University of Hawai‘i at Manoa
Skip BreadcrumbHome >> CTAHR News


[2017] [2016] [2015] [2014] [2013] [2012] [2011] [2010] [2009] [2008] [2007] [2006] [2005] [2004] [2003] [2002] [2001



Against the Invaders

2/22/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Mark WrightMark Wright (PEPS) is one of four people selected to serve on the Western Governors’ Association (WGA) Invasive Species Data Initiative Advisory Group, an important regional committee. WGA is creating a West-wide invasive species inventory that is accessible to local, state and federal agencies, as well as developing data management standards, formats, and protocols to ensure inter-operability to support information transfer, national distribution mapping, and awareness of species occurrences and spread, and the Advisory Group is instrumental in this. Congratulations!

The Road to Ag Careers

2/22/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

Gene-ius Day program at career fairInterim Dean of Academic and Student Affairs Ania Wieczorek and the Gene-ius Day program participated in the 2017 Hawaii P-20 Middle School Career Industry Fair on February 15. About 300 students from eight public schools serving low-income families attended the event. The Gene-ius Day booth provided information on potential science careers in agriculture and encouraged students to consider the career pathways that fit their interests. Students also had the opportunity to engage in soil testing and microscope activities to experience hands-on learning!

Run, Keiki, Run!

2/22/2017  Source: Office of Communication Services, CTAHR

FSHN volunteers at Keiki RunThe FSHN Council and other FSHN students volunteered at the Keiki Great Aloha Run on Saturday, February 18. Over 2,700 children ran, and $36,000 was raised toward nutrition education and PE programs across the state. Pictured is the team of FSHN volunteers, plus the chair of the event and her aunt. From left to right, row 1 shows Mint Bryce, Rise Morisato, Meigan Flanagan, Stephanie Yuen, Aniase Soltren, and Yuki Ariga, while row 2 features Marissa Madeira, committee chair Debra Shiraishi-Pratt, Aunty Doris, Cherise Go, Brittany Odegard, Joshua Tomita, Marci Narahara, Rose Bacla-an, Paige Adams, and Kristina Salazar. Missing are Adrienne McDonald, Carina Lara, Mrs. Go, Shaylynn McKee, and Quinci Salvador.

NASA Loves Nancy

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

Screen capture of 4-H NASA materialDuring the second half of 2016, the 4-H National Headquarters collaborated with NASA to develop an exciting education site called Expeditionary Skills for Life. Nancy Ooki, youth development/4-H Extension agent in Maui County, worked as part of the national team that developed lesson plans focused on life skills that align with NASA’s Expeditionary Skills training in the areas of self-care/team care, cultural competency, leadership/followership, and teamwork. NASA began releasing the lesson plans in January 2017 and chose Nancy’s lesson on cultural competency to be among the first featured. Get “Expedition Ready” here or check out the cultural competency lessons here!

Hawai‘i Loves Honeybees

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

Scott NikaidoScott Nikaido was interviewed for a Hawaii News Now story with some good news: honeybee populations are rebounding in Hawai‘i, despite the losses caused by invasive pests such as the varroa mite and small hive beetle, thanks in large part to the UH Honeybee Project. The article also points out that bees and other pollinators will be crucial to doubling the state’s local food production in accordance with Gov. Ige’s goal. Scott pointed out that since the feral populations declined so much, the reason that bees are doing better is because more growers are establishing beehives, and working hard to keep the bees in them healthy. “If the state needs to increase their food production like the governor wants, they need to start incorporating honeybee colonies into their farming practices, and we’re actually starting to see that,” he explained.

Kids Love UGC

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

child with caterpillar on handThe Pearl City Urban Garden Center welcomed the 12th Annual Ag and Environmental Awareness Day, followed the next day by Second Saturday at the Garden. Approximately 500 elementary students and their teachers and chaperones attended on Friday. Topics included local food production, soil health, and water conservation. The UH Honeybee Project showed how honey is extracted from the comb, and ANSC students taught 5th-graders about poultry and egg production. CTAHR’s Interim Dean and Director for Research and Cooperative Extension Rachel Novotny gave a warm welcome in the middle of the morning. Thank yous go to the ASAO staff and Urban Garden Center staff for planning and setting up the event. Also, a big mahalo is due to the CTAHR faculty and staff, O‘ahu Master Gardeners, government agencies, community members, and company representatives who volunteered their time and knowledge for the presentations and exhibits at the Friday and Saturday events. Funding support was provided by USDA through CTAHR’s Agribusiness Education, Training, and Incubation Program.


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.

Norm Loves the Cloud Forest

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

Norm BezonaEmeritus faculty Norm Bezona, the steward of the Kona Cloud Forest Sanctuary, has just entered into a conservation agreement with Hawaiian Islands Land Trust (HILT) to preserve 10 acres of the sanctuary through a conservation easement, which prohibits deforestation. Norm will continue to be able to use the section of land for educational purposes and tours, as he has been doing, and HILT will be able to come onto the property to inspect it and offer public access. A Hawaii Tribune-Herald article about the transfer also explains the unique features of a cloud forest, which helps to increase the amount of rainfall and protect native flora and fauna.

Big Island Doesn’t Love ROD

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

JB FridayJ.B. Friday (NREM) gave an extensive presentation to the Hawaii County Council Committee on Agriculture, Water and Energy Sustainability on Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death, explaining the disease organism, how it is spread, and the extent of the damage it has caused—up to 50,000 acres on the Big Island. He discussed the college’s work on the beetles that bore into the ‘ohi‘a, creating potentially infective sawdust that blows around; researchers are now testing how far the sawdust blows. He recommended that people make sure not to wound trees or move ‘ohi‘a wood or plants and to clean gear and trucks when moving between areas. If they have dead trees on their property, he suggests that they call a certified arborist to take them down, and not bring them to a mulching station. Councilwoman Eileen O’Hara introduced a resolution that the legislature to fund the first phase of CTAHR’s Strategic Response plan, at an estimated $3.6 million for 2017, and $3.2 million for the following two years. See the Big Island Video News video here.

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!

How Bad Is Your Epidemic?

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

Estimate app graphicScot Nelson (TPSS) and Cornell University colleague Sarah Pethybridge have developed another new app for iPad, just released by Cornell University. The app, called “Estimate,” can be used by research scientists, crop consultants, and other professionals for assessing plant disease intensity during epidemics, with greater accuracy and precision and at lower cost than existing methods. The application allows users to select a specific disease from a pre-populated list, specify either a logarithmic or linear categorical scale for estimating disease severity, and touch photographic images corresponding to the various percent categories for quantifying disease intensity within a pre-specified plot layout or experimental design. Several options for data entry are included within the application framework, and the data are automatically saved as a spreadsheet within the application that can be emailed to a recipient. The functionality of the app will also be expanded in the future by adding more pathosystems.

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.

Don’t Worry About the Lychee

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

Alan Titchenal discusses lycheeAlan Titchenal (HNFAS) was on hand to reassure local viewers that lychee are still safe to eat during an interview with Hawaii News Now about news reports that the succulent fruit had been linked with deaths of children in India. As he explained, if a large amount is eaten by those who are severely malnourished, as was happening, a compound in the fruit can cause their blood sugar to drop even lower than it already was, leading sometimes to convulsions and swelling of the brain. But Alan pointed out that not only are people here unlikely to be so malnourished; they probably won’t be eating such a huge amount of lychee. As he said, “You can get too much of almost anything, so keeping a balance is important."

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