Big Island Science Trip Is Mind-blowing

Christopher Lindsay (right) dissects an albatross bolus (mass of chewed food) at the Mokupapapa Center in Hilo with his dad/science adviser, Mark. Photo by Noriko Shoji.

Kahala resident Christopher Lindsay spent part of his winter break exploring the depths and the soaring heights of the universe, thanks to an award-winning science project on atmospheric temperatures.

The Iolani seventh-grader won an all-expenses-paid educational trip to NOAA sites on Hawaii island for himself and his project adviser, dad Mark Lindsay.

The 2011 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s “Discover Your World” award was just one of eight prizes he won for his state science fair project “Freeze or Fry: Atmospheric Temperature Profiles from GPS Radio Occultations.”

Together, the East Oahu visitors were guided through the Mauna Loa Observatory, the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, the Mokupapapa Discovery Center for Hawaii’s Remote Coral Reefs and the Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo. In fact, the whole experience prompted the younger Lindsay to declare: “Science is cool. It uses everything you know to help you discover your world.”

He also was able to dissect the bolus (regurgitated food) of an albatros to examine what it feeds to its young, and also observed how NOAA tracks the tsunami debris now on its way here from Japan.

The father-son science team also visited the home of former Future Flight Hawaii directors, Art and Rene Kimura, and hiked to the Kilauea lava slopes.