Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Echinoblog in Hawaii! Brisingid Starfish, Mentoring and Musubi!

(courtesy of C. Kelley at the Hawaiian Undersea Research Labs)

So, I was in Hawaii last week on business, visiting some colleagues at the Hawaiian Undersea Research Laboratory at the University of Hawaii, and had intended to treat it as a normal work week.

But then, I got distracted by this...
and a little bit of this...
and this! Mmm.... musubi (aka spam sushi!)
But then, back to the business at hand!

For the last 8 days I've been assisting/collaborating with Margo Edwards, a scientist at the University of Hawaii and a team of students on this:
(courtesy of C. Kelley at the Hawaiian Undersea Research Labs)
A dense community of brisingid asteroids living near Honolulu Harbor. I have previously written about brisingids here. and here.

I was also there to work on various deep-sea starfish/sea urchin videos housed at HURL..such as these..
(courtesy of C. Kelley at the Hawaiian Undersea Research Labs)

The students go to school in Honolulu, Hawaii! Here I am with them at a tour of the Bishop Museum fish and invertebrate zoology collections! (thanks to Lu Eldredge and Arnold Suzumoto!)

The project is still kind of hush, hush..but we were working on deep-sea brisingid starfishes in the Hawaiian region..

(courtesy of C. Kelley at the Hawaiian Undersea Research Labs)

Here are brisingid sea stars living on an old studebaker or somesuch car (among other funky bottoms in the area!)
(courtesy of C. Kelley at the Hawaiian Undersea Research Labs)

While the kids were doing a LOT with the project, they were also a VERY creative bunch and one of them made this- the world's FIRST posable brisingid asteroid plush toy!
and it turns out, there's a hand made ceramic brisingid key chain ornament as well!
Also, while visiting, the kids and I also got to visit the world famous Waikiki Aquarium! (thanks to Norton Chan!)
Here is one of Hawaii's prominent asteroid species.. Pentaceraster cumingi
it has lots of tube feet!

This was an amazing trip.

Great interaction with my students (Erin, Kyle, and Logan) their parents, many new friends!

I am particularly thankful for the very gracious hospitality of Margo Edwards and Chris Kelley at the Hawaiian Undersea Research Laboratory!
I walked away with a wonderful experience that will be hard to top...and like the primary ingredient of this awesome Musubi spam making kit, my memories and love for this trip will last a long time...
Mahalo to all that were involved!

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