Categorized | Featured, Sci-Tech

UH-Hilo student wins prestigious scholarship

Laura Knight. (Photo courtesy of C. Wiener and M. Onuma)


UH-Hilo marine science senior Laura Knight was awarded the prestigious Anna Toy Ng Memorial scholarship during the recent 30th annual Marine Option Program Student Symposium at University of Hawaii Maui College.

This scholarship was established to annually recognize the most exemplary student from across the UH System for marine scholarship, ocean stewardship and participation in the Marine Option Program.

Knight was trained in the University of Hawaii at Hilo’s for-credit class, Quantitative Underwater Ecological Sampling Techniques (QUEST), which is supported by the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Field & Research Team.

As one of the outstanding student leaders in the course, Knight was subsequently hired as a research diver for two annual Reef Assessment and Monitoring (RAMP) expeditions to Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument, conducting reef monitoring surveys.

Knight is a member of NOAA’s Marine Option Program Sea Turtle Rescue Team and was a NOAA Whale Count Site Leader for the program.

Laura Knight Profile

* Role on the expedition:

Benthic Survey Team Diver

* How I became interested in marine science:

I have always been interested in marine science, growing up in California I spent a lot of time exploring tide pools and playing in the water. When I got to high school and took my first marine science course, I was hooked.

* Why is this research important:

The benefit of coral surveys is that they allow you to compare coral health by contrasting the amount of coral, the amount of coral disease, the relationship between high coral cover and fish abundance, etc. This can help the field of conservation because corals are dwindling and it is important to set a baseline of what protected and healthy corals look like.

* Favorite food or meal on the ship:

Salad bar

* Why I love science:

I love science because there is so much to explore. People say that everything has been discovered, but there are still new discoveries and the more you know, truly is the less you know. There are many intricate facets to life and so much to investigate!

* Advice for future marine scientists:

The most important thing is to get involved; do not just wait till you get into college. Start volunteering – it shows that you can work hard and be reliable, and helps develop your interests. Love what you do!

* Favorite part about being at sea:

My favorite part about being out at sea is the connectedness you get of living and working with all the scientists and the break from the rush of daily life. It is a set amount of time away from it all that allows you to focus on the work at hand and meet and work with a lot of great people.

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