There's More to Islands ... OIA Conversations

Reflecting on Her Expedition and Gift from the Challenger Deep - A Highlight

June 07, 2021 Office of Insular Affairs' (OIA) Communications Lead Tanya Harris Joshua
There's More to Islands ... OIA Conversations
Reflecting on Her Expedition and Gift from the Challenger Deep - A Highlight
Show Notes Transcript

In honor of Ocean Month, OIA shares this OIA Conversation Highlight with Nicole Yamase, a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa is the first Pacific Islander to descend to the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench. She shares her thoughts on the Ocean and her gift from the expedition to the Department of the Interior Museum.

This audio-recorded conversation is derived from the OIA Conversations series available on YouTube and is provided as a public service to bring more awareness and information about the Office of Insular Affairs and the insular areas with which it works and the programs in the insular areas to which it provides funding. These conversations do not meet requirements for financial reporting nor and neither are any opinions expressed therein endorsed by the U.S. Department of the Interior or the Office of Insular Affairs.

OIA Conversation Series  |  #WhatWeDoIslands  |  www.doi.gov/oia  |  @InsularAffairs

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i'm a phd candidate in the marine

 

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biology graduate program

 

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at the university of hawaii at manoa so

 

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really

 

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overall i'm looking at the ecophysiology

 

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of native macroalgae on our shallow

 

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reefs so

 

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it's looking at how they respond in

 

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terms of their growth and photosynthesis

 

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to different environmental factors that

 

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could be different

 

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irradiance levels nutrient levels um

 

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ocean acidity ocean temperature and also

 

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competition between other organisms

 

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i see and so what have you found what

 

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what is there something shocking or

 

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surprising that you have discovered that

 

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you didn't realize before you started

 

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so that's a good question everybody

 

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you know it's for science we can't

 

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really generally say

 

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oh the ocean climate change is bad for

 

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macroalgae it really depends on what

 

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kind of algae you're looking at because

 

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it's it's

 

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different algae have different

 

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adaptations where they're able to

 

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to respond to high levels of co2 or

 

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temperature different to other organisms

 

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that cannot

 

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and so that was something um that i was

 

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really

 

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surprised about because some of our

 

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algae they're able to take

 

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in or store carbon dioxide and use it

 

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for later

 

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so they're not really being negatively

 

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affected by it

 

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but it's just more more storage for them

 

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for

 

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for the future or later times where when

 

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co2 will be

 

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low so species specific

 

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yes very species specific this is maybe

 

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are they adapting or has it been this

 

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way

 

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um so adaptation

 

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happens over a very long period of time

 

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so they've always been adapting but with

 

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climate change things have been

 

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changing so fast so that's the

 

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difference that they're not

 

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able to have this time to adapt and so

 

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with these changes happening so fast you

 

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know

 

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they get into shock or they they just

 

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can't adapt fast enough

 

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so that's why they're they're not able

 

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to

 

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you know to continue to grow or just be

 

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successful in the environment

 

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why are oceans important oceans are

 

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very important because you know they

 

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they connect all of us the whole world

 

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um they connect us on an

 

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individual local and global scale what

 

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happens on one side of the world can

 

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affect the other side of the world and

 

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the ocean also

 

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regulates our weather our climate it

 

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produces

 

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oxygen for the world it's also a co or

 

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carbon dioxide

 

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sink it's a it provides food and job

 

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securities for us

 

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and it's it's just filled with beautiful

 

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life that ranges from

 

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microscopic phytoplankton all the way to

 

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the

 

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big blue whale you said carbon

 

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carbon dioxide sink what does that mean

 

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yes

 

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so the ocean because it's filled with um

 

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it

 

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it absorbs the carbon dioxide from the

 

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from the atmosphere

 

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with all of the anthropogenic or human

 

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activities that's happening with

 

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releasing

 

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excessive um greenhouse gas emissions

 

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the ocean is acting as a sink where it's

 

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absorbing all of that

 

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and with that whole absorption it's

 

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it's affecting our marine life

 

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ms nicole yamase is the first pacific

 

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islander to travel

 

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all the way down to the challenger deep

 

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before we close two more questions can

 

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you give us an ex a specific example

 

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of what you enjoy about the ocean i love

 

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that the ocean is like our mothers we

 

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can go to the ocean for

 

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many reasons we can go to the ocean to

 

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find

 

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peace of mind go for clarity when we

 

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feel

 

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lost comfort when we feel distressed or

 

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go for

 

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happy memories it also teaches us

 

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so many valuable life lessons and you

 

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know with all that said

 

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the ocean is our mother and we need to

 

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take care of it as if we take care of

 

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our mothers

 

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um nicole last month in honor of asian

 

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american native hawaiian and pacific

 

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islander month you gifted

 

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the department of the interior museum

 

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with a with a

 

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a could you describe that gift yes

 

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um i gifted the museum with a

 

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pressurized

 

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styrofoam cup um the main reason why i

 

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um i brought that down was to use it as

 

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an educational tool

 

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for kids i brought it to to

 

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the last school that i went to and the

 

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kids were so amused and like wondering

 

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how did this happen and so for them to

 

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visualize what pressure does to objects

 

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down at the challenger deep was

 

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was a was a learning moment for them but

 

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on that cup uh

 

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i wrote micronesia on it united we stand

 

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i also wrote all the nations within the

 

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micronesia region

 

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we will invite and encourage people to

 

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to visit the department of the interior

 

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museum in washington dc

 

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and look for your gift which will be

 

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part of the collection

 

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thank you nicole for your time for

 

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interviewing with us in oia

 

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conversations and thank you for the gift

 

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to the department of the interior museum

 

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good luck to you

 

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thank you