OPIHI Intern

Arencibia Opihi Intern

"My role in OPIHI is to educate others about scientific methods and get teachers and their students enthusiastic about learning and the scientific process."

Hometown

Bloomfield, New Jersey

What is OPIHI*?
There are two primary focuses of OPIHI. Our main focus is to pursue our own independent study under the guidance of a researcher. The secondary focus of this program is to educate others on scientific methods by conducting an ecological study across the island of O‘ahu that surveys macroalgae within the intertidal zone.

How or why did you become part of this internship?
I became involved with this internship because I was looking for ways to gain experience within the field of scientific research and further develop myself as a scientist. I chose this program because it combines aspects of research and outreach. I believe that one of the most important components of science is being able to educate others by putting things that you learn from your data into everyday language.

What is your role in OPIHI?
My role in OPIHI is to educate others about scientific methods and get teachers and their students enthusiastic about learning and the scientific process.

What has been the best part of the program experience so far?
The best part of this program has without a doubt been being able to interact with like-minded students who are as enthusiastic about science as I am.

What is the focus of your science research project?
My study focuses on the ecological impacts of nutrient loading by submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) at Black Point here on O‘ahu. I am specifically looking at the relative abundances of different macroalgae and changes in biodiversity with respect to different biogeochemical zones that occur as a result of SGD.

In what ways do you hope to make a difference in your field?
I would like to get more people excited about science. Whether we are aware of it or not, we use the scientific method every day of our lives. When we wake up, we are forced to collect data, analyze it, and make decisions based off of our observations. This can be as simple as looking at the weather channel and deciding what clothes are appropriate for that day. I believe that with the help of science, we can make the best decisions in our schools, governments, and everyday personal lives.

What are your plans after graduation?
I would like to further my education and pursue a master’s degree eventually. For now, I will be staying on the island of O‘ahu and helping out the local research community to the best of my ability.

* Our Project in Hawai‘i’s Intertidal (OPIHI) is a series of professional development workshops from the COE Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG).

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