ASU receives $6.36M grant to launch Pacific Island research center

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has announced a five-year, $6.36 million research grant that will launch the Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (Pacific RISA) program as a research center at Arizona State University within the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory.

This partnership with ASU is the next step in an ongoing effort of the Pacific RISA initiative to support communities in the Pacific region in becoming more resilient to the effects of climate change.

Conducting climate research through a Hawaiian perspective

It took Haunani Kāne and her team of researchers four days at sea to reach Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, a time that could have easily been cut in half if they used a typical research vessel. 

But they chose to travel by sailboat — an important part of incorporating the all-Native-Hawaiian scientist team’s ancestral history into their research. 

Scientists report new findings on the role that fish play in balancing coral, algae on reefs

When people think of coral reefs, images of beautiful colors and structures come to mind. But beyond aesthetic pleasure, coral reefs provide numerous benefits, ranging from food security and coastline protection to their role in coastal traditions and cultures. Although reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean floor, they support about 25% of marine life and earn their nickname: the rainforests of the sea.

Inspiring new navigators for the planet

For blue-water sailors, the French Frigate Shoals is often thought of as a place with significant wildlife and deep cultural meaning. The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) hopes to train sailors in this spot in the Pacific Ocean.

And they won't stop there. The PVS will be venturing to four other islands and past the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, one of the largest marine conservation areas in the world.