Hawai’i Mesonet funding for ‘Ike Wai team member sets stage to leverage data science for climate impact

Congratulations to ‘Ike Wai scientist Dr. Thomas Giambelluca and his team on their recent funding of an NSF Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) award for the funding of a Hawai’i Mesonet.

This $1.3M grant will install 84 climate stations in some of the most remote parts of the state. Stations will each have a data logger, power supply with solar charging and a telecom device allowing for real-time data transmission. The research team will gain hands-on field experience in instrument installation, calibration and maintenance, while collaborating with water and natural resource managers, fire departments, and state and federal organizations. The data collected will be incorporated in classes and the researchers will work with programs intended to boost the involvement of Native Hawaiian students in research.

Mesonet is critically linked to the Hawai’i Climate Data Portal (HCDP), a central initiative of ‘Ike Wai EPSCoR program

“We are delighted to congratulate Tom and team on this funding,” says Dr. Gwen Jacobs, Ike Wai Principal Investigator and  Co-Director of the Hawai’i Data Science Institute (HI-DSI), which houses the Hawai’i Climate Data Portal. “EPSCoR provided seed funding for the HCDP and Giambelluca’s work over the last 3 years to develop and bring the Hawai’i Climate Atlas to its next level of evolution. Hawaii EPSCoR has also supported these efforts by maintaining the infrastructure and software that serves the Climate Atlases for the last 9 years as well as preserving and housing 80 terabytes of climate observations and simulation data products. Mesonet will now provide unprecedented spatial and temporal data streams that through HCDP will be available for research, education and decision support.”

HCDP Cyberinfrastructure research scientist Sean Cleveland notes: “ We are excited to see Mesonet data become available through HCDP. These 84 new climate stations will enrich the HCDP and we are particularly excited to integrate the resulting data sets into our new NSF Cybertraining grant and our HI-DSI Data Fellows program, where undergraduate and graduate students will work alongside faculty to gain insights form these large datasets.”

“Initiatives like Mesonet are the future of EPSCoR in the state and the Pacific region,” adds Jacobs. “Going forward with ESPCoR we envisage working at that critical interface between climate science and data science, which will transform the evidence base for making informed decisions in Hawai’i and the Pacific to achieve future climate mitigation, adaptation and resilience.”

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