Maui Nui – 2017


Dr. Jennifer Smith, Professor, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Dr. Emily Kelly, Postdoctoral Researcher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Nicole Pedersen, Staff Researcher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Samantha Clements, Staff Researcher, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Darla White, Aquatic Biologist, Department of Aquatic Resources, Maui
Russell Sparks, Aquatic Biologist, Department of Aquatic Resources, Maui

Dean Tokishi, Ocean Resources Specialist, Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission

Lee James, Captain
Peter Colombo, Captain, Ultimate Snorkel
Joe Reich, Captain, Alyce Sportfishing


In April 2017, a team of researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) led by Drs. Jennifer Smith and Emily Kelly visited Maui Nui in the Main Hawaiian Islands to conduct baseline assessments using photomosaic techniques. The islands surveyed within the Maui Nui complex are Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Kaho’olawe.

The scientific team was divided into two teams to collect large are images across Maui Nui. The Smith and Sandin Labs at Scripps Institution of Oceanography have a long history collaborating with numerous monitoring and conservation agencies in Hawaii, including the Department of Aquatic Resources (DAR), Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC), National Park Service (NPS) and the Coral Reef Ecosystem Program (CREP) within the National Oceanic and Atomospheric Administration (NOAA). During this particular deployment, the Scripps team coordinated survey efforts with scientists within DAR and KIRC who provided support and access to sites in Maui Nui, particularly around Kahoʻolawe .

During the two-week expedition, the team was able to collect 22 photomosaics in total, establishing permamnent survey sites at each. Eight photomosaics were collected in Molokai, eight in Lanai, four in Kahoʻolawe, and two in Maui. The 100 Island Challenge team will return in 2019 to re-survey these established sites in Maui Nui.