M.S. in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science

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2022 News

Spring 2022 Newsletter

It has been a semester of groundbreaking research, impressive student and faculty achievements, and exceptional collaborations. Read all about it in the Spring 2022 TCBES Newsletter!

Spring 2022 Graduates

Congratulations to all of our recent graduates!

David stands on the beach holding a seabird that looks ready to take flight David J. Arakawa
Native seabird rehabilitation with the Hawai'i Wildlife Center
Hawai'i Wildlife Center
Advisor: Lisa Canale

Tearina stands on a bridge looking out at the water Tearina G. Asiata
Epidemiology of mosquito-borne diseases in American Samoa
American Samoa Department of Health
Advisor: Lisa Canale

Headshot of Trevor Trevor Bak
A global ecological signal of extinction risk in marine ray-finned fishes
Advisor: Matthew “Matt” Knope

Jessica stands in the ocean wearing and carrying dive gear Jessica Glazner
Lessons from Palmyra: An interdisciplinary approach to Hawaiian coral reef conservation
The Nature Conservancy Hawai‘i and Palmyra
Advisor: Lisa Canale

Robert stands in the woods holding an ʻapapane and smiling Robert Justice III
Identifying the relationship between vocal repertoire, age, and social interactions in the ˊAlalā
Advisor: Patrick Hart

Aloha holds up a pole and throws a shaka with a helicopter in the background Aloha Kapono
Chasing coastlines- Collecting historical air photos and up-to-date aerial imagery of coastal areas of Hilo and Kona districts on the Moku of Hawai'i UH Hilo Spatial Data Analysis and Visualization Lab Advisor: Lisa Canale

Sean throws a shaka in the lab with dozens of petri dishes sitting on the lab bench Sean A. Kirkpatrick
Post border biosecurity efforts in Hawai'i: Forest pathology U.S. Forest Service Research Ecologist with the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry Advisor: Lisa Canale

Kimsky stands on top of Mauna Kea and throws a shaka
Kimsky Kubo Micronesian boy meets Polynesian land Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project, Department of Land & Natural Resources Advisor: Lisa Canale

Headshot of Rich standing in front of trees Richard Masse
Characterizing the life history and recreational fishery of Nabeta, Iniistius pavo, in Hawai'i
Advisor: Kevin D. Hopkins

Kimo stands on top of a mountain throwing a shaka with the ocean in the background Kimo Melcher Locating ideal placement for erosion control practices using remote sensing and geographic information systems: a case study in Keawanui, Moloka'i Ola Design Group Advisor: Lisa Canale

Headshot of Kainalu with the ocean in the background
Kainalu Steward Beyond science into Pō: Reevaluating the vulnerability of Lalo in Papahānaumokuākea Multiscale Environmental Graphical Analysis (MEGA) Lab at UH Hilo Advisor: Lisa Canale

Rebecca stands outside with a river in the background Rebecca Ward Spatial variation in sea surface temperature (SST) and antecedent SST conditions influence community structure in the Hawaiian intertidal Advisor: Matthew “Matt” Knope

UH Hilo alumna nominated for 2022 National Teacher of the Year

TCBES alumna Whitney Aragaki was recently nominated for 2022 National Teacher of the Year for her exceptional teaching at Waiākea High School. Congratulations Whitney on this incredible accomplishment! Read all about it here.

2021 News

Fall 2021 Graduates

Congratulations to all of our recent graduates!

Young woman in a baseball cap holds up an Elepaio birdAmanda Navine

Young woman with brown hair in a bun and sunglasses on her head holds up a small silver fishSydney Gamiao

Young woman with long brown hair stands in front of a painting of a dolphin wearing a cowboy hatDawn McSwain

Man in a blue wetsuit uses an underwater camera to photograph a large shark as it swims byKaikea Nakachi

Young man smiling in graduation robes with a lei around his neckMichael Stone

Young woman with light brown hair wearing a flower lei on her headNola Keilani Bonis-Ericksen

Young woman with brown hair and a lei around her headErica Ta

Young woman with red hair stands on the beach holding marine debrisKathryn Strong

Fall 2021 Newsletter

Fall 2021 brought us a new set of TCBES graduates, a student-led outplanting, and exciting new research and publications, including research on mapping sea level rise and coastal erosion that was highlighted at the UN Global Climate Chance Conference, COP26. Read all about it in our TCBES Fall 2021 Newsletter!

Summer Graduation News

Thathmini Kularatna finished her Master's this summer and is on to an exciting job as a horticulturist with Amazon!

Summer 2021 Newsletter

Summer 2021 brought us publications from UH faculty and alumni, impressive research projects, endangered bird findings, and a new TCBES cohort! Read all about it in our TCBES Summer 2021 Newsletter.

Spring 2021 Success!

The end of this spring semester concluded several journeys for our students - MS thesis defenses, final professional internship presentations, and graduation! The TCBES graduate program accomplished so much this semester that we had to compile it into a newsletter! Read all about it

2021 TCBES Symposium Now Available on YouTube

Aloha TCBES 'Ohana! Were you unable to attend this year's symposium featuring the groundbreaking research being conducted within the TCBES community? If so, today is your lucky day! The 2021 TCBES Symposium is available to watch on the official TCBES YouTube page.

Spring 2021 TCBES Virtual Graduation Ceremony

We would like to invite you to attend the TCBES virtual graduation ceremony, Friday, May 14th, as a special guest. The ceremony will start at 3:00 PM HST. If you would like to attend, you will need to register for the meeting. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We will also be livestreaming the graduation to the TCBES YouTube Channel for people to watch as well. All are welcome to attend or watch on YouTube. Students who will be participating are: Hilary Street Scott, Kawehi Lopez, Sebastian Maʻa, Sabena Siddiqui, Laura Knight, Sarah Norrbom, Geoffry Grimmett, Koa Matsuoka, and Bryan Tonga (posthumously). The official graduation program is also available, and includes information on our graduate's thesis/professional internships.

Spring 2021 Professional Internship Presentation Day

It is my honor to announce the Spring 2021 University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Master of Science in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science Professional Internship Presentation Day event. In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science Professional Internship Track, six UH Hilo TCBES graduate students will showcase their professional internship projects.

Please join us via the UH Hilo TCBES Graduate Program's YouTube channel for a Livestream of the day's presentations or please register to attend the Zoom meeting if you would like to ask a presenter a question via the Zoom chat feature. Our presentation event will begin at 8:30 AM with an Oli, Land Acknowledgement, and a short address by the UH Hilo TCBES Director and Associate Director, Drs. Wiegner and Ostertag, respectively.

Where: Livestream UH Hilo TCBES Graduate Program's YouTube channel or, if you would like to ask a presenter a question via the Zoom chat feature, Zoom meeting (registration required; after registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting). Please note that the Zoom meeting capacity is 300 participants, and, if you join us via Zoom, please double-check that your Zoom microphone is muted. We will also record the presentations for later viewing at the UH Hilo TCBES Graduate Program's YouTube Channel for those with scheduling conflicts.

Check out the event program: Spring 2021 Professional Internship Presentation Day

2021 TCBES Symposium

This Thursday and Friday (April 15 and 16) is the TCBES Symposium! This year's theme is "Kincentric Stewardship". The conference will be an incredible opportunity to learn about the groundbreaking research being conducted within the TCBES community. View the 2021 TCBES Symposium Program to view the TCBES Symposium Program. We hope to see you there!

Kelsey May Meagher's Professional Internship Presentation

Recent TCBES Graduate, Kelsey May Meagher's Professional Internship Presentation entitled: "Monitoring of the Critically Endangered, Hawaiʻi Island Hawksbill (Honuʻea)" has been uploaded to the TCBES YouTube channel! In addition to Kelsey's Zoom presentation you will find many of our graduate's thesis and professional internship presentations, where you will learn about all of the wonderful projects our students have been engaged in here at UH Hilo.

Congratulations Karen Gallardo Cruz and Kylle Roy for their recent scientific publications!

TCBES Graduates, Karen Gallardo-Cruz and Kylle Roy, have published scientific articles based on their MS thesis research! We are ecstatic with what our TCBES 'Ohana can achieve post-graduation :) Check out Karen's article titled, "Temporal changes in songbird vocalizations associated with helicopter noise in Hawai’i’s protected natural areas" and follow this link for Kylle's paper titled, "Diet Analysis of Hawaiʻi Island’s Blackburnia hawaiiensis (Coleoptera: Carabidae) using Stable Isotopes and High-Throughput Sequencing")

11th Annual TCBES Symposium

Aloha TCBES ʻOhana! On behalf of the TCBES Marine and Terrestrial Environmental Researchers (TCBES MATERs) Club, it is with great pleasure that I announce abstracts are now being accepted for the 11th Annual Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science Symposium! This conference will be an incredible opportunity to learn about the groundbreaking research being conducted within the TCBES community. This event will be held virtually on April 15 and 16.

View 11th Annual TCBES Symposium program and abstracts.

2020 News

TCBES Fall 2020 Newsletter

TCBES Fall 2020 Newsletter The TCBES Graduate Program has released their Fall 2020 Newsletter! Read about TCBES’ accomplishments during the previous semester.


Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation Graduate Fellowship Opportunity

Photo of Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation recipientsHauʻoli Mau Loa Graduate Fellowship recipients The Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation http://www.hauolimauloa.org/ and the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science (TCBES) Graduate Program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo are pleased to announce the availability of three graduate assistantships for students dedicated to careers in conservation biology and environmental science in the state of Hawaiʻi. Each assistantship comes with generous support for two years (2nd year pending satisfactory academic performance), including a Graduate Assistantship (stipend plus fringe benefits), a full tuition remission, and additional funds to be used for attendance costs (e.g., books, fees, professional development, including travel to local and national conferences, and supplies).

Visit Funding Opportunities for more information.


The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo joins the Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP)

You could quality for in-state tuition in fifteen states:

Qualify for in-state tuition in Hawaii, Alaska, California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, and South Dakota, thanks to the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education

The Western Regional Graduate Program (WRGP) allows master’s, graduate certificate, and doctoral students who are residents of WICHE member states to enroll in 900+ graduate programs at 60 public institutions outside of their home state and pay up to 150 percent of resident tuition. In fall 2019, 1,907 students enrolled through WRGP and saved $27.9 million in tuition.


Graduate Record Examination (GRE) no longer required

Thanks for the memories. No more Graduate Record Examination Requirement! The TCBES graduate program will no longer require the GRE test requirement as part of the program's application materials. We are diminishing reliance on the test and looking at alternate markers of success, such as skills, testimonials, and character attributes that better predict future success in the life sciences.


Farewell to Spring 2020

The end of this spring semester concluded several journeys for our students - MS thesis defenses, final professional internship presentations, and graduation! If you were unable to attend these events, you can check them out on the TCBES YouTube channel!

The TCBES graduate program accomplished so much this semester that we had to compile it into a newsletter!


The Spring 2020 graduation list is out!

Congratulations to Devon Aguiar, Alex Bischer, Keith Burnett, Talavi Cook, Samantha DeVivo, Ryan Domingo, Melanie Leilā Dudley, John Flint, Stephanie Gayle, Maya Goodoni, Amanda Irish, Kelsey Keister, Angalee Kirby, Kristina Montoya-Aiona, Emma Delia Sinclair, and Leah Sherwood -- our new M.S. degree recipients! A record 16 graduates, including 10 from our first cohort of students from the Professional Internship Track! Congratulations to all!


TCBES Internship Presentations

Want a detailed look into what our Professional Internship students have accomplished during their journey in the TCBES graduate program?

Watch the TCBES Professional Internship Presentations on our YouTube page!.


Published in the journal Science: Study headed by UH Hilo evolutionary ecologist shows surprising findings about diversity and extinction

Matthew Knope, professor of biology at the university of hawaii at hilo, published in the journal Science, titled: Ecologically diverse clades dominate the oceans via extinction resistance

Matthew Knope, Assistant Professor of Biology at the UHH, publishes in the journal Science on "Ecologically diverse clades dominate the oceans via extinction resistance". Read Susan Enright's article coverage on this wonderful feat! Congratulations Dr. Knope!


TCBES Graduate Students Help Judge the 2020 Hawaii District Science and Engineering Fair!

TCBES graduate students pose with director of the science fair

Our very own TCBES graduate students Lisa Mason and Carmelita Villalobos served as judges at the 2020 Hawaii District Science and Engineering Fair! This event is presented by UH at Hilo Sigma Xi Chapter and represents and supports Big Island schools and the community. Students conduct scientific research and disseminate this information to scientists and community groups. Pictured: Lisa Mason, Ernie Kho (Director), Carmelita Villalobos.

Announcement Archives

Older news announcements can be found in our Archived Announcements section