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Save the Date for the Symposium!

1/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Student Research Symposium 2017 logoCTAHR’s 29th annual Student Research Symposium will be held on April 7 and 8. This annual event brings together graduate and undergraduate students to share the research they are pursuing under the supervision of faculty in CTAHR and COE. The students are able to present their findings, exchange information, and incorporate what they’ve learned from their peers into their own scholarly work. Faculty and staff, come out and enjoy hearing all about the amazing work students in the college are doing. Students, it’s time to start thinking about your presentations and posters for the Symposium—the call for abstracts will come out in February, so be prepared!

Three for Dean

1/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

2017 candidates for CTAHR deanThree finalists have been identified for the position of Dean of CTAHR. They’ll be coming to Hawai‘i and the Manoa campus for three-day visits that will include department discussions; meetings with senior administrators, faculty, staff, students, and internal and external constituents; and a public presentation. Campus and community members, as well as the general public, are encouraged to attend. Dr. Nicholas Comerford will visit January 30 to February 1 and will give his public presentation on Tuesday, January 31. Dr. William Randle will visit February 6 to 8 and will give his public presentation on Tuesday, February 7. Dr. Alan Sams will visit February 13 to 15 and give his public presentation on Tuesday, February 14. All presentations will be from 3:00 to 4:15 p.m. in Kuykendall Auditorium 101. For more information about the search process, including a list of the members of the search advisory committee, the campus visit daily schedule, and the candidate biographies, see the search website.

UGC Attracts Awesome People!

1/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Bea SailerAt the annual UGC Volunteer Meeting the Fruit Hui was recognized for donating over 8,083 pounds of fruit from the UGC Fruit Orchard to the Hawaii Foodbank in 2016. (The 2015 total was an almost equally impressive 7,227 pounds!) Hui members Glenn Cordeiro, Susie Ota, Dale Sato, Gerold Sablan, Ron Kawano, Jessie Kojiro, and Bea Sailer report every Monday morning to sanitize, prune, fertilize, mulch, and harvest the orchard trees. They’ve provided fruit displays for Ag and Environmental Awareness Day, assisted the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Grower mini-conference, worked with disadvantaged teens in the Youth Challenge Academy, reported stolen fruits, worked with EFNEP aides, brought samples to festivals, and organized a fruit sanitation workshop with jr. Extension agent Fred Reppun. Bea Sailer (pictured) was given a special recognition. Bea has been an O‘ahu Master Gardener since 1998; she’s helped to found and advised the O‘ahu Urban Garden Ohana, coordinated nursery sales, attended numerous regional and international MG conferences, provided plants to rehab and correctional centers, nonprofit organizations, and schools; and volunteered in countless other capacities. She was awarded the Governor’s Kilohana Award for Outstanding Volunteerism in 2000 and was named one of the Mayor’s Outstanding Senior Citizen Volunteers in 2002. The former MidPac teacher was also a state science fair judge from 2000 to 2007. Yay, Bea, and thanks!

The Video Stars of CTAHR

1/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Student in FDM videoFour videos aimed at undergraduate student recruitment are now up and doing their good work, encouraging students to check out the fulfilling and meaningful programs of Natural Resource and Environmental Management, Fashion Design and Merchandising, Molecular Biosciences and Biotechnology, and the exciting new joint TPSS/PEPS program for Tropical Agriculture and the Environment. These videos will soon be joined by videos for the remaining undergrad programs—and in response to them, we’re predicting that the college will soon be joined by lots of new students!

All (Ag) Roads Lead to the Sea

1/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Gullied ag roadAssistant professor and ecological economist Kirsten Oleson (NREM) and her former graduate students Kim Falinsky and Joey Lecky are the first three authors on a paper just published in the Journal of Environmental Management entitled “Upstream Solutions to Coral Reef Conservation: The Payoffs of Smart and Cooperative Decision-Making,” which discusses the results of a study that modeled sediment from agricultural roads reaching coral reefs in Maui. The paper shows which road segments it would be most effective to repair first, taking into account how much sediment each deposits and how much it will cost to fix them. The information is crucial to protect the coral reefs of West Maui, which have been declining over the past fifteen years due to sedimentation events.

Seafood Success

1/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

OystersNREM grad student Jessie Chen and her advisor PingSun Leung, with co-authors, have recently published a study in Aquaculture Reports titled “Economic feasibility of producing oysters using a small-scale Hawaiian fishpond model.” As the paper explains, traditional fishpond aquaculture in Hawai’i has declined since global trade provided access to cheaper, imported food, but farming non-native species like the Pacific oyster may prove more profitable than traditional species, and may help maintain the practice of fishpond aquaculture. Little literature exists on the economics of Hawai’i’s oyster culture or the unique practices involved in fishpond-based production, so the study used information supplied by a currently operating farm to develop an enterprise budget for a model farm to assess profitability, determine sensitive input parameters, and use stochastic modeling to determine the likelihood of different economic outcomes. The study showed that oyster farming can be profitable if oysters are priced at $1.35 each or their mortality rate decreases slightly, both reasonable outcomes. Here’s to more delicious—and profitable—oysters!

Fruit Flies and Anthuriums

1/11/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Eric Tanouye and Ernest HarrisCTAHR’s 29th Annual Awards Banquet on May 5 will honor Eric Tanouye, left, with the 2017 Ka Lei Hano Award and Dr. Ernest J. Harris with the 2017 Outstanding Alumnus Award. Tanouye is president and general manager of Hilo-based Green Point Nurseries, founder of Hawaii Floriculture and Nursery Association, and a strong supporter of the college. Harris is a CTAHR PhD graduate in entomology who developed successful controls for fruit fly pests as a USDA research scientist. They have had profound and lasting impacts on the floriculture and agriculture industries in Hawai‘i. The event will also celebrate 2017 faculty, staff and student award honorees, as well as CTAHR scholarship students and the donors who make scholarships possible. Find out more at the Banquet website.

New Hope for the Biofuels

1/11/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Sugarcane with tasselA recent study in the prestigious journal PLoS ONE by MS grad Meghan Pawlowski and Susan Crow (both NREM) and co-authors discovered that two potential biofuel crops, sugarcane and napiergrass, can sequester more carbon in soil than is lost to the atmosphere. Biofuels only make sense from a climate-change perspective if they have a smaller greenhouse gas footprint, and these grasses can, due to their large carbon-storing root biomass. In a press release, Susan commented, “These results show that in the right system, coupled with the right crop and management, biofuels can be an important contributor to sustainable renewable energy portfolios.” The study has gotten coverage from science magazines Scienmag, and IFLScience, and from local science blog Raising Islands.

Support on Kaua‘i

1/11/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Gov. Ige with Kauai Extension agentsCounty administrator Russell Messing and junior Extension agent Kathryn Fiedler (PEPS) joined other Kaua‘i agricultural community leaders for a talk-story session with Gov. David Ige in Lihue on January 10. The governor wanted to hear firsthand about the issues facing farmers on Kaua‘i; here he is pictured with taro growers Rodney and Karol Haraguchi. Russell and Kate made a strong push for support of the UH-Cooperative Extension Service as a prime catalyst for helping farmers to address many of the challenges they face, including invasive species prevention and mitigation, government regulations, water infrastructure, new farmer training, and market analysis. Russell commented, “It was gratifying to hear most of the participants (commodity group leaders, Farm Bureau members, seed company scientists, non-profits, and county government officials), as well as the governor, voice strong support and acknowledgement of the primary role that CTAHR will play in the island’s agricultural future.”

CBB on the Move

1/11/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Coffee cherry infested with CBBIn response to the recent discovery of the coffee berry borer (CBB) in December 2016 on a coffee farm in Kipahulu on Maui, CTAHR held two workshops for Maui coffee farmers and other interested parties, in collaboration with HDOA and USDA. One of the most devastating coffee pests, CBB was first detected in Kona in 2010 and discovered in Ka‘u in 2011. In 2014, it was discovered on O‘ahu. Since its detection in Kona, CTAHR has been helping Big Island coffee growers to develop methods to manage the pest, which include using an organic pesticide and field sanitation, and now some farms with good management practices have been able to keep infestations down to about 20 percent of the coffee crop. Find out more about CBB here.

From the Soil Up

1/4/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Jonathan Deenik with leiJonathan Deenik (TPSS) will be a keynote speaker for the 2017 American Society for Horticultural Science’s Annual Conference, giving the William A. (“Tex”) Frazier Lecture. The ASHS Newsletter reports that through the cultivation of fruitful and extensive collaborations across the Hawaiian Islands, the continental United States, and the Pacific Basin, Jonathan has been involved in cutting-edge research addressing challenges communities face in maintaining environmental quality (water, soil, and air), agricultural productivity, and human health. It identifies him as a leader in the field of soil science whose work integrates research and Extension activities, with a strong commitment to farmers throughout Hawai‘i. Congratulations, Jonathan!

New Varieties for New Climes and Times

1/4/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Brandi Dela Cruz proteaKen Leonhardt (TPSS) authored two articles in the most recent Hawaii Landscape magazine, the publication of the Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii. He reports on a new, sterile variety of Cassia javanica, the beloved pink-and-white shower tree seen throughout Honolulu. This version, which Ken bred, is named ‘Miri’ after his granddaughter and is auto-tetraploidal, meaning it doesn’t produce any seeds or seedpods! This is a big boon for those tasked with landscape maintenance, who must otherwise spend lots of time raking up the abundant pods. It also keeps the tree from becoming invasive, since it’s not propagated by seed. Ken also discusses new protea hybrids created by the UH Protea Research Project that are allowing growers to raise these dramatic and beautiful flowering plants at lower elevations and warmer temperatures. Two standouts are ‘Brandi Dela Cruz’ (pictured) and ‘Jacqueline Louise’—check them out!

Conservation Celebration

1/4/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Cover of Q4 2016 Impact ReportMany CTAHR students, alumni, and faculty participated in and contributed to the World Conservation Congress held in Hawai‘i this past fall, which provided a vivid reminder of the need to safeguard our natural resources. The fourth-quarter Impact Report is now available online, and it focuses on what members of the college are doing to further this important mandate: Jason Graham (PEPS) is not only working to save yellow-faced bees in the Islands; he’s also bringing nationwide attention to their threatened status. Mehana Vaughn and NREM students and graduates participated in discussions at the Congress that emphasized the need for community members to participate in the conservation of local resources. Ania Wieczorek and Carol Tran (TPSS) are using genetic testing in the lab to track threats to rare plants from high mountain swamps, and Megan Barnes (NREM) assessed the effectiveness of protected areas across the globe in keeping wildlife safe and fostering biodiversity. Read all about it!

Colossal Colocasia

1/4/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

17-pound taro cormSusan Miyasaka (TPSS) and J.B. Friday (NREM) served as specialty witnesses to the weighing of a taro (Colocasia esculenta) corm that growers are submitting to the Guinness Book of World Records as the largest in the world. This corm, which weighs 17.73 pounds, far outstrips the present holder of the record, which is only 7.03 pounds, explains an article in the Hawaii Tribune Herald. The taro, of variety ‘Iliuaua’, was grown by the Ke Kipi Kalo project, which is developing restorative agro-forestry models using traditional Hawaiian methods and Korean Natural farming. They say there’s another corm, still growing, that might even be larger! The submission to the Guinness organization included a peer-reviewed paper by Susan on taro to show her expertise. The group should hear back within a couple of months. Good luck!

A Great Opportunity in Child Health

1/4/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Little girl in CHAP programThe Child Health Assessment in the Pacific (CHAP) Undergraduate Summer Fellowship Program is looking for undergraduate applicants from UHM to participate in a summer training opportunity. Students enrolled in programs such as nutrition, nursing, early childhood education, public health and other degrees are encouraged to apply by February 15. The program will run from mid-May through mid-August. Fellows will receive a $2,100 stipend, plus all travel, meal, and housing expenses for a 7-day training opportunity, plus a scholarship to cover tuition and fees for 4 credits of coursework through the UH Outreach College, and the resources and support to complete a mentored field experience related to diet or anthropometry field assessment techniques for children. Check out this video and then see what previous fellows have done on the CHAP YouTube Channel. For more information, see CHAP’s Facebook page or email