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Ike Wai Project

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Dr. Kim Burnett is research economist of the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (UHERO). Her research primarily focuses on invasive species management, water conservation, and the importance on watershed management, particularly in Hawaii and the Pacific. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Economics at Loyola University New Orleans and soon, thereafter continued her major through her Master’s and PhD. Her strong passion for the community is what drives her to make a difference in preserving Hawaii’s water resources. In the presence of today, Dr. Burnett and her team are working on the Ike Wai project, which is an interdisciplinary research project involving a diverse team, working to measure the interconnectivity between water availability and sustainability in Hawaii. As climate change continues to persist in affecting marine life, weather, land mass, water resources, and more, many researchers are taking…show more content…
To secure Hawaii’ water future, their first step includes the stakeholder input. Researchers must come together and discuss their policies and constraints, and how they can reach their goal in securing Hawaii’s water future. The following step is groundwater modeling, a process of understanding the gist of all the science aspects of data being collected. This type of research requires a variety of scientists, such as microbiologists, geochemists, and hydrologists. An example includes taking a water sample from an area on Oahu to determine what direction the water is flowing from. Their job is to collect samples of data and analyze if there is any relationship between water and climate. The next step in their project is economic modeling, a stage of scenario-playing and discussing the economic benefits for the community. The final stage is decision support, which is directly answering questions regarding watershed policies, data, system capacity, and
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