Day 18: Sunday Funday—fishpond drones and beach house bbq

The first item on our class agenda was a 10:00 AM rendezvous with our teachers and TAs to head off to He`eia fishpond—a 500 year-old Hawaiian fishpond currently under the care of Paepae o`He`eia—for a collaborative project with the UH Geography Department put together by Dr. Wedding. The project involved some remote-controlled helicopters (drones) taking pictures of the entire fishpond so that we could map it out in GIS and later use for lidar (Light Detecting and Ranging). The entire project will result in maps that show where invasive species like mangroves (Rhizophora sp.) or Gorilla Ogo (Gracilaria salicornia) are in the pond. That would allow more surveys can be done in the future and show change in invasive species coverage due to community removal effort. Chuck (UH Dept. of Geography) and Ted (retired Boeing engineer), were our pilots for the day and they were super excited to use those drones.

 Ted (left) and Chuck (right) launching the drone while Dan (middle) watches. (Photo by Aly)

Tiara (left) andI (right) marking the GPS point for our control (a marker used to overlay the photos onto a map). (Photo by Nikki)

Spotted Eagle Ray (Aetobatus narinari) cruising in the Fishpond. (Photo by Nikki)

Gotta love the backdrop to research in Hawai`i. (Photo by Nikki)

Afterwards, all of us went back to the Island to prepare for the annual BIOL 403 barbeque. Ryan and Troy Boy were the grill masters with help from Dan (marinated Chicken, Hotdogs, grilled vegetables), Nikki made guacamole, Liz and Aly made batches of brownies, Mike made some salad and rice, Jesse and Kate brought all the drinks and ice down, and the rest helped out where needed. I was responsible for a side dish and I made some pineapple salsa, probably one of the best batches I ever made (credit to Lauren for picking bomb pineapples). With all of the combined effort, we probably hosted the best BIOL 403 barbeque ever because there was food when guests arrived.


Grill masters!  Ryan to the left and Troy to the right. (Photo by Nikki)

Brownie bonding! Liz to the left and Aly to the right (Photo by Kaela)

The night went great! There were lots of laughter, conversation, and a heck of a lot of food. It was nice to sit and eat with our TAs (Keisha, Lauren, Ryan L.) on dry ground, spend some time with Dr. Wedding without having a GIS project open, and just overall nice to see everyone relaxing a bit in our own delirious, lack-of-sleep way.

Chilling at the Beach House. Left to right: Aly, Kelsey, Jesse, Liz, Lauren, Kaela. (Photo by Nikki)

By the grill. Left to right: Andre, Ryan, Dan, Tiara, Nikki. (Photo by Allan)

Afterwards, the BIOL 403 cleaned up in record time and headed back to the dorms to make our way through our Research drafts due Monday night. Cause, you know, we never do anything else like sleep.


Now we wait for Flossie….


For more information on He`eia fishpond:




Wonderfully delicious….(Photo by Aly)


Yield: Makes about 2 1/2 cups salsa

Prep Time: 10 minutes


2 cups diced fresh pineapple
1 cup diced red pepper
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
3 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded
1 clove garlic, minced
Juice of 1 large lime
Salt, to taste


In a medium bowl, combine pineapple, red pepper, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, garlic, and lime juice. Stir until well combined. Season with salt, to taste. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

This delicious recipe brought to you by Two Peas & Their Pod

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One Response to “Day 18: Sunday Funday—fishpond drones and beach house bbq”

  1. Dorothy Nesbit Says:

    Yummy– great recipe even without the genuine freshly picked Hawaiian pineapple!

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