August 11: In Kāneʻohe Bay: the Science of Mālama Honua
In preparation for the Worldwide Voyage, crew members are learning the science of Mālama Honua, Taking Care of the Earth. At Waikalua Fishpond, they learned a technique known as girdling (removing bark in a ring) to kill off the invasive mangroves growing around the pond.
Clyde Tamaru showing the Hōkūle’a crew how to girdle a mangrove tree. (Click on the caption to watch the video. Quicktime plug-in needed.)
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From crew member Maggie Pulver:
The crew also practiced laying and towing plankton nets in Kāneʻohe Bay with the help of marine biologists from UH Mānoa and the Kewalo Marine lab.
After deploying the nets off the back of the canoe we towed them in the water for about 10 minutes, unsure if the time was too long, too short, or just right. Once we hauled them out, turned out the time was too long…we had way more little creatures than our collection bucket could hold!
With our naked eye, we could see fish, crab and shrimp larvae (babies), as well as other planktonic organisms! There were all sorts of colors, shapes and sizes. It was so cool…
BUT…then the scientists took it to a whole new level when they busted out the UC Berkley Fletcher Lab Cellscope, a new portable microscopic imaging device that you can connect directly to an iPhone! It allowed us to view the organisms at a 20x magnification directly on the iPhone screen, as well as take pictures and live video! Technology is so amazing…
As a teacher, I really see the potential benefits of using these types of techniques and tools with my students. They are so simple and interactive (not to mention fun!!), and allow kids to access the microscopic world with tools they already use in their everyday lives. And even though we are using it to explore the ocean, the possibilities are endless.