Scientists Make Exciting New Discovery in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Sean Corson
Sean Corson

FORD ISLAND  (KHNL) -- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists make new discoveries in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The scientists have just returned from a two week trip to the Marine National Monument. While there, they made an exciting historical discovery.

This team of scientists is made up of people with very different specialties. Some study sharks, and other predators. Others focus on invertebrate genetics, and coral health.

"The genetic research that's going on with corals and other invertebrates helps us have a better understanding of how animals will react to different environmental stresses," said chief Scientist Sean Corson.

There's also a maritime heritage team that survey's historical sites, and looks for undiscovered ones. On this trip, they've discovered something special, and are pretty excited.

"Absolutely, absolutely, we're thrilled," said Corson.

The team found a 19th century wooden sailing ship, they think it may be the Churchill, which sank in 1917.

"So they'll be following up, they'll look at archival records and begin doing lab research to try and determine what in fact they found," he added.

Corson says their research in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands is unique, and very important to marine life in the main Hawaiian Islands.

"Probably foremost is there are so few people in the Marine National Monument. It's unlike many other archaeological systems if we can learn from this area where there are few people and then transfer that information to the main Hawaiian Islands then we can help benefit management down here."

Another NOAA team is heading out to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on Monday, for this season's final research trip.