Media Invited Behind the Scenes of NASA Coral Reef Study in Hawaii

Aerial image of the Chuuk barrier reef by Coral Reef Research Foundation.

NASA's new COral Reef Airborne Laboratory (CORAL), a three-year field study of Earth’s valuable coral reef ecosystems, is mounting an operations readiness test in Kane‘ohe Bay, Oahu, Hawaii, in early June. Media are invited to meet the scientists, learn about the mission and see CORAL research equipment on June 9, from noon to 4 p.m. HST at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) on Moku o Loʻe (Coconut) Island in Kane‘ohe Bay.

Over the next year, CORAL will survey reefs at multiple locations from Hawaii to Australia, collecting detailed data needed to better understand how these ecosystems are influenced by environmental factors. The field campaign is using a sophisticated new NASA airborne instrument called PRISM, specifically designed to study coastal ecosystems, with concurrent validation measurements in the ocean. HIMB (a research institute of the University of Hawaii and one of 12 research institutions in CORAL) is hosting experiments in support of the mission and serving as the base for ocean operations and staging.

On Moku o Loʻe Island, media interview opportunities will include CORAL Principal Investigator Eric Hochberg (Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences), NASA CORAL Project Scientist Michelle Gierach (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, California), and HIMB Director Ruth Gates. Photo and filming opportunities will include demonstrations of how the PRISM instrument works, ongoing lab-based CORAL experiments, and a walking tour of the island highlighting HIMB’s research.

Space is limited. Media who would like to attend the event must RSVP to Carol Rasmussen in JPL Media Relations (818-354-5999 or ) by 2 p.m. PDT (11 a.m. HST) on Wednesday, June 1.

The event involves walking about a mile, including up and down stairs. If you are unable to do this, please contact JPL Media Relations to make alternate arrangements.

Learn more about BIOS’s involvement at: Five things to know about coral, and CORAL.