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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!

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!

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!

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.

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