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Issue 328   |   August 31, 2017   |   Archive

News & Events

Keeping the Promise

LorMona Meredith and Matthew GonserThis semester NREM is partnering with the Promise to Pae‘aina Collective Impact Effort, an initiative associated with the Hokule‘a’s voyage that engages natural resource managers and conservation leaders in an environmental movement to improve the health of Hawai‘i’s oceans, for a Green Infrastructure seminar series. The first presentation will be on Wednesday, September 6, from 3:30 to 4:20 p.m. in St. John 11. LorMona Meredith and Matthew Gonser will present on “Designing for a Resilient Landscape in Hawai‘i.” As they explain, management practices involving green infrastructure improve water quality, stormwater drainage, and resilience to extreme weather while reducing erosion of land and coastal areas. LorMona works at the Polynesian Voyaging Society as the coordinator for Promise to Pae ‘Aina, and Matthew serves as an Extension agent with UH Sea Grant and focuses on community planning and design, natural hazards mitigation and climate change adaptation, and stormwater management. Join in person or online from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android or by telephone: dial +1 646 876 9923 or +1 408 638 0968. The meeting ID is 850 662 695. Alternate weeks in the seminar series will be filled with other NREM seminar presentations, which will be announced as they approach.

A F.E.W. Good Ideas

PACE informational session graphicCTAHR is partnering with Shidler College of Business’s PACE center, the College of Engineering, and Richardson School of Law to offer the 2017 UH Breakthrough Innovation Challenge to UH students and faculty. This year, the focus of the challenge is Food, Energy and Water, hence the challenge’s name “A F.E.W. Good Ideas.” If you have brilliant ideas about ways to solve world hunger, generate or save energy, and provide clean water to all global citizens, consider participating! There’s an informational session about the challenge on Thursday, September 7, at 5:00 p.m. in Shidler E402 (Shidler sPACE). If you plan to attend, sign up here.

Here from Korea

Kichang HanFDM is hosting visiting scholar Kichang Han for the 2017–2018 school year. Dr. Han comes from Kyung Hee University in Korea, where he has published articles on digital textile printing, traditional Korean and Indian dyeing techniques, and color imaging. While at the University of Hawai‘i he will be working on developing new Hawai‘i textile products appropriate for the local and tourist market. He will also provide the university and community with lectures and an exhibition of his work. Welcome, Dr. Han!

Poster the Landscape

Students with posters at 2015 LICH conferenceThe Landscape Industry Council of Hawaii (LICH) is again inviting undergrad and grad students to submit abstracts for the Student Poster Session at the LICH Green Industry Conference and Tradeshow on October 5. The conference and tradeshow will be held at the Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. LICH is looking for research abstracts that have relevant applications to landscaping and the landscape industry in Hawai‘i. They accept all landscape-related topics, including nursery production/plant propagation/seed conservation techniques; new or potential landscape plants; Native Hawaiian plants; edible landscapes; greenroofs, living walls, and interiorscapes (i.e., design, installation, maintenance, plants); landscape pest issues (i.e., diseases, insect pests, and weeds); plant nutrition issues (i.e., fertilization, nutrient deficiencies, toxicities, etc.); water issues in the landscape (i.e., xeriscaping, water-efficient irrigation); and environmental impacts of landscaping. The deadline for submitting poster abstracts is September 29. Pictured here are winners of the 2015 session.

Grants & Awards

Get a Grad Grant

Are you a grad student who needs a grant (and are the two synonymous)? Check out Western SARE! To better meet the needs of graduate students, W-SARE has changed its yearly deadlines and award dates. A supplemental Call for Proposals for the Graduate Student grant program has been released. Under this call, grant proposals are due January 12, 2018, with awards announced in April 2018. The Graduate Student grants provide a maximum of $25,000 and may last for up to two years. Those eligible to apply are MS or PhD students who are enrolled full time (as determined by the institution’s requirements) at accredited colleges or universities in the Western region. An applicant is eligible for only one grant during his or her graduate program. Please read each call carefully for eligibility and deadlines.

Spotlight on Our Community

Celebrate ‘Ulu!

Noa Lincoln with The Maui Master Gardeners and Noa Lincoln (TPSS) participated in the first-ever La ‘Ulu, or Breadfruit Day, held at the Maui Nui Botanical Gardens this past weekend. The festival included traditional Hawaiian games, a native plant sale, demonstrations and informational booths, Hawaiian music, and, of course, lots and lots of ‘ono and healthy food made from this underutilized but very important staple food crop. Noa (pictured) described his research into breadfruit, including the native cropping systems utilizing the hardy trees, and invited festival-goers to take part in a newly created citizen science project that allows members of the community to record life-cycle events such as flowering and fruiting of ‘ulu trees as a way to learn more about them. The Master Gardeners helped those who wanted to purchase and cultivate ‘ulu trees to pick the right varieties for their areas and advised them on growing tips.

Better Living Through A.D.

Graphic showing how household digesters provide several productsAnaerobic digestion technology is improving the quality of life of Cambodian farmers, and Samir Khanal (MBBE) is helping to make that happen. A few years ago he conducted a 4-day workshop on anaerobic digestion technology for field staff from Southeast Asian nations, at which he learned about the popularity of household digesters in Cambodia. Subsequently he was invited by the National Biodigester Program (NBP) of Cambodia to discuss and train NBP staff in the use of AD technology and digestate utilization, and this year he returned to visit three farmers who have adopted A.D. technology. Cambodia is one of the least developed countries in Southeast Asia, depending primarily on agriculture. Household digesters are becoming increasingly popular among farmers in its rural regions, with some 30,000 digesters in use in various provinces of Cambodia. Most are fed with cow/buffalo dung; after digesting it creates biogas, which can be used for cooking, and nutrient-rich digestate, which can be used as a biofertilizer, composted, or used for aquaculture applications to grow algae for fish feed. The quality of life of rural farmers has been positively impacted by biodigester technology, which contributes to increased income, reduced deforestation, the curtailing of greenhouse gas emission, improved health and hygiene, and time saved for other productive activities.

Soil to Riches

Jonathan Deenik leads soil fertility workshopThis summer, Glen Fukumoto and Jonathan Deenick participated in technical-assistance assignments in Myanmar funded by US AID and coordinated by Winrock International. They engaged some 130 farmers and local government and NGO professionals in a series of workshops, with Glen covering small-scale composting technology for treating poultry waste and Jonathan addressing tropical soils and fertility management. Besides attending presentations on technical aspects of compost production and its environmental and socioeconomic benefits, participants in Glen’s workshops constructed compost bins using local materials. The highlight of Jonathan’s workshops was his traveling soils lab, which tested farmers’ soil samples for pH, nitrogen, and phosphorus. Analysis results showed the farms’ soil fertility status and guided the farmers on nutrient-management practices to improve the crop yield. Both of their topics were of critical importance to participants: implementing small-scale composting operations can help solve a multitude of critical environmental, economic, and social challenges facing rural farmers, while proper soil fertility is the fundamental requirement for a good crop yield and increased food security. US AID’s John Ogonowski and Doug Bereuter Farmer-to-Farmer Program provides assistance to developing countries to promote sustainable capacity build

The Cornucopia of Life

Claire FallonGoFarm alumna Claire Fallon is featured in a Star-Advertiser article that tells how the go-getter moved from sports and dance through acting and directing to yoga and religion and thence to farming. As the article explains, Claire saw the TEDx talk that Steven Chiang, then director of the highly successful beginning farmer-training program, gave in 2015, and was inspired to enter the program herself. The story has a happy conclusion: “Today she leases a quarter-acre plot in Waimanalo to which she devotes upward of 20 hours per week raising pumpkins, corn, okra and other delectables that she sells to local restaurants.” Claire is quoted as saying that she’s always looking for “new things to explore,” and it sounds like farming has provided that for her.

No Taste This Year

Taste of Hawaiian RangeSusan Miyasaka was interviewed by West Hawaii Today about the Taste of the Hawaiian Range, which is taking a hiatus this year because of the loss of some key partners and collaborators. She explains that the college is hoping to continue the wildly popular 21-year event in the future, especially if organizations such as the Hawaii Farm Bureau and the Food Basket are interested in becoming more involved. The Taste of the Hawaiian Range was first organized at the Mealani Research Station as a way to introduce consumers to the possibilities of grass-fed beef, but it has expanded into a celebration of all things eating local.

Get It Watered, Get It Covered

Andrea Kawabata teaches irrigation techniquesAndrea Kawabata, Alyssa Cho, Jen Burt, Marc Meisner, and Nick Yamauchi joined with staff from USDA NRCS Kealakekua and Kamuela as well as SiteOne Landscape Supply to host a Hands-On Irrigation and Groundcover Workshop at the Kona Cooperative Extension Office and Research Station. Orchard crop growers learned about how NRCS programs can provide them with financial and technical support for conservation practices. Additionally, NRCS staff presented about on-farm irrigation establishment and conservation groundcovers. During the hands-on activity at the research station, participants set up several variations of irrigation lines, including drip, pigtail, and spray emitters, and learned about the latest tools and supplies available. Here Andrea teaches a participant how to add a spray emitter. Growers were also provided a variety of groundcover starts to test out on their farms. These and other helpful and important hands-on workshops have been funded by CTAHR supplemental funding, for which PIs Andrea and Alyssa extend their gratitude.

Okinawan Sweetpotato in Okinawa

Surely Wallace at IBCELCSurely Wallace (HNFAS), a Nutritional Science graduate student of Yong Li, recently attended the International Biotechnology, Chemical Engineering and Life Science Conference (IBCELC) in Okinawa, Japan. Her oral presentation “Prebiotic potential of Hawaiian purple ‘Okinawan’ sweetpotato and rice starch with Lactobacillus paracasei” discussed the impacts of sweetpotato flesh and skin on the growth of probiotic bacteria in an in vitro setting. Here she is pictured receiving the certificate of presentation. Surely has been invited to return for the 2018 IBCELC conference in Okinawa as a workshop chair, as well. She was also the winner of 2017 CTAHR Best MS Poster Presentation and Best MS 3MEP Presentation.

Have Nematodes, Will Travel

Nematology students at Society of Nematologists meetingThis summer, Lilly Fatdal, Josiah Maquez, and Philip Waisen, all PEPS Tropical Plant Pathology graduate students studying nematology, attended the Society of Nematologists meeting in Williamsburg, VA, along with their advisors Brent Sipes and Koon-Hui Wang. The students participated in the Nematology Jeopardy Game (Cobb Bowl), received travel awards to present their papers, and enjoyed an information exchange with nematologists gathered in the colonial town. Philip Waisen, on the right, received a Western Region Sustainable & Agriculture Research and Education Graduate Student Grant supporting his PhD research on “Cover Crop 5-in-1 Approach for Nematode Management Using Mustard and Oil Radish.”

New Publications

New Ways to Teach

Kauahi PerezKent Kobayashi and grad student Kauahi Perez (pictured) (both TPSS), members of the American Society for Horticultural Science Teaching Methods Working Group, have published articles on horticulture pedagogy in HortTechnology. Kauahi’s article, “Learning by Doing: Applying the Concept of Pollen Viability in a Horticulture Classroom,” describes a classroom activity that exposed undergrad students in a horticulture course to the concept of pollen viability and its application. As she explains, learning by doing helps students to gain conceptual understanding. Kent’s article, “Using Flipped Classroom and Virtual Field Trips to Engage Students,” describes the use of a “flipped classroom” in an undergraduate tropical production systems course. In it, students read lecture materials outside of class, reviewed materials in class on smart devices, searched for new information on the Internet, and participated in small group discussions. This added to student engagement, as did the virtual field trip assignment, in which each student visited a commercial farm or nursery, interviewed the owner or manager, and gave a presentation to the class about the enterprise’s operation and sustainable pra

Bioresources Bonanza

Samir Khanal working in labSamir Khanal (MBBE) has been appointed as associate editor for the scientific journal Bioresource Technology starting in January 2018, due to his international reputation as a researcher in environmental biotechnology, bioenergy, and anaerobic digestion. Bioresource Technology is one of the best journals in the field, ranked No 1 among agricultural engineering journals on bioenergy and the environment, and with an impact factor of 5.651. The journal appoints only seven associate editors globally, so this honor helps to put UHM in the global road map of research excellence and recognition in the field!

Highlights of Hydroponics

Screen capture showing hydroponic peppersEmeritus professor Bernie Kratky has produced an entertaining and educational YouTube video on growing tomatoes and peppers at the Komohana Research and Extension Center using a suspended pot, non-circulating hydroponic method (commonly referred to as the Kratky Method) which provides automatic bottom irrigation and does not require electrical power and pumps. He explains how to construct the tank, formulate and regulate the nutrient solution, and make sure mosquitoes don’t breed in the system, and the fruits he harvests look luscious!

Get Your Natural Resources Policy On

Chennat GopalakrishnanProfessor Emeritus Chennat Gopalakrishnan is continuing as the editor-in-chief of the Journal of Natural Resources Policy Research, though the journal, currently published by Taylor & Francis, has been taken over by the Pennsylvania State University Press. Volume 8, Number 1 will be published in April 2018, and the journal is looking for manuscripts dealing with every aspect of natural resources policy. For details, please see the new call for papers. The publisher of his 2016 hardcover book Classic Papers in Natural Resource Economics has also just announced that a paperback edition will be published in November 2017, and the book has been received very well in academic circles.

Help our community to keep in touch! Please send news items -- awards, grants, special projects, special people -- and pictures to Frederika Bain at ctahrnotes@ctahr.hawaii.edu. Also refer to the submission information and guidelines.

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