LAHAINA - The Marine Options Program coordinator for the University of Hawaii Maui College, Donna Liddicote Brown, has been teaching oceanography and ocean conservation for nearly 20 years.
A West Maui resident, Brown has long recognized the need and interest in ocean awareness on our side of the island. Her dream has been to bring the Marine Options Program to Lahaina, and that may become a reality soon.
In the Fall 2014 semester, U.H. Maui will offer "Introduction to the Marine Options Program" at the Lahaina Education Center. Explaining the program and offering a basic orientation to ocean awareness, this eight-week course will run Thursday evenings from Aug. 28 through Oct. 16 from 6 to 7:50 p.m. at the Lahaina Education Center on Kenui Street near the Front Street Apartments.
Students can take college classes at the Lahaina Education Center.
If there is sufficient interest, the goal is to offer one class each semester in Lahaina that will go toward fulfilling the ASC (Academic Subject Certificate) in Marine Options. This would enable West Siders to become involved with area projects.
Brown said, "This is a pretty exciting time for people in West Maui to get involved with marine studies. We know the reefs are dying, but we have the attention of many who are trying to save them. Right now, a group of UCSD Scripps grad students are undertaking a big project. They're photographing huge portions of the ocean floor in a way that will let us see the big picture, but also allow us to zoom in for minute detail. The process will be repeated, so we can actually see what's taking place over time. It's unprecedented, really.
"Another thing: the USA Coral Reef Task Force will be holding their annual conference on Maui this year. That's another opportunity for student involvement. There are so many more examples I could list."
Brown also serves as the Sea Turtle Stranding coordinator for Maui County and unit diving coordinator for U.H. Maui.
The cost of tuition for established residents is $116 plus student tech fee, and the class size is limited to 18. If you are interested in enrolling for this or other UHMC Lahaina courses, stop by the Lahaina Education Center at 60 Kenui St. or call 662-3911.