Nick and Laina Bahrdunn - UH Hilo, 2004-2008
Kona Pacific Public Charter School: 7th Grade Teachers
"After graduation, we worked in Idaho as Fisheries Biologists, traveled throughout South America, and taught English in Vienna, Austria. We returned to the Big Island in 2013 and Nick has been teaching full time in Kealakekua."
Karli Rice Chudeau - UH Mānoa, 2007-2010
"MOP gave me, as a floundering freshman, a group of people who loved the ocean as much as I did and wanted to learn more about it. The program itself provided countless opportunities that helped refine my interests in marine mammal behavior and although I did not know it at the time, MOP also set me up to be a successful researcher and academic writer."
Danielle Claar - UH Hilo, 2008-2012
University of Victoria (British Columbia, Canada): PhD Student
Website: Danielle Claar Weebly page
"MOP provided me with the opportunity to develop and carry out my own research project as an undergraduate, and allowed me to develop my diving leadership skills. Because of MOP, and the supportive professors at UH Hilo, I have been able to turn these skills into a PhD position at the University of Victoria that combines my love for diving, fieldwork, and marine ecology. Mahalo, MOP!"
John Coney - UH Hilo, 1984-1986, 1989-2013
University of Hawai`i at Hilo: Physics and Astronomy Program and Technician
"I got involved with MOP via my college roommate Chris Doll. I did some dive support and turtle tagging, back when it was a three day camping trip. I later worked for MOP for 24 years."
Jill Grotkin - UH Hilo, 1998-2001, 2009-2015
University of Hawai`i at Hilo: Marine Science Educational Specialist
"The photos on the wall outside the MOP office are what sparked my interest in Marine Science as a freshmen in college. I was fortunate to work as MOP Student Coordinator and was immersed in the many exciting opportunities MOP has to offer. I have since come full-circle and now am able to contribute to the education and experience of UH Hilo Marine Science students. Mahalo nui loa MOP!"
Cynthia Hunter - UH System, 2007-Present
UH Mānoa: Director, Marine Option Program and Associate Professor, Department of Biology
Phone: (808) 956-4748
"I have had the honor and privilege of being MOP Director since 2007. Trying to fill the shoes of Dr. Sherwood Maynard, Director of MOP for the previous 27 years, has been a great challenge but the staff and coordinators from all of the campuses have been a huge help. It's all about the students - and MOP has the best!"
Randall Kosaki - UH Mānoa, 1980-1983
NOAA: Deputy Superintendent, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument
Phone: (808) 725-5816
"The experience I gained from MOP and QUEST opened the door to numerous volunteer and paid field research experiences for me as an undergraduate student. Those in turn led directly to my current career, which has included coral reef research at numerous islands and atolls across the tropical Pacific."
Jeff Kuwabara - UH Mānoa, 1991-1995, 2005-present
"I arrived at UHM hungry to learn about the ocean and by taking advantage of all the opportunities MOP offered (QUEST, MAST, field trips, internships, student employment as student coordinator), I received the kind of training that led directly to a position as a marine educator with the Hanauma Bay Education Program (1996-2003), the manager of Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument's discovery center in Hilo (2003-2005), and then back home to MOP as the Mānoa Campus Coordinator (2005-present). Without MOP, none of this would have been possible."
Ross A. Martin - UH Hilo, 2003-2006
DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources with grants from National Parks Service (NPS) and NOAA
"MOP helped me gain real hands on experience in the field and to connect with other marine biologists. In turn this helps gain further knowledge to protect the underwater realm."
Julia Rose - UH Hilo, 2011-2015
The Nature Conservancy: South Kohala Marine Coordinator
"Because of MOP and QUEST, I not only developed practical skills in marine research, but also applied them in the field with several different agencies before graduating. MOP has been instrumental in providing me opportunities, contacts, and research experience, and I now coordinate a regional partnership to implement conservation strategies along 24 miles of coastline in South Kohala, Hawai`i Island."
Kelley Anderson Tagarino - American Samoa CC, 2011-2013
"As the director of the ASCC Marine Option Program, I was able to connect students to marine science in ways that aligned with their interests. Working with MOP students and external mentors was a wonderful experience, I also enjoyed getting students in the field and conducting research. Being involved in MOP allowed me to assist students in reaching their goals, and strengthened my relationships with local agencies."
Chad Wiggins - UH Hilo, 2000-2003
The Nature Conservancy: Hawai`i Island Marine Program Director
"Through the QUEST program, MOP taught me the technical skills I needed to be competitive in a tough job market. More importantly, I learned how important collaboration and conservation are - truly respecting all perspectives and knowledge bases - conserving everything (not just biology, but finances too) - and having fun while getting experience beyond the classroom. Mahalo MOP!"