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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.

ROD at the Festival

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

JB Friday interviewed for Merrie Monarch Festival
JB Friday and Corie Yanger (both NREM) were interviewed in Hilo as part of HNN Sunrise’s coverage of the Merrie Monarch Festival, explaining the significance of the ‘ohi‘a used in the festival, how Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death is affecting the native forests, and what CTAHR Extension and collaborators are doing to stop the spread of the disease.

Bagrada Bugs on the Move

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

bagrada bugsO‘ahu Extension is mobilizing against the bagrada bug (Bagrada hilari). It was first detected on Maui and O‘ahu in 2014, but it’s been relatively rare for several years on O‘ahu, until few weeks ago, when a large population of was found in Waimanalo on pak choy. Bagrada bugs have been confirmed on all islands but Lana‘i. They’re an economically important pest of crucifers, potato, corn, sugarcane, papaya, figs, and other crops. Maui Extension agent Robin Shimabuku has been working on bagrada suppression since it first arrived on Maui, and conventional pesticide compounds that work against it have been identified. Now O‘ahu CES, in consultation with emeritus Extension specialist Ronald Mau, will focus efforts on evaluating organic chemical options in combination with OMRI-approved penetrants for increased efficacy for organic producers.

“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.

CTAHR on the March

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

March for Science participantsBesides co-organizer Helen Spafford (PEPS), there were quite a few CTAHR faculty amongst the crowd at Saturday’s March for Science: Alan Titchenal (HNFAS), Ken Grace (Admin/PEPS), Gordon Bennett (PEPS), Rebecca Ryals (NREM), Mark Wright (PEPS), Ania Wieczorek (Admin/TPSS), Barry Brennan (retired PEPS), Doug Vincent (HNFAS), Naomi Kanehiro (HNFAS), Rich Criley (retired TPSS), and Paul Krushelnycky (PEPS). By the size of the crowd, no doubt there were other faculty, staff, and students who were also there to advocate for science. Check out a video of the event and some pictures of the dedicated marchers!

Way to Go, Pueo!

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

Pueo flyingPost-doctoral researcher Javier Cotin and assistant professor Melissa Price (both NREM) have launched the website for the Pueo Project, a collaboration between UH Manoa and the DLNR’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife. This project enlists citizen scientists to investigate the population size, distribution, and habitat use of Hawaiian short-eared owl (Asio flammeus sandwichensis), or pueo, on the island of O‘ahu. The website provides pictures and information about the project and the owl species inhabiting the Hawaiian archipelago—make sure you listen to the pueo’s barking cry!—and it invites members of the community to report sightings; participate in organized surveys; and use photography to document behaviors, breeding phenology, prey items, and more. If you love pueo or are interested in becoming a citizen scientist, check out the site and review the volunteer information! You can also contact Javier and Melissa through the site with any questions or comments.

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!

Three Big Minutes

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

3MEP logoNearly 100 students, faculty, and staff came out in support of CTAHR’s Inaugural 3-Minute Elevator Pitch Competition. All the competitors gave outstanding talks that brought their research to life, on topics ranging from producing chocolate in the Islands more efficiently and using handheld technology to find germs on food to finding medical miracles derived from cone snail venom. Erik Ekman (NREM) won Best Undergraduate, Surely Wallace (HNFAS) won Best Master’s, and Zhibin Liang (MBBE) won both Best PhD and People’s Choice. Each award is accompanied by a $1,000 cash prize, on top of the SRS awards. Special thanks go to judges Burt Lum, Margaret McFall-Ngai, Julienne Maeda, Christine Denton, and Steven Levinson. JP Bingham was instrumental in bringing the event to life and providing training for the students. Mandy Chen, Miles Hakoda, Cheryl Ernst, Kellie Taguchi, Matthew Chun-Hori, and others in the ASAO and OCS dedicated hard work and commitment to the event, and former Associate Dean Charly Kinoshita funded the monetary awards to the winners through a USDA NIFA grant. Much mahalo! Videos of the awardees' presentations will be available on CTAHR's YouTube channel!

The Flowering of Floriculture

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

Emily TengCongratulations to TPSS PhD student Emily Teng on winning the 2017 Altman Family Scholarship! Each of the three winners from across the country, chosen by the American Floral Endowment, will receive $5,000 in funding. The scholarship helps graduate students “who will become leading floricultural scientists and educators.” That sounds like Emily, who is doing her doctoral research on poinsettias while also working at a nursery and who hopes in the future to both work at a floriculture breeding company doing work that will help growers and become an educator.

On the Job

4/20/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Trent HataTrent Hata, based at Komohana Research and Extension Center, has been awarded the 2017 Chancellor’s Award for Outstanding Service. The unofficial “troubleshooter of the Big Island,” who also won the CTAHR Award for Outstanding Service for an APT Employee in 2007, he works beyond the call of duty to get things done, facilitating the day-to-day operations of the Hawai‘i Island research stations. Because of his hard work and diligence, he discovered an infrastructural solution that saved the college $50,000! Trent will be presented the award at 4:00 p.m. on May 1 in the Orvis Auditorium.

Improving Taste to Reduce Waste

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

Chloe Panizza with posterWhy is there so much food waste in school lunches? No one had asked the students, till now. To help minimize school lunch waste, HNFAS student Chloe Panizza and her team, including HNFAS faculty Julia Zee, Marie Fialkowski, and Jinan Banna, interviewed 27 Hawai‘i students from 9 to 13 whose parents received federal food assistance benefits. The results showed that improving the taste of food served at lunch may not only help reduce food waste but also might motivate youth to care about wasting food. School policies were also important. For example, presenting students with food choices instead of a standard meal and allowing students to share, compost, or feed leftovers to animals might also reduce waste. Chloe will present this research at the American Society for Nutrition’s Scientific Sessions and annual meeting in Chicago on Saturday, April 22, and Monday, April 24.

What’s a Picnic Without Ants?

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

Bug Picnic workshopSeveral graduate students in the Entomology graduate program ran a workshop entitled “Bug Picnic” at the recent Expanding your Horizons event last Saturday. Workshop participants got to trap ants using honey, peanut butter, and Spam, discovering which ones prefer sweets and which ones protein. Then they examined the insects’ differences under a microscope. Expanding Your Horizons sponsors free STEM workshops for girls in the sixth through eighth grade, offering them education and new possibilities. Workshop facilitators included (pictured) Priscilla Seabourn, Christine Elliot, Aly Haskell, and Megan Manley, along with mentor and department chair Helen Spafford.

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.

Teaching Change

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

Teaching Change forest groupThe Teaching Change program recently ran its 3rd annual Teacher Training Workshop at Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge and the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry. Teaching Change is a collaboration between NREM’s Creighton Litton and Catherine Spina, the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Pacific Resources for Education and Learning, Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge, and the Friends of Hakalau Forest. The annual workshops integrate teacher education and curriculum development into the program’s youth-education program in natural resource management, focusing on place-based, outdoor, immersive, experiential youth education. They give secondary-school science and career and technical education teachers the background and knowledge to develop and implement immersive curricula focused on global change (climate change, invasive species, land-use change) using the phenology (timing of life-cycle events) of native trees to teach core STEM concepts aligned with Next Generation Science Standards. The event brought together 22 teachers from the Big Island and O‘ahu. Two were master ecoliteracy teachers, familiar with the overall Teaching Change program for peer mentoring on curriculum development and implementation. This fall, the program will reconnect with the participants to hear about the curricula

Smart Yields

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

Michael RogersPacific Business News’ 40 under 40 Class of 2017 includes Michael Rogers, a fall 2015 graduate of UHM with a BS degree in TPSS. The PBN’s 40 under 40 program recognizes Hawai‘i’s top young executives, of whom Michael is undoubtedly one—he’s a co-founder and chief agricultural officer of Smart Yields, a company that has developed a crop-protection and yield-enhancement app. NREM alumna Kristen Jamieson is also with Smart Yields, as lead growth coordinator.

The Taste of Health

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

FSHN Council with smoothiesFSHN Council made a healthy impression at the Hawaii Public Health Association’s National Public Health Week celebration at the UH Cancer Center and at the Health Career Opportunity Program’s professional networking event on the UHM campus last week. On Thursday evening, FSHN Council ran a unique smoothie bar serving drinks that reflected the topic of a roundtable led by Kristina Salazar and nutrition researcher Carol Boushey: while they explained the links between dietary patterns and cancer risk, the FSHN Council volunteers served colorful smoothies reflecting the dietary patterns discussed. On Friday, Aniase Soltren and Samantha Manson shared their experiences and goals as FSHN students with the public health students, and afterward the FSHN Council provided healthy pupu and smoothies. The attendees were impressed that such nutritious food could taste so good! Newly implemented this year, these events were such a success that FSHN Council has been asked to continue them in the future. The wholesome recipes featured at both events were developed by Cherese Shelton, Aniase Soltren, Kristina Salazar, and Emiri Hirayama.

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.

Green Power!

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

HSHE 2017 award winnersGraduate MBBE student Donna “Sweetie” Kuehu (third from left) was recognized at the UH Sustainability Summit 2017 held at West O‘ahu campus. She received a President’s Green Initiative Award for Green Student Leader from the Johnson Controls company for her tireless commitment to research, service, and outreach through Hui Malama Honua, a registered independent organization at UH Manoa. She also received an Honorable Mention for the President’s Green Initiative Award from the Hawaiian Electric Companies for her Project ‘Ama’ama sustainable fish hatchery proposal. Yay, Sweetie!

With Great Merit

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

Michael CheangMichael Cheang (FCS) has been honored with the Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching and will be recognized at the University’s award ceremony on May 1. Michael’s interests include family values, family resource management, children’s savings, family care giving, volunteerism, and intergenerational interactions. He also received CTAHR’s award for Excellence in Teaching in 2012!

Beyond the Symposium

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

Group of SRS 2017 participantsIf you couldn't attend CTAHR/COE Student Research Symposium, download the program and see the UH System video. Photos are posted; more will be up shortly. These presentations received special recognition; CTAHR awardees will be recognized at the Awards Banquet. Thank you to the student participants and faculty advisors/mentors, judges and moderators, staff and student volunteers, and members of the Symposium Coordinating Committee. Special thanks to UH’s SAPFB, CTAHR’s Office of Research and Office of Academic and Student Affairs, and USDA-NIFA for funding most of this event. Next, come to CTAHR’s first 3-Minute Elevator Pitch Competition on April 21, 3:30–5:30 p.m., in St John 15. CTAHR’s top 18 awardees will compete for four $1000 prizes by presenting their research compellingly to a general audience.

Don’t Bear Food-Borne Illness

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

Rat lungwormThe Waimanalo Research Station is hosting a farm food safety field day on “Minimizing Food-Borne Illness Outbreaks” on Saturday, April 29, 9:00–11:00 a.m. This field day will provide an overview of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and how it affects local farms by junior Extension agent Fred Reppun and an overview of bacteria (E. coli 0157, Salmonella, Listeria, etc.), viruses (Hepatitis A, etc), and parasites (rat lungworm (pictured), etc.) of concern to food safety by Extension agent Lynn Nakamura-Tengan. There will be discussions of minimizing the spread of pathogens by improving worker health and hygiene by Extension agent Jari Sugano; by managing domestic and wild animals from Jay Bost; by managing water from Extension agent Jensen Uyeda; and by washing produce, equipment, tools, etc., from Lynn. Please prepare for hot and sunny conditions: bring a hat or umbrella, sunscreen and water, and plan on wearing shoes and walking around the research station. The mobile teaching trailers will be used to reinforce the technical aspects of FSMA.

They Get Fruit Flies to Flee

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

Workshop on fruit fly trappingLast week Andrea Kawabata and Alyssa Cho (TPSS) hosted a hands-on fruit fly management workshop for Big Island farmers. With the help of Dr. Roger Vargas and Steven Souder (pictured) of USDA ARS DKI PBARC, and funding from CTAHR, they taught participants important aspects of fruit fly management and explained how to identify fruit flies commonly found in Hawai‘i. Farmers got to see live fruit fly adults and larvae, as well as fruit flies’ natural enemies, particular parasitoids. They also built their own fruit fly traps out of recycled water bottles. The presenters demonstrated new tools and methods, such as using beer trub, brewing sediment, for fruit fly suppression, and provided an informational packet and attractant lures to each grower.

Landscape MD, Take Two

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

Landscape MD artworkYou may already know that Landscape MD, created by Scot Nelson (TPSS) and Arnold Hara and Ruth Niino-Duponte (both PEPS) for iPhone, provides basic information to help users diagnose and treat insect pests and diseases on a range of landscape and garden plants, as well as links to more detailed information. But did you know that a new and improved version of this free and helpful app has just been released? Landscape MD 1.1 now has a much-improved search function and also includes a browsable list of all potential host plants, making it much easier to discover what’s bugging your green friends. Download it today from the Apple App Store!

New Buzz for Local Vets

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

Scott Nikaido presenting at AFB workshopExtension veterinarian Jenee Odani recently organized a program to teach local veterinarians about bee health and hive care. Scott Nikaido (PEPS) led the lecture portion of the workshop, which was followed by an open question-and-answer session and hands-on training provided by Ethel Villalobos (PEPS) about different honeybee diseases, with an emphasis on American Foul Brood. This is the first time there has been an exchange between HDOA, CTAHR, and the community of veterinarians regarding bee health, and it facilitated great dialogue between the veterinary and the entomology worlds! Several vets requested a field day, while others hoped this information could be presented at upcoming veterinary continuing education meetings. Plus, the participants got to sample some great honey, and that always sweetens things!

A Fruitful Trip

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

TPSS field tripAlyssa Cho (TPSS) hosted eight students and one faculty member from her TPSS 403 Tropical Fruit Production class to the Big Island for a 3-day, hands-on tour of fruit production over spring break. The trip included visits to coffee, cacao, papaya, and mango producers and tours of the Hilo Farmer’s Market and tropical fruit value-added operations, including a chocolate shop! Students learned how to air-layer and even got to graft tiny coffee seedlings. It was a busy three days, and the students learned way more than what can be taught in a classroom alone. Alyssa says she learned a lot from her students, too, and is looking forward to teaching TPSS 403 again in 2019. Support for this trip was provided by CTAHR’s Office of the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, USDA-NIFA, and the TPSS department."

Spreading the News

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

NREM 494 Invasive Species Awareness groupThree NREM seniors, ‘Olana Chow, Brenna Keefe, and Wynter Lim (left to right), are working to promote invasive species prevention—social media style. Enrolled in NREM 494 Environmental Problem Solving taught by Mehana Vaughan (second from left), they’re using Instagram for outreach. Follow them at students4hawaii, where the group posts tips and important information, pictures, and videos to get people involved with this timely and crucial issue—recent posts include alerts about the (cute, but sorry, still invasive) Jackson chameleon and what weed seeds might be hitchhiking on the bottom of your slippers. As the group explains, invasive species are a threat to native biodiversity, ecosystem services, and public health, and they cost a lot amount of money to eradicate once they’re established. And because humans ultimately facilitate species invasions through globalization, increasing public awareness about how to detect and prevent invasive species can help to keep them at bay. These enterprising students are working to design an effective, entertaining, and empowering message that makes it easy for others to contribute to conservation efforts by increasing knowledge of invasive species, management, and simple preventative measures. They hope their study can also be used to help other schools, organizations, and communities increase invasive species prevention and also inspire the creation of other inno

Two New Pests

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

2-Line Spittle BugGardeners beware—a new downy mildew disease caused by the fungus Peronospora mesembryanthemi has been found on the usually hardy and easy-to-grow groundcover hearts and flowers. Infected plants appear to be covered by a fuzzy mat of gray, blue, or brown fungal growth. The disease has caused dieback of hearts and flowers on Hawai‘i Island and has also been found on O‘ahu. In pasture news, the two-line spittlebug, which is new to Hawai‘i, is suspected of causing extensive damage to kikuyu and pangola grass pastures between 2,000 and 4,000 feet elevation in Kona mauka. A recent survey showed that the grasses were completely dead in about 2,000 acres, making way for weeds like wild blackberry, pamakani, and Madagascar fireweed to become dominant. This insect could also affect Bermuda turf grasses. While we don’t welcome the invaders, we can be confident that CTAHR is already moving into action against them.

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.


Digestion, Anaerobically

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

NREM students with digital poster on anaerobic digestionUndergraduate NREM students Jamee Allen, Jason Alentado and Erik Ekman (left to right) presented their e-poster on March 24 at the UH Sustainability Summit held at the West O‘ahu campus. Their classmate and co-presenter Navin Tagore-Erwin is not pictured. The poster discusses their project entitled “Feasibility of Food Waste Reduction via Implementation of Anaerobic Digester at University of Hawai’i at Manoa,” done under the supervision of Linda Cox (NREM). The results of this feasibility study will be presented on a poster at the CTAHR Student Research Symposium.

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!

ROD: The Good News and the Bad News

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

JB Friday with ROD displayJB Friday (NREM) is featured in a recent Civil Beat article about Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death, or ROD, in which he explains that the disease and the damage it causes are more complicated than had originally been thought, involving two different strains of the fungus Ceratocystis fimbriata. The disease has recently moved into the Hamakua area, where it had not previously been found. However, the article emphasizes that there is some hope of slowing the spread of the disease, thanks to the research being done by CTAHR, the DOA, and DOFAW and to people who follow the recommended protocols for sanitation and containment.

Learning Keeps Her Young

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

Sally MurataKoon-Hui Wang (TPSS) is interviewed in KITV’s feel-good story about Sally Yikiko Murata, who was selected as the station’s March MVP. The active and lively centenarian is taking Koon-Hui’s environment and agriculture class, where she was filmed being presented with the award. This is only one of many CTAHR classes the lifelong learner has taken; along with her daughter and son-in-law, she also sat in on many of Skip Bittenbender’s courses. Not only that; she puts what she learns into practice in her own garden, where she grows vegetables and fruit to share with friends. As Koon-Hui says, her example shows that you’re never too old to learn.

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).

Mentor of Excellence

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

JP BinghamJon-Paul Bingham (MBBE) has been honored with the Peter V. Garrod Distinguished Graduate Mentoring Award, which recognizes mentoring excellence by graduate faculty at UHM. Graduate Council invites nominations from both faculty and students (both are required) and presents one award annually to an outstanding graduate faculty member who demonstrates foremost excellence in mentoring graduate students. The award consists of $1,000. JP and numerous MBBE graduate students together developed the Graduate Student Handbook and Guide, a comprehensive manual on navigating the UH graduate degree research experience from day 1 to graduation that is now being adopted by other departments as well.

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