Each year, NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries Pacific Islands Region (PIR) provides opportunities for internships so that students can add to their college experiences. At the same time, these students give the PIR important products or information from the work that they accomplish. This year, the PIR will sponsor two interns, one a Hollings Scholar, and one a local Maui resident attending the University of Hawaii Maui College (UHMC).
"These internships provide a unique opportunity for students to apply their new skills to projects in Hawaii", said Allen Tom, Regional Director for the PIR. "The PIR remains committed to the goal of supporting young scientists and building local capacity in the sciences", he continued. The internships also enhance 2014 Hollings Scholar and UH Maui College Intern with island partners, this year the Waikiki Aquarium and the UHMC.
The Hollings Scholar Program in NOAA's Office of Education has provided the Pacific Islands Region (PIR) with outstanding students over the past few years, and 2014 is no exception. The PIR is hosting one intern on Oahu. Charline Quenée is spending her summer working at the Waikiki Aquarium. The University of Miami senior will be assisting with aquarium summer camps and other projects. In addition, Charline will be creating new educational activities for the aquarium visitors.
Charline will graduate in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Fisheries, with minors in Marine Policy, Chemistry and Anthropology. She also spent a semester in the Galapagos gaining experience in small community fisheries as well as completing marine science courses.
University of Hawai'i Intern
Daniel Mendiola, a junior at the University of Hawaii Maui College (UHMC) majoring in marine biology, will be working with Dr. Damian Cie from UHMC investigating the habitats inside and outside the Ko'ie'ie Fishpond, which is adjacent to the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. His work will build on similar studies by a previous Hollings Scholar, Alexandra Giametti, who completed a survey in 2013 during her internship. The results will provide a longer term assessment of the biological impacts that the fishpond has on the local shoreline. Daniel plans to transfer to UH Manoa next to complete his marine science degree.
Daniel's internship is facilitated and supported by the UHMC's Ka Hikina O Ka Lā program through funds provided by the National Science Foundation's Advanced Technology Solar Telescope Mitigation Initiative. The program is committed to increasing participation by native Hawaiians in higher education, particularly in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
"We are pleased to offer this internship with the Sanctuary office here in Kihei. NOAA and the Sanctuary program provide a number of great venues that can be launching pads for the next generation of home grown scientists", says Allen Tom, Regional Director the PIR (based in Kihei). "Our ultimate goal is to have students come back home after their studies and become part of the local scientific community", continued Tom.