News Archives

Spring 2012

Professor Alison Rieser, who directs the Graduate Ocean Policy Certificate Program (GOPC), published an article in the Spring 2012 edition of the Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal

Professor Alison Rieser, who directs the Graduate Ocean Policy Certificate Program (GOPC), published an article in the Spring 2012 edition of the Asian-Pacific Law and Policy Journal, exploring the international policy dimensions of large-scale marine protected areas in the Pacific. The title of the article is, "The Papahānaumokuākea Precedent: Ecosystem-scale Marine Protected Areas in the EEZ." A link to the paper is

Her book on the science, law and politics of sea turtle conservation, "The Case of the Green Turtle: An Uncensored History of a Conservation Icon" was published by The Johns Hopkins University Press on June 21, 2012, and is summarized in the attached flyer.

In GOPC student news, Mele Coleman (J.D./GOPC) was selected to be a 2013 Executive Branch fellow by the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship Program of the National Sea Grant Program. GOPC graduate Dan Reineman (Oceanography M.S./GOPC 2008) was a Knauss Legislative Fellow in 2009 and is now a doctoral student in Stanford University's Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources. Five GOPC students received their certificates at Mānoa graduations this May. They are James I. Hong (M. Pub. Adm/GOPC 2012), Willow Jorgenson ( Zoology M.S./GOPC 2012), Kara A. Miller (M.S. NREM/GOPC 2012), Andrew N. Porter (J.D./GOPC 2012), and Lora N. Reeve (Zoology M.S./J.D./GOPC 2012). Willow will begin teaching marine science at Kauai Community College in the Fall.

Geography celebrates its 80th Anniversary as an Independent Department at Manoa

On March 21st, the Geography Department celebrated its 80th anniversary of its establishment as an independent Department in 1931. The first Geography Course was taught in 1920 and the first Master's degree was awarded in 1933. The Department was granted a PhD program in 1967 and to date has awarded over 470 graduate degrees. More Images...

Keith Bettinger has been awarded the 2012 USINDO (US-Indonesia Society) Sumitro Fellowship

Keith Bettinger has been awarded the 2012 USINDO (US-Indonesia Society) Sumitro Fellowship ($10,000) to supplement the Fulbright Hays/Mellon Grant he already has to complete his dissertation research on the political ecology of resource conservation in Indonesia.

Fall 2011

New interactive website provides digital rainfall maps, patterns

The Hawaiian Islands have one of the most diverse rainfall patterns on earth. One of the most frequently cited publication on Hawai‘i’s environment is the Rainfall Atlas of Hawai‘i, first published in 1986, by UH Mānoa Geography Professor Dr. Tom Giambelluca, Michael Nullet, and UH Mānoa Meteorology Professor Tom Schroeder. The printed publication provided a set of maps of the spatial patterns of rainfall for the major Hawaiian Islands. Fast forward twenty-five years, Giambelluca recently led a team of UH Mānoa researchers to create a new, interactive online website housing updated rainfall patterns. Giambelluca specializes in climate, climate change, and ecohydrology. The website was developed to make rainfall maps, data and related information easily accessible. Features include: high resolution downloadable digital maps for mean monthly and annual rainfall and uncertainty for each station used in the analysis, as well as files with information on each rain gage station. The website also allows users to view the patterns of mean monthly and annual rainfall and corresponding uncertainty, zoom in on areas of particular interest, navigate to specific locations with the help of a choice of different base maps, and click on any location to get the mean annual rainfall and a graph and table of mean monthly rainfall. Over the course of the two-year project, rainfall measurements taken at over 1,000 stations were used as the principal source of information in the development of the rainfall maps. The maps represent the best estimates of the mean rainfall for the 30-year base period 1978–2007. However, for many reasons, it is not possible to determine the exact value of mean rainfall for any location. Therefore, for every map of mean rainfall, corresponding map of uncertainty is provided. Knowledge of the mean rainfall patterns is critically important for a variety of meteorological, agricultural and resource management issues, including ground water and surface water development and protection, controlling and eradicating invasive species, protecting and restoring native ecosystems, and planning for the effects of global warming. The 2011 Rainfall Atlas of Hawai‘i was developed under an agreement between the State of Hawai‘i Commission on Water Resource Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District under Section 22 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1974. Contract No. W9128A-04-D-0019, Contract Task Order No. 0038 was awarded to Wil Chee Planning Inc., which subcontracted the work to the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa,Geography Department. To access the website, visit:

Camilo Mora's research on biodiversity featured in the New York Times

New Geography Department Assistant Professor Camilo Mora's recent calculation of the total number of species on earth was featured in The New York Times. His paper estimates that there are 8.7 million species on the planet, plus or minus 1.3 million. The article is available here

Reece Jones publishes an Op-Ed on the 50th anniversary of the Berlin Wall

Assistant professor Reece Jones published an op-ed in the Honolulu Star Advertiser that was syndicated worldwide by Project Syndicate. The Op-Ed describes how the hope of an increasingly borderless world has been dashed by the construction of many walls around the world in the era of globalization. The complete Op-Ed is available here

Camilo Mora's research on biodiversity loss featured in the Ka Leo

The article in the UH campus newspaper features the Camilo's findings that protected areas around the world are failing to preserve biodiversity. The article was coauthored with Dr Peter F. Sale. Camilo joined the department of geography in this fall and will be teaching courses in marine geography. The Ka Leo article is available here

PhD student Keith Bettinger awarded Fulbright-Hayes/Mellon dissertation research Fellowship.

Geography PhD student Keith Bettinger was awarded the Fulbright-Hayes /Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship ($21,000) for his dissertation research work in Indonesia. His project is an examination of the effects of ongoing decentralization reforms on the national parks of Indonesia. Earlier this year the Department of Education's funding for Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) was eliminated, and no Fulbright-Hayes Fellowships were awarded for 2011. Fortunately, the Mellon Foundation offered to provide funding to select students who would have otherwise awarded funding by DoE. Keith is one of the selected students. Congratulations Keith!

BA student Hannah Cooper awarded the Hubert and Mable Frings Endowed Scholarship and wins best Oral and Poster presentations for her Honors Thesis

Geography Department BA student Hannah Cooper is one of two students to have been awarded the Hubert and Mable Frings Endowed Scholarship. This scholarship is offered to undergraduate Honors Program students at UHM to encourage interaction/mentorship between faculty and students. The scholarship was awarded based on Hannah research experience with her advisor, Dr. Qi Chen, for her undergraduate Honors Thesis Project titled "Vulnerability Assessment due to Sea-Level Rise in Maui, Hawai‘i using LiDAR Remote Sensing and GIS." Additionally, Hannah was awarded the best overall oral presentation and best poster in the natural sciences for her Honors Thesis project on April 23rd at the Spring 2011 Symposium of Undergraduate Research and Creative Work at the East-West Center. Hannah will be continuing her studies in the fall when she begins graduate school in geography at UH. Congratulations Hannah!

PhD student Wendy Miles awarded Fulbright, FLAS, and Ann Dunham Soetoro Scholarships.

Geography Department PhD student Wendy Miles recently won three research scholarships. She was awarded a Fulbright-IIE grant for field research in Indonesia, a Foreign Language Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship to further her study of Bahasa Indonesian, and the first Ann Dunham Soetoro Scholarship from the University of Hawai'i. The scholarship was created in honor of Barack Obama's mother who received her PhD from the University of Hawai'i and is awarded to a graduate student studying Indonesia. The award was announced at the opening session of the Association of Asian Studies conference in Honolulu by UH chancellor Virginia Hinshaw.