Citizen Science, Maui Projects Topic of Maui Nui Wednesday’s Free Online Presentation

PC: Courtesy of the Maui Nui Marine Resources Council

Presented by the Maui Nui Marine Resources Council, a public meeting at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday will highlight community or “citizen” science and ways to contribute to conservation work.

The free presentation, entitled “Can a non-scientist do science?” Global and Local Community Science Projects on Maui,” will take place via Zoom. Reservations are required by by visiting this link.

Global citizen science projects relevant to Maui and long-standing community science projects in Maui County seeking volunteers will be discussed. Guest speakers include Dr. Mark Deakos, Cheryl King, John Starmer and Jennifer Vander Veur.

Increasingly, scientists are asking for the public’s help in understanding a wide range of topics – from earthquakes to water quality to where animals live, according to a press release.

“If you want to make a difference in understanding the effects of climate change, protect native habitats and the species they depend on, or simply become more aware of the world around you, citizen science is a great way to get involved and make a difference,” said John Starmer, chief scientist for the Maui Nui Marine Resources Council and volunteer coordinator for the City Nature Challenge in Maui, in the release.

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Deakos, founder, president and chief scientist of the Hawaiian Association for Marine Education and Research, will focus on his manta ray photo-identification catalog of over 600 individuals.

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King will discuss two of his Citizen Scientist projects: SHARKastics, marine debris search and cleanup, and Hawaiian Hawksbill Conservation, the statewide in-water photo-ID catalog for hawksbill turtles. Critically Endangered Hawaiians from 1998 to present.

Maui Nui’s Coral Reef Alliance Senior Program Manager Vander Veur works with volunteers who grow and plant native vegetation at key locations near coastal waterways, which act as natural barriers and trap runoff. sediment before it reaches the ocean and coral reefs.

The presentation is part of the Maui Nui Marine Resources Council’s “Know Your Ocean Speaker Series,” held the first Wednesday of each month. The series is funded by the County Office of Climate Change, Resilience and Sustainability and donations from individuals and businesses in the community.

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Maui Nui Marine Resources Council is a Maui-based non-profit organization that relies on citizen volunteers for its Hui O Ka Wai Ola ocean water quality monitoring program at 29 sites along Maui’s shores.

Jessica C. Bell