Science Bullet

Education and Outreach

The Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) offers opportunities to integrate marine science with hands-on activities and public classes using interdisciplinary approaches. Alongside of the research and management, education and outreach efforts communicate the science arising from the partnership and target various audiences by providing a diverse array of programs and promote stewardship awareness. Our outreach goals are to inspire local students and community members to explore marine sciences. This project is lead by Dr. Malia Rivera and Carlie Wiener.

Ecosystem Penpals
Ecosystem Penpals is an environmental, cultural and natural history exchange program that brings together students from two communities adjacent to National Marine Sanctuaries. The purpose of this program is to familiarize students with their own ecosystems through the study of local ecology and cultural communications, and be able to compare and contrast their ecosystems with others in the Pacific. This project focuses on local knowledge and scientific study as a way to understand ocean communities and natural history.

Coconut Island Field Trips & Navigating Change Curriculum Site
The Community Education Program offers docent-led tours of the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology’s (HIMB) research facilities on Moku o Lo‘e (Coconut Island), sharing with the people of Hawai‘i some of the exciting and important research going on so close to home. The Navigating Change marine conservation curriculum has included HIMB as one of its recommended field sites. HIMB is incorporated into the curriculum for school visits out to HIMB. This allows students to learn about marine science careers, and some of the research we do in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The Community Education Program is lead by Mark Heckman, for field trip or site visits to Coconut Island visit.

Ocean FEST (Families Exploring Science Together)
Ocean FEST is an NSF funded program developed in partnership with the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education to increase interest in marine science careers amongst Hawai‘i’s local student. This program presents a fun two hour event at public or charter schools state-wide that create fun and interesting activities for both students and parents. Twenty schools per year are selected to participate. The program includes a teacher training so that educators can bring the new activities/knowledge into their classrooms. Ocean properties, microbial communities, scientific method, coral reefs and ocean acidification are just some of the concepts included in the program. For more information visit

Windward Community College Continuing Education Course:
Moku o Lo‘e: The Best Kept Secret in Kane‘ohe Bay

This course introduces participants to the rich history of Moku o Lo‘e and the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology. Each week different HIMB scientists will join the class to talk about the research they conduct (related to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands) and walk the class through a related lab or field activity. Students get an opportunity to observe research techniques first-hand and participate in science activities. Areas of focus include an overview of Coconut Island, HIMB and the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, coral disease, reef monitoring, fish studies, alien species and much more. This course is held twice a year in the fall and spring through Windward Community College continuing education program. For more information visit

High School Marine Science Labs
With funding from numerous partners (including NOAA Sanctuaries, the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation, Emmett R. Quady Foundation and UH Honolulu Community College), HIMB has recently opened the Marine Science Research Learning Center, an indoor-outdoor classroom/wet lab facility complete with interactive multimedia, laptops and digital microscopes. HIMB has recently created new scientific inquiry based laboratory activities for high school students to be delivered in the new center that introduce topics of ocean acidification, underwater bioacoustics, fish larval development and sea urchin fertilization. Teaching of the labs by the HIMB Education Program staff in part supported by the NWHI-HIMB partnership. This work is led by Dr. Malia Rivera. For more information visit

HIMB-NOAA Fellowship Program
The Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology and the NOAA Office of National Marine Sanctuary, Pacific Island Region offer Hawai‘i graduate and undergraduate students one year paid fellowships in NOAA agency offices to acquire career-related job experiences and skills. The program was initiated in 2009 by offering fellowships to three Masters level graduate students within their final year of study and that have recently graduated within the previous semester. Fellows begin in the fall with an orientation to the HIMB-NOAA partnership, to familiarize them with some of the science that supports the partnership. Each Fellow will be assigned a mentor within their regional office that will meet weekly to help guide the student’s progress, provide feedback, and offer career advice. Fellows work 20 hours/week for 2 semesters within a NOAA Pacific Region office, followed by a full-time 2-month internship in the federal office of the respective NOAA agency. This project is lead by Dr. Judith Lemus, for more information visit

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