I live on the North Shore of Oahu which is the surfing mecca of the world. Here the great waves are endowed with the names Pipeline, Sunset, and Waimea. It probably seems strange that I would want to leave an island paradise for a frozen island like Greenland, but I love experiencing new places and people. I grew up in rural Wisconsin, lived in Colorado, Washington state, and for two years lived in Abor, Ghana, West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer teacher.
I worked in the field of warmwater aquaculture here in Hawaii on a farm growing algae, oysters, and shrimp before beginning a teaching career. I miss the fresh sea food, but enjoy working with my students to understand the concepts behind chemistry and Advanced placement chemistry at Kahuku High and Intermediate School; I also advise the school web page. I have degrees in both chemistry and fisheries biology. I received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Teaching in 1997.
I play and dance to music from classical to jazz. I perform with two other teachers in a modern dance group, as well as swing and ballroom dancing with my husband. I believe in educating the whole person. I feel it is important to emphasize the connections between the arts and science and the need to be both an athlete and a scholar.
Impact of Changing Habitat and Climate on High Arctic
Char in Freshwater Ecosystems
Dr. Richard Radtke, University of Hawaii
Our study will center around the Arctic charr, the only freshwater species
of fish in the high Arctic. Within any charr population certain individuals spend part of their life in saltwater and return to fresh water to spend the winter. We presume that this movement or migration between two extreme environments is encoded genetically, but what triggers
this migratory movement? The environmental conditions are relatively unpredictable from day to day. So what tells the fish to leave?
We will look for a correlation between the harsh environmental factors, the migration patterns, and genetic variation. The study will take place in
several arctic regions from Greenland to Canada. The environmental factors
that will be cataloged will include the ice cover and water flow from these
fresh water lakes. Fish migratory patterns will be assessed by looking at
the otoliths, a bony structure within the fish's brain cavity. The otoliths are able to tell a life history story, much like the growth rings
of a tree. The genotype will be assessed using advanced mitochondrial DNA.
In answering these questions we hope to learn more about the interplay
between the environment and genetic predisposition.