Saturday, April 30, 2011


Ever wonder how those predators have so much control over your ecosystem’s dynamics??
Feeling at the bottom of those top-down effects?
Thalameda got you in a crabby mood over missing enfauna?
Are pesky tilapias burrowing into your sites something that you JUST DON’T DIG?!
Introducing the new MegsPEX cages!! Handcrafted in Hawai’i and now available in sets of 72*.
These cages are guaranteed to produce HARD CORE results! MegsPEX cages can measure density, abundance, diversity, and biomass!!**They can help you determine top-down effects of crabs, eels, and fish on your local enfauna! What’s the CATCH?! NOTHING!!!
But wait, there’s more!! Order now and you’ll also receive 24 limited edition CAGE-CONTROL CAGES (CC Cages)! guaranteed to let you know if the presence of the cage itself actually makes a difference!! Simply compare these CC cages to your empty plots and if there is a significant difference in biomass, YES! The presence of your cages DO have an effect on predation! But if these CC cages produce similar biomass results to your empty plots, the presence of these cages DO NOT have an effect on predation!!
Hahahaha…how corny is this
P.S. Sherril and Kirsten began constructing markers out of three foot poles to sample sites for Sherril’s project at Coconut Island. She will use a twelve-sided dice as a random number generator to randomize direction on numbered discs, in order to find out the variability across the landscape. She intends to measure levels of pH and dissolved oxygen in various canopies (Gracillaria, Padina, and bare canopies) and sediment to determine the differences in the type of canopy or the significance of a canopy’s presence.

-Chris and Tiana clearly have come to grips with their craft, while panel member Leila screens for quality (top-down) control
-Martin, are you cutting corners again to get the job done? Seasoned veteran Sawako has already earned her stripes in LAIP cage matches
-If this picture was worth a thousand words, here are but a few appropriately fitting morsels: pre-meditating, parsimonious, turquoise (3x), hidden random number generated directional disquette, and polarity (27x)

*Sets of 72 includes 24 “no cage” cages i.e. empty plots, an essential component of MegsPEX cages instrumentation.
**results are subject to laboratory measurements. lab instruments not included.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Healing Day

wow. Crazy weekend past,
today was the one of the best healing session for me. when I arrived and saw the pond, my feeling was bright and happier.. can not describe with words. Through cage making, laughing, talking and chanting, everything gave me power to try and do my best to move on with my head up.

now I am excited because I can get to experience more and more!!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Priceless predator exclusion traps

Aloha Everyone,

Here is my BLOG for 4/12 and 4/16. This is my first, so I hope it's a good one and I've done it correctly.

On 4/12, we all gave presentations to the other group of fishpond interns about our work with macroalgae and microalgae covers, invert surveys, and the priceless "predator exclusion cage". Everyone did an awesome job! We began to build our predator exclusion cages that are used to measure infauna density, abundance, diversity, and biomass. In the above picture #1, Arthur and Tiana take discuss the next steps in the constructing process as the curved green framework of the cages rests on the table. In Picture #2, Judy, Kirsten, and Megsie's advisor carefully measure and admire metal for the cages' sides.

On Saturday the 16th, we had even more fun! We went all out with the cage building! In picture #3, Kirsten, Martin, Leila, and Sawako go to town with completing the aquatic masterpieces. In Picture #4, Martin and Leila do some last minute touches as finished cages are proudly displayed next to them.

Picture #5 shows a thalamita crab, which is one of the three crab species that are the main predators of focus in the predator exclusion cage study.

That's all for now folks! More good stuff to come shortly!

Aloha, Chris

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Community work day & Culture time with Aunty Donnie

Hey everyone!  This past Saturday was a community working day & a day with Aunty Donnie.  It is great to be apart of the community working days because we all come together as one to restore the fishpond, as well as meeting new people and making connections with the land, water, and all elements.  What Aunty Donnie shared with us was when we all work at the fishpond, we are connecting with everyone there.  Everyones mana (spirit) is now in the fishpond, as we all touch the ko'a (coral) and pohaku (stone) our mana is what keeps the fishpond strong and bonded.  As we were sharing how we felt at the fishpond that day, Arthur told us his point of view of the line we made while passing the ko'a & pohaku.  He said that it was a backbone, how we were lined up close and diagonal from each other.  If one person was missing it would throw everything off, it would be a lot more difficult to keep the ko'a & pohaku moving.  Everyone in the line provided strength even if it was only a little bit, but thats what made it so strong. Everyone working together, trying to reach the same goal. 
Learning about the cultural aspect of the fishpond is awesome because everyone can get together and share that knowledge with each other.  The feeling I get while at the fishpond is like no other, I feel a sense of belonging and relaxation.  There are no worries, just peacefulness.  The fishpond has got me to meet incredible people and learn things I wouldn't have been able to learn without being there.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Preserve water samples for dissolved oxygen analysis in the lab

Hi guys, it is me again for this week. We practiced taking water samples today and worked in the lab. Since I was in the lab with Arthur to learn how to preserve water samples for dissolved oxygen analysis by following the protocol, I can only talk about what we did in the lab. When we take our water sample to the lab, we followed the protocol in the kit to add 8 drops of different agents into the sample to preserve the oxygen for further analysis in the future. The purpose of adding different agents into the water is to allow us to measure the concentration of dissolved oxygen in the water at a certain location. Basically, we use titration to determine how much acid we used to dissolved the precipitation in the water sample, and then to analytically calculate how much dissolved oxygen was in the water. The color indicator for titration was starch that had a color of blue. One thing about the titration was it was really hard to control the volume of the titration acid. We should be really careful because if it had been over-titrated, the sample was useless and we should start over again. The protocol was very straight forward. However, working with samples in the lab need to be very careful and accurate since any small error will mess up the result.

Coconut Island Research Day

It was a really sunny and wonderful day working on the Coconut Island with all of you guys. We took water samples at the surface of the water as well as inside the algae to measure the pH. The whole purpose of doing these things is to see how algae in the shallow water column affect the chemistry of the water surround and inside the canopy so that further conclusion of the relationship and the interaction between the algae and the organisms can be drawn.

We first set a very expensive hi-tech device into the water to measure the speed of the water flow near the algae canopy. Since water is dynamic and goes in and out of algae, it is an important factor to determine how water flow will mix the water in and out of the canopy and eventually change the water's chemistry.

We used large plungers with long, thin needles to takle water sample inside the algae. But before that, we had to rinse the plunger as well as the sample bottles with sample water. The bottle's cap, the groove at the mouth of the bottle, and the bottle itself should be rinsed 5 times to avoid any contamination. After that, the needle should be replaced with a small filter with a 0.7-um filter paper inside. The purpose of using such filter is to filter all the large planktons and some waste stuff in the sample water and obtain a relatively "clear" water sample from different location. Later, the water sample will be analyzed in the lab.

The other part of the task that we did on that day was practice how to take small amount of water sample for pH analysis. Since pH is highly dependent on temperature, we should measure the temperature of the water sample as soon as the sample water was taken. In order to do this, the 25 ml plungger with a long, thin needle attached and sample bottle should be first rinsed with sample water. Then, half fill the sample bottle with sample water. Measure the temperature of the sample before it is getting cooler or warmer. Be careful with the fingers that were used to hold the sample bottle! After the temperature was measured, overfill the bottle with sample water. Finally, cap the bottle and make sure there is no air bubbles in the bottle.

It is a pretty interesting workday since I have learned a lot about how to take water samples for different research purposes. What is more, we saw several beautiful sea jellies in the water. They look really similar to algae patches, but they have different color and are very dangerous if people touch them or just get close to them.