National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) researchers use a new method to study opihi at the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands.
For the first time, the team extracted DNA from opihi while on site.
Previously, they took back tissue samples to the lab.
Taking DNA on site gives researchers a much longer strand of DNA, providing more genes for analysis.
Researchers will then compare the genes of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands opihi with Oahu opihi.
They hope to find out whether human activities have reduced the diversity of opihi on Oahu.