Hawai'i Pacific University and The Oceanic Institute join forces

A partnership agreement between the Oceanic Institute and Hawai'is largest private university was signed on Monday, June 9, 2003. The cooperation will expand education and research opportunities in marine science and aquaculture; Masters degree and PhD courses will be offered within 10 years.
Hawai'i Pacific University and The Oceanic Institute join forces
May 20, 2011

"This partnership between Hawai'i Pacific University and The Oceanic Institute will open up vast, new opportunities for HPU that were previously a vision," stated HPU President Chatt G. Wright. "Our students and faculty will have access to the Institute's scientists and extensive laboratories for joint research and education in marine science and biotechnology. Hawai'i Pacific will expand its marine and environmental science and oceanography programs into new master's and doctoral level programs in the sciences as a result of this affiliation with The Oceanic Institute."

Hawai'i Pacific's marine biology program has flourished, and HPU is one of the few universities in the nation to offer hands-on oceanographic field research to undergraduate students. Hawai'i Pacific University has a research vessel moored in Kane'ohe Bay. HPU undergraduate students have participated in many research projects and internships with faculty members, including use of submersibles for underwater research. The affiliation with OI will greatly enhance these opportunities.

"This cooperative agreement with HPU will allow us to expand our education and training programs, thereby enabling a broader dissemination of the marine science and aquaculture technologies developed by our scientists," explained Dr. Thomas E. Farewell, President and CEO of The Oceanic Institute. "OI's esteemed scientific reputation at home and abroad will complement HPU's national and international reputation as a leading academic center for education."

The Oceanic Institute develops technologies designed to increase aquatic food production, restore marine fisheries, and protect ocean resources. Scientists resolve problems associated with the culture of marine shrimp and significant finfish species through multidisciplinary research and development in areas such as life-cycle technologies; aquatic microbiology; analytical biochemistry; nutrition; feeds processing and live feeds production; aquaculture production system design; and animal health, genetic selection, and behavior studies.

"The affiliation between Hawai'i Pacific University and The Oceanic Institute will further Hawai'i's stature as a global center for research and education in aquaculture, biotechnology, and the marine sciences. In doing so, I am hopeful that it will provide greater hands-on learning opportunities for Hawai'i's students and those who travel to our islands, inspiring them to enter into a variety of science fields, or even as entrepreneurs of the technologies developed," stated U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye.

Officials at Hawai'i Pacific University and The Oceanic Institute have considered a partnership between HPU and OI for almost three years. As part of the affiliation, HPU's President Wright will serve as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Oceanic Institute. Also, two-thirds of The Oceanic Institute's Board of Trustees will be selected by Hawai'i Pacific University. Oceanic Institute's President and CEO, Dr. Thomas Farewell, will also serve as an Executive Vice President of HPU.

The Oceanic Institute and Hawai'i Pacific University hail the affiliation as a significant enhancement for both institutions and emphasize that the affiliation will not affect existing collaborations, partnerships, and joint programs with other organizations and, in fact, should enhance the opportunities for additional research and education collaborations in the State and around the world. Each institution remains responsible for developing and funding its core research and educational programs. OI remains a publicly supported, not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), applied research and development corporation. HPU remains a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3), nonsectarian, coeducational, postsecondary educational institution.

"The formal affiliation between HPU and OI will provide another avenue to transfer the technology developed at OI, providing great exposure to students and faculty," said Dr. Shaun M. Moss, Director of Shrimp Technology at The Oceanic Institute and Associate Professor of Biology at Hawai'i Pacific University. "I hope that my colleagues at OI join me in teaching classes at HPU and I look forward to opportunities for collaborative research at OI with HPU faculty."

Dr. Andrew Brittain, Acting Dean of the College of Natural Sciences at HPU, agrees, "Our professors can collaborate with Oceanic Institute's scientists on projects of mutual interest, and students will have expanded opportunities in scientific research through OI field experiences. It's a wonderful relationship, as research-oriented lab and fieldwork are large components of the HPU educational experience."

The Institute's extensive research facilities include hatchery facilities for marine shrimp and finfish, aquatic feeds research laboratories, microbiology and chemical analysis laboratories, and classroom facilities that include a wet lab and computer access.

"The opportunity allows us to develop certificate programs in areas such as aquaculture, offer a graduate program in applied marine science, and share facilities for research and education. The possibilities are limitless," continued Dr. Brittain.

"OI routinely offers internships to high school and university students and provides vocational training to community-based groups and small farmers. Our collaboration with HPU will give us the ability to offer courses leading to a certificate or degree that combines our hands-on style with HPU's academic environment," said Gary E. Karr, Manager of Communications, Education, and Training for The Oceanic Institute. "HPU graduates also have career opportunities with OI. It's a win-win relationship-both institutions win, the faculty and researchers win, the students win, and the community wins."

Hawai'i Pacific University was founded in 1965. HPU, with an overall student body in excess of 9,000 and with an annual budget of over $85 million, is Hawai'i's largest private university. Currently, HPU has two campuses, a downtown campus centered on Fort Street Mall, and the 135-acre residential Hawai'i Loa campus located in Kane'ohe. Also, HPU has more than 1,200 faculty and staff and boasts an endowment fund of almost $65 million. Hawai'i Pacific University is one of the most diverse universities in the nation with student representation from more than 100 countries. HPU offers more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs located within seven schools and colleges, including the College of Natural Sciences, which serves as an umbrella for HPU's science-based programs.

The Oceanic Institute, located on 56 acres at Makapu'u Point on O'ahu, was founded in 1960. Education and research facilities are also located in Kona on the island of Hawai'i. The Institute is an independent, not-for-profit, applied research and education organization dedicated to the development and transfer of technology and applications in aquaculture, environmental science, and marine biology. It has an annual research budget of $8 million and employs over 100 staff.

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Hawai'i Pacific University and The Oceanic Institute join forces