Top spring 2019 UH News: Pōwehi, ‘Smoke All Day,’ baby whale

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The 2019 spring semester was outstanding for the University of Hawaiʻi in a variety of fields. Here are five top stories from UH News.

Image of a black hole

UH Hilo professor names black hole capturing world’s attention
Astronomers collaborated with renowned UH Hilo Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani Hawaiian language professor and cultural practitioner Larry Kimura for the Hawaiian naming of the first black hole to be documented in an image. Pōwehi, meaning embellished dark source of unending creation, is a name sourced from the Kumulipo, the primordial chant describing the creation of the Hawaiian universe.

Mother whale and calf

Rare video of newborn humpback whale from UH marine mammal research
The humpback whale calf is so new that its dorsal fin and tail flukes appear soft and flimsy, while its mother is still excreting blood and sometimes supporting the calf on her back. The rare video minutes after birth was captured by the UH Mānoa Marine Mammal Research Program in January 2019. Photo: NOAA permit: #20311-01

Kaikena Scanlan playing guitar

‘What you smoking?’ asks UH Hilo instructor in his hit song ‘Smoke All Day’
UH Hilo lecturer Kaʻikena Scanlan knows what people will assume when they hear the title of his reggae style song, “Smoke All Day.” That, he says, is intentional. “You may think this is about drug use but instead we are taking that preconceived idea and switching it to talk about preservation of foods, future sustainability and a recognition of cultural presence and activity here on the islands, which is smoked meat,” he said.

Person typing on a laptop

UH to launch completely online AA degree program
UH kicked off a program in 2019 for students to earn associate in arts (AA) degrees through short, online classes. This new program provides more flexibility for residents to reach the goal of earning a degree while working and raising their families. The first cohort of 70 students will begin in August 2019 for an AA degree. Students in the AA degree program will take classes from the seven UH community colleges. Program administrators reported more than 800 inquiries and 200 applications for the first cohort.

render of Sinclair Library interior

Sinclair Library to become center for student success
UH Mānoa plans to transform Sinclair Library into a state-of-the-art student success center to improve the student experience by providing easy access to academic advising, campus services and modern spaces for studying and collaboration. When completed, Sinclair Library will be converted into a modern, inviting and efficient space that encourages students to remain on campus between classes and after hours. The project was funded by the state Legislature in May 2019.