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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Hawaiʻi Academy of Arts & Science PCS Experiences Tern Island

On Monday, February 27, 2012 Tern Island came to Mrs. Randi Brennon's grade 7 & 8 science classroom...or at least it felt like that.
Students studied maps of the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument and learned where Tern Island is located.  They also learned about some of the other NW Hawaiian Islands, and their Hawaiian names.
Students were challenged in an activity with a poster showing the many kinds of plants and animals that live on Tern and in the surrounding ocean.  There was a lively discussion about taking care of this special island, and possible careers students could follow in their future.
Big Island resident, Erin Kawakami, volunteered as a wildlife monitor on Tern Island from June through December 2011; she shared her experiences while living on the small island.
Erin learned to recognize the 4 different stages that Laysan Albatross chicks go through as they grow up: Downy, then Partly, then Mostly and finally Fully Feathered Chick

Erin and Abram are getting ready to walk through the Laysan Albatross colony on Tern Island.  Each chick will have its own number on a yellow band around a leg.  Every week Erin and Abram will find each chick and write down on the data table if each chick is a DFC, PFC, MFC or FFC.  The 2 volunteers will do this job for many weeks, until...the chicks "fledge," or fly away!  
Erin is teaching the HAAS PCS students how to write the chick stages in the data table.
Every student had a photo of a Laysan Albatross chick pinned to his/her back.  Erin is pointing to the yellow tape where the chick's number is written.  Only yellow bands with black numbers are put on albatross that are hatched on Tern Island.

Students moved around the classroom to find every chick, identify its stage, and write the information in their data table.

What stage do you think this Laysan Albatross chick is: DFC, PFC, MFC or FFC?

This student is getting some help from an albatross hoaloha (friend).
Looks like the Hawaiʻi Academy of Arts & Science PCS has a healthy colony of Laysan Albatross!

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