Above: PISCES interns and volunteers, PISCES staff, and distinguished community members at the Hilo office during a review of the interns’ work

PISCES interns and volunteers have done some impressive work this summer and confidently shared their accomplishments with some distinguished members of the community during a project review at PISCES’ main office on Wednesday morning, July 30.

Survey Crew (site)

(L-R) PISCES Executive Rob Kelso, Operations Mgr. Christian Anderson, Akamai intern Leila Olivar, PISCES intern Christina Cauley, volunteer Tracee Fukunaga, PISCES intern Colin Milovsoroff, PIPES intern Kyla Defore, former Rep. Jerry Chang, and Jim Kennedy.

Rep. Clift Tsuji, former Rep. and University of Hawaii, Hilo Director of University Relations, Jerry Chang, and Vice Chair of the County of Hawaii Workforce Investment Board, Jim Kennedy, accompanied PISCES Executive Director Rob Kelso and PISCES staff to listen in on the exciting accomplishments and experiences gleaned by the  young crew of bright minds.  Two groups – made up of both interns and volunteers – each tackled individual projects: analog test-site characterization, and  outfitting and programming of the PISCES planetary rover.

The crew tasked with identifying and characterizing potential planetary analog test sites – including lava tubes and skylights which are known to exist on our moon and Mars – was headed by PISCES Operations Manager Christian Anderson.  The group identified three potential sites and collected data, pooling skills from each of their diverse backgrounds including geology, chemical engineering, and civil and environmental engineering.

(L-R) Kelso, Rep. Clift Tsuji, Hilo High robotics club advisor Ryan Nakasato, volunteer Matt Takemoto, robotics technician Max Kerr, PISCES Project Manager Rodrigo Romo, robotics tech. Casey Pearring, Akamai intern Nasre Manasrah, Jerry Chang, and Jim Kennedy; Akamai intern Lindsay Komai (not pictured)

The PISCES planetary rover team, headed by Project Manager Rodrigo Romo, shared their programming and hardware challenges, ultimately finding success in their objective to control the rover remotely through the Internet.  The team successfully maneuvered the rover atop Mauna Kea from mission control at the Gemini Observatory offices located in Hilo.

Both groups shared the value of their experiences with PISCES in getting hands-on experience outside of the classroom, as well as learning the key elements in group collaboration and organization.

The interns and volunteers are the second round of youngsters to work with PISCES during the summer season.