Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


ASCC Holds Third Annual Student Science Symposium

ASCC Press Release Wednesday, October 24, 2012

ASCC Holds Third Annual Student Science Symposium

By: Kelley Anderson Tagarino, ASCC Marine Science Coordinator

What do parrotfish feeding habits, coral bleaching tolerance, reef resiliency, sea turtles, aquaponics, and marine debris have to do with each other? Answer – these are all topics of research that local college students were involved in through the Marine Science Program over the past year! Seven students presented their scientific research at the American Samoa Community College (ASCC)’s third annual Student Science Symposium on Tuesday, October 23rd. The theme for this year’s symposium was “Conservation and resiliency in the face of climate change,” and while the topics were diverse they all related directly to this theme.

Research projects were supported both locally through the ASCC Marine Science Program and the Coral Reef Advisory Group (CRAG), and off-island in Hawai’i through the Undergraduate Research and Mentoring in the Biological Sciences (URM) program. ASCC’s Marine Science Program offers paid internships to interested students as a way to expose them to both the field and to scientific research.

The first presenter, Anthony Sagapolutele, discussed his research on sea turtle migration patterns based on the movements of Hawksbill and Green turtles that were satellite tagged in American Samoa. Anthony explained that satellite tags are affixed to the turtle’s carapace (top of the shell) and are programed to send their data up to satellites when the sea turtle surfaces to breathe. In this way, researchers are able to better understand where turtles go – with one Hawksbill having traveled all the way to the Pitcairn Islands, setting a long distance migration record!

Leilua Watson presented second with her research in five backreef pools around Tutuila, where she studied the strength of currents flowing over the coral and compared this to coral bleaching rates in these pools. She found that pools with higher current velocities have less coral bleaching than coral in pools with lower current velocities. This makes sense, as corals cannot get up to walk around for their food, so they rely on the ocean currents to bring it to them, and a well fed coral will be healthier and thus less likely to bleach.

Next, Rocco Tinitali presented his research from the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) on Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay on Oahu. Rocco studied the rate of bioerosion (that is, erosion caused by living organisms) on different parts of the reef around Coconut Island. Many species can contribute to bioerosion, but Parrotfish are large contributors because as they scrape algae off of coral they end up scraping off the coral skeleton too, which gets digested and excreted in the form of sand. So next time you are enjoying the nice sand, thank a Parrotfish! Rocco found that the juvenile phase of Palenose Parrotfish were responsible for more bioerosion than either of the other two Parrotfish species he studied.

The fourth presenter, Valentine Vaeoso, shared her research, also conducted at HIMB, on how two different color morphs of the same coral species can have vastly different tolerances to coral bleaching. Even though it is the same coral species, it turns out that the red colored colonies of that coral have different algae (called zooxanthellae) living in them than the orange colored colonies. As ocean temperatures continue to climb, corals will be more and more stressed, so research that can identify the more resilient corals is very important.

Meto Meredith and Judy Su’a followed with a joint presentation on their internship at ASCC’s Sea Grant, during which they helped to set up an aquaponics system. Aquaponics is a combination of hydroponics (growing plants in water without soil) and fish farming. Meto and Judy explained that the fish waste fertilizes the plants, so no additional fertilizer is needed – only fish food. Better yet, no weeding required!

Natosha Ripley, the final presenter, discussed her research with the Marine Debris Project through DMWR. Natosha explained that marine debris can come from many places such as ships, overturned trash cans, or from people who litter. Regardless of where it comes from, it all ends up in the ocean and harms our wildlife – all too often killing marine animals. Natosha implored the audience to join the Marine Debris Program and form a “trash free territory” group that pledges to keep their village clean.

The Student Science Symposium concluded with showing of a video that models what the predicted sea level rise will look like in Amouli, and shows much of the road by the village being flooded by 2090 with much of the village being underwater not long after. This video was shown as an example of how this type of tool can be used to help people visualize the impacts of climate change to their homes. It is the hope of the ASCC Marine Science Program that exposing students to research at an early stage will enable them to better deal with the realities of climate change in their future.



Click for big version.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Company Results: Air NZ Rides The Tourism Boom With Record Full-Year Earnings

Air New Zealand has ridden the tourism boom and staved off increased competition to deliver the best full-year earnings in its 76-year history. More>>

ALSO:

New PGP: Sheep Milk Industry Gets $12.6M Crown Funding

The Sheep - Horizon Three programme aims to develop "a market driven, end-to-end value chain generating annual revenues of between $200 million and $700 million by 2030," according to a joint statement. More>>

ALSO:

Half Full: Fonterra Raises Forecast Milk Price

Fonterra Co-operative Group Limited today increased its 2016/17 forecast Farmgate Milk Price by 50 cents to $4.75 per kgMS. When combined with the forecast earnings per share range for the 2017 financial year of 50 to 60 cents, the total payout available to farmers in the current season is forecast to be $5.25 to $5.35 before retentions. More>>

ALSO:

Keep Digging: Seabed Ironsands Miner TransTasman Tries Again

The first company to attempt to gain a resource consent to mine ironsands from the ocean floor in New Zealand's Exclusive Economic Zone has lodged a new application containing fresh scientific and other evidence it hopes will persuade regulators after their initial application was turned down in 2014. More>>

Wool Pulled: Duvets Sold As ‘Premium Alpaca’ Mostly Sheep’s Wool

Rotorua business Budge Collection Limited (Budge) and sole director, Sun Dong Kim, were convicted and fined a total of $71,250 in Auckland District Court after each pleading guilty to four charges of misrepresenting how much alpaca fibre was in their duvets. More>>

Reserve Bank: Labour Calls For Monetary Policy To Expand Goals

Labour's comments follow a speech today by RBNZ governor Graeme Wheeler in which Wheeler sought to answer critics who variously say he should stop lowering interest rates, lower them faster, or that inflation-targeting should no longer be the primary goal of the central bank's activities. More>>

ALSO:

BSA Extension And Sunday Morning Ads: Digital Convergence Bill Captures Online Content

Broadcasting Minister Amy Adams has today announced the Government’s plans to update the Broadcasting Act to better reflect today’s converged market... The Government considered four areas as part of its review into content regulation: classification requirements, advertising restrictions, election programming and contestable funding. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news