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Issue 315   |   June 07, 2017   |   Archive

News & Events

Big Job on the Big Island

Ted FeitshansHawai‘i County administrator Ted Feitshans will be leaving CTAHR on July 1 for a teaching post in North Carolina. The college thanks him for his service and wishes him well on his next adventures. Dean Novotny is soliciting confidential recommendations for an Interim Hawaii County Administrator for a term of one year, starting July 1. Self-nominations are fine. Please send them to novotnyr@ctahr.hawaii.edu by the end of the workday on Friday, June 9.

Planting the Future

Marisa WallMarisa Wall, director of PBARC, will give a special TPSS seminar entitled “Planting Our Future: Research at DKI-PBARC” on Friday, June 9, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. in St. John 106. Dr. Wall is being considered as affiliate faculty in TPSS. The seminar is also available by Zoom; the topic is Jeffrey Abe’s Zoom Meeting. You can also use iPhone one-tap (US Toll): +16465588656,5229227777# or +14086380968,5229227777#, or call +1 646 558 8656 (US Toll) or +1 408 638 0968 (US Toll). Meeting ID is 522 922 7777, and international numbers are also available.

Grow More Food

Air-layering mango treeThe Urban Garden Center will be hosting Grow More Food: Plant Propagation Outdoor Expo on July 7–8. Researchers, Extension agents, Master Gardeners, and CTAHR students will use hands-on teaching demonstrations to teach food producers and gardeners how to propagate crops via seeds, cuttings, air-layering, and grafting. Air-layering/grafting workshops are scheduled for 8:30, 9:30, and 10:30 a.m. and will last 45 minutes each. July 7 is aimed at agricultural producers; also on this day there will be educational booths from HDOA, USDA Farm Service Agency, and other agencies, companies, and non-profits, as well as CTAHR programs such as the Ag Incubator, SOAP, Master Gardeners, ADSC Seed Lab, and Sustainable Pest Management Lab, so growers can learn about the many public and private ag programs available. July 8 is aimed at urban and backyard producers and will also be the OUG’s Second Saturday event, including a plant sale. Participants can sign up for state, federal, and non-profit programs and ask questions face to face. You can register online here; the Expo is $20. Workshops are limited to 30 participants/session, and space is limited, so after registering, call Bea at (808) 453-6050 to reserve a workshop space.

Spotlight on Our Community

Sweetest Day

Cane with cane knifeIf you didn’t get a chance to go to the recent Ko Field Day at the Poamoho Station, which showcased the ten native varieties of sugarcane that are growing there, at least you can take a look at these pictures of the event. You won't be able to taste the different varieties of sweet cane juice, pressed onsite, that were served, or take home the planting materials that participants were offered, but you can still feast your eyes on the unique and colorful canes and the system of intercropping with ‘ulu that is being trialed at the station!

Get It in the Ground

Susan Crow on KITVSusan Crow (NREM) appears in a KITV news story about Hawai‘i’s commitment to the Paris Climate Accord in light of Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from this significant environmental agreement. One of two bills supporting the Accord signed by Gov. Ige concerns carbon sequestration, which reduces the level of CO2 in the atmosphere by trapping it in the soil, in plants, or in the water. Susan explains that it’s important to keep the carbon in the ground once it has entered the plants’ roots and the soil; one good way to do this is to avoid tilling crops, which allows 30 percent more carbon to be sequestered.

Keep the Forests Standing

Kimberly CarlsonKimberly Carlson (NREM) traveled to the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center in Maryland to take part in a small workshop and discuss her project on zero-deforestation supply-chain commitments. With co-PI Rachael Garrett of Boston University, Kim (pictured center) is assessing interactions between zero-deforestation commitments and tropical land-cover dynamics to identify conditions that improve the likelihood that commitments will achieve their stated goals. The project synthesizes social data on trade dynamics, market conditions, and supply-chain commitments with ecological data on tropical land cover change to build a coupled land-change–supply-chain trade model and apply it to contrast future scenarios of supply-chain commitments. They are focusing on soy, a leading cause of land-cover change in South America, but are considering how their project can have applications for other global commodities in tropical regions, particularly oil palm in Southeast Asia. Photos are available here.

The Bee’s Knees

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

Welcome to Waimanalo

Noa Lincoln talks with Rep. Tulsi GabbardRep. Tulsi Gabbard recently took a tour of the Waimanalo Research Station for a look at its many projects and initiatives. After she was greeted by Dean Novotny and Associate Deans Ken Grace and Kelvin Sewake, she was welcomed with a chant by Malama Honua charter school students, accompanied by one of their teachers, MBBE alumna Kelsea Hosoda. Representatives of Halau Ku Mana charter school in Makiki then showed her the lapa’au garden they’ve established at the station. Rep. Gabbard saw SOAP organic crops, including taro, bittermelon, and organic non-transgenic papaya. Ted Radovich (TPSS) demonstrated a novel hydroponics set-up, and GoFarm trainer Jay Bost and farm coordinator Nora Rodli described this successful farmer-training program and introduced her to GoFarm students working on a CSA there. Here she talks with Noa Lincoln (NREM) about his work with native sugarcane varieties.

New Publications

Socially Sustainable Seafood

Fishing boatNREM student Cheryl Scarton is one of the authors of “Committing to Socially Responsible Seafood,” which was recently published in the Policy Forum section of the prestigious journal Science. The article points out that seafood is a primary source of protein for large sectors of the earth’s population and argues that in light of recent discoveries about slavery and other abuses in the fishing industry, it is necessary to produce and source seafood in a socially ethical and responsible manner, and the scientific community must be involved in this discussion. Previously, most of the focus has been on environmental sustainability, which is also very important. Now, the paper claims, “businesses are seeking to reduce unethical practices and reputational risks in their supply chains. Governments are formulating policy responses, and nonprofit and philanthropic organizations are deploying resources and ex­pertise to address critical social issues. Yet the scientific community has not kept pace with concerns for social issues in the sector.” It also argues that “organizations that work on environmental sustainability issues will need to work more closely with socially focused organizations, as these issues are intrinsically linked and require joint investments.” Cheryl’s research looks at social-ecological relationships over time, including wetland property values.

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