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Owl Right!

5/24/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Pueo full faceMelissa Price and Javier Cotin’s (both NREM) Pueo Project has wings! This citizen-science venture to learn more about the elusive native owl been featured both as a UH News story and in the Star-Advertiser. One of the best things about this project is the collaboration it fosters, both with its agency partner, the Department of Land and Natural Resources’ Forestry and Wildlife division, and also with the community members who are joining in to help. “It’s wonderful to work on a project where the community is so interested and supportive of conservation efforts,” says Melissa, and Javier concurs, “I hope to unravel the mysteries of the seldom-seen pueo and look forward to collaborating with the local community to protect this unique species.” Join the collaboration today!

Sorry to See Him Go: Christopher Bernabe

5/24/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Dennis Ida and Christopher BernabeChristopher Bernabe, also known as Popo, retired on April 30 after 30 years of service as an agricultural technician at the Waiakea Research Station. He started his career at the Kaua‘i Branch Station in Kapa‘a, where he learned how to hand-pollinate taro flowers from Dr. Ramon de la Pena. He continued conventional breeding of taro on the Big Island, playing a key role in cross-pollinating taro flowers, germinating taro seeds, growing seedlings in the nursery, and evaluating new varieties in the field. He will be missed around the station and in the fields! Here he is pictured on the right, with retired farm manager Dennis Ida.

The Onion and the Worm

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

Participants at Negi Field DayExtension agents Jensen Uyeda, Jari Sugano, Julia Zee, and Nancy Ooki held a field day at the Poamoho Research Station on Saturday, May 13. O‘ahu County administrator Ray Uchida and retired CTAHR entomologist Ron Mau were also on hand. Topics included negi onion production, results of negi variety trials, produce washing, nutritional information and recipes, and food safety tips to prevent the risk of rat lungworm disease. The grateful event-goers included farmers as well as a strong contingent of GoFarm Program participants, gardeners, and educators.

Something to Talk About

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

4-H Ted-Ed presentationCoral reef protection, world hunger, animal abuse, disabilities, cigarette use, positivity, and ocean pollution were the topics presented by the Maui 4-H TED-Ed club last month when the club members identified and researched a topic important to them that they felt was “worth sharing.” Through the 4-H club, members worked on storytelling and presentation in addition to strengthening their public-speaking skills. The clubs are part of the TED-Ed series and incorporate educational materials from the TED-Ed staff and the 4-H organization. The 4-H club was the first of its kind in Hawai‘i, although there have been other TED-Ed clubs formed outside of 4-H. Maui County 4-H agent Nancy Ooki explains, “The club gives the members the opportunity to discover what they are passionate about and then provides them with the tools to share that passion in a safe and supportive environment.” The club will be back in the fall to tackle new topics and new presentations.

Enough to Eat

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

Surely WallaceNutritional Science MS student Surely Wallace and Animal Science MS student Danita Dahl are featured in a Honolulu Star-Advertiser article about the #FeedTheDegree survey they spearheaded in Joannie Dobbs’s Food Systems class that seeks to discover the extent of food insecurity among students at UH. Surely, who also recently won the MS 3MEP presentation award and is pictured here at the Awards Banquet, explains that she went hungry as an undergraduate due to the many competing demands on her time. Joannie notes that she often encounters students who are not getting adequate nutrition in the course of her work as nutritionist at the Health Services center. Surely and Danita created a video explaining the problems that food insecurity can cause and submitted a petition signed by over 800 students that asked the administration to create the survey as a first step in figuring out how to address the problem. The survey has now been emailed to students, who are asked to complete it by the end of the summer so that adequate data can be gathered.

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.

ROD Testing on the Run

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

Portable ROD testing unitExtension forester JB Friday is featured in a Hawaii Tribune-Herald article discussing a new tool for identifying cases of rapid ‘ohi‘a death in the field. While a diagnosis previously required sending a sample to the PBARC laboratory, the ROD working group has developed new portable “lab in a suitcase” that can make the diagnosis in less than 90 minutes, for a lower cost than previous laboratory diagnoses. Diagnoses can now be made in the field and by alternate agencies. The unit includes a fluorometer, miniature centrifuge and heat block and runs off a battery. It extracts DNA from a sample and analyzes it. The next step is to refine the test so that it can identify which of two species of the Ceratocystis pathogen is causing the disease. Check out the UH News story on the innovation as well!

Convocation Spring 2017

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

Over 350 CTAHR students, their families and friends, and faculty and staff attended CTAHR’s Spring 2017 Convocation. The celebration, emceed by Lisa Kitagawa-Akagi and Irene Morrow, began with congratulatory remarks from Interim Associate Dean Ania Wieczorek and CTAHR Alumni Association and Friends president Kauahi Perez. The Spring 2017 student marshals, Lucia Amore (FSHN) and Brandon Ngao (BE), were then recognized for their academic achievements, leadership, and service. Graduating students in CTAHR-affiliated student organizations were acknowledged, as were 13 graduating members of Phi Upsilon Omicron, one of CTAHR’s honor societies. CTAHR also recognized 6 students who completed the Dietetic Internship Program. Then 65 graduates were individually recognized, followed by refreshments and a chance to mingle and capture memories in the photo booth. Congratulations and good luck to the graduating students! A big mahalo goes to all those who supported the graduating students, including Commuter Services for providing parking passes for the graduates, Office of Admissions for use of the photo booth backdrop, CTAHR AAF for their support, Steven and Karen Sato for funding purchase of the lei, CTAHR scholarship recipients and student ambassadors for volunteering, and ASAO for the CTAHR memorabilia and organizing the event!

Get in Business…Ag Business!

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

Class in greenhouseAgricultural business management is the second-largest specialization for undergraduate programs in land-grant universities across the nation. In acknowledgement of the need to connect the plants in our living environment with our food-production system and food-supply chain, TPSS is now offering an Agribusiness Certificate program open to all undergraduate students. The program offers entrepreneurial skills for starting and managing a successful, sustainable agricultural business; opportunities for hands-on experience with modern management-science techniques that assist agribusiness managers and industry analysts; increased proficiency in formulating and implementing problems using computer models; improved economic decision-making ability; and better understanding of marketing, management, and finance, including the ways traditional business-school approaches must be modified for perishable plant and animal products raised on land or in the water. Those who complete the program receive a Certificate in Agribusiness Management.

Don’t Get Rat Lungworm!

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

Rat lungwormRat lungworm cases are showing up in Hawai‘i, but CTAHR Extension is on the job, informing the community about how to help prevent this worrying disease. The UH Farm Food Safety website advises farmers and home gardeners to manage rats, slugs, and snails in fields and gardens and consumers to make sure they correctly wash and/or cook produce before eating. They’re partnering with the Department of Heath, which is the lead agency educating the public about the parasite and health-related issues. Here is a list of approved slug and snail baits for commercial use in Hawai‘i. This weekend, O‘ahu CES also hosted a RLW booth at Oahu RC&D’s Parade of Farms.

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.

The Right Tools for the Job

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

Robert Saito and Derek WoodruffHerbavore, a customizable garden handtool business that was created by CTAHR BS and MS alumnus Robert Saito (left) and his partner Derek Woodruff, won first prize at the 2017 Shidler PACE Business Plan Competition at the Wai'alae Country Club on May 3. Four teams competed for prize packages totaling more than $40,000 in cash and legal and marketing help—as first place winner, Herbavore received $10,000 cash and more than $12,500 value in other aid. The UH Business Plan Competition provides mentorship, training, and resources to UH students and faculty who want to learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur and start a business venture. Participants practice the art of testing the feasibility of a business idea, developing a business plan, and pitching it to investors.

Hort Honors

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

Michelle Au, Rachelle Carson, and Micah GrumblisTPSS undergrads Michelle Au, Rachelle Carson, and Micah Grumblis have been awarded the Collegiate Scholars Award by the American Society for Horticultural Science. This award honors the academic achievements of junior and senior undergraduates from departments of horticulture or from departments of plant and crop science who are majoring in horticulture. Students are selected on the basis of their scholarship achievements, leadership abilities, participation in campus/club activities, and service to their department.

A Congress to Be Proud Of!

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

Wailana MedeirosKona 4-H Federation member Wailana Medeiros is one of eight youth on the 2017 National 4-H Congress Design Team! The National 4-H Congress is a unique leadership opportunity for 4-H members from all 50 states, providing recognition to 4-H youth for their outstanding achievements. The event focuses on leadership, youth empowerment, community service, career development, and cultural diversity. It brings together over 900 4-H members in Atlanta, Georgia, over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend for outstanding workshops, sought-after national guest speakers, cultural events, community service projects, and Atlanta’s attractions. They also have the opportunity to network with other 4-H members from across the United States. Wailana is part of the youth–adult partnership team that plans this event—the adults are Extension professionals and the youth are 4-H members who have participated in the event the prior year.

’Flower and Water

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

Jensen Uyeda in cabbage fieldExtension agent Jensen Uyeda has been busy in the fields as well as in the news recently: he’s featured on Hawaii News Now talking about the concept of precision agriculture and his irrigation-management trial at Waimanalo, and on KITV discussing the cauliflower variety trials and recent field day at Poamoho. The irrigation trial is using time-lapse photography and other technological aids to assess whether techniques developed for drought-stricken regions of California can work in Hawai‘i and save growers money by carefully calibrating the amounts of water and fertilizer needed for best growth. And the cauliflower trials are looking at purple, orange, green, and white varieties that will do well in the Islands, providing a new crop for producers, a new locally grown ingredient for chefs, and a fun and tasty alternative for home gardeners. Extension educator Lynn Nakamura-Tengan is also quoted in this article—she remembers the problems her family had with growing cauliflower in her childhood in Kula, so she knows how helpful trials like this will be.

Looking Back on the Banquet

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

Rachel Novotny, Ernest Harris, Bettye Jo HarrisIf you missed last week’s Awards Banquet, or just want to relive the memories, check out the photos posted here. Although the location was new, the great feelings of fun, pride, admiration, and fellowship were just the same! There’s also a detailed and laudatory article on this year’s Outstanding Alumnus, Ernest Harris, in the Star-Advertiser’s Sunday Magazine. Here he is pictured with Dean Rachel Novotny and his wife of 63 years, Bettye Jo Harris.

Ag Day on the Garden Isle

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

Josh Silva at Ag DayOn May 5 CTAHR’s Kaua‘i Agricultural Research Center (KARC), in partnership with the Kauai County Farm Bureau, hosted its 21st Agricultural and Environmental Awareness Day. More than 625 fifth-grade students and their teachers from all parts of the island—including public, charter, and private school and home-schooled students—came to the Research Station for interactive lectures and educational displays. Community contributors included the Kaua‘i Invasive Species Committee, Kaua‘i Master Gardeners program, Hanalei Taro, Kaua‘i Forest Birds Recovery Project, Kaua‘i Nursery & Landscaping, Kaua‘i Anthurium Club, Kawamura Farms, USDA-APHIS and NCRS, and many more. Master Gardener coordinator Josh Silva, pictured here, is also mentioned in the Garden Island’s article on the event. The Farm Bureau’s Joni Ito did a masterful job in organizing the event, and Kaua‘i’s Family & Friends of Agriculture graciously supported it financially. Thanks also go to the hardworking farm crew at KARC: Frank Matsuno, Lou Nishida Jr., Randy Yokoyama, Michael Carle, and Tyrus Moises; the KISC field crew; and many other volunteers who donated time and resources to make this annual event a success.

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!

Get on the Elevator

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

3MEP graphicDidn’t get a chance to hear the presentations for the 3-Minute Elevator Pitch? You’re in luck, because they were videotaped, and the pitches of the three winners are now available online! Listen to Erik Ekman, who received the Undergraduate Award for his visionary proposal for turning campus food waste into compost and energy. Hear Surely Wallace, who received the Master’s Award for an informative analysis of Okinawan sweet potatoes as a healthy food for beneficial gut bacteria. And listen to Zhibin Liang, who received the PhD Award and People’s Choice Award for his research into corn silk as a possible source for Alzheimer’s drugs!

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!

Edibles and Ornamentals

4/17/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Succulents and other plantsNeed a plant for your dorm room? How about a new plant to add to your garden? Look no further! The TPSS GSO and Horticulture Society are teaming up to offer an assortment of plants at UHM’s Earth Day Festival on Wednesday, April 19, in the Campus Center courtyard. They’ll be selling a large variety of potted herbs, vegetables, ornamentals, and succulents. Promoting “grow-your-own” initiatives in support of Earth Day, they’ll be selling a lot of vegetable starters to jump-start your veggie gardens, and they’ll also have plants that are great for the indoors! Interested in learning what a “Burger Bar” is? Come check it out! Proceeds will go towards funding TPSS graduate students’ trip to an upcoming horticulture conference and towards the Horticulture Society’s outer-island service-learning activity.

Drones Over Poamoho

4/13/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Drone image of PoamohoNREM PhD student Nick Kalodimos recently took an aerial photo mosaic of Poamoho Station using a small unmanned aerial system (sUAS)—aka “drone.” He used the drone at 300 feet to collect 241 still photos taken in an overlapped double grid, which were combined to create an aerial photo mosaic, of which a detail is pictured. Nicholas, a past intercollegiate flying team member, has a Part 61 full scale aircraft Private Pilot license and 150 pilot hours and now has added the Remote Pilot License with sUAS rating to his repertoire of professional skills, allowing him to operate his DJI Inspire 1 v2 on commercial projects under part 107 of 14 CFR. Most operators don’t realize how regulated the operation of drones really is in the NAS. Nicholas has some 16 hours (about 65 flights) of flight time on his machine and is one of relatively few individuals who hold the professional credentials and seven years’ experience with unmanned aircraft that fulfill the criteria of industry standards. The use of sUAS for acquiring aerial photo, mapping, and photo/video surveying is time efficient; inexpensive; GPS accurate; precisely repeatable; non-invasive; and safe for the environment, organisms, and the public. And, in this case, it shows how productive and gorgeous Poamoho is! To find out more about sUAS applications and services, you can contact Nicholas at or 772-3097.

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