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MMRP Interns Receive Funding Through UROP at UH Mānoa

Written by: Lily Magee, Pearl Thompson, and Kirby Parnell

We are thrilled to announce that two of our undergraduate interns have received funding through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program at UH Mānoa. Lily Magee and Pearl Thompson were recently chosen as receipients of the Entering Research and Creative Work (ERC) opportunity through UROP. ERC is a merit-based opportunity for students who have more than 60 credits remaining in their bachelor’s degree program. Please see Lily and Pearl’s bios below and help us congratulate them for their hard work and dedication to conserving marine mammals!

Hi! My name is Lillian (Lily) Magee and I am sophomore at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. I am originally from Charlotte, NC. I am working on my B.Sc. in Marine Ecology and Conservation. I am really passionate about sustainability and marine mammals! I began interning with the MMRP in Fall of 2021 where I worked alongside

Dr. Claire Lacey. I assisted her with fieldwork where we photographed the dorsal fins of spinner dolphins to better understand their abundance and distribution around O’ahu. I am currently assisting Ph.D. Candidate Kirby Parnell with her research on Hawaiian monk seal acoustic communication. For this work, I analyze passive acoustic data usingthe program Triton in MATLAB. The purpose of this is to detect and classify Hawaiian monk seal vocalizations. I was recently awarded funding through the ERC opportunity from the UROP for the research I am assisting with! As part of the ERC program, I will be evaluated at the end of my funding cycle (two semesters) and given an opportunity to attend a symposium where students will present their work.

Hello! My name is Pearl Thompson and I am a sophomore at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa studying marine biology. I am originally from Northern California and grew up with a love for diving, surfing and all things ocean related which, as I have grown, has translated to a deep passion for protecting the habitats that I enjoy. At UH, I completed my scientific diver certification in the Spring of 2022 and now work in the UH Mānoa dive program as a teaching assistant for the class. This experience has helped me put my love for the ocean into work. Additionally, since the Spring of 2022, I have been interning at MMRP assisting Kirby Parnell with her research on Hawaiian monk seal acoustics. Specifically, I analyze and categorize Hawaiian monk seal vocalizations, a task that has taught me so much about their vocal interactions and the level of anthropogenic noise they are subjected to.This work has also taught me all about acoustic analysis and how to use softwares like MATLAB. Through my work with Kirby, I have also learned everything I know about the world of research and just what this path in life looks like. For the research I am assisting with at the MMRP, I was recently granted ERC funding from the University of Hawaiʻi’s UROP. This has been beyond valuable as it funds the work that I am doing which allows me to continue pursuing research and opportunities. I hope to keep exploring the world of marine biology and exploring different areas of research!



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