Opuhala People

  • What is the Opuhala Project all about?  Opuhala was the ancient Hawaiian goddess of corals and spiny creatures.  We have chosen this name to represent our project to study the influence of fluctuating sea temperatures on the growth and health of corals around the world, and also to compare the in situ data with satellite-measured data in an effort to improve satellite algorithms.  Three different types of coral reefs, fringing, barrier, and atolls will be monitored at 5m, 10m and 15m depth, where appropriate.

  • Opuhala OverviewStudying the influence of fluctuating sea temperatures on the growth and health of corals around the world, and comparing the in situ data with satellite-measured data in an effort to improve satellite algorithms.

  • SensorThe sea temperature sensor developed for the Opuhala project has been developed with low cost in mind because of the many sites that will be measuring sea temperature in this global project.

  • James C. Hendee, Ph.D.

    • Director, Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division
    • 305-361-4396
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    Jim Hendee is the Director of the Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division of the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory (AOML), an oceanographer with NOAA, and the originator (in 1993) of the Coral Health and Monitoring Program, which includes the Coral-List list-server, the Coral Reef Early Warning System (CREWS), and the Integrated Coral Observing Network. CHAMP has been funded over the years by the Coral Reef Conservation Program (CRCP), the High Performance Computing and Communications (HPCC) office, the NOAA Ocean and Atmospheric Research (OAR) line office, and AOML in Miami, Florida. CHAMP now includes other research projects originated and funded by other personnel such as those found on this web site. Dr. Hendee oversees all the CHAMP operations. Hendee received his B.S. in marine biology from Florida State University, his M.S. in marine biology from the University of Alaska at Fairbanks, and his Ph.D. in Information Systems from Nova Southeastern University.

  • Natchanon Amornthammarong, Ph.D.

    • Assistant Scientist
    • 305-361-4537
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    Natchanon Amornthammarong ("Mana") is an engineer/scientist who completed his Ph.D. at Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand in 2006. Dr. Amornthammarong is the co-principal investigator of two projects: 1) Development of an autonomous ammonium fluorescence sensor (AAFS) with a view toward in-situ application, and 2) Development of a submersible ammonium fluorescence analyzer with sustainable power for in-situ and underwater application with a view towards application on Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs). Amornthammarong was a field scientist of the CLIVAR Repeat Hydrography Program, the Gulf of Mexico and East Coast Carbon Cruise (GOMECC) Program, and the Florida Area Coastal Environment (FACE) Program. Amornthammarong's web site is www.astemlab.com.

  • Pamela Fletcher, Ph.D.

    • Regional Extension Coordinator, Broward College
    • 305-361-4553
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    Pamela Fletcher, a Broward College liaison at AOML with the Ocean Chemistry and Ecosystems Division, earned her doctoral degree in July of 2014 from the Soil and Water Science Department of the University of Florida. Dr. Fletcher’s thesis, Using participatory decision support to improve coral reef management, included research results obtained from her involvement with several NOAA‑funded projects, including the Marine and Estuarine Goal Setting for South Florida (MARES) project and the coral reef and marine resource managers climate information needs assessment.

  • Ruben van Hooidonk, Ph.D.

    • Assistant Scientist
    • 305-361-4524
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    Ruben van Hooidonk designed and maintains the redesigned Ocean Acidification Product Suite (OAPS). Dr. van Hooidonk is interested in utilizing global climate models to forecast future risk and uncertainty for coral reefs with climate change and ocean acidification. He currently is a principal investigator on two projects through NOAA’s Coral Reef Conservation Program to improve bleaching prediction and expand the OAPS to the Pacific. Van Hooidonk earned his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 2009 and previously attended Utrecht University in the Netherlands where he earned his B.Sc and M.Sc.

  • Michael Jankulak, M.S.

    • Senior Systems Administrator
    • 305-361-4543
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    Mike Jankulak provides technical support for ACCRETE, as well as the maintenance and deployment of field instrumentation that report data in near-real-time via satellite relay. Jankulak is also the data manager for all time-series of environmental data of the larger CHAMP program. He received his M.S. from the University of Miami in 2012 for his work on association rule mining for the prediction of rapid intensity changes of tropical cyclones.