19 May 2020

UH student, faculty honored for excellence in undergraduate education

The Frances Davis Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching for faculty and a graduate assistant recognizes dedication and demonstrated excellence as teachers of undergraduate students. It was established as a memorial to the late Frances Davis, who taught mathematics at Leeward Community College and the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa for 19 years.

John H.R. Burns

John H.R. Burns
John H.R. Burns

John H.R. Burns is an assistant professor of marine science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Burns developed innovative techniques to create three-dimensional maps of coral reefs to accurately measure how natural and human-induced disturbances impact ecosystem function.

This transformative work has led to 3D reconstruction techniques being implemented by scientists and management agencies around the world. He and his colleagues continue to produce numerous publications to advance the field of underwater 3D modeling. His goal is to involve students in his research and provide them training with cutting-edge technology and data science tools.

Burns also continues to apply next-generation science tools to identify ecological and anthropogenic drivers of coral health to promote resilient coral ecosystems in the face of global stressors such as climate change. His expertise has led to his inclusion in the award-winning documentaries, Chasing CoralReefs at Risk and Island Earth. He has received funding from agencies such as NOAA, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and National Science Foundation to study coral reefs throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago, Palau, Guam and Kiribati.

John is part of the Hawaii EPSCoR data science team at Hilo. Through the Ike Wai project, he and along with Bob Pelayo (who leads the data science efforts at Hilo), Travis Mandel, Grady Weydenberg and the newest faculty Sukhwa Hong run a REU (Research Experiences for Undergraduates). Students learn data science techniques to monitor coral health.

Read full article here: https://www.hawaii.edu/news/2020/05/18/frances-davis-award-2020/