Sea is a weekly television series, produced by the University of Hawai’i Sea Grant Center for Marine Science Education, which focuses on telling stories of scientific and cultural work in the Pacific to engage the community in environmental and societal issues in exciting and inspiring ways. The show airs across the Pacific Basin, in Hawai‘i, US territories, and the affiliated Pacific regions, reaching tens of thousands of viewers each week. Since first airing in 2014, the show has won 14 Telly Awards for its excellence.

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