Happy Hour Seminar - Investigating Hawaiʻi's Water Cycle via Geochemical Analyses and Hawaiian Knowledge

May. 28, 2021

3:00 – 4:00 pm MDT

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Diamond's dissertation research investigates stable isotopes (O&H), major ions, and trace metal chemistry in precipitation and groundwater. The goal is to better understand the recharge zones, connectivity and flow of water in West Hawaiʻi, specifically in the Kīholo and Keauhou aquifers. She uses the stable isotopes to look at recharge zones due to the relationship between isotopic composition and elevation of rainfall/recharge. She also examines the major ion compositions to understand the influence of major climate events like hurricanes and volcanic eruptions. To understand the connectivity and flow of groundwater, She is looking at major ions and trace metals, to better understand the different geology and flow characteristics. As a Native Hawaiian student, she has also been working to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into her research. Many of Hawaiian songs and stories are about water and the water cycle, based on the observations that Native Hawaiians made hundreds of years ago. She will share some examples from the Hawaiian newspaper archives, which is currently a publication in progress. In her future research, she would like to incorporate more aspects of Indigenous knowledge and expertise on water. As a part of her Next Generation Fellowship project with the ODEI, she has developed a best-practices framework for working in and engaging with Indigenous communities in Hawaiʻi. The goal is to re-frame the way we think about Indigenous science and how it can be included in modern research.

Diamond Tachera is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and anticipates to defend her dissertation in Fall 2021. Her dissertation research investigates the water cycle of Hawaiʻi via geochemical analyses. She is also currently a UCAR Next Generations Fellow in the Diversity &, Equity, and Inclusion track. With what she has learned in the first year of her fellowship, she has started a Justice, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion (JEDI) discussion group for her department. This group includes graduate students and faculty who are dedicated to developing more equitable and welcoming policies to support people from a diversity of backgrounds.


Diamond Tachera, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa