Research crew on remote Kure Atoll returns to see pandemic for 1st time

  • Matt Saunter, second from right, Charlie Thomas, left, Matt Butschek II, second from left and Naomi Worcester, right, pose for a photo at a field camp on Kure Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on Oct. 20. (Matt Saunter/Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources via AP)

HONOLULU — Just as the coronavirus pandemic began to take hold, in February, four people set sail for one of the most remote places on Earth — a small camp on Kure Atoll, at the edge of the uninhabited Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.