National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scientists set sail on Wednesday on a research trip to Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

It's part of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, and the largest marine reserve in the world. Research crews will spend the next four months studying Hawaiian Monk Seals and Green sea turtles. 

The five field sites they'll visit is French Frigate Shoals, Layson Island, Lisianski Island, Pearl and Hermes Reef, and Kure Atoll.

"Our goals are to identify the populations up there and all the field sites. We tag weaned pups. We also identify any threats to the seals like entanglement in marine debris and shark predation," explained Jessica Bohlander, a Research Marine Biologist with the Hawaiian Monk Seal Research Program. 

Last year's powerful category five Hurricane Walaka nearly destroyed "East Island", where research had usually been conducted for the past 30 years. 

"That's where 96 percent of the green sea turtles in Hawaii nest," explained Camryn Allen, with the Marine Turtle Biology and Assessment Program.

Now the research will be conducted on Tern Island, with a focus on how the turtles have adapted to the loss of their habitat. 

This year, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs is a part of the project, for cultural studies and archaeology research.

A teacher from Kamehameha Schools is also joining the researchers, to create a curriculum on Hawaiian Monk Seals and the monument.

The crews will return in early September.