People, Ponds, and Gardens

It has been about five months since I left Hawai‘i for the chilly Pacific Northwest. While I have dearly missed He‘eia fishpond, I was recently pleasantly surprised by another human-ecological structure here in the Pacific Northwest: they’re called clam gardens. They’re rock walls built along the coast by First Nations people. Tides slowly deposit sediment … Continue reading

Venturing Out of the Pond

It has been several months since my last post, and many exciting developments have occurred since then! I have much to share, but the first and most important change is that I have finished my Masters project in the fishpond and begun a new series of studies in the Pacific Northwest, where I just began … Continue reading

Male In, Re-bait: The Difficulties of Density

One of the greatest challenges that faces ecologists is that of estimating “real” processes from what we sample. It is our job to characterize observable phenomena, but when we do surveys, or set traps, or tag and recapture things, the data we get are just a tiny snapshot of ecological patterns and processes that occur … Continue reading

“Ecosystem Gestalt,” Hawaiian Ways of Knowing and the Power of Modeling

I am currently at the Ecological Society of America’s 96th Annual Meeting, held in Austin, Texas. The conference has been enlightening so far: workshops started this weekend, and great talks abound for the upcoming hours and days. This morning, the plenary talk was presented by Stephen W. Pacala, ESA MacArthur Lecturer and Director of the … Continue reading

‘Ike ‘Aina

Today was our second annual trip mauka (into the mountains) with Auntie Donnie and the Laulima A ‘Ike Pono (LAIP) program. We started the day by chanting the sun up at the fishpond (E Ala E), then headed into the mountains to Auntie Donnie’s property, where we hiked to the source of the water that … Continue reading

Just another beautiful day at the fishpond

Whatever Sinks Your Boat: Pests as a Conservation Tool

Teredo worms (or shipworms), which are actually bivalves of the family Teredinidae, are legendary in their appetites for ship hulls, wood pilings, or any other wood found in the ocean. Like a clam or any other bivalve, they have two sharp shells on one end, but their long, soft body makes them look more like … Continue reading

Little Shop of Cores: What Lives in He’eia’s Sediments

These invertebrates were found in sediment cores from the edge of the pond, all of them areas were mangroves had been removed (See “Old Scourge, New Questions,” January 30th). Some organisms may have been living a few centimeters underneath the sediment surface, while others may have had shallower burrows– since these samples were depth-integrated, we … Continue reading

Alien Babies: To’au in He’eia Mangroves

While I was seining with the LAIP interns this past summer, we came across some interesting fish living near the mangroves. While some of the fish and nearly all the invertebrates we’ve seen are species that may spend their entire lives in the pond (the half-spotted goby, for example, or Podopthalmus vigil, the Hawai’ian swimming crab), … Continue reading

Now You Sea ‘Em

In the last few weeks, we’ve seen a number of seahorses in the fishpond. They’re probably Hippocampus kuda (Bleeker 1852), the smooth seahorse, also sometimes called the yellow seahorse. These little guys are pretty common in Kaneohe Bay, but are usually so covered in sediment and filamentous algae that you don’t notice them.

  • Mahalo Nui Loa

    I recently graduated from the Donahue Lab at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa and am currently a graduate student at the University of Washington. This research is funded by a Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation, as well a scholarship from the Seattle chapter of the Achievement Rewards for College Scientists (ARCS) Foundation.
  • “Where do ecological ideas come from? …Most do not spring deductively from the minds of ecologists, like Athena from the head of Zeus. Instead, they emerge when ecologists absorb the essential spirit of individual places– their genius loci.”

    ~Mary V. Price & Ian Billick, "The Ecology of Place"
  • “Aloha is the intelligence with which we meet life.”

    ~Olana A'i, Kumu Hula

  • “I no longer say ‘Hawaiian ways of knowing’ anymore. Because people relegate that to the margins. ‘Ways of knowing,’ as if it’s a quaint, anthropologic way of describing something outside us. No, it’s ‘epistemology,’ the philosophy of knowledge. Land educates. ‘Ike ‘aina. The land of your birth educates you. This land here educates you.”

    ~Manu Meyer