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Sustaining Puna

7/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

JB Friday at sustainability workshopForester JB Friday (NREM) was a panelist and members of the East Hawai‘i Master Gardeners provided information and outreach at the recent sustainability/food security workshop “Ho`oulu Mea Kanu” (Growing Plants) in Pahoa, which drew 70 participants. The all-day workshop included perspectives and information from Native Hawaiian horticultural traditions and mele through panels on soil-building and plant selection. Sen. Ruderman also presented information on the proposed Puna agricultural park, and there were tables on rat lungworm, ROD, and forest preservation.

Keep It in the Ground

7/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Rebecca RyalsRebecca Ryals (NREM) is quoted in an EcoWatch article on the benefits of carbon farming, a practice that helps to fight global warming by sequestering carbon in the soil. This is accomplished by growing trees and using agricultural techniques such as cover cropping and low-till farming. Rebecca explains that the creation of the Carbon Farming Task Force, one of two pieces of legislation enacted to confirm Hawai‘i’s commitment to the Paris Accord, is “a critically important first step toward finding local solutions to global climate change…soil carbon farming strategies should be emphasized in its incentive programs.” The task force will create incentives for local farmers to increase carbon content in their soils.

It Wouldn’t Be the Farm Fair Without 4-H

7/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Brent BuckleyBrent Buckley (HNFAS) and the youthful participants of 4-H get a shout-out in KITV’s enthusiastic coverage of the Farm Fair this past weekend. Brent points out that raising, showing, and judging livestock such as goats, sheep, pigs, chickens, and cattle is a great youth development project, and a 4-H student agrees, saying that the best part is showcasing how hard they work on their projects.

Harvesting Goodwill

7/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Village Harvest on cover of Island SceneThe Kaua‘i Master Gardeners’ Village Harvest project is the subject of the cover story for HMSA’s Island Scene summer issue. The project, a collaboration between the MGs and Malama Kaua‘i, started with a grant from HMSA, and the organization is justifiably proud of its success. Village Harvest gleans unused fruit from CTAHR’s orchards, Malama Kauai’s Community Farm, and donors in the community to give to Kaua‘i food banks and schools. To date, they’ve harvested and distributed almost two tons of fruit, in less than three years!

Intern Incredible

7/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Rihui Yuan with Sen. SchatzFSHN student Rihui Yuan has just finished a “life-changing” four-month internship in Sen. Brian Schatz’s office, doing research, writing, and analysis to help maintain and further protections for the most vulnerable and the public at large. Much of her work was in response to the American Health Care Act (“Trumpcare”) and the programs it seeks to abolish. As she explains, much of the funding that the AHCA seeks to pull is from programs specifically addressed toward women and preventive care. With her help, Sen. Schatz’s office made important strides: they secured marked increases in core funding for the CDC and other associated programs and recently introduced a bill on Women’s Preventive Health Services in the Senate. She thanks CTAHR for helping to make this opportunity possible and encourages other CTAHR students, “Don’t underestimate how valuable your contributions can be in fostering diversity of thought in the fomenting marketplace of ideals that is DC. I can’t stress how much I hope more CTAHR students apply next semester and the semesters after that!” She’s definitely found her calling; as she concludes, “I can only hope that the work I did during those four months is the beginning of a long and fruitful career in health policy.”

Hot Tomatoes

7/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

tomato varietiesThe Molokai Native Hawaiian Beginning Farmers quarterly newsletter for Summer 2017 focuses on one of the most popular and iconic vegetables, the tomato. It includes historical background on the crop in Hawai‘i: UH tomato breeders were strong forces in the development of disease-resistant tomatoes, and their story has never been fully told…until now. New varieties and techniques keep the production of this luscious fruit rewarding today. For back issues of this newsletter, you can visit the CTAHR Sustainable and Organic Agriculture website, Hanai ‘Ai.

Virtual Coffee

7/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Andrea Kawabata with award plaqueCongratulations to Andrea Kawabata, who was one of only three National Finalists for the NACAA Communications Award in Website and Online Content at the National Association of County Agricultural Agents’ national conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. She received a plaque and cash award with the honor. The website she created, Hawaii Coffee, is maintained by Extension agents and staff, including Andrea herself, and provides coffee producers with crucial science-based information about the coffee berry borer and other insect pests and diseases of coffee. Of course, the site is extensively supplemented by the real-time, boots-on-the-ground help that Andrea and the rest of the coffee team offer to the coffee producers: workshops, conferences, site visits, and more!

Movin’ on Up…

7/13/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Promotion and tenure graphicCongratulations to those who triumphed in the recent promotion and tenure review! Jinan Banna and Rajesh Jha (both HNFAS) and Ju-Young Kang (FCS) are now associate professors, while Creighton Litton (NREM) and Lori Yancura (FCS) have been named full professors. The university is lucky to have them! Congratulations also to Soojin Jun (HNFAS), who was promoted to professor, and Kirsten Oleson (NREM), who gained tenure and was promoted to associate professor, and many apologies that these names were not in the original story!

Plant Propagation Aplenty

7/12/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Plant propagation workshopGot grafts? CTAHR’s Cooperative Extension held a Plant Propagation Outdoor Expo last week at the Urban Garden Center in Pearl City. CTAHR researchers, Extension agents, students, and Master Gardeners used a hands-on demonstration approach and a number of visual aids to help new and emerging food producers understand and gain technical skills in propagating crops via seeds, cuttings, air layering, and grafting. Cooperating organizations included the Hawaii Department of Agriculture, USDA Farm Services Agency, Oahu RC&D, West Oahu Soil and Water Conservation District, Hawaii Farm Bureau, Hawaiian Earth Products, Smart Yields, EM Hawaii, and the Hawaii Agricultural Research Center.

A Change Is Coming

7/12/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

MA recent UH News story on the Hawai‘i Extension Climate Forum organized last month by Clay Trauernicht and Patricia Fifita (both NREM) highlights the important work done by the conveners and participants. The forum, sponsored by CTAHR, brought together other university and community partners to address how Extension professionals can help their clientele deal with the potential effects of climate change in Hawai‘i and other Pacific Islands. Participants worked to develop a foundational knowledge of the Pacific climate system and longer-term climate projections, identify relevant climate-related tools, and outline approaches to integrate climate science and climate change communication into existing Extension programs. An assessment of existing climate-related tools will be organized on a CTAHR website to facilitate access by Extension faculty, and participants are working to develop a strategy, based on participant feedback, to support Extension faculty and their clientele through the development of new climate-related tools and informational products.

Getting Funded…by the NSF

7/12/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

NSF speakers at CTAHROn June 29th, NSF program directors Dr. Charles Cunninghan, Dr. Mamta Rawat, Dr. C. Eduardo Vallejos, and Dr. Tom Okita visited the university and talked about funding opportunities in various NSF programs. The visiting directors strongly encouraged faculty and students to take advantage of NSF funding opportunities and provided tips about how to position projects to be funded. They also met with graduate students and post-docs for lunch where they shared advice and stories from their careers. Pictured here are Kauahi Perez (TPSS), Kevin Schneider (MBBE), Charles Cunningham (NSF), Dan Laspisa (MBBE), Ray Zhang (MBBE), Elizabeth Feldeverd (MBBE), Sumin Guo (PEPS), Aimee Uyehara (TPSS), Alyssa MacDonald (MBBE), Tom Okita (NSF), Mamta Rawat (NSF), and Joey Ooka (MBBE). Mahalo to CTAHR for providing lunch, Mike Muszynski (TPSS) for moderating, and the TPSS faculty ‘ohana for their guidance and donations.

Hokkaido to Hawai‘i

7/12/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Students from Hokkaido give presentationsStudents from Iwamizawa High School in Hokkaido, Japan, presented their research projects on pest control in onion plants and the composition of pasture grass in dung patches before an audience of CTAHR faculty and students this week. During their visit to Hawai‘i organized by junior Extension agent Jensen Uyeda, the students also toured Waimanalo Research Station and visited Mari’s Garden, Kahuku Farms, and a coffee operation. Several of the students come from farm families, and most plan to pursue agriculture studies in college, following their interest in soils, insects, tropical plants, and economics. After asking the students about their methods and results, Bob Paull (TPSS) complimented them on a job done so well that undergraduates could learn some things from them.

Community Benefactors

7/12/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Hilo FCE members organizing rummage saleFamily and Community Education volunteers recently held their annual rummage sale at the YMCA in Hilo, and it was a success, the Hawaii Tribune Herald reported. Proceeds go to benefit the Trimble Scholarship Fund, which provides Hawai‘i high school seniors with scholarships to pursue degrees in health, safety and public welfare. UH’s Cooperative Extension Service has helped to organize and advise FCE groups throughout Hawai‘i since the 1930s. The clubs teach research-based information to their members and others, explained member Lee Watanabe; they also engage in community service. Some of the Hilo FCE’s beneficiaries include the Hilo Medical Center, hospices, the American Cancer Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, the American Lung Association, Puna Neighborhood Place, and they Salvation Army. They make quilts for foster care children and nursing homes and dresses for girls in emerging countries, do beach cleanups, and sponsor an essay and art contest for all fourth-graders as part of the Character Counts! Coalition. Here, from left, Lori Kashiwa of Hanalike Kakou and Marie Vierra, Lana Paiva, and Elaine Fukui of Hoike are pictured setting up the sale.

Pongamia Proponents

7/6/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Pongamia flowersAfter the June 22 article in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser about plantings of pongamia for biofuel and biomass production, Rich Criley (TPSS, Emeritus) reached out to the company profiled, TerViva, to check on a possible CTAHR connection. After all, Goro Uehara, formerly of TPSS, was an early proponent of this tree for the high quality of oil that can be extracted from its seeds. Founder Naveen Sikka confirmed that he has “very fond memories of meeting Dr. Uehara back in 2011…. He came into our meeting with bags and bags full of pongamia seeds, from trees that he had grown in his own backyard (indeed, he was a proponent of pongamia, even then). This meeting was at the very early stages of our company, and I was delighted and humbled to meet a person of Dr. Uehara’s standing that was enthusiastic about pongamia.” And it was Rich himself who originally introduced Goro to the pongamia tree near Bachman Hall on the UHM campus!

Summertime With the GENE-iuses

7/6/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Participants in the summer GENE-ius programThe GENE-ius Day Program led by Associate Dean Ania Wieczorek (TPSS) held its second STEM summer enrichment program for O‘ahu’s middle-school students. Over 150 students from Dole Middle, Kalakaua Middle, Jarrett Middle, Washington Middle, and Waipahu Intermediate School attended the UHM campus this past month to participate in week-long STEM education courses filled with engaging hands-on science activities ranging from building a model of DNA, to learning about effects of climate change on agriculture, to observing mutations in fruit flies under the microscope. The classes all encourage group collaboration and discussion. More than 30 were returning students from the 2016 summer program, participating in the brand-new Level 2 class! A highlight of the summer program is the family days held at the end of each weeklong session, where parents and family members get to participate in an activity with the students, extracting DNA from papaya. Students present all they’ve learned to their families and teachers, and awards are given to groups with the best presentations. The goal of the GENE-ius Day STEM Summer Program is to increase the interest of Hawai‘i’s middle-school students in agriculture- and science-related fields by making science and learning fun, and it sounds like they’re succeeding!

Time for Tea

7/6/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Randy Hamasaki in tea fieldsRandy Hamasaki (PEPS) recently curated a tea-tasting event, offering a variety of teas grown and processed at the Mealani Station. One of the teas sampled was the appropriately named ‘Mealani’, a new variety bred at the station that is particularly suited for processing as green tea. As Randy explains, any tea plant can be turned into black, green, or oolong tea; it’s just a matter of how the leaves are fermented or otherwise processed. But each tastes better with a particular treatment. Teas with lower tannin content, like ‘Mealani’, are particularly appropriate for making into the less-processed green teas, while highly tannic varieties might be too astringent without the extra fermentation that turns them into black teas. Oolong teas fall somewhere in the middle and may have floral or even chocolatey notes. Just as certain teas taste better processed in certain ways, different tea plants grow better under different conditions, and Mealani is working to discover which respond best to particular growing conditions—important information for the Islands’ rapidly expanding tea-growing industry.


Bioethics From the Beginning

6/28/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Lena DiazLena Diaz (MBBE) won 1st place for her poster presentation in the Engineering, Technology and Applied Science section at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Pacific Division’s (AAASPD) 98th annual meeting, which was held in Waimea on the Big Island. She will be receiving a cash prize and honorary induction into the honor society Sigma Xi. The conference included symposia on Galapagos and Hawai‘i, coral bleaching, and recent advances in turbulence research. Lena participated in the symposium on Social Responsibility of Scientists in the Technological Age, and based on her participation, she was asked to submit a proposal on introducing guidelines for bioethical responsibility early on during a graduate student’s scientific career. She is considering that this may best be achieved by working with offices of research compliance to generate an optional training course. It sounds like an idea whose time has come!

Let It Rain

6/28/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Mark ThorneExtension specialist Mark Thorne (HNFAS) was interviewed for an article in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald about the drier-than-normal weather on the Big Island and how it’s affecting ranchers. He explained that production is falling somewhat, and that conditions have been “particularly severe” since December. He emphasized that ranchers will need to keep an eye on the developing drought conditions and their impacts. Much of the island has some degree of drought; Kawainui only had 50 percent of normal rainfall in May.

Digging In in Nepal

6/28/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Tia Silvasy in NepalTiare Silvasy (TPSS) participated in an international aid Trellis Fund project to Nepal through the Horticulture Innovation Lab at UC Davis, funded by US AID. Now back from her trip, where she taught farmers how to take and interpret soil tests and discussed the importance of crop rotation for soil fertility and pest management, Tia is completing her service by writing a manual and creating a poster about the project. CARD-Nepal, the NGO she’s working with, just published an interview with Tia on their website—check it out!

Welcoming the Voyagers Home

6/28/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Sweetie Kuehu with canoe plantsSweetie Kuehu (MBBE, pictured) and Kauahi Perez (TPSS) represented CTAHR at Hui Malama Honua’s exhibition at the Malama Honua Fair and Summit held at the Hawai’i Convention Center to celebrate Hokule’a’s Worldwide Voyage Homecoming. There was a live display of canoe plants, donated by KCC’s Mala Maunuunu Garden, and small animals such as those brought by the first Hawaiians, including piglets and chicks. The Aquaponics Place LLC in Waimanalo donated a small sustainable aquaponics system, which was given away on Sunday in honor of Father’s Day. Those interested in getting involved with future Hui Malama Honua events can contact

Chocolate Love

6/28/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Chocolate molded with CTAHR spirit markAlyssa Cho and Andrea Kawabata organized a hands-on chocolate-making workshop in Hilo, assisted by graduate research assistant Colin Hart. Since it’s less lucrative to sell raw beans than more processed products, the workshop aimed to offer value-adding options for the Big Island’s growing number of cacao farmers. Participants learned about roasting, winnowing, mixing, grinding, and tempering, moving from a dried, fermented cacao bean to a final chocolate bar. They even got to take home their own chocolate, molded in CTAHR molds! Read all about the helpful and delicious event in the Hawaii Tribune-Herald.

Aloha, Henke

6/28/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Louis HenkeDoug Vincent (HNFAS) penned a touching tribute to Henke Hall, once the home of CTAHR’s Animal Sciences, Food Science and Human Nutrition, and Agricultural Biochemistry Departments before their move to the Ag Sci building, and now slated for demolition to make way for the new Life Sciences building. It’s named after Louis Albert Henke, an animal scientist who pioneered the use of agricultural wastes from sugar cane and pineapple as low-cost animal feed. Read more and see pictures of the building in the UH News story here.

Heights of Fashion

6/22/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

CTAHR Fashion Show 2016The annual rankings are out from, and FDM is rising! In fashion design, it’s now in the top 25% (#32, up from #42) of schools nationally), in the top 25% (#16) nationally among public schools and colleges, and #6 among schools on the West Coast. In fashion merchandising, it’s #33 nationally and #25 among public schools and colleges, in the top 30% of schools considered in both categories, and it’s #6 on the West Coast.

PEPS Meets Pasefika

6/22/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Pasefika groupFaculty, staff, and graduate students from Sustainable Pest Management in PEPS, including Koon-Hui Wang (left of center), spent an afternoon on June 13 with a group of 9th- to 12th-grade students from the Pasefika summer program, sharing the fun and rewards of agricultural research. The Pasefika Passion Pipeline (3P), which is operated by the UHM Office of Multicultural Students Services, promotes the importance of a college education for non-Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander students.

Giving Back to the Community

6/22/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Sheri DanielsFamR alumna Sheri Daniels has taken the position of executive director of Papa Ola Lokahi, an organization dedicated to improving the health status and well-being of Native Hawaiians and their families through advocacy and the development of culturally appropriate strategic actions. After receiving her BS in 1996, Sheri worked in the fields of substance abuse, mental health, child welfare, trauma and violence, behavioral health, and criminal justice. These jobs, in both government and non-profit sectors, were across Hawai’i but mostly on Maui, where she was born and raised. She also earned an MS degree in Counseling Psychology from Chaminade University and then a PhD in Education from Argosy University. She says, “The BS degree in FamR was critical in shaping my abilities to organize and develop time management skills that have been invaluable over the years. Without the experiences I gained in my undergraduate program, I would not have been so willing or excited to continue to strive forward.” Sheri was recognized in 2014 with the Maui County Women of Excellence award; she was also chosen as one of the Pacific Business News – 40 under 40 (2010) and as a Ka Ipu Kukui Fellow (2008). Papa Ola Lokahi is lucky to have her!

Bee Resilient

6/15/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Scott NikaidoScott Nikaido of the UH Honeybee Project has been in the news lately; he’s interviewed on both KITV and KHON concerning the recent pollinator-awareness event at the Urban Garden Center. He explains that the bee populations in Hawai‘i are actually doing better than they have been for a number of years; in fact, Hawai‘i is one of the largest producers of honey per hive in the country! And this is in large part due to the research and outreach of the Honeybee Project, which has given beekeepers the knowledge and tools they need to control the pests that were lowering their numbers.

How the Kids Are Doing

6/15/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Image from cover of 2017 Kids Count Data BookThe Annie E. Casey Foundation, for which the Center on the Family is the state’s designated project grantee, recently released the annual KIDS COUNT Data Book for Hawai‘i, which uses 16 indicators to rank the state across four domains that represent what children need most to thrive. The data show that economic conditions may finally be improving for Hawai‘i’s children, and families continue to offer them a strong foundation. The Data Book, which examines trends in child well-being, found that Hawai‘i now ranks 23rd in child economic well-being and 17th for child well-being overall. However, despite some improvements on individual indicators, Hawai‘i is lagging in the area of education, 36th overall. There have been some improvements in reading and math proficiency, but Hawai‘i’s children are still below national proficiency rates, and more than half of 3- and 4-year-olds are not enrolled in preschool programs. The Star-Advertiser also published an article on the Data Book’s findings.

Corn Knowledge

6/15/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Corn chormosomes with centromere region highlightedProfessor Gernot Presting and two postdoctoral scholars in his lab, Kevin Schneider and Thomas Wolfgruber, are contributors to an historic release of a new, high-quality corn reference genome sequence that shows reasons why corn can be adapted to such a wide variety of growing conditions. Their findings were published in the journal Nature. Genome analysis has become an indispensable tool for plant improvement by breeding. The newly released sequence fills in ~100,000 gaps left in the initial genome sequence released in 2009. This additional information leads to a much fuller understanding of the genetic structure of this culturally and economically important crop. Most significantly, the findings show that the corn genome is very “flexible,” or adaptable. This flexibility will have potential benefits in the advent of climate change. This genome assembly includes high-quality sequence of many corn centromeres, which have been very difficult to sequence because they are composed of highly repetitive DNA.

The Bee’s Knees

6/7/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Bee Hui working on hivesScott Nikaido (PEPS) is featured in a UH News story about the importance of pollinators to Hawai‘i crops and the things people in the community can do to support pollinator health. It’s best to use fewer insecticides, Scott explains, and to plant more pollinator-friendly plants. It’s also helpful for beekeepers when people buy their locally produced honey. In fact, honey production in Hawai’i is the highest in the nation, according to the USDA, so let’s keep it that way! The story also highlights the Bee Hui, a volunteer group trained by the UH Honeybee Project and based at the Urban Garden Center—check out some pictures of their work here! For more pollinator-themed activities, remember to check out the Second Saturday event hosted by the Bee Hui at the UGC this Saturday, June 10, from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.


Full of Options for a Fulbright

5/31/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Fulbright map graphicApplications are being accepted for about 800 lecturer/research awards in over 125 countries through the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Opportunities are available for college and university faculty and administrators, artists, journalists, scientists, independent scholars, and many others. Fulbright awards are normally granted for periods ranging from three to twelve months, but Flex Awards allow grantees to complete a grant in two or three shorter segments. Fulbright also offers opportunities for multi-country grants through enhanced global and regional awards, including the Fulbright Global Scholar Award. The Fulbright Core Scholars Award is a prestigious recognition of faculty accomplishment and potential for international impact. The application deadline for most awards is August 1. The financial support provided varies, so awardees should work closely with their department chair and dean to develop a plan that fits their particular situations. Call (202) 686-7877 or email for more information.

Pacific Islands Environmentalists

5/31/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Tuvalu islandsThe U.S. Department of State Bureau of East Asia Pacific Affairs is accepting applications from organizations for a series of small environmental awards to support local and regional small-scale environmental projects in eligible Pacific Island countries, at up to $24,999 per award, via the Regional Environmental Office in Suva. Projects should address one or more of the following environmental areas of focus: food security; sustainable economic development; adaptation to changing environmental conditions; waste management, including marine litter; air quality; maintaining biodiversity and healthy ecosystems; creation and/or management of marine protected areas; environment- or health-related education; capacity building for scientific research on environmental issues; and use of new technology for application to environmental issues. Projects may propose activities targeted in the following countries: Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, or Vanuatu. Proposals for $25,000 or over will not be considered. Please contact Aloysius Peckham at 679-331-4466 or with any questions.

Borlaug International Agricultural Science and Technology Fellowship

5/31/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Farmer in GuatemalaThe USDA Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) has announced the availability of funding through cost-reimbursable agreements for the Scientific Cooperation Research Program (SCRP). The objective of SCRP is to reduce global poverty and hunger by supporting applied scientific research, Extension, or education projects that address challenges faced by small farmers in emerging economies. For the purposes of this announcement, small farmers are those who own or lease less than 124 acres of land. This land must be used to support subsistence or cash-crop farming. The selected countries are Bangladesh, Ghana, Guatemala, Kenya, and countries that are part of the East African Community Region and the Central America Region. The deadline is June 4, so hurry!

Getting Them Prepared

5/17/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

4-H MyPI trainingThree 4-H agents were among the eight adult instructors who completed a comprehensive certification and training workshop for the Hawaii Youth Preparedness Initiative, or MyPI Hawaii program last month on Maui. Hawai‘i is the second state to undergo training under the national project pilot, developed at Mississippi State University. 4-H agent Nancy Ooki will be the MyPI Hawaii State Program Coordinator. Over the next two years, MyPI Hawaii will be offering an innovative youth-preparedness program to approximately 125 teens across the state in which trained adults instruct teenagers to complete the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency-certified Teen CERT training, including CPR and AED usage. They will also learn to use ham radio, NOAA weather radio, and smart phone apps and social media for emergency preparedness. The teens then undertake a family and community service project in which each they help to develop emergency supply kits and emergency communication plans for their family, as well as for additional families or households. Nancy says, “The applied knowledge, community service, and leadership components make it an excellent connection to the 4-H program. I am excited to share this with Maui County youth and across the state of Hawaii.” 4-H agents Becky Settlage and Laura Kawamura will also offer the training on the Big Island and Kaua‘i.

CBB on the Web

5/11/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Andrea Kawabata giving coffee reportCongratulations to Extension agent Andrea Kawabata, who has been selected by the Hawai‘i Association of County Agricultural Agents (HACAA) as their candidate for the national organization (NACAA)’s Communications Award in the Website category. Andrea serves as a key member of the multiagency team working to halt the spread of CBB across the Hawaiian islands and help farmers deal with this damaging coffee pest. As part of that outreach, she has created a website which serves as a valuable educational resource to growers, researchers, Extension faculty, students, and the general public.

Highlights of Glory

5/11/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

3MEP logoIf you’ve got a fever and the only cure is more 3MEP, you’re in luck, because the highlights video for this inaugural competition—first aired at the recent CTAHR Awards Banquet—has now been posted. Let it inspire you to get involved with the competition next year, whether as a participant, judge, or enthusiastic audience member. Check it out!


5/4/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Robert SaitoBS and MS alumnus Robert Saito (TPSS) is founder and CEO of Herbavore, a company that designs and sells horticultural hand tools that can be tailored to the user and are of higher quality than what’s presently on the market. He and his company recently got a boost through the XLR8UH competition, when Herbavore was one of the eight teams selected for the accelerator startup investment program. Congrats, Robert!

CTAHR at the Science Fair

5/4/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Sunny Sakai and Kauahi PerezMore than a dozen CTAHR faculty, staff, and grad students volunteered as judges in the 60th Hawaii State Science and Engineering Fair recently held at the Convention Center. The volunteers were wowed by the accomplishments of Hawai‘i’s best and brightest middle- and high-school students. Special thanks are due to those who mentored the next generation of local scientists and engineers! With funding from USDA-NIFA, and on behalf of all campuses in the UH system, CTAHR presented a $500 award to Sunny Sakai, a twelfth-grader at Hilo High School (pictured here with CTAHR Alumni Association president and TPSS grad student Kauahi Perez), for her excellent research project, “The Effect of Mycorrhizae on Hydroponic Lactuca sativa ‘Manoa’.” Sunny’s research showed increased yield in lettuce grown hydroponically when it is treated with mycorrhizae, fungi that are usually associated with root–soil interactions. They weren’t thought to be important in soilless agriculture, but her research clearly showed that even here mycorrhizae play a critical role in the nutrient absorption by roots. Sunny did her research under the mentorship of Hilo High School teacher Nyra Dee and UH Hilo’s Dr. William Sakai, long-time CTAHR colleague and former TPSS graduate faculty—and, coincidentally, Sunny’s grandfather!

Probiotics Pros

5/4/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Rob BarrecaCTAHR loves fermentation! An article in the Star-Advertiser is focused on the local pickle and kimchee company Counter Culture and its co-founder Rob Barreca (pictured), triumphantly successful graduate of the college’s GoFarm and Ag Incubator programs. The article also quotes HNFAS MS student Surely Wallace about the care and feeding of probiotic cultures and the important role they play in gut health. Surely is the winner of this year’s CTAHR Student Research Symposium Best MS Student Poster Presentation and CTAHR’s inaugural Three-Minute Elevator Pitch MS Student Presentation.

Are You Secure?

5/4/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Food insecurity survey pictureThe Animal Science/Nutritional Sciences graduate course in Food Systems (ANSC/FSHN 601) chose food insecurity on campus as their class project. Understanding that fixing food insecurity is not easy and would require University support, they decided to reach out to other students to help get adequate information so the administration could develop the right plan. They collected more that 800 student signatures on a petition that suggested creating a survey and also made a video for President Lassner regarding the #FeedtheDegree campaign. This project was a follow-up to a 2006 food-insecurity study conducted by Pia Chaparro for her MS project, for which Joannie Dobbs (HNFAS) was on the committee. Based on USDA’s criteria, at that time 24% of students were found to be marginally food secure and 21% to be food insecure (15% had low food security and 6% very low food security). However, there were only 408 responses to this study, too few to develop a plan. Other universities and colleges nationwide are now determining the food-security needs of their campuses, and four senators, including Elizabeth Warren, have requested a study of food insecurity at American colleges and universities.

Prevent the Parasite

5/4/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Jari Sugano discusses rat lungwormIn the wake of new cases of rat lungworm that have been discovered in the Islands, Extension agent Jari Sugano was featured on Hawaii News Now offering some tips on reducing the risk of the disease. Control the rats that carry the parasite with traps and baits; control slugs and snails using beer, salt, or commercial molluscicides; don’t eat produce that looks like it’s been eaten by snails; and carefully rinse the produce you do eat. The Waimanalo Research Station also offered a field day for backyard gardeners this past Saturday on things they can do to stop the spread of the disease, and the Manoa Minute radio spots will provide common-sense tips for the garden and the kitchen.

April Showers

5/4/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

GoFarm students with wonbokThe beginning farmer-training program GoFarm Hawai‘i has been showered with financial support this month, receiving grants from the Hawai‘i Department of Agriculture, Hawai‘i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, and Kamehameha Schools. The funding totals $377,680 in all—wow! And you know this highly successful and effective program will make good use of the grants to keep creating new farmers for Hawai‘i!

Giving Good Advice

5/3/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

CTAHR advisers at college fairCTAHR’s academic advisors engaged prospective students across the state during college fairs organized by Hawaii Association for College Admission Counseling. They made new connections with students at Kealakehe High School, Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Kamehameha Schools Hawaii Campus, and Maui High School. High school outreach concluded at the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s National College Fair at the Hawaii Convention Center. Advisor Irene Morrow, peer advisor Hailey Pederson, and student ambassador Kimber Troumbley greeted 5,000 prospective students at the CTAHR information booth. They were also busy with transfer student recruitment efforts at UH Maui College, Leeward Community College, and Windward Community College. CTAHR ASAO looks forward to seeing a new crop of bright and talented students in the years to come!

Engineering a Great Program

5/3/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Biological Engineering team-building exerciseTwenty biological engineering (BE) students and six faculty and staff from the BE program, along with CTAHR’s ASAO, braved foreboding weather at the BE Undergraduate Team-Building Event on Saturday, April 29. The group toured Kualoa Ranch in a rustic WWII-model bus, learning the rich history and heritage of the Ranch. The group also took part in challenging activities that honed teamwork, communication, and problem-solving skills, followed by lunch and a facilitated evaluation of the BE academic program. The students offered very insightful feedback on what they liked about the program as well as possible ways to improve it. The Kualoa activity was successful and fun in every respect, demonstrating that BE students are, indeed, among the best problem solvers at the university and shattering the stereotype of engineers as reclusive and sedentary! Mahalos go to the ASAO and USDA-NIFA for supporting the team-building event and to Ryan Kurasaki for planning it, and to the BE students for their great energy and engagement! Check out the pix’n’videos here.


Telling the Sophomores How It Is

4/26/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Brent Sipes and Jenee OdaniExtension veterinarian Jenee Odani (HNFAS) and Brent Sipes, professor in PEPS, shared their undergraduate and faculty experiences with students during “Fraps with Faculty,” an event sponsored by the Manoa Sophomore Experience (MSE). MSE helps transitioning freshmen and sophomores navigate academic requirements and campus life so they become engaged with our campus community and invested in their college experience.

“Paint Your Pet”

4/26/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Paint Your Pet portraitsLast Friday, 30 current and potential ANSC undergraduates and faculty participated in a focus group session to discuss possible means of effective recruitment and retention in the Animal Sciences program. The planning committee included Extension veterinarian Jenee Odani, Pre-Vet Club adviser Douglas Vincent, and ANSC undergraduates Megan Williams and Tally Nakamura. An art instructor from Honolulu’s Wine & Design led a painting class with the participants, which resulted in these amazing portraits of a wide variety of animals! This event was sponsored by the Office of Academic and Student Affairs.

Can-Do at Purdue!

4/26/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Jordan OshiroDietetics alumnus Jordan Oshiro, who’s now earning a PhD in food science at Purdue University, has been honored with a graduate student award at the Experimental Biology meetings. He received a Neolife/GNLD Phenolic Student Research Award from the Plant Phenolics and Human Health Research Interest Group, for his work on the “Impact of Piceatannol and Resveratrol on the Proteomic Profile of Caenorhabditis elegans.” Congratulations, Jordan!

Jeepers Peepers!

4/19/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

World Peeps dioramaPEPS’ annual Peeps Diorama Competition drew eight creative entries, using marshmallow characters to illustrate events and pop-cultural concepts from “Pokemon Peeps” and “Wild Peepachu” to the viral visions of a HNFAS cat lady. Winner of the juried competition was an OCS/ASAO team effort, “Hokuleia Visits Easter Island.” Second place was awarded to a Korean Peninsula nuclear meltdown titled “I Have One, You Have One, Let’s Play Together,” while Honorable Mention went to the evolutionary “Peep Queen Hypothesis.” The online audience-choice voting weighed in with hopeful views of the future: the run-away lead (we won’t ask about voter fraud) went to the PEPS department office’s entry, “World Peeps,” with “Peeps March on Washington” coming in second. View the entries here, and start planning your 2018 entry!

Science for All

4/6/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

March for Science Hawaii logoUH Manoa’s faculty, students, and staff will be participating in the International March for Science on Earth Day, April 22. This event is a celebration of the tremendous impact that science has had and continues to have in terms of enriching and preserving life, sustaining our communities, and protecting our environment. As one of the nation’s premier public research universities, and as a land-grant, sea-grant, space-grant, and sun-grant university, the University of Hawai’i at Manoa is uniquely positioned to lead, and anyone who wishes to participate in the events of the day is invited to do so.


Diving for Success

3/29/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Ken Grace at Deep Dive eventAssociate Dean Ken Grace had a “Deep Dive Conversation” onstage with Meli James, XLR8UH program director, at the InnovateUH Showcase at the UH Cancer Center last week, at which he talked about big needs and hot trends in agriculture, food systems, and natural resource management, and the amazing work of CTAHR's faculty. At the Showcase, UH inventors and entrepreneurs had an opportunity to pitch their latest discoveries to an appreciative crowd of investors and fellow scientists at the event. The XLR8UH program is open to UH faculty, staff, students, and alumni with an interest in commercializing their innovative ideas—get more information and apply here!

Fight the Itch

3/29/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Taro leafAlan Titchenal and Joannie Dobbs (both HNFAS) gave a shout-out to colleague Bob Paull (TPSS) in their Health Options column in the Sunday Star-Advertiser. The article, “Varied Diet Offsets Harm From Natural Toxins,” corrects a longstanding misapprehension about why taro can’t be eaten raw, explaining, “Anyone who has tried it will describe the dreaded ‘taro itch’ that feels like something is really wrong in the back of your mouth and throat. For a long time people thought this was caused by microscopic spiky-looking calcium oxalate crystals in the plant. However, cooking does not change these much, and based on research by Dr. Robert Paull and colleagues at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the ‘itch’ is caused by an offending protein that, unlike the oxalate crystals, is altered in cooking.” Good to know!

Vaya a Mexico

3/29/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

University of GuadalajaraThe General Coordination for Cooperation and Internationalization (GCCI) at the University of Guadalajara (UDG) is offering a Summer Spanish-Language Program for both undergraduate and graduate students at schools that are members of the Association of Public Land-grant Universities (APLU), as UH is. The program, which runs June 23–July 28, consists of 5 weeks of Spanish instruction, 20 hours of Mexican History and Culture, 20 hours of a mix of reading and oral expression workshops, and ample 1-on-1 conversation activities with local students. It will take place on two university campuses, the University Campus of Economic and Managerial Science and the University Campus of the Coast at UDG. The program fee is $2,500 USD, covering tuition, room, board, and transportation to and from the airport in Guadalajara, but UDG is offering 50% scholarships to the first 100 students. With this scholarship, the cost would be $1,250. The contact person for the program at the UDG is Alonso Ramírez Ruíz ( or [52] (33) 3630 9890 ext. 12905).

It’s a Maize, Maize World

3/23/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Transgenic and non-transgenic maize image from paperMichael Muszynski (TPSS) is a co-author of a paper on maize genetics recently published in Nature Communications. Mike’s lab, including his graduate student Aimee Uyehara, studies the basic molecular mechanisms regulating growth in plants, and they use maize (corn) as the model system as it has many genetic and genomics tools. They collaborate with a maize group led by Dirk Inze and Hilde Nelissen at the VIB in Ghent Belgium, who led the study. Their work has characterized a maize gene that significantly increases plant growth and seed yield in maize. Mike’s lab led the growth and yield studies in the U.S., and they continue to work with this group to understand growth-control mechanisms, identify genes affecting growth and yield, and test these genes to see if they improve agronomic performance. This type of research is important, since crop growth and yield decline under extremes in weather, which are becoming more common due to climate change.

On-Campus Circles of Life

3/23/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

TPSS 491 classThe TPSS 491 Special Topics in Sustainability students have been awarded $5000 for a project to compost food and green waste on campus to grow veggies for dining halls under President Lassner’s Green Initiative. Brian Turano will be their faculty advisor. Pictured left to right are Mahealani Wilson, Shaina Epstein, Laura Biles, and Madeleine Gumbrecht; not pictured, but part of the team, is Tyler Jewel. The Student Organic Farm Training (SOFT) program has also been awarded a Green Project Implementation Award of $10,000 from the Johnson Controls for their “Sustainable Food Production” project, a sustainable food system on the UHM campus that repurposes food waste for food production. Congratulations—and mahalo—to both groups!

Getting Ready for the Season

3/23/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

CBB workshop participants calculate spray scheduleFrom January to March, Andrea Kawabata hosted 11 (!!!) CBB Integrated Pest Management workshops on Maui and the Big Island to prepare coffee growers for controlling CBB for the new season. Presentations were given by representatives from CTAHR, HDOA, SHAC, and USDA PBARC. The workshops included updates on CBB research and the CBB IPM recommendations as well as information on current Beauveria subsidy programs that are available to growers. Farmers were also able to practice a little math and make their spray decision skills during the workshop’s sampling exercise (pictured). Each farm was provided a take-home CBB recordkeeping binder to use as a resource towards better understanding CBB activity on their farm throughout this season and into the next.

Engaging Dads

3/23/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Father with baby textingSelva Lewin-Bizan (FCS), in collaboration with Maui Family Support Services, is inaugurating a new project to deliver parenting ideas and support for low-income fathers via text-messaging. Single, never-married, noncustodial fathers face all sorts of barriers to positive emotional bonding and long-term involvement in their children’s lives, and while there are programs that promote the participation of fathers in the lives of their children, these fathers are unlikely to participate in traditional interventions due to competing demands on their time and resources. Selva has developed a 12-week text-messaging intervention curriculum offering information about child development, tips about ways fathers can become engaged with their children, and encouragement of men in their roles as fathers, as well as pre- and post-program assessments, focus groups, and brief questionnaires. The study is funded by the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network.

Nutrition for the Body and the ‘Aina

3/23/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Participant with tray of vegetable seedlingsCTAHR Master Gardeners and Extension agents are highlighted in a recent article in the Garden Island. March is National Nutrition Month, and CTAHR is helping to make sure it’s a month of fun and education. The MGs set up a booth at the Kauai Community Market this past weekend, offering help to home gardeners with plant-related questions; they will also be hosting a presentation given by Extension agent Laura Kawamura and HDOA’s Rachelle Bachran entitled “What in the World Is That Produce?” on Saturday, March 23, at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. at the Kauai Community Market at Kauai CC. They’ll also be participating in the Garden Fair at KCC on April 8. And junior Extension agent Joshua Silva and Kaua‘i MG Samantha Henriques will give another presentation, “Garden with Soil, Plant-derived Pots,” on April 22, which will show how to make garden pots using soil, compost, and peat moss. This is nutrition the fun way!

Have Maize, Will Travel

3/22/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Aimee UyeharaGrad student Aimee Uyehara (MS, TPSS), mentored by Michael Muszynski, was awarded a MaGNET (Maize Genetics Network Enhancement via Travel) Award to attend the 59th Maize Genetics Conference held in St. Louis, Missouri, from March 9 to 12. This support allowed Aimee to travel to her first professional research conference, where she presented both a poster on her MS thesis research and a short talk summarizing the entire lab’s research progress at a “pre-meeting” for researchers focused on maize developmental genetics. Both her short-talk and poster were well received by the conference researchers, and she made many new professional connections with maize research faculty at top-ranked universities. Not to mention, Aimee experienced a real Midwest snowfall for the first time!

Teaching Sustainability

3/22/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Brian Turano receiving awardBrian Turano (TPSS) has been given a President’s Leadership in Sustainability Award, which is given to staff and faculty who demonstrate leadership in sustainability-related activities. He is honored for pioneering the development of a sustainability curriculum, one which will extend the ideal of sustainability and the practical tools to bring it to life, to the next generation.

Help Where It’s Needed

3/22/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Student being counseledFeeling overwhelmed, or just want someone to talk to? The Counseling and Student Development Center (CSDC) at QLC 312 offers mental health and wellness services for all UHM students. They offer personal counseling, couples and group counseling, assessment-based career counseling, peer fellow support services, psychiatric consultation, and emergency/crisis response, helping students meet their emotional, academic, career, and personal goals. They also have therapy groups: Healthy Relationships Group, Multicultural Women’s, Grad/Older than Traditional Age Students Co-ed, Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy, and Pride Process (LGBTQI+). They also offer drop-in workshops on Guided Mindfulness, Meditation, and Anxiety/Stress Management. Students are encouraged to call 956-7927 to schedule an appointment or for more information on programs and services, but the CSDC also welcomes walk-ins. You don’t have to do it alone!

Hospitality on the Garden Isle

3/22/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Farm Bureau meeting at KARCRussell Messing, Joshua Silva, and the Kaua‘i Agricultural Research Center hosted the spring general membership meeting of the Kauai County Farm Bureau last weekend. About 50 local farmers gathered to talk story, compare notes, and discuss upcoming events and agriculture-related bills pending at the State Legislature (including funding for CTAHR Extension agents!). Attendees enjoyed grilled beef donated by Makaweli Ranch, java from Moloa'a Bay Coffee, and a variety of Kaua‘i-grown vegetables from local farms. Many people commented on the fine upkeep of the research station. CTAHR continues to play a central role in the tight agricultural community on Kaua‘i!

Professional Grade

3/15/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

NREM faculty measure a treeNREM’s got options for everyone, and now it’s got the degree titles to prove it! The department is altering the name of one of its master’s degrees to reflect its professional focus: the Plan B Master of Science in Natural Resources and Environmental Management—the professional, non-thesis option—will now be a Master of Environmental Management (MEM). In keeping with its professional focus, this degree requires a practicum or internship providing real-world experience. Plan A, the academic option, which requires students to do research and present their findings in a thesis, will remain an MS in Natural Resources and Environmental Management, as will Plan C, which incorporates exceptional incoming students’ previous professional experience. Proponents of the alteration believe that this name change will not only make graduates more competitive in the job market, by providing them with a degree title that clearly describes their preparation as professional in environmental management; it will also attract more students who are looking for precisely that focus.

Connecting the Dots in DC

3/15/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Rachel Novotny, Mazie Hirono, John MorganDean Novotny and Hawai‘i CARET delegate John Morgan, the president of Kualoa Ranch, visited with Senator Mazie Hirono while attending the 35th Anniversary CARET/AHS meeting. This year's theme was Connecting the Dots by Helping Others Tell Our Food and Ag Story. The meeting was held in early March and brought together CARET/AHS members to Washington, DC, to carry the 2018 budget recommendations of the Board on Agriculture Assembly along with CTAHR's initiatives to the First Session of the 115th Congress. In addition to Senator Hirono's office, they visited Senator Schatz's office and the offices of Representatives Tulsi Gabbard and Colleen Hanabusa.

Fertile Ground

3/15/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Tia Silvasy with cornThe Radovich lab, including grad student Tia Silvasy and her corn (pictured), was featured in Western SARE's 2016 annual report. The article notes that the Western SARE conference held in Hawai‘i highlighted the importance of using local inputs to create fertilizers rather than relying on imports, leading Ted Radovich to research them in greater depth. He explains in the story that commercial green-waste composts, rendered animal products, and invasive algae from coral reefs are possibilities. He created a project to test a variety of locally sourced inputs and discovered that they can increase crop yield and quality and also that some former problems that were keeping local fertilizers from being widely used are being solved.

How Not to Get Invaded

3/15/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Ken Grace at HISC awards ceremonyAssociate Dean Ken Grace represented the college at the governor’s proclamation of Invasive Species Week and the Hawaii Invasive Species Council’s awards ceremony, pictured here with a (not-so-) Little Fire Ant and a Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle. As one way of raising awareness of the potentially devastating impact of invasive species, the Council has sponsored a series of videos, Line in the Sand, about particularly damaging pests, to which CTAHR faculty and alumni have also contributed. Mike Melzer (PEPS) lends his expertise to the video on Coconut Rhinoceros Beetle, as does HDOA biocontrol expert—and former PEPS Entomology APT and grad student—Darcy Oishi. Extension forester JB Friday (NREM) discusses Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death, and CTAHR alumnus Neil Reimer, now retired from HDOA, gives information on the Little Fire Ant. Check them out!

Wearable History

3/9/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Dress worn at Doris Duke partyThe Costume Collection has received a donation of some historical as well as elegant garments: Linda Sanford provided several of her mother’s dresses, including a holoku and a qi pao that she had worn to a party hosted by Doris Duke—plus photos from the event taken by a Time-Life photographer. Sanford characterizes the clothing as examples of extraordinary work by Japanese dressmakers in Honolulu from the 1930s through the 1950s. Also donated were garments worn when she worked in Gov. Ariyoshi’s office between 1974 and 1986. Contact Shu Hwa Lin (FCS) at to schedule a visit to the Collection to check them out—along with so many more of Hawai‘i’s sartorial glories!



2/15/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Carolyn Uehara and Will HainesCTAHR alumnus Will Haines was the featured speaker at the ARCS Foundation Honolulu Chapter’s annual Heart of Gold Luncheon. Since launching the Pulelehua Project, Will has established the Department of Land and Natural Resources insect-breeding program at Kawainui Marsh to boost populations of rare and endangered endemic arthropods, including the Kamehameha butterfly. In keeping with the Valentine’s Day theme, his description of the state insects’ life cycle included mating behavior (they get frisky in the evening). He also described efforts to ensure survival of the Orangeblack Hawaiian damselfly, which was designated as an endangered species last year. Will received the Maybelle C. Roth ARCS Scholar Award in Conservation Biology in 2006 while pursuing his PhD in PEPS. In the audience for his talk was Caroline Uehara, pictured here with Will, whose husband, CTAHR soil scientist Goro Uehara, was named an ARCS Scientist of the Year in 1983.

Nature Index Loves UH

2/15/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Dan Rubinoff with pulelehuaUH has been ranked 12th in earth and environmental sciences internationally among universities according to Nature Index, which rates institutions based on the number of research papers published in Nature and other prestigious journals. Publications by NREM and MBBE researchers in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) contributed to that ranking! The UH video celebrating this achievement also mentions CTAHR as one of the units contributing to this achievement and shows footage of Dan Rubinoff (PEPS) working with Kamehameha butterflies and J.B. Friday (NREM) surveying forests affected by Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death. Check it out!

Hearts of Gold, or Yellow, or Orange and Black…

2/8/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Will Haines with pulelehuaWill Haines (PEPS) will be the featured speaker at ARCS Foundation Honolulu Chapter's annual Valentine’s Day Hearts of Gold luncheon on Feb. 14. ARCS supports UHM graduate students in STEM fields, and Will was a 2006 ARCS Scholar himself! He manages the captive breeding program for rare and endangered Hawaiian insects for the Department of Land and Natural Resources and continues to work with CTAHR’s Pulelehua Project. He will talk about conservation work to protect the Kamehameha butterfly, the orange-black Hawaiian damselfly, and yellow-faced bees. Check out the ARCS website for more information.

Everyone Loves a Carnival

2/8/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Students at Spring EventCTAHR held its fifth annual carnival-themed Spring Event last Friday, when over 200 students, faculty, and staff came out for free food, fun, and games. This year’s booths featured a Bug Hunt, Fishbowl Toss, Ring Toss, and Rainbow Roulette Trivia, and the dunk booth tradition triumphantly carried on, thanks to intrepid dunkees Lisa Kitagawa-Akagi (ASAO), Jenee Odani (HNFAS), Dan Jenkins (MBBE), Mark Wright (PEPS), and Interim Associate Dean Ania Wieczorek. Donations totaling more than $150 supported CTAHR’s Biological Engineering Student Association! Mahalo to Ryan Kurasaki for assisting with food arrangements, and special thanks to Janice Uchida (TPSS) for donating potted plants for prizes. Mahalo goes to the Spring Event student committee, scholarship recipient and student ambassador volunteers, and ASAO for their time and dedication in making this a smooth and successful event. Lastly, thanks go to everyone who attended and donated to this year’s cause and made this year’s carnival another memorable CTAHR event!

Get the Arsenic Out

2/6/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

NanoNose filter pitcherCTAHR alumnus Liangjie Dong (MS MBBE ‘06), previous winner of PACE’s Business Plan Competition, is in the news for his new invention, the NanoNose Pitcher Filter System. Dong is now CEO of Mesofilter Inc., which has just unveiled the first ceramic filter that reduces arsenic in water to at or below levels recommended by the EPA and the World Health Organization (WHO). Dong first began working on the technology that led to this breakthrough filtration system while at CTAHR. According to the WHO, more than 200 million people globally are at risk of being chronically exposed to arsenic in drinking water, which can lead to chronic arsenic poisoning and some cancers. Way to go!

Sustaining Info

2/6/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Flat head cabbage trialsThe latest issue of Hanai‘Ai, the newsletter of the SOAP program, is out, offering lots of great news you can use about Extension variety trials of flat-head cabbage (pictured), control of cabbage webworm on daikon, DIY screenhouses for insect management, and cover crops and solarization for nematode control. As always, the newsletter also includes a profile on a local grower to provide tips and inspiration, and notice of events of interest to the organic and sustainable growing community. Check it out today!

Real Meal on the Table

2/6/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Healthy mealJinan Banna, along with co-authors Lora Beth Brown and Rickelle Richards from BYU, recently published a paper in the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior discussing the concept of a “real meal” and how it can be deployed to help college students to eat more healthily. The paper, “College Students' Perceived Differences Between the Terms Real Meal, Meal, and Snack,” explained the results of a survey that was given to college students: the students considered a “real meal” something that was nutritious and healthy and that met dietary recommendations, while a “meal” was considered anything to eat. Telling students that they should be eating more “real meals,” therefore, may be an easily understandable way of conveying nutrition information and recommendations to them. Ingenious!


This Summer, Just CHL

1/25/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Child in CHL programA preview of courses offered through the Children’s Healthy Living (CHL) Summer Institute is now available! Do you want to learn more about nutrition and child health, or perhaps how to measure and evaluate child growth? Have you ever wondered why nutrition needs vary across the lifespan, or how to prevent child obesity? Are you interested in becoming a more culturally grounded health professional or looking to develop your professional and technology tool kit? If so, check out the courses offered in Summer Session 1 and 2! All are available online, providing you the greatest flexibility in completing your coursework, and a majority of the courses also meet UHM general education requirements. They’re open to anyone from within or outside of the UH system. There are $1200 Merit Scholarships available for freshman and sophomores, and over $500,000 in summer 2017 financial aid available for those who qualify. Find complete details and applications for scholarships and financial aid here.

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