Over the holiday break, the Donahue lab moved from our lab/office space at the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology to Ford Island. The move occurred because HIMB is renovating the building we were housed in. They helped to move us by hiring a moving company and all of our goodies went either into storage at HIMB or came with us over the mountains from the windward side of the island in Kāne‘ohe Bay to the south side of the island in Pearl Harbor. Moving is always… what’s the right word here… an adventure. It is a great chance to re-evaluate and to reorganize what you have, but it can also be very trying on your patience as it seems to be the rule rather than the exception that not everything happens as smoothly or in the fashion that one might have hoped.
There are certainly days that I miss the
boat ride over from the pier to Coconut Island. This start to the day had a much friendlier and small town feel than our new security check as we go over bridge and onto Ford Island where guards with semi-automatic weapons check our new government IDs. (Don’t get me wrong, these people seem very nice too, just not the same feel!) I also miss the views of the beautiful Ko‘olau mountain range, and the view from my old desk window looking out at the palm trees and small boat fleet of HIMB.
On the positive side, our new offices are in a recently renovated NOAA building. The building used to be 2 air hangers, and then in 2014, they renovated the hangers to turn them into office and laboratory spaces and added an atrium to attach them. The building always has enough parking (this was not the case at HIMB). It is clean and quiet, with hundreds of other scientists working all around us. This makes is easy to meet with and work with other scientists as well as to stay motivated and focused.
We’ll be adopted members of the NOAA Pacific Island Science Center for about the next 1-2 years. Then we’ll head back to our old lab and office space, but we’ll barely recognize it. They’re doing a full interior renovation including knocking out some of the non-load bearing walls. I feel lucky that we have this opportunity to meet another set of amazing scientists in Hawai‘i and to get a better idea of what it could mean to work for NOAA. I am also excited to see investments being made in science-office and labs spaces in Hawai‘i.