The Universe Tonight

Sep 1, 2012 6:00pm
Office of Mauna Kea Management


Saturday, September 1st, 2012 at 6:00PM

 Dr. Fritz Klasner and Dr. Jesse Eiben


 Natural History, Plants and Arthropods on the Summit of Mauna Kea

 Come join us at the Visitor Information Station as Dr. Jesse Eiben and Dr. Fritz Klasner discuss the natural history and management of plants and arthropods on Mauna Kea. In their presentation, Dr. Eiben and Dr. Klasner will present an overview of the natural resources found in the alpine regions of Mauna Kea.  They will be speaking about the natural history of Mauna Kea and the unique flora and fauna found there.  Then, Dr. Eiben and Dr. Fritz will go over the recent decisions by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service to remove the wekiu bug as a candidate for the endangered species, which is an example of how the policy decision was influenced by scientific findings and management efforts. In addition, current research emphases, including those to improve our understanding of native arthropod biodiversity will be highlighted.  Management activities, such as development of an invasive species plan for the mountain which highlight the application of such research knowledge will also be discussed.



Dr. Jesse Eiben - Entomology Researcher - PEPS / CTHAR / UH Manoa

 Jesse has studied the life history and genetics of the wekiu bug on Mauna Kea since Fall 2005 culminating in his recently completed PhD dissertation and scientific publications.  Jesse described the growth and development of the wekiu bug, and investigated the temperatures these insects need to grow and survive.  This work, along with population genetics of the wekiu bug has helped define the type of habitat the insect requires and how their populations grow on Mauna Kea.

Jesse is continuing studying the arthropods at high elevations on Mauna Kea as a researcher working with Dr. Dan Rubinoff based in the Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences Department in CTAHR at UH Manoa and partnering with the Office of Mauna Kea Management.  Jesse's current project involves describing new high elevation arthropod species on Mauna Kea, and creating a comprehensive baseline and ecosystem monitoring plan of the alpine and sub-alpine insects in the Mauna Kea Science Reserve and other UH managed lands on Mauna Kea.

Fritz Klasner - Natural Resource Program Manager - Office of Mauna Kea Management

Fritz is the Natural Resource Program Manager for the Office of Mauna Kea Management.  His responsibilities include implementing the Natural Resources Management Plan, a component of the Comprehensive Management Plan.  Recent Natural Resource Program emphases include developing an invasive species management plan and coordinating community involvement in Mauna Kea's resource management program activities. Prior to joining OMKM he worked as Resource Manager at Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska and as an ecologist with the Pacific Island Inventory & Monitoring Network based at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. While at Kenai Fjords he led their Natural and Cultural Resource programs, including developing long-term monitoring and adaptation strategies addressing climate change. He has a Master's degree in resource Geography from Oregon State, where he studied the impacts of management activities and climate on changes in alpine treeline.


On the first Saturday of each month, the Visitor Information Station (VIS) hosts The Universe Tonight, a special presentation on the current research and discoveries occurring on Mauna Kea. The presentation begins at 6:00 PM and is followed by the regular evening stargazing program at the VIS.

The Universe Tonight typically features an astronomer from one of the observatories on Mauna Kea giving a presentation on recent observations and discoveries from their telescope. Observatories are on a rotating schedule. If you would like to know about upcoming presentations, please call the VIS at (808) 961-2180 during operational hours.

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