Black Band Disease in the News


Christina Runyon (HIMB) and Anne Rosinski presenting update on areas impacted with Black Band Disease on the north shore of Kauai.


A press conference was held at Magic Island on the island of Oahu announcing the expansion of the Kauai Management Response Team, US Geological Survey’s new project focusing on groundwater and oceanographic variables, and the recent findings of UH Manoa researchers.  The following links showcase the the media event along with the updated link the Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Aquatic Resources Reef Response website:

The Garden Island Newspaper:

Star Advertiser:  
Hawaii News Now:
National News:

Summer work conducted in Kauai along with some outreach and education

Aloha All!

As most of you know, we have been following a disease event on the shores of Kauai and have been communicating with the public, managers and fellow scientists. Please read the latest news coming out of Kauai and see how this forum allowed the public to gain knowledge pertaining to Black Band Disease (BBD) of corals.. We started off the talk with some basic coral reef ecology and coral disease descriptions and then moved into historical data and the efforts that have been made to better understand BBD and plausible environmental drivers or stressors associated with BBD. We end the talk with simple way to mitigate individuals impacts on coral reefs and how to report possible disease events to the Eyes of the Reef program. Follow the link above under the image of the Montipora patula colony displaying symptoms of BBD to read the Garden Isle Newspaper article from 8/15/14.

Ocean Sciences Meeting 2014

Last week, the Hawaii hosted the 2014 Ocean Sciences Meeting. Over 5,000 scientists, resource managers, and conservation groups gathered together to share groundbreaking research as well as to discuss problems and solutions to today’s coastal environmental issues.

The keynote speaker that started the week long conference was Elazabeth Kapu’uwailani Lindsay. She is an anthropologist and a National Geographic Explorer. Lindsay gave a stirring talk on how the fusion of science and traditional knowledge of elders is essential to solving today’s ocean issues. A video of her talk from this meeting is not available to share here, but below is a link to a similar talk by Lindsay for those who are interested.

Another key address was made by Robert Richmond, who is a researcher at the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at Kewalo Marine Laboratory here on Oahu. His address highlighted the need to further develop links between science and resource management which he then compared to spam musubi. He hoped that the way to solve coastal issues be founded on a thick rice platform of good science, with a rich spam topping of effective resource management, wrapped in the nori of concerned and well informed citizens. What do you think of his analogy?! We want to know!

Of course Team Coral was there to soak up some new knowledge and to share some really cool research!  All of the posters were very well received and sparked interesting discussion of future research.

Here is Chris talking about the coral disease outbreak happening in Kauai.


                                                  Amanda with her poster on coral bacteria.


   And Blake and Andy with their posters on coral pathogens.



Next week, Team Coral will also be presenting this research at the Tester’s Graduate Symposium being held at UH Manoa. Check out the program here:

Here are a couple more pictures of the conference.

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Kaua‘i Black Band Disease updates

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Aloha and Mahalo to Anne Rosinski at DAR for putting together these Kaua‘i Coral Disease Research Updates interim reports.  These reports showcase work done by Christina Runyon with the help of Silvia Beurmann in following the Black Band Disease issue on Kaua‘i. Department of Aquatic Resources and researchers from UH Manoa have been working hard investigating the spatial distribution, virulence, and environmental factors related to BBD.  Christina and Silva will be headed back to Kaua‘i seasonally to continue their survey work and talk to the communities to provide outreach and education.

Hawai‘i State Science Olympiad

In early February the Hawai‘i State Science Olympiad Windward Regional Tournament was held at Windward Community College (WCC). This was the lead up competition to the state tournament.

You might be thinking, “What’s a ‘Science Olympiad’?” It is much more involved and exciting than your typical science fair. Students are put to the test to think on the fly and come up with intriguing solutions and thoughtful write ups in very short periods of time.

Over 200 students from middle schools and high schools competed in 11 events that showcased their knowledge in astronomy, anatomy, chemistry, geology, engineering, and scientific method.

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Several graduate students from the Callahan/Aeby lab were invited to judge some of the events. Amanda Shore-Maggio, Silvia Beurmann, and Christina Runyon were involved in overseeing the students in the engineering and experimental design projects. Amanda and Silvia judged the Boomilever event, which was probably on of the most exciting events. Students built a wooden cantilever to hold a suspended weight. Each team added weight to their lever until it broke and scoring was based on weight of lever in relation to the weight it could hold. Check out the photos below.                                                                                                                                                                                                               



It was really great to see the students’ enthusiasm for science and the sense of teamwork and community from all the competing schools.

Congratulations to McKinley High School and Hawaii Baptist Academy Teams 1 and 2 for coming in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively in Division C at the Windward Oahu Regional Tournament today! Congratulations as well to Campbell High School and Kahuku High School for also qualifying!

Congratulations to Hawaii Baptist Academy, La Pietra School for Girls, and Le Jardin Academy for coming in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place respectively in Division B at the Windward Oahu Regional Tournament today! Congratulations as well to Kahuku Intermediate School for also qualifying! See you all at the State Finals in March!

It truly was a great day for everyone involved.  The need for more events like this would allow for students and teachers to engage in thinking outside of the box and enable our future scientists with the tools to explore critical thinking in everyday life.  With our goal here being to educate Hawaii’s students in ocean sciences, we were happy to see there was one event that incorporated water quality.  The importance of the world’s oceans for global climate, weather, and the cycles of carbon, nitrogen, etc are all concepts taught in public schools, hopefully next years event will incorporate more of this into its program.

Any ideas for a fun event that would incorporate ocean education and stewardship? Let us know!