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Fish Sickness

3/25/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Cover shot of Journal of Aquatic Animal HealthAn article co-written by Clyde Tamaru and Ruth Klinger-Bowen (MBBE), former MBBE faculty Bradley “Kai” Fox, and collaborators, “Prevalence of Francisella noatunensis subsp. orientalis in Cultured Tilapia on the Island of Oahu, Hawaii,” is amongst the ten most cited articles in the highly rated Journal of Aquatic Animal Health during 2013–2014. The publication is a superb example of CTAHR/international collaboration, with authors from St. Kitts and Great Britain as well as Hawai‘i.

Capitalizing on Social Capital

3/25/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Image from Social Capital publicationThe Center on the Family has released a new publication, “Successful Transitions From Foster Care to Adulthood: The Role of Social Capital.” Social capital, the data sheet explains, “consists of the network of relationships we have with key people in our lives (family, friends, classmates, neighbors, co-workers, etc.) and the exchange of emotional, social, and material support that these relationships provide.” The publication shows that those who have greater amounts of social capital are more likely to have safe and stable housing, needed medical care, and sufficient money for their expenses. It suggests ways to ensure that youth in foster care have healthy and supportive relationships, including keeping siblings together if possible and connecting young people with mentors.

Big Island Additions

3/25/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Stuart NakamotoAdded to the grant-writing workshop for the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) that will be presented by Extension economist Stuart Nakamoto (pictured) on Tuesday, April 7, in Ag Sci 219, there will be two additional workshops on the subject given in Kona and Hilo. In Kona, the workshop will be held on Wednesday, April 15, from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. in the Kona Cooperative Extension Service Conference Room at 79-7381 Mamalahoa Highway in Kealakekua. In Hilo, it will be held on Thursday, April 16, from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Komohana Research and Extension Center at 875 Komohana St. There is no charge for the workshop, but attendees are advised to reserve their seats by sending their name and contact information to or calling 808-956-8125. The FMPP supports farmers markets and other direct producer-to-consumer activities, while the LFPP supports enterprises that aggregate, store, distribute, and process local and regional food. Both programs are an important opportunity for potentially strengthening local food systems in Hawai‘i through projects that recruit and train farmers, expand economic opportunities, and increase access to healthy foods. Thank-yous go to Beth Dykstra and the County of Hawaii for sponsoring the additional events, to Sharon Hurd (HDOA) and Diane Ley (USDA-FSA) for their efforts, and of course to Stuart for leading the workshops.

Organic From the Ground Up

3/25/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

HOFA logoThe Hawaii Organic Farmers Association (HOFA) will be holding its annual Organic Farming Conference, “Healthy Soil, Healthy Communities, Healthy Ahupua‘a,” on Saturday, March 28. The conference will consist of hands-on activities in the morning, then a talk about soil quality and helping to start a garden at the KEY Project, followed by a discussion panel and presentations in the afternoon. The conference will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the KEY Project, 47-200 Waihe‘e Road, Kane‘ohe. Registration is $25 for non-members and $12 for members, and scholarships are available for students. Please contact Hector Valenzuela (PEPS) at if your lab, group, or organization would like to have an informational booth at this event. See the agenda and purchase tickets here.

Controversy on Kaua‘i

3/17/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Sign against GMOsThe latest issue of Biotech in Focus is now available. Entitled “GMOs on Kauai, part 2: Can counties set rules that govern crops and pesticide use?” it takes an in-depth look at Kaua‘i County Bill 2491, examining the bill’s evolving text, its polarized supporters and detractors, and its journey through the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government. The current issue and past issues are available at the Biotech in Focus website.

Feeding the Hungry (Cows)

3/17/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Students at Naked Cow DairyStudents from Animal Sciences 201 and 433, along with volunteers from the US Air Force, helped plant forages at Naked Cow Dairy in Waianae on Sunday, March 15th. Feed remains a major challenge for the small dairy, which specializes in butter and locally made cheeses. The seed stock was bannagrass, which was provided by CTAHR’s Pearl City Urban Garden and the Waimanalo Research Station.

Promote Local, It Matters

3/17/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Stuart NakamotoA grant-writing workshop for FMPP & LFPP will be presented by Extension economist Stuart Nakamoto (pictured) on Tuesday, April 7, from 4:30 to 9:00 p.m. in Ag Sci 219. The Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) supports farmers markets and other direct producer-to-consumer activities, while the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP) supports enterprises that aggregate, store, distribute, and process local and regional food. Both programs are an important opportunity for potentially strengthening local food systems in Hawai‘i through projects that recruit and train farmers, expand economic opportunities, and increase access to healthy foods. The USDA views the programs as keys to revitalizing rural economies by supporting local and regional food systems. It’s hoped that these workshops will allow communities and businesses across the US to develop and submit competitive grant proposals that stimulate economic activity while also meeting the increasing demand for food that is grown locally or regionally. There’s no charge for the workshop, and a light dinner will be provided. Space is limited, so reserve your seat by emailing your name and contact information to or calling 956-8125.

Young Professional on the Move

3/17/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Andrea KawabataExtension agent Andrea Kawabata (TPSS) was the recipient of a 2015 Western Extension Committee Young Professional Award, which recognizes and encourages innovative approaches that help targeted extension audiences to solve practical problems. These approaches should include the use of technology and active teaching tools to enhance some aspect of the Extension program, either through engaging the audience more fully, providing real-time evaluation of comprehension, or offering other unique aspects of new delivery methods. The award included a $250 honorarium and full travel expenses for Andrea to attend and present her work at the 2015 joint meetings of the Western Extension Farm Management Committee and Western Extension Marketing Committee, held January 5–7 in Phoenix, Arizona. The WEC joint meetings offer a rich professional growth opportunity to teach, learn from, and develop productive relationships with Extension colleagues from throughout the western states. At the meeting, Andrea explained the “PechaKucha” method for giving quick presentations and demonstrated its use to talk about her work with the Coffee Berry Borer.

Innovate and XLR8

3/17/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Soojin Jun and studentsJun Innovations, a team comprised of assistant professor Soojin Jun (HNFAS) and students and collaborators, has been chosen as a finalist in the second cohort of XLR8UH, UH’s proof of concept center to help students and faculty commercialize their research. Their project proposes to preserve the original freshness of produce, meat, and other food products by controlling supercooling and ice crystallization of water molecules at subzero temperatures using combined pulsed electric and magnetic fields. The proposed technology will not require sequential freezing-thawing processes for long-term food storage, so food quality can be maintained as fresh without structural damage, such as drip loss, softening, and loss of valuable nutrients.

The Plants May Be Stressed, But the Students Are Just Fine

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

NREM 475 class in fieldStudents in the online course TPSS/NREM 475 Plant Nutrient Diagnosis in the Tropics visited Waimanalo Research Station and Poamoho Research Station on their optional field trip, looking to locate possible nutrient-stressed plants for a laboratory assignment. Junior Extension agent Jensen Uyeda helped to organize this field trip. Pictured from left to right are Nate Nicholson, Mahrukh Khawaja, Peter Toves, Jensen Uyeda, Emily Teng, GoFarm Hawai‘i’s Jay Bost, Kaipo Dye, professor of the class Susan Miyasaka (TPSS), and Steven Yee.

Looking to the Future

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

CTAHR Career WorkshopSome 45 students and 15 employers/agencies gathered in Gilmore Hall for the CTAHR Career Workshop. Organizations represented included Monsanto, Pioneer, Syngenta, Hawaii DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Kupu, USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Plant Protection Quarantine and Meat Inspection, HDOA, Libre Farms, Licious Dishes, Valerie Joseph Boutique, Manoa Career Center, and CTAHR’s own Lynn Yamashita and JP Bingham. Students learned about potential internship/career opportunities and about the personal career pathways and experiences of those working in jobs related to their fields of study. After these informative sessions, attendees gathered in Gilmore 306 for the first-ever speaker panel. CTAHR alumnus Matthew Goo, Melanie Takahashi of the Manoa Career Center, and Grace Magruder of the Peace Corps gave their perspectives and tips on the transition from student to employee. Afterwards, all mingled and enjoyed pupus provided by Monsanto and Pioneer. Overall, this experience proved to be insightful for both students and employers. Thank-yous go to all of the professionals who volunteered their time to share their valuable knowledge and experiences, to ASAO for organizing this event, to the CTAHR student volunteers, and to the students who attended this event.

Go(a)t Ag Awareness?

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Goat at Ag Awareness dayThe recent Ag and Environmental Awareness Day—the tenth annual event, and the largest yet—was a huge success, as these happy pictures demonstrate. Goats, coqui frogs, CTAHR staff and faculty, and almost 700 students and teachers gathered to enjoy themselves, learn, and teach at the Urban Garden Center. Hawaii News Now’s article about the event quotes one excited student who has been inspired to become a scientist after taking part in the hands-on activities and demonstrations, and we’re betting he’s not the only one.

Go On, GoFarm!

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

GoFarm Hawaii logoCTAHR alumna and former head of landscaping at UH Manoa Heidi Bornhorst has an extensive article in the Star-Advertiser promoting the popular and successful GoFarm Hawai‘i program, which inaugurates its next cohort with the AgCurious meeting at Windward Community College on March 19 and Leeward Community College on March 26. Check out the article—and then check out the introductory meeting, and find out whether you have what it takes to be a farmer!

Cat v. Bird

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Image from feral cat PSAHave you ever thought of feral cats as an invasive species? They are, says the Hawai‘i Feral Cat PSA, which was shown during the Grammy’s and will continue to play on TV throughout the state. The announcement, which cites a study done by doctoral student Cheryl Lohr (NREM) and her advisor Chris Lepczyk, says that cats eat native birds and may also pollute the beaches and water supply. The sponsoring agency of the PSA, the American Bird Conservancy, also has posted a new webpage discussing feral cats in Hawai‘i.

Bridal Dreams

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Daisy MertoA former APDM student, Daisy Merto, is featured in a laudatory article in MidWeek magazine. Daisy recently opened a new store, WhiteHot, in Kaimuki. She focuses on bridal, prom, and pageant dresses, but with a fun, local, sexy edge, she explains. Her philosophy is captured by her tagline, “Bridal Doesn’t Have to Be Boring!” Daisy’s collection of shimmering, glittering beaded gowns is certainly anything but!

Green Connections

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

David LingenfelserPosters by master’s student Bishnu Bandhari (PEPS) and alumnus David Lingenfelser (TPSS, pictured) are featured in Hawaii Landscape, the industry magazine of the Landscape Industry Council of Hawai‘i. Bishnu’s poster describes his project under advisor Zhiqiang Cheng of injecting insecticides in trunks of infested trees to control stem and leaf gall wasps, a technique that has led to a significant reduction in galls. David, an undergraduate and Master’s alumnus, presented his work with advisor Ken Leonhardt on breeding improved varieties of ornamental plants. As a student, David had a 3-month internship at Monsanto and was also the recipient of the Hawaii Florist and Shippers Association Scholarship and the Monsanto Scholarship. He’s now employed at HDOA’s Plant Quarantine Branch, where part of his job involved presenting at the Urban Garden Center’s recent Ag and Environmental Awareness Day. In yet another CTAHR-associated twist, the article is co-authored by one more CTAHR alumnus, Orville Baldos. It’s a small, green world!

Taking a Walk in the Country

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Sen. Maizie Hirono and GoFarm participantsSenator Mazie Hirono and her staff visited Waimanalo Station to meet students in the GoFarm Hawai‘i program and take a look at their plantings: pictured here are student Paulo Peterson on the left, next to Jay Bost, the GoFarm farm coach, and on the right students Ikaika Rogerson, Leonard Hall, Rob Barreca, and La‘amea Lunn. Also pictured in the middle with Senator Hirono are Ag Incubator director Steven Chiang, Associate Dean Charles Kinoshita, and Ted Radovich (TPSS). The impetus for the visit was the recent federal grant awarded to help support the program, and Senator Hirono’s reaction was positive and impressed: “Mahalo for a great experience today! Senator Hirono thoroughly enjoyed her time talking with the GoFarm Hawaii students and continues to be impressed with the good work of CTAHR.” While she was in Waimanalo, the senator also stopped for fresh produce at the Waimanalo Market Co-Op, a new farmer development program started by the Ag Incubator Program.

Green Day

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

SOFT members and CTAHR scholarship recipientsAbout 50 CTAHR scholarship recipients had a great opportunity to come together and give back to a worthy cause within the college. They partnered with SOFT for a community workday at the farm at Magoon: composting; tidying up the banana patch; weeding; planting sunn hemp, carrots, lettuce, and potatoes; cleaning up around the bases of the trees in the orchard; and clearing out an overgrown area of the farm to be converted into another organic plant bed. Much mahalo is due to the scholarship recipients for volunteering their Saturday morning at the farm, as well as to Nate Nicholson, Kathryn Metzker, and other members of SOFT for welcoming the volunteers and sharing their farm!

Avo Advocates

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

John Yonemoto and avocado farmersThe ninth annual Avocado Festival was expanded to a two-day event this year, thanks to involvement from several CTAHR faculty. On Friday, February 20, Andrea Kawabata (CTAHR Extension) facilitated a guest pruning demonstration by Dr. Yoshimi “John” Yonemoto of the Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences at the Kona Cooperative Extension Service office in Kainaliu. Seventy-nine fruit farmers from Hawai‘i and Japan attended the demonstration. Dr. Yonemoto is well known for his pruning techniques that allow fruit trees to remain small in stature while producing high fruit yields. The Avocado Festival continued on Saturday, February 21, at the Sheraton Kona Resort, where its seminar series featured several CTAHR speakers: Ty McDonald (CTAHR Extension) discussed “Clonal Root Stocks,” while Maria Stewart (HNFAS) expounded on the “Nutritional Value of Hawaii-Grown Avocados.” The seminars also included an extensive avocado display and tasting assembled by Ken Love of the Hawaii Tropical Fruit Growers Association, which allowed participants to partake of some of that high nutritional value (and great taste).

Science Fair Fanfare

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Roshani Jha in labAmjad Ahmad (TPSS), a junior researcher in the Sustainable and Organic Farming Program, has been mentoring a Roosevelt High School student on a science fair project with Ted Radovich (TPSS). Roshani Jha (pictured), the daughter of Rajesh Jha (HNFAS), competed at the Honolulu district science fair, placing second overall (her brother won the first place!) and winning a free trip to participate at the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF). She will participate in the state competition on March 23. Bebi Davis, a teacher from the DOE who had been helping the students to find mentors from UH, posted her thanks on her Facebook page to “the wonderful University of Hawaii at Manoa mentors [including] Dr. Amjad Ahmad!! Your hard work with the students and dedication to science research are much appreciated!!!”

Beetle Power

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Flat bark beetleWest Hawaii Today recently reported on a new biocontrol for CBB that CTAHR researchers and Extension agents are encouraging coffee farmers to try out. Flat bark beetles, including square-necked grain beetles (Cathartus quadricollis) prey on other beetles’ larvae, pupae, and even adults—and now that they’ve been discovered to eat CBB as well, CTAHR is giving out kits containing the predators to farmers with instructions on how to raise and deploy them. Since flat bark beetles are already found in the Islands, they don’t have to go through the extensive testing necessary for imported biocontrol agents. Extension agent Andrea Kawabata explains that the beetles alone won’t stop the problem, and growers shouldn’t stop following other IPM recommendations, including spraying with Beauveria bassiana, but that one more weapon in the fight is always helpful. Mark Wright (PEPS) was recently quoted in a KHON segment expressing guarded optimism about the future of coffee growing in Hawai‘i but warning that continued intensive management is necessary.

‘Ohia Death

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Dying Extension forester J.B. Friday (NREM) and Brian Bushe (PEPS), along with Lisa Keith of PBARC, were instrumental in discovering what has been killing native ‘ohia trees since 2010. Dying trees show brown crowns and black discolorations of trunk cross-sections. Rapid ‘Ohia Death is caused by a fungal pathogen called Ceratocystis, which also infects Okinawan sweet potato and taro, but it had not been seen in ‘ohia until recently. An article in West Hawaii Today quotes J.B.: “The effects of the fungus are nothing short of devastating.” J.B. brought an ‘ohia trunk sample to Brian, who analyzed the fungi found in it, and Lisa Keith identified the Ceratocystis in it as worthy of further study. Even with the disease identified, many other questions remain, such as where the fungus came from and what spreads it, and why some trees seem to be more susceptible than others. J.B. is quoted as saying, “I think we’re going to be working on this project for the next 20 years.” He can’t say yet what kind of an impact Rapid ‘Ohia Death could eventually have on the forests, but it’s a worrisome concern. The public is asked to help by keeping scientists informed as to where the disease is being found and how quickly it&

California Dream Jobs

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Emily AdamsSince graduating from CTAHR in 2013, NREM alumna Emily Adams has been working diligently at two exciting jobs. The first stems from her required NREM internship, which she did with the Pacific Southwest Research Station, the research branch of the U.S. Forest Service, in Shaver Lake, California. Upon graduation, she took a full-time position as a biological technician gathering data on the Kings River Experimental Watershed. She was also offered a job as the Southern Sierra Nevada Region Assistant Facilitator for the Center for Collaborative Policy at the California State University of Sacramento. There she supports the Center’s professional mediators and facilitators with their collaborative public policy work in the Southern Sierra Nevada Region, including project planning, dispute resolution, strategic planning, joint fact-finding, public dialogues, and outreach. Her two biggest projects are the Dinkey Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Project and the Southern Sierra Integrated Regional Water Management. Emily writes, “When I was in school, I was inspired by the CTAHR family that brought me in and showed me my true potential. I didn’t know anyone going in, but I quickly found that the small town I had grown up in wasn’t as far away as I had thought…. Being an Ambassador provided me with a sense of direction and gave me the self-confidence I needed to strive in the workforce.

CTAHR Helps Feed the Islands

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

GoFarm class at the farmThe GoFarm Hawai‘i program was the Star-Advertiser’s front-page story on Monday, and an enthusiastically laudatory story it was. It points out that 70 percent of AgPro graduates are farming commercially, a huge improvement over the 10 percent that comparable Mainland programs show. The article also profiles several of the program’s successful alumni, including Leonard Hall, La‘amea Lunn, Ikaika Rogerson, and Rob Barreca. Rob and GoFarm’s coach Jay Bost, and their fledgling company Counter Culture, have been chosen as finalists in Kame­ha­meha Schools’ “Mahi‘ai MatchUp,” for which they will receive 5 acres on the North Shore for 5 years, rent free. There’s another CTAHR connection—not only Counter Culture but also last year’s Mahi‘ai MatchUp winner, Holoholo Farm, were both clients of the Ag Incubator!

Mindfulness in Hawai‘i and Vietnam

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Thao LeThao Le (FCS) and her co-authors have recently published two articles on mindfulness-related service and research. One is on incarcerated youth in Hawai‘i, “Feasibility of Mindfulness-Based Intervention for Mixed-Ethnic Asian/Pacific Islander Incarcerated Youth,” in the Asian American Journal of Psychology. The other focuses on youth in Vietnam: “Translating and Implementing a Mindfulness-Based Positive Youth Development Program in Vietnam,” published in Health Promotion International. Thao was also recently invited to join the editorial board of the Asian American Journal of Psychology and the American Journal of Community Psychology.

On the Road for Nutrition Success

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Mei Ying with Jinan BannaJinan Banna (HNFAS) (right) and FSHN undergraduate student Mei Ying Zhang (left) have received a travel grant from the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology/Maximizing Access to Research Careers Program. This grant will provide funding for Mei’s attendance at the annual Experimental Biology meeting, a multidisciplinary scientific meeting open to those interested in research in the life sciences. Among the participating societies is the American Society for Nutrition, which will offer sessions hosted by various research interest sections. At the meeting, Mei will have ample opportunity to network and identify career opportunities. Mei plans to pursue a career in public health, into which she is interested in incorporating research. Attending Experimental Biology will assist her in further clarifying her research interests as she takes the next steps along her career path.

Agricultural Honors

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Richard Ha and Diane RagoneDr. Diane Ragone, director of the Breadfruit Institute at the National Tropical Botanical Garden on Kaua‘i, has been chosen as CTAHR’s 2015 Outstanding Alumna and will be honored at this year’s Awards Banquet on May 8. She and her work researching and promoting breadfruit are lauded in an article in Kaua‘i’s Garden Island newspaper, which quotes her description of CTAHR as “an incredible institution and one of the greatest things going for UH.” Also mentioned in the article and to be honored at the Banquet is this year’s winner of the Ka Lei Hano award, Big Island grower Richard Ha, an amazing success as a farmer who has generously shared his success with the community.

GM Trials

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Corn and corn sproutIssue 26 of Biotech in Focus, “Seed Production and Developing GM Crops in Hawaii, Part 2,” is available now. This issue introduces the Information Systems for Biotechnology database, which allows users to search past, present, and future field trials of regulated GM crops—more than 19,000 completed, active, or pending permits and notifications! Not all are currently being used, however. This issue, and past issues, are available at the Biotech in Focus website.

Success, Mindfully

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Thao Le and students doing mindfulness trainingThao Le (FCS) has received a contract from the Office of Youth Services to provide mindfulness training to nonprofit and state agencies serving at-risk youth and families in Hawai‘i. She is also providing a Professional Development Course (PDE3) on mindfulness to Hawai‘i counselors and teachers, and was recently invited to present at the 2015 School Counselor Conference, Hawaii School Counselor Association, and the 28th Peer Mediation Conference this month. She is pictured here doing mindfulness training with nonprofit and state agency staff.

Uploading Opportunity

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Meeting at UPLOAD JOBS for MindanaoThe UPLOAD JOBS for Mindanao, Philippines project, for which Catherine Chan (NREM) is co-P.I. and CTAHR is one of the partners, recently hosted an international workshop on “Enabling Agri-Entrepreneurship and Innovations in Conflict and Transitional Regions” in Manila, Philippines. The workshop was spearheaded by speeches from Catherine Chan and Co-P.I. Dr. Elma M. Neyra and included a video introduction from Dean Gallo, expressing CTAHR’s commitment to international development and her support of the project’s activities and the workshop’s objectives. Workshop attendees included faculty, staff, and students from CTAHR, including Catherine Chan, Brent Sipes (PEPS), project coordinator Tina Lee, and NREM grad student Cynthia Lai, as well as speakers from other academic institutions, funding agencies such as USAID and the Peace Corps, and more than twenty representatives from Mindanao, including out-of-school youth (OSY) entrepreneurs. Experts living or working in the area gathered to discuss their findings on entrepreneurship in agricultural conflict regions and transitioning economies. In a stakeholder-driven session, they began to come up with effective policies and innovations to enable an entrepreneurial ecosystem that can nurture more successful entrepreneurs. Feedback and suggestions developed from this workshop may be applied by training program implementers to improve program design and effectiveness.

Invasive Species Week Ant-ics

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Ken Grace with Governor Ige and fire antAssociate Dean Ken Grace and HDOA’s Scott Enright represented the Hawaii Invasive Species Council in receiving the Proclamation of Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week (HISAW) from Governor Ige on Monday. Ken is pictured at the ceremony proudly wearing his CTAHR aloha shirt and confronting a (not so) Little Fire Ant, one of the more damaging invasive species the state has had to deal with recently. This was the 3rd annual Hawaii Invasive Species Awareness Week, organized in coordination with the U.S. National Invasive Species Awareness Week (NISAW) and regional Pacific Invasive Species Awareness efforts. HISAW seeks to promote information sharing and public engagement with what the Hawai‘i State Legislature has declared “the single greatest threat to Hawai‘i’s economy and natural environment and to the health and lifestyle of Hawai‘i’s people.”

Capitol Connections

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Richard Ha, Mazie Hirono, Maria GalloThis year’s Ka Lei Hano award winner, Richard Ha, is the Hawai‘i representative on the Council for Agricultural Research, Extension and Teaching (CARET); he recently met Dean Gallo in Washington, D.C., at a joint meeting of CARET representatives and the Administration Heads Section, consisting of the deans of the U.S. land-grant colleges. They both met with Senator Mazie Hirono to discuss agriculture and natural resource issues affecting Hawai‘i. Richard writes on his blog, “The Land Grant Colleges helped make the U.S. the premier agriculture nation in the world. I’m happy to help promote the agriculture mission of CTAHR. CTAHR programs were very helpful in our farm being successful for so many years, and I have tremendous respect for the men and women in CTAHR’s programs.” Thanks, Richard! In return, CTAHR is proud to honor such a strong supporter of the college!

Seeds of Controversy

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Cleome gynandraIssue 27 of Biotech in Focus discusses the increasing public outcry surrounding GMO seed companies on Kaua‘i. It focuses on an elementary school that complained that students and teachers went to the emergency room with dizziness and nausea after breathing noxious odors from Syngenta’s fields, which border the school. The school alleged that the problems were caused by chemicals Syngenta had sprayed, while Syngenta suggested that they were caused by the edible plant Cleome gynandra (pictured) growing in the fields. Tests of the air at the school that were performed four years after the original complaints did not find heightened levels of harmful chemicals at that time. Read more about the controversy and check out back issues at the Biotech in Focus website.


3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Deenik, Jun, KanehiroJonathan Deenik (TPSS), Soojin Jun (HNFAS), and Naomi Kanehiro (HNFAS) have been selected to receive CTAHR awards for faculty excellence, to be presented at the 27th Annual Awards Banquet. Jonathan will receive the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching for the contagious enthusiasm, cross-disciplinary focus, and effective teaching methods that have made his soil science fundamentals course a must-take among students. Soojin will receive the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research for his remarkable body of publications and grants for a diverse range of projects related to the development of integrated food and biological process systems. Naomi will receive the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Extension for her innovative thinking, tenacity, and cultural sensitivity in promoting wellness through an integrated approach to managing federal programs that has become a model for other states. Congratulate the trio in person at the banquet on Friday, May 8, at the Ala Moana Hotel. Registration will open soon, so watch for information and additional award announcements!

Kumu Kalo

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Christopher Bernabe and studentsSusan Miyasaka (TPSS) and agricultural technician Christopher Bernabe gave a presentation on conventional breeding of taro to a 9th-grade biology class from Ke Kula O Nawahiokalaniopu'u, a charter school from Keaau on the Big Island. The students from Ms. Lia Pe'a's 9th grade biology class visited Waiakea Research Station to learn more about preserving Hawaiian taro varieties through breeding for increased disease resistance. In this picture, Christopher is explaining to students how he cross-polinates taro.

Coproducts to Animal Feed

3/15/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Rajesh JhaRajesh Jha (HNFAS) recently received a highly competitive grant from the National Pork Board (NPB). This 1-year, $84,000 grant will explore the nutritional characteristics and structural matrix of a coproduct from bio-fuel plants, distiller's dried grains with solubles (DDGS). The project's findings will also help to determine appropriate enzymes and dose levels that can effectively degrade corn DDGS; thereby increasing its utilization as feedstuffs for pigs, leading to a reduction in the cost of swine feeds and increasing environmental sustainability. Rajesh was also funded with another $93,000 grant from a multinational company to explore the effects of multi-enzymes and probiotics on the growth performance, nutrient utilization, and gut health of broiler chickens fed co-product-based fibrous diets. He has been working extensively to explore opportunities for using alternative feedstuffs in animal feeding programs, thereby developing cost-effective and sustainable animal production systems. He has successfully evaluated a wide range of alternative feedstuffs, including some local feedstuffs of Hawai'i. Find out more here!

Get Your Fashion Fix

3/10/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Hawaii Fashion Now title card imageAndy Reilly (FCS) is hosting and co-producing a new television show for ‘Olelo, Hawai‘i Fashion Now. It will premiere on March 23 and also be featured on the ‘Olelo website. A new talk-show-format episode airs each month, featuring a different guest. The show will cover topics related to the local fashion industry; the first topic is “Aloha Attire,” with guest Dr. Linda Arthur Bradley. Future topics will include street style, jewelry design, and fashion photography. Check it out before committing a fashion faux pas!

Garden in the City

3/4/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Jayme GrzebikThe latest installment in TPSS’s Seminar Series will be offered on Friday, March 6, at 2:00 p.m. in St. John 106. Assistant Extension agent Jayme Grzebik will discuss “Urban Horticulture,” focusing on the demand for gardening information and the college’s responsibility to the local public, the UH Master Gardener program and its activities on O‘ahu and the neighbor islands, and the Urban Garden Center’s plans for increasing its outreach.



2/25/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Red choli materialThe UH Manoa Historic Costume Collection is presenting a special group exhibition called “It’s Traditional,” curated by students in the FDM 460 Costume Museum Management class and Shu-Hwa Lin (FCS). The exhibition will be on display Monday through Sunday, March 2–8, in Miller Hall, Room 112—on Sunday the 8th, it’s in Room 101. The theme, as one might expect, is Tradition. In a continuous effort to research and understand various textiles used by diverse cultures, the students collectively voted on the theme, and then each student was allowed to select a garment or outfit in the museum that reflected the theme of tradition to them. Such a process grants the students an opportunity to make personal connections with the items, to learn more about the culture behind the garments, and to correctly display the items that they have chosen. The photograph, by Jennifer Bright, shows the detail of a woman’s upper-body choli, donated by Patricia Leong.

State of the Live Stream

2/17/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

State of the College graphicRemember that CTAHR’s first State of the College address will be held on Wednesday, February 18, from 8:00 to 9:00 a.m. in the C-MORE Gordon and Betty Moore Conference Center! And if you can’t get there in person but want to view the address via live stream, click here on the day of the event and enjoy getting your update on the college from the comfort of your office!

Flipping the Tassel

2/12/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Corn tasselsFifty years of studying corn tassels? There’s a lot to study. The most recent issue of Crop Science, a journal founded by Jim Brewbaker (TPSS) in 1955 that now publishes over 3,000 pages of science and research a year, features a study of corn tassel diversity and genetics by Dr. B himself. He reports that he and his students have grown essentially all major types of corn—about 220 races—at the Waimanalo Research Station since the early 1960’s, and that “all seemed at home.” This was a major reason for the explosive growth of what has become Hawai‘i’s biggest agricultural industry: corn seeds. These male flowers of corn are immensely diverse—Dr. B suggests thinking of them like orchids or roses. The varying examples in the photo differ from each other by only one single gene, and over 30 genes that solely affect numbers of tassel branches have been isolated! Dr. B and his team have also answered such questions as “Does a big tassel burn too many calories and therefore reduce corn yield?” Answer: “In Iowa, yes, but in Hawai‘i, no.” One more reason corn is king in Hawai‘i!

Weed and Seed

2/12/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

james leary, linda cox, and john yanagidaJames Leary, Linda Cox, and John Yanagida (all NREM), and co-authors from the Maui Invasive Species Council and the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit were honored by the Weed Science Society of America with an Outstanding Paper award. The paper, published in Invasive Plant Science and Management, is titled “Reducing Nascent Miconia (Miconia calvescens DC) Patches with an Accelerated Intervention Strategy Utilizing Herbicide Ballistic Technology” and describes how 48 patches of the invasive weed tree were identified, targeted, and eliminated in remote areas of Maui watershed in just over a year using the revolutionary HBT. The authors donated their $1000 award to the KUPU Hawaii Youth Conservation Corps, which, as its website explains, empowers youth to serve their communities through character-building, service-learning, and environmental stewardship opportunities that encourage pono with ke Akua, self and others. Congratulations to the authors for their great research, writing skills, environmental stewardship, and generosity!

A Fruitful Harvest

2/12/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Village Harvest volunteers with fruitKaua‘i’s Garden Island newspaper has a glowing article about Village Harvest, a program created by CTAHR’s Kaua‘i Master Gardeners in partnership with the sustainability-focused nonprofit organization Malama Kaua‘i to provide fresh produce for schools, after-school programs, and the Food Bank. Volunteers began by harvesting the fruit grown at CTAHR’s Kaua‘i Agricultural Research Center, but now other growers are donating their extra crops, and the program is searching for more. Amazingly, almost 3,000 pounds of food have been donated through the program in the two and a half months it has been in existence! Interim Kaua‘i County Administrator Russell Messing is quoted in the article as saying that contributing to the community is part of the college’s mission, and he is proud that this program is helping to fulfill that mission.

Sundaes With Mc Millan

2/10/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Mc Millan ChingMBBE sophomore Mc Millan Ching will be one of the students offering new and continuing students helpful tips and insights at the upcoming Sundaes with Students event. On Wednesday, February 18, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in Campus Center 308 and 309, students of all majors and class standings are invited to make a customized sundae at a sundae bar while they listen to a panel of undergraduate and graduate students talk about their experiences as first- and second-year students at UHM. Originally from Manila, Mc Millan plans to become a medical doctor and improve the health care system of the Philippines. But that’s not all—he also wants to earn a PhD and start his own biotech company, which will generate income to support his philanthropic causes. His summers are spent participating in scientific research in agricultural biotechnology, cardiovascular diseases, and stem cell and regenerative medicine, while his school terms are filled with rigorous classes and volunteer work to ready him for his chosen careers. What an inspiration!

The Chemistry of Sustainability

2/10/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Steven MontgomeryEntomologist and CTAHR alumnus Steven Lee Montgomery will present “Using Science for Healthy Choices: Getting the Chemistry Right” on Thursday, February 12, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. at Windward Community College’s Hale ‘Imiloa 111, as part of the Community Forum in Chemistry series. As he explains, all natural resources exist in a delicate balance, and everyone can play a part in conserving the native ecosystem. His talk explains how to foster a healthy local environment by keeping pesticides out of the food chain, promoting bio-controls of weeds and insect pests, and saving farmland and the bees. Montgomery completed both his MS and his PhD in entomology at CTAHR; since then, he has done work on Hawai‘i’s environmental biology, natural history, bio-politics, and honeybee services. He’s also volunteered with the Hawai‘i Natural Area and Land Use Commissions, Sierra Club, and ‘Ahahui Malama I Ka Lokahi/Hawaiians for the Conservation of Native Ecosystems, and has served as a biological consultant on Hawai‘i and the Pacific to landowners and government agencies. He has numerous publications and has received several awards in environmental community service. For more information on his talk, call Letty Colmenares at 236-9120.

Flit on Over to the Museum

2/10/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Student at Insect Museum open houseHeard the buzz? The Insect Museum is holding an open house in celebration of Darwin’s 206th birthday on Thursday, February 12, from 2 to 5 p.m. Gilmore Hall Room 607. There will be a series of exciting activities including specimen preparation of tiny moths, the size of a grain of rice; the chance to see live Kamehameha butterflies and learn about the Insect Museum’s research to protect their future; the Insect Sort-a-thon, in which you take raw field specimens and identify them for placement in the collection; and picture-taking with Buzz the museum mascot, the biggest fruit fly you’ve ever seen! You’ll also get to check out a hallway full of insect displays, including the museum’s living menagerie, and find out about the Great Digitization of 2014, an NSF-funded project to digitize every one of nearly 250,000 specimens in the Museum and put their pictures and data online. See the digitizers in action and learn about why this project is important and represents the future of collections! All interested parties are welcome—heavy pupus and insect-based snacks will be available.

Bee Sweet

2/10/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Honey bear jarKa Mea Kolo Entomology Club will be holding a Valentine’s Day Honey Bear sale on Wednesday, February 11, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the second-floor lobby of Gilmore. Six-ounce iconic bear jars filled with sweet, golden goodness from the UH Honeybee Project that say “Bee Mine” are the perfect gift for that special someone…but quantities are limited, so come early to get your share!

Protection for the Protectors

2/10/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

coral reefReefs provide protection for coastal areas, food and shelter for sea creatures, and beauty and diversity for recreational users. Find out more about them as NREM’s ‘Imi ‘Ike Series continues with a presentation by Dr. Joshua Cinner on Wednesday, February 11, in Sherman 103. The presentation will begin promptly at 3:30 p.m., so please be early. Dr. Cinner will speak on “People and Reefs: A Social Scientist’s Escapades Confronting the Coral Reef Crisis.” As he explains, millions of people depend on reefs for their livelihood, including many who are so affected by poverty issues that sustainable protection of the reefs isn’t their first priority. For that reason, many conservation measures to protect the reefs haven’t succeeded; future efforts, Dr. Cinner argues, need to take the socio-economic context into account to a far greater extent. He discusses measures that have worked and explains how these successes may be duplicated and expanded in other areas.

Love in Bloom

2/10/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Flowering potted plantsIf you’re the type to wait till the last minute when getting a gift for that special someone, you’re in luck! You’ll be able to pick up some lovely Valentine’s Day flowers at the Horticulture Society’s annual Valentine’s Day Flower and Plant Sale on Friday, February 13. It will be held at St. John Room 10-B, from 10:30 a.m. for as long as supplies last. Select from a wide assortment of flowering potted plants, beautiful cut-flower arrangements, and more. And all plants were purchased from local nurseries in Hawai‘i, so you’ll be showing your love for the ‘aina as well!

The Cap on the Event

2/10/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Mayor Arakawa and Cindy Reeves
In her recent visit with Maui County Council members and Mayor Arakawa, Maui County Administrator Cindy Reeves took a moment to pose with the mayor, who donned a CTAHR cap to show his support of the college’s mission. After all, CTAHR looks good on everyone!


Take a Bite of Wellness

1/27/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Alan Titchenal and Joannie DobsThe health-tips column “Got Nutrients?” by Joannie Dobbs and Alan Titchenal (both HNFAS), which provides science-based health and diet information in an easily digestible form, is featured in the latest Well & Wise newsletter from the UH Foundation. The newsletter offers health-related items from the various colleges of the UH System, and Joannie and Alan’s daily dose of wellness is just what the doctor ordered—today’s tip explains how mercury toxicity from eating fish may be prevented.

Healthy Soil, Happy Garden

1/27/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Koon-Hui Wang demonstrates how to know soil healthThis year has been designated by the UN General Assembly as the International Year of Soils. CTAHR is doing its part to raise awareness and offer information with two soil workshops, as well as Koon-Hui Wang’s (PEPS) recent appearance on Hawaii News Now to show ways to assess and boost soil health, particularly with the use of cover crops. Check out her eye-opening and convincing demonstrations!

Hearts of Gold and Chocolate

1/20/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Skip Bittenbender with cacao treeH.C. “Skip” Bittenbender (TPSS), an Extension specialist for coffee, kava, and cacao, will be the featured speaker for the Heart of Gold lunch sponsored by the ARCS Foundation’s Honolulu Chapter on February 9. He will provide an update on chocolate in Hawai‘i, a subject sure to whet the appetites of the attendees. The proceeds of the luncheon benefit 2015 ARCS awards to UH Manoa doctoral students in the sciences, engineering, mathematics, and health disciplines. It’s always nice to be able to combine community service, academic support, and chocolate!

The Good Earth

1/14/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Hands holding soilIn collaboration with their program partners, CTAHR’s Center of Rural Agricultural Training and Entrepreneurship (CRATE) and Sustainable and Organic Agriculture Program (SOAP) will host two educational field days focusing on the soil. The first will take place at Waimanalo Research Station on Wednesday, January 28, from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. Topics include an introduction to soil health and its indicators, benefits of no-till farming systems and cover-cropping, and development of a cover crop calculator for Hawai‘i. Hands-on demonstrations include a soil-slaking test and assays for water runoff and water percolation properties with simulated rainfall. Participants can bring their own soil for assessment; find out about compost tea-brewing systems; and check out the compost quality booth, the display of different types of cover crops, and tea-fertigation injection systems. The Poamoho Research Station workshop, which takes place on Saturday, February 7, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, includes many of the same presentations and also shows participants potential cost savings with cover crop use; a comparison of single vs. mixed cover crops in long-term no-till farming plots; soil health indicators using nematodes; leguminous cover crops in till vs. no-till farming systems, and screenings of the videos Symphony of the Soil and The Benefits of Vermicomposting. For fun, there will be a Jeopardy!-style game on soil knowledge!

Standing Up to Wilt

1/14/2015  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Banana affected by Fusarium wiltDr. Chunyu Li, a researcher at the Institute of Pomology at the Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences, China, will be offering the seminar “Integrative Approaches for Managing Fusarium Wilt of Banana in Guangdong, China” on Wednesday, January 28, at 11:00 a.m. in Gilmore 306. Since Fusarium wilt is also a big problem for banana in Hawai‘i as well, you may want to talk more about the subject. If so, you’ll also have the opportunity of meeting with Dr. Li individually—please call John Hu at 956-7281 if you want to set up a meeting.