Tag Archives: Ocean

Largest private award ever to UH from the Simons Foundation

group shot

L-R: SOEST Dean Brian Taylor, me, Ed DeLong and David Karl.

We were elated to announce the largest private award ever to the University of Hawaiʻi, at a news conference at Snug Harbor on July 16, 2014. The Simons Foundation awarded UH Mānoa professors Edward DeLong and David Karl, both from the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, $40 million to lead the Simons Collaboration on Ocean Processes and Ecology (SCOPE). Again, this is the largest private gift UH has ever received.

SCOPE is among the Simons Foundation’s programs in the division of Life Sciences. It aims to further our understanding of the microscopic organisms that inhabit every drop of seawater and how those creatures control the movement and exchange of energy and nutrients, from the surface waters to the deep sea.

Both Ed and David have worked long and hard with the foundation to make this happen. This really demonstrates what is possible when we work together.

This is also an incredible affirmation of the potential of the Hawaiʻi Innovation Initiative.

A lot of people have wondered can we really be serious about building a billion dollar research industry in the state. I think this is an example of how we’ll do it. It isn’t just going to the federal government and cranking out more proposals, but it’s captivating the interests of philanthropists and partners around the country and around the world to build this investment in a research and innovation economy for Hawaiʻi that advances the frontiers of human knowledge.

This award is a vote of confidence in Ed and Dave and in the University of Hawaiʻi. It is not a coincidence that UH is leading a consortium with some of the best research institutions in the country. We’re not just tagging along for the ride. So thank you Ed and Dave, thank you to the Simons organization and to all who have been a part of this.

UH News Video: Largest ever private award to UH funds microbial oceanography research

My remarks from the press conference.

Building global conservation networks

casual group shot of smiling people

Representatives of the Smithsonian Institute, Bishop Museum and UH meet to collaborate.

It’s been about conservation this week.

Hawaiʻi is one of two finalists to host a large conservation conference here in Hawaiʻi. The International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) 2016 World Conservation Congress is also looking at Istanbul, Turkey.  IUCN is the world’s oldest and largest global environmental network, and its World Conservation Congress is the world’s largest and most inclusive nature conservation forum held every four years.

The forum hosts 8,000 to 10,000 delegates from around the world to discuss and decide environmental and development issues and policy. This is an amazing opportunity for Hawaiʻi.

I spent Monday with forum representatives on Hawaiʻi Island and attended a couple of receptions in their honor, including one with Governor Neil Abercrombie.

I think the group was pretty impressed with what our state as to offer and the way we have pulled together to bring this important event to our state.

Also last week—the Smithsonian Institution’s National Board was here for a few events, including the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding around the Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network.

two men shaking hand across a table

David Lassner with Smithsonian Institute Secretary G. Wayne Clough upon the signing of a memorandum of understanding regarding the Marine Global Earth Observatory (Marine GEO) project.

The Smithsonian is launching a global network of coastal marine observatories called Tennenbaum Marine Observatories Network and the university’s Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology is partnering with the Smithsonian on a Hawaiʻi site (not yet determined) to potentially become the first “partner” site in the network. Exciting.