SCIENCE ON THE TRAIL
Lisa Marrack is a marine ecologist who was born and raised on the Big Island. She worked for nine years at Kaloko-Honokohau National Historical Park on a wide range of natural resource projects including on coral reef health assessments, water quality monitoring, anchialine pool investigations, and sea turtle monitoring. She is currently a PhD Candidate at UC Berkeley studying anchialine pools along the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail where she is investigating the potential combined effects of land use, introduced species, and sea level rise on these ecosystems. She hopes that this information will be used to protect anchialine pool habitats into the future.
Anchialine pools are incredible natural and cultural resources but are not well known, even by people born and raised in Hawaii. The arid Kona Coast contains the highest concentrations of anchialine pools in Hawaii. Recent studies on this unique habitat and its fauna have revealed fascinating information about how this brackish ecosystem is able to flourish in the arid basalt flows along the Kona Coast. Knowledge of anchialine pool ecology will contribute to conservation strategies developed to help pool ecosystems be resilient in the face of multiple stressors such as introduced species