The Research Experience in Marine Science (REMS) program at the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) is an advanced, inquiry driven, experiential summer course that builds science and environmental literacy skills for Hawai‘i high school students and recent graduates. The goal of the program is to increase interest in marine science fields among students whose ethnicities are underrepresented in marine science majors at UH Mānoa. The program encourages participation from students attending Hawai‘i Public schools with high enrollments of native Hawaiian, Filipino, and other Pacific Islander ethnicities.
The course is located at Moku o Lo‘e (Coconut Island) in Kāne‘ohe Bay and utilizes the expertise of HIMB researchers whose specialties demonstrate how human impacts and global change affect coral reef ecosystems. Topical content is taught over two weeks with an emphasis on marine conservation, stewardship and sustainability. At the completion of the first two weeks of instruction, student teams conceptualize and execute a research project over the following three weeks. At the end of the program, student teams present their findings at a final symposium, where they have a chance to interact with the audience by answering questions pertaining to their research project. The program provides students with a meaningful and rigorous introduction to marine biology and scientific research, as well as an improved understanding of the connection between coastal resources and the effects of human impacts and climate change on coral reef ecosystems. Equally important, it builds valuable skills in science literacy and communication, teamwork, leadership, and mentoring.