Kaua'i Community College blesses its new Marine Science Laboratory

Kauaʻi Community College
Camilla Matsumoto, (808) 245-8280
Community Relations & Spec Projects, Chancellor's Office
Posted: Sep 25, 2013

Kaua'i CC students test water samples in new lab.
Kaua'i CC students test water samples in new lab.

(LIHUE, Hawai'i)  Kaua'i Community College will hold a blessing ceremony of its newly completed Marine Science Laboratory, Thursday, September 26, 2013, from 11:00 am – Noon.  The honorable Reverend Wayne Vidinha, Sr. of Ke Akua Mana Church will conduct the blessing.

Kaua'i CC added a new degree program in natural sciences last year with courses specifically for biological and physical science majors.  Now, the College offers all the biology, chemistry, mathematics, and physics that any student will need for the first two years of a bachelor of science degree.  The new lab, a result of years of careful designing and planning funded by the generous support of anonymous donors along with newly hired marine biologist, will meet the needs of students working toward careers with an emphasis on marine biology and life sciences.

Students at Kaua'i CC have already developed a reputation for excellent community projects through the Marine Option Program (MOP).  More than ten MOP students were hired, given fellowships, or paid internships in the past year for their work on water quality, marine debris, and beach erosion projects. Last spring, Kaua'i CC students competed and surpassed students from four-year institutions to win awards at the state-wide Marine Options Programs Symposium held on Maui.

UH Manoa researchers worked with Kaua'i CC faculty and students this summer studying the coral disease outbreak. Community demand and opportunities for research and study at on-site facilities such as this new marine science facility will only increase.  The College also received over $5,000 from NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) to purchase new laboratory-grade chairs specifically designed for the wetlab classroom.

The new laboratory “is a clear indication of both our community support and the strengthening of our science programs,” said Chancellor Helen Cox.  “The College prides itself on working with the community to identify needs and then to respond accordingly.  That is what happened in this case,” Cox added.

“We want high school students and their parents to know, you don’t have to leave the island to get started on a science degree. We want these students and the community to know we have great programs, faculty, projects, and now, facilities right here on Kaua'i, for Kaua'i,” said Dr. Stephen Taylor, assistant professor of physical sciences and Marine Option Program coordinator.