Education Bullet
Education and Outreach


Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program Cruise sets out to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument

Divers conducting RAMP surveys at Gardner Pinnacles.
Divers conducting RAMP surveys at Gardner Pinnacles during past cruise. Credit: Jason Helyer/NOAA

On August 1, 2012, the Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program will embark on a research expedition to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM) and World Heritage Site aboard the NOAA ship Hiʻialakai. The scientific party consists of staff from NOAA's National Marine Sanctuary Program, National Marine Fisheries Service Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center-Coral Reef Ecosystem Division, the University of Hawaiʻi, and Scripps Research Institute.

The team will visit French Frigate Shoals, Lisianski Island, Pearl and Hermes Reef and Kure Atoll to conduct various activities, including: rapid ecological assessments (REA) of reef fish, corals, other invertebrates, and algae; coral disease surveys to determine disease presence in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI); a bioerosion study to determine the growth and erosion of corals in the NWHI; and ecological acoustics research using underwater instrumentation.

In addition, an education and outreach team from the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology will be documenting research activities to produce education and outreach materials and conducting ship-to-classroom 'ask a scientist' sessions via email with public and Hawaiian charter schools.

Rapid ecological assessments have been conducted in the NWHI since 2000. Long-term monitoring of the abundance and distributions of reef fish, invertebrates, coral and algae are used to evaluate the status and trends of the health of these remote coral reef ecosystems. These activities improve our understanding of the region's marine systems and help us better manage the Monument.

Regular updates from the cruise will be posted on this page, as well as our Facebook site.

Expedition Log

Click on the date below to learn more about the daily events.

NOAA ship Hiʻialakai. August 1, 2012
Welcome aboard the 2012 Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (RAMP) research expedition!
Researchers go through safety and boat briefings. August 2, 2012
Gearing up and getting ready! 2012 Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (RAMP) research expedition underway!
RAMP survey team on their first day of operations at French Frigate Shoals. August 5, 2012
Water Logged!
Birds that spend most of their lives flying all over the Pacific Ocean come back to nest on Tern Island. August 5, 2012
Bird is the Word!
The alien feather duster worm Sabellestarte spectabilis is established at Lisianski Island, Mokumanamana and Midway Atoll. August 8, 2012
Ain't no Aliens on our Boat!
Simon Freeman deploys one of the acoustic listening devices on a sandy bottom at Pearl and Hermes Atoll. August 9, 2012
Adventure at Sea - Acoustics and Underwater Visitors!
A Tern chick perches on a tree stump overlooking the newly restored native plant fields. August 12, 2012
A is for Apex Predator!
A Tern chick perches on a tree stump overlooking the newly restored native plant fields. August 15, 2012
Exploring Green Island at Kure Atoll!
A white-tip reef shark circles the scientists as they do their work. August 20, 2012
Last stop Lisianski!
The coral reefs that have disappeared from the main Hawaiian Islands are allowed to flourish when human influence is removed. August 24, 2012
Bittersweet Return!
Researcher deploying acoustic recorder in PMNM. August 24, 2012
Expedition Summary


Scientist Profiles

Scott Godwin. Scott Godwin
PMNM Resource Protection Specialist
John Burns. John Burns
PhD Student at University of Hawaiʻi
Lauren and Simon Freeman. Lauren and Simon Freeman
PhD Students at Scripps Institute of Oceanography
Brian Hauk. Brian Hauk
PMNM Research Support Technician
Jason Helyer. Jason Helyer
Graduate Student, University of Washington
Jeff Kelly. Jeff Kelly
Undergraduate Student at University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa
Laura Knight. Laura Knight
Undergraduate Student at University of Hawaiʻi Hilo
Wataru Kumagai. Wataru Kumagai
Undergraduate Student at University of Hawaiʻi
Jason Leonard. Jason Leonard
PMNM Field Operations Coordinator
Megan Onuma. Megan Onuma
COSEE Island Earth Employee & Windward Community College Student
Carly Richer. Carly Richer
Undergraduate Student at University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa
Nyssa Silbiger. Nyssa Silbiger
PhD Student at University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa
Daniel Wagner. Daniel Wagner
PMNM Research Specialist
Maya Walton. Maya Walton
Graduate Student at University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa
Carlie Wiener. Carlie Wiener
COSEE Island Earth Program Manager
Yumi Yasutake. Yumi Yasutake
Kauaʻi Programs Outreach Coordinator