On Tuesday, May 22, 2012, 60 HWEA members and friends enjoyed a delicious buffet luncheon at Treetops Restaurant and an engaging talk from Nikolai Maximenko on research he and Jan Hafner are conducting to Track Tsunami Marine Debris.
It’s been over a year since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011. In addition to the loss of life and property in Japan, a mass of debris has been steadily moving westward in the Pacific Ocean and threatens to impact Hawaii and the Western United States.
Through the use of a computer model, Nikolai and Jan have been able to predict the path of the debris, including an apparent detour around Midway Island. While it is inevitable that the debris will hit the western coast of the United States and eventually Hawaii the impacts that it will have both economically and environmentally are still matters for discussion.
Nikolai is a Senior Researcher with the International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaii.
Jan Hefner, Lori Morikami, Nikolai Maximenko, and Chris Woolaway get acquainted prior to Nikolai’s talk.