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Workshop participants and UH Team

(Drs. Evensen, Idol, Ray and Chan) in OUAT, Keonjhar, Odisha, India

Conducting socio-economic surveys in Tentuli, Nepal


Discussing the on-station experiments at OUAT, Odisha, India


One to one surveying farmers preference

for conservation agricultural practices in Keonjhar, Odisha, India.

Meet the SMARTS2 Team: Farmers, University of Hawaii, OUAT and VARRAT

Conservation Agriculture Production Systems (CAPS) Impacting Tribal Livelihoods

UPLOAD JOBS for Mindanao

Dr. Ted Radovich teaches crop management to local out-of-school youth.

India and Nepal

Joining a women's group meeting to discuss village micro-finance projects.

Northern Iraq

UH faculty visiting one of the Agricultural Technical Institutes


Dr. J. B. Friday conducting a tree seeding demonstration for community leaders

Aleppo, Syria

UH faculty at ICARDA, International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas

Aleppo, Syria

UH faculty at ICARDA, International Center for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas

Agricultural Higher Education And Development (AHEAD)

AHEAD Graduates from the University of Hawaii at Manoa

International Projects at NREM

NREM's staff has successfully competed for and obtained funding to conduct several strong, vital international programs within the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. Our staff come to us from across the globe, bringing valuable international expertise, enriching and strengthening our global vision. Many international students come to NREM to take advantage of our unique opportunities for graduate level education and experience.

CAPS Impacting Tribal Livelihoods

The Belmont Forum Grant entitled: “Sustainable Management of Agro-ecological Resources for Tribal Societies (SMARTS) 2” is conducted in partnership between UH/CTAHR/NREM/PEPS with Orissa University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT), India; Wageningen University, the Netherlands and Kinki University, Japan and funded respectively by NSF and Japan Science & Technology Agency. The project’s main aim is to help the India/Odisha tribal communities achieve sustainable agriculture production, achieve food security and improve their livelihoods through Conservation Agriculture Production Systems (CAPS) practices.  Dr. Chan (NREM), Dr. Sipes (PEPS) and Stephanie O’Connor (NREM Ph.D. student) visited the field sites with CAPS trials in Odisha from the 21st – 26th September. The purpose of the trip was to collect data, to discuss the progress of the project with OUAT partners and conduct training on the importance of cover cropping with the local farmers.  During her training session Dr. Pradhan (NREM alumnae) highlighted an article published in the local Odisha newspaper which is translated as “Farmers answered to the possibility of a drought through maize and cowpea cultivation under conservation agriculture”.  These farmers are practicing CAPS which is an indication of the projects positive impact towards local farmers’ livelihoods and the notice it is receiving by the community at large.  This is an important aspect towards the encouragement of adoption of CAPS for the local farming communities. 

UPLOAD JOBS for Mindanao

University Partnership Linking OSY (Out-of-School Youth) to Agri-Entrepreneurship and Development to promote Job Opportunities and Business Scale-up for Mindanao

Principal Investigator: Catherine Chan-Halbrendt and Elma Neyra


UPLOAD JOBS for Mindanao is a partnership project between the University of Hawaii (UH) and the Southern Christian College (SCC) in the Philippines that aims to sustainably increase the institutional and human capacity of SCC in rural workforce development. Through extension programs in agricultural entrepreneurship, this partnership intends to contribute to the region's agricultural economic development and social prosperity, and sustainably improve the livelihood and increase incomes of Central Mindanao’s community and out-of-school youth.

The UPLOAD JOBS for Mindanao partnership has established a Center for Agriculture and Farmland Entrepreneurship (CAFE) through which training and mentoring can nurture entrepreneurial mindsets of out-of-school youth. In addition, a growing network of business partners and nongovernmental organizations are becoming involved in project training and mentoring.

The Partnership maintains an atmosphere of gender balance, equity, sharing, and transparency. This means that UH and SCC as partners share decision-making, risks, and rewards to foster a sustainable partnership, whereby SCC will be able to demonstrate organization and financial capacity to continue the activities and benefits when the project terminates. Furthermore, UH and SCC's approach is results-oriented and collaborative, bringing together faculty and extension staff, and outside leaders to work together in strengthening the extension program providing the entrepreneurial and necessary skills for out of school youth to be successful.

FUNDING: The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Higher Education for Development (HED) program.

Sustainable Management of Agroecological Resources for Tribal Societies (SMARTS)

Principal investigators: Travis W. Idol, NREM; Catherine Chan-Halbrendt, NREM; Chittaranjan Ray, Water Resources Research Center

Research Team:


Traditional agriculture in tribal and ethnic agricultural societies in India and Nepal is increasingly relegated to less productive land, often on steep slopes, resulting in lower productivity, degradation of soil and water resources, impairment of health, and loss of livelihood options.
Particularly affected are the smallholder tribal communities of the Kalahandi-Balangir-Koraput regions of Orissa state, India, and the Arun River Valley and Trishuli watershed of Nepal. Environmental degradation has driven these tribal and ethnic communities engaged in subsistence agriculture into severe malnutrition and loss of livelihood options.

This project will apply a participatory agroecological framework to prioritize local resource use preferences, develop improved conservation practices, and identify market opportunities to enhance livelihood options. It will identify spaces of opportunities as well as structural barriers to women’s participation in sustainable agricultural production to ensure that the project’s recommendations stay relevant to tribal women’s realities. Results will be documented in baseline surveys and follow-up evaluations of conservation practices, with particular attention to women’s participation in management and decision making.

University of Hawaii faculty will collaborate with local non-governmental organizations, including Agragamee in India and the Local Initiatives for Biodiversity, Research and Development (LI-BIRD) in Nepal. The project will also partner with Orissa University of Agricultural Technology in India and the Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS) of Tribhuvan University in Nepal.

Albania Hawaii Higher Education and Economic Development

Principal Investigator: Catherine Chan-Halbrendt
Project Website:

The University of Hawaii (UH) and the Agricultural University of Tirana (AUT) are partnering to permanently increase Albania’s agricultural higher education institution’s contribution to economic development and social prosperity by empowering the faculty and enhancing its capacity to educate, consult, and advise.

The overall project objective is to strengthen the Agricultural University in Tirana/Faculty of Economy and Agribusinesses (FEA) faculty’s capacity to provide quality graduate education and to build capacity for effective training, consulting and advising to the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA), extension agencies, and producer associations. This will be done through the Agricultural University in Tirana and University of Hawaii (UH) partnership with collaboration from the Ministry of Agriculture.

FUNDING: The project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Higher Education for Development (HED) program.

Project Instructors - United States

Project Instructors - Albania

  • Bahri Musabelliu
  • Engjell Skreli

Evaluation and Validation of Vegetation Index Products from Japanese Satellite Sensor, Greenhouse Gasses Observing Satellite "IBUKI" (GOSAT)

Principal Investigator: Tomoaki Miura

Greenhouse Gasses Observing Satellite “IBUKI” (GOSAT) is a satellite project administered jointly by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), the National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), and the Ministry of the Environment (MOE). The GOSAT project provides the world’s first and only satellite that measures greenhouse gasses repeatedly in the global scale from space. The observations made by GOSAT will be used to improve our understanding of the current status of the Earth concerning global warming.

The NREM contribution to the project is to evaluate and validate the performance of one of the GOSAT satellite products, Level 3 Global Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) product from GOSAT Cloud Aerosol Imager (CAI) in depicting seasonal evolutions and their spatial variability of vegetation vigor or photosynthetic activities in the tropical Hawaii and continental U.S. environments.

Hawaii Kurdistan Partnership for Revitalizing Agricultural Higher Education and Development

Principal Investigator: Samir El-Swaify
Project Website:

The long-term goal of the Hawaii-Kurdistan Partnership for Revitalizing Agricultural Higher Education and Development is to energize the economy, protect the environment and strengthen food security of the region through introducing cutting-edge agricultural science and technology in Iraqi-Kurdistan. 

This goal will be accomplished by:

  • Engaging the administrators, faculty, students, staff, and other clients of MOA, CA/USAL, CA/USUL, CA/UD, CA/UK and ATI/FTI in gaining stat-of-the-art benefits from regional and international expertise
  • Establishing a comprehensive agricultural extension program
  • Invigorating agricultural research and educational programs
  • Restoring and modernizing research and teaching facilities and infrastructure in partnership with the University of Hawaii and other selected cooperating institutions. 

Moreover, the highly trained agricultural extension personnel, researchers and administrators generated by the project will be capable of leading Iraqi Kurdistan to achieving the stated long-term goal. While the focus on revitalizing human capital is the highest priority; it will necessarily require investments for state-of-the-art facilities and infrastructure.  Such investments will maximize the efficiency of personnel in carrying out their respective responsibilities.  Establishing Centers of Excellence in agricultural research education and training within the MOA and University systems within the MOHE&SR network is critical for the region’s economic recovery.  Established Centers of Excellence will serve as lightning rods to rebuild and strengthen the overall agricultural sector in Iraqi-Kurdistan

Project Leadership - United States of America

Project Leadership - Kurdistan

  • Amjad Booya Soulaka
  • Sardar Sami
  • Tariq Hama Karim

Portal program for Iraq and Afghanistan Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT)

Principal Investigator: Ekhlass Jarjees

Rapid response program for addressing the information needs of Provincial Reconstruction Teams in both Iraq and Afghanistan (PRT-Portal program is a Cooperative Agreement with USDA, August 1st 2007 to June 30, 2010.

Progress and Accomplishments

Implementation is progressing quite well, as received PRT inquiries continue to mount and our responses are meeting the required schedules. We are pleased that the flow of questions now includes a steady stream from Afghanistan. We expect that the benefits of the project will increase accordingly.

New supporting activities:

  • Interact regularly with the deployed Army's 25th Infantry Division (Tropic Lightning) responsible for the provinces of Tikrit, Mosul, Kirkuk and Diyala. These interactions are continuing with their replacements upon their return.  Specific project proposals are provided for them to promote agribusiness investments.
  • Develop a system for institutional partnerships between the University of Hawaii and Kirkuk University at the request of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, US Army.
  • Work closely with the PRTs in Anbar, Muthanna and Kirkuk provinces to equip their universities with thousands of textbooks and an electronic agricultural library.
  • Prepare a suggested agricultural development strategic plan and priority scheme to enhance economic growth in Karbala at the request of their PRT.
  • Provide Arabic translation from English of voluminous instructional documents required for teaching Iraqi farmers and ranchers at the request of PRTs in Muthanna province (as an example).
  • Contribute to two conferences on Academic and Economic Development Issues in Iraq on March 2008 and 2009 at the invitation of the Iraqi Embassy in Washington, D.C.

Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRT) Brochure

Agricultural Higher Education And Development (AHEAD)

Principal Investigator: Samir El-Swaify
Project Website:

Our CTAHR team secured partnership commitments from the universities of Mosul and Dohuk in northern Iraq, and was awarded a USAID AHEAD grant in 2003 to revitalize agriculture, with an allocation of $3,770,724.00. AHEAD ended in December 2005. The AHEAD project addressed two objectives:

Objective 1:  "To strengthen academic programs and extension training in agricultural sciences at the UM College of Agriculture and Forestry (CAF) and the UD College of Agriculture." Our POW identified the following activities for achieving this objective, all of which were conducted on a competitive basis:

  • Graduate degree training in high priority agricultural sciences and technologies,
  • Graduate research fellowships for ongoing UM/CAF and UD/CA graduate students to allow completing thesis/dissertation research in well-equipped environments (GRF),
  • Visiting scholarships for faculty to undertake "mini-sabbatical" leaves with counterparts at prestigious institutions (VSP),
  • Professional travel to international or regional scientific meetings (PCT),
  • Professional development and strategic planning workshops for faculty and academic program leaders,
  • Mini-grants, provided as in-residence funds to stimulate faculty research in high priority areas (RFP), and
  • Intensive language training to increase English proficiency among Iraqi faculty
  • As the project progressed, we also identified an increasing need to address women development issues.  Several initiatives were undertaken in this area as well.

Objective 2: "To rehabilitate the research infrastructure and agricultural research programs at both colleges." The POW identified the following activities for achieving this objective:

  • Enhancing communication capabilities,
  • Rehabilitating research and instructional laboratories and facilities,
  • Enhancing library collections, literature availability and retrieval capabilities, and
  • Reactivating the publication the Iraq Journal of Agricultural Sciences (Mesopotamia  Agriculture)

AHEAD's Accomplishments and Benefits: The AHEAD project made substantive progress in meeting many vital objectives. Details are available in detailed reports.

Project Leadership - United States of America

Project Leadership - Iraq

  • Abduljabbar Salman
  • Radhwan J. Badi

Timor-Leste Agricultural Rehabilitation, Economic Growth, and Sustainable Natural Resources Management Project

Principal Investigator: Goro Uehara, TPSS
Project Website:
Timor-Leste Agroforestry Program Website

Timor Leste (East Timor) is one of the world's newest nations and one of Asia's poorest. The colonial legacy and post-independence conflicts have greatly damaged the productivity of the traditional agricultural and natural resource management systems at the same time that a growing population increased demands. From 2003 through 2006 the University of Hawaii teamed with the Timor-Leste Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries in a project designed to:

  • Increase agricultural productivity and food security.
  • Increase household incomes and create new employment opportunities.
  • Adopt farming practices that protect and preserve the environment for future generations.

NREM contributions to the project included economic analyses of farming and fisheries systems and development of culturally-appropriate sustainable agroforestry systems.

Project Leadership

Project funding was from the United States Agency for International Development (US AID).

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management

1910 East-West Road

Sherman 101

Honolulu, HI 96822

Phone: (808) 956-7530

Fax: (808) 956-6539


Department Chair

Dr. Catherine Chan

Graduate Chair

Dr. Tomoaki Miura

Undergraduate Chair

Dr. Travis Idol