Isabella Parsons wins Science and Engineering Fair with help from Malama Huleia

Kauai High School student Isabella Parsons won first place at the Kauai
regional Science and Engineering Fair for her project “Investigating the Effects of the Removal of Red Mangrove Trees on the Ecosystem of Kauai” She worked on this project at Alakoko fishpond with the support of Malama Huleia staff Paleke Flores and Sara Bowen, and the scientific mentoring of Dr. Carl Berg, Malama Huleia BOD.

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Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island Kauai High School student Isabella Parsons shows off her awards and presentation, Saturday during the Kauai Regional Science and Engineering Fair Award Ceremony.

Her own water quality sampling was done at three sites in Alakoko fishpond and one at Puali wetland over a two month period, which coincided with the beginning of mangrove removal from around the edges of Alakoko. She compared her data with the monthly water quality data Malama Huleia has collected for the past 20 months. She then correlated it with Malama Huleia’s data on acres of mangrove removed during her sampling period.

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Dennis Fujimoto/The Garden Island  Isabella Parsons answers questions about her investigations on the removal of Red Mangrove on Kauai’s ecosystem.

As first place winner in the Senior Division, Isabella will go on to the State fair on Oahu and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Phoenix, Arizona this spring. In addition to winning top Senior Division project, Isabella also won in Plant Sciences, Senior Division, and awards from Surfrider Foundation, NTGB and NOAA.

According to Dr. Carl Berg, Isabella collected lots of data, did lots of analysis and lots of parsing to get to her general conclusions. He will continue to work with Isabella to try to improve her conclusions for the state-wide competition and the fair in Phoenix.

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