Announcements: April 6, 2021

  • Alex Tetarenko

Hilo-based astronomer selected for fellowship

Alex Tetarenko, a Hilo-based astronomer who works at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, has been selected as a new Fellow by NASA for its prestigious NASA Hubble Fellowship Program.


Tetarenko was one of 24 NASA Hubble Fellowship Program (NHFP) Fellows to be selected out of more than 400 applicants. The program enables outstanding postdoctoral scientists to pursue independent research in any area of NASA Astrophysics, using theory, observation, experimentation, or instrument development.

With the proposed research topic “Unraveling the Complex Nature of Black Holes and How They Power Explosive Outflows with Time-Domain Observations,” Tetarenko will help provide answers on how the universe works.

Tetarenko was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. She received her bachelor’s degree in astrophysics from the University of Calgary, and she pursued graduate school at the University of Alberta, obtaining her master’s degree in 2014 and her PhD in 2018. Her PhD thesis was awarded the J.S. Plaskett Medal from the Canadian Astronomical Society for the most outstanding doctoral thesis in Canada. Following her PhD studies, she took up an independent fellowship at the Maunakea Observatories, working at the East Asian Observatory’s James Clerk Maxwell Telescope, where she currently resides.

“I am super excited for this amazing opportunity, and while I will be sad to leave the island, I am incredibly grateful for my time here and for all the support I have received over the past several years, which most certainly played a big part in being able to win this Fellowship,” said Tetarenko.

OHA releases more grant solicitations

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs released recently two grant solicitations totaling $750,000 to provide needed support and assistance to the Native Hawaiian community.

OHA has committed $250,000 to a Native Hawaiian Teacher Education and Professional Development grant designed to increase teacher recruitment and retention in Hawaiian immersion and Hawaiian-focused public charter schools. OHA has also committed $500,000 to OHA’s Kulia grant program, designed to improve the lives of Native Hawaiian individuals, families and communities in alignment with OHA’s strategic plan framework.

Applications are being solicited from nonprofit organizations that administer community-based projects designed to strengthen Native Hawaiian beneficiaries, families, and communities.

Grant awards will run from $50,000 to $175,000 for the Native Hawaiian Teacher Education and Professional Development grant while Kulia grant awards will range from $25,000 to $100,000.

A prerecorded solicitation orientation session along with a PowerPoint presentation is posted on the OHA Grants Program webpage. The grant application deadline for both solicitations is April 16.

For more information, visit

Poster contest entry deadline extended

Big Island students attending kindergarten through the fifth grade now have until April 30 to enter the third annual Keiki Water Conservation Poster Contest sponsored by the Hawaii County Department of Water Supply.

DWS extended the deadline to give students more time to submit an original artwork expressing this year’s theme of “Do Your Part, Be Water Smart” on a flat, 11- by 17-inch paper. Any medium may be used, except for 3-D renderings, chalk, charcoal and oil-based crayon. No computer graphics or photographs will be accepted. There is no charge to enter.

Each poster submission should be accompanied by a completed entry form, which is available online at, via email by contacting or by calling DWS weekdays at (808) 961-8050. To reduce in-person contact due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, contest entries should be mailed to or dropped off in designed bins at DWS’ offices in Hilo, Kona or Waimea.


The free contest aims to highlight the importance of water conservation and why drinking water supplies must be protected and preserved. It challenges keiki to utilize artistic ways of conserving our most precious resource — safe drinking water.

Prizes will be awarded to the first and second place entrants from each grade level with a maximum of 12 winners islandwide.

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