Ryan Gough, ARCS Foundation Honolulu Chapter’s 2014 Scholar of the Year, is replacing etched PC boards with liquid metal elements in modern electronic devices to make them more adaptable.
Joining him as 2014 Honolulu ARCS Scholars are a potential future astronaut, a former gymnast who hopes to keep bridges from tumbling, a medical researcher who has found a clue to cancer in a rare form of anemia, a mathematician who relaxes with 14th century Italian long swords and a biologist tackling the genetics of a major agricultural pest.
Eleven Honolulu scholars were presented with $5,000 awards at the annual awards banquet in May, where they heard from 2014 Scientist of the Year, Dr. Sheila Conant, former chair of the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Department of Zoology.
A self-described “naturalist first and a biologist second,” Conant has studied Hawai‘i’s native and endangered species for nearly 50 years. She has received numerous honors, most recently the 2013 Ralph W. Schreiber award from the American Ornithologists’ Union and the 2012 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Recovery Champion Award.
Although involved in successful locations of endangered birds to Laysan Island, Conant remains concerned about predation or competition by non-native weeds and animal pests, which she considers the greatest threats to Hawai‘i’s agriculture, watershed and native species. “Research, management and monitoring without political action will not change the downward spiral of watershed and native ecosystem loss,” she stresses.