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Issue 336   |   October 25, 2017   |   Archive

News & Events

Get Fresh

blankThe freshman class is invited to the first-ever CTAHR freshmen-only event on Monday, October 30, from 4 to 6 p.m. in St John 11! Come spend a couple of hours getting to know other CTAHR freshman, eating free food, and watching a Halloween-themed movie together. Free pizza, ice cream floats, movie, and all-you-want candy bar will be available, sponsored by the ASAO. RSVP here now to ensure there will be enough food for everyone. You can call 956-4162 or email mchen22@hawaii.edu with any questions.

Not Just Lyon Around

blankWant to get moving, get your hands dirty, and give back to the ‘aina? There’s a service opportunity at Lyon Arboretum on Saturday, October 28, from 9 a.m. to noon. It will involve a moderate workload, possibly including removal of invasive species, trail restoration, and/or stream cleanup. You’ll need to wear pants, a long-sleeved shirt, and closed-toe shoes or boots; bring a rain jacket and a water bottle, too. It might be a good idea to bring a change of clothes so you don’t have to go home wet and muddy. All tools and mosquito repellent will be supplied! Sign up here.

Sustainability From a Different Angle

blankStudents who are interested in sustainability may be interested in a new grad-level course in the Sociology department, the Sociology of Sustainability SOC 715, which will be offered in Spring 2018. It will incorporate Science and Technology Studies, Environmental Sociology, Feminist Political Ecology, and Asia-Pacific case studies. Check it out! If you have any questions, contact the professor, Aya Kimura, at kimuraa@hawaii.edu.

Grants & Awards

Haut Chocolat

blankHawai‘i-grown cacao beans from Skip Bittenbender’s (TPSS) Hawai‘i State Cacao Trial project have been ranked, along with two other Hawai‘i samples, among the top 50 samples out of 166, submitted from 40 countries, for the 2017 Cocoa of Excellence Program. Skip’s student Dan O’Doherty submitted the fermented, dried cacao beans from three locations of Skip’s trial on O‘ahu. These high-ranking beans were nominated for an International Cocoa Award, and the award winners will be announced at the end of October. The winner will be celebrated on October 30 at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris!

Double the Honor

blankThe two posters that Samir Khanal co-authored and presented at the 15th International Water Association’s World Conference on Anaerobic Digestion (IWA-AD) in Beijing were both awarded outstanding poster! The conference, which was attended by over 1200 participants from around the world, is an international forum discussing state-of-art anaerobic bioprocesses, including wastewater treatment. These posters comprised two of the only 20 awardees chosen from nearly 600 poster presentations. One poster is entitled “Effects of hyperthermophilic temperature on biomethanation efficiency and microbial community during hydrogenotrophic methanogenesis,” and the other “Automated micro-aeration system for enhancing stability of anaerobic digestion at high organic loading rate.” The award includes a certificate and a cash prize—or is that two certificates and double the cash?

Spotlight on Our Community

Food Is Good!

blankNational Food Day, which supports and promotes local food and farmers, healthy foods, healthy eating, and safe food handling, was celebrated at KTA stores on the Big Island and featured educational displays and samplings of locally grown and produced food. Alyssa Cho (third from left) and her graduate students Colin Hart and Russell Galanti, along with Joanne Imamura (all TPSS), demonstrated how cacao and macadamia nuts are processed from raw fruit/nut crops into the iconic chocolate-covered mac nut. Julia Zee (HNFAS) promoted local produce with GET (Grow, Eat & Think) Local, as well as safe food handling and how to prevent rat lungworm disease. Michael DuPonte (HNFAS) and members of the Hawaii Swine Producers Cooperative served pork and Portuguese sausage…the sausage was so good that KTA vice president and former CTAHR Outstanding Alumnus Derek Kurisu signed a contract to distribute it on the spot! And East and West Hawai‘i Master Gardeners provided gardening information and assisted with the giveaway of free vegetable seedlings. What a great (food) day!

Pest Control at the Next Level

blankQing Li (MBBE) was one of only three UH faculty invited to present their innovative research at the exclusive UH Tech Showcase. The innovators presented their cutting-edge ideas to an invitation-only audience of investors and entrepreneurs. Qing explained how his research in monoterpenoids from select essential oils could be used to develop insecticides for specific agricultural, storage and household pests. UH Vice President for Research and Innovation Vassilis L. Syrmos called the presenters’ work “examples of the world-class research” that is done at UH!

Rock Stars

blankTwo CTAHR-associated women are featured in Forbes Magazine’s article “Five Women Rocking the Food Scene in Hawaii.” Lyndsey Haraguchi-Nakayama, a TPSS alumna, is the fifth generation to work at her family’s taro farm, W. T. Haraguchi Farm, and co-creator of the Hanalei Taro food truck. She explains the importance of history: “It is important for people to learn the history, culture, preservation and efforts that farming families do on a daily basis to bring sustainability to fruition.” Lani Weigert, an alumna of the Ag Leadership program and a founder of the successful agritourism venture Ali‘i Kula Lavender, is also mentioned in the article, though it focuses more on her daughter and partner, Pomai. As the article explains, the two created a concept, “sustainable aloha,” which guides their work in their community through educational stewardship and nurturing the planet for future generations.

Hilo Tastes Great!

blankMembers of the CTAHR ‘ohana contributed to the 20th annual—and sold-out!—Taste of Hilo. Mike DuPonte was there to introduce event-goers to the extra-‘ono taste of pork that is raised using Korean Natural Farming methods—he says you can definitely taste the difference, and it’s delicious. These methods are also sustainable and locally focused, so it’s a win-win. Mike also premiered a video, featuring Animal Sciences student Keala Cowell, that describes the Ag in the Classroom project that the two, with 4-H agent Becky Settlage, have inaugurated in four Big Island schools. Mike says the video was so inspirational that one viewer immediately pledged $1200 towards the project!

They’re There at the College Fair


The ASAO is continuing their fantastic recruitment efforts with tables at the College Fairs being held on all the islands this week. Here student advisor Irene Morrow and student ambassador Brent Shigano, a junior in MBB, invite highschoolers to find out more about the college’s many diverse offerings at the Kaua‘i College Fair.

New Publications

Making an Impact!

Samir Khanal’s (MBBE) co-authored article “Nitrogen Transformations in Aquaponic Systems: A Review” was among the most recent top four most downloaded articles in the journal Aquacultural Engineering. As the article explains, studies on nitrogen transformations and nitrogen utilization efficiency in aquaponic systems have been very limited, despite the critical importance of N in such systems, so this paper fills an important gap. Another article Samir co-authored is “Anaerobic Digestion-Based Biorefinery for Bioenergy and Biobased Products,” appears in the Journal of Industrial Biotechnology’s list of High-Impact Articles.

Job Opportunities

Down With Tephritids

blankThe laboratory of Dr. Scott Geib has a position opening for an entry-level laboratory technician (hired through UHM) to work on USDA Farm Bill-funded projects to develop genomic resources in Tephritid fruit flies. This position is currently posted here, but it closes on October 31. This research project is focused on analyzing populations of tephritid fruit fly species using genome-wide analysis techniques towards marker discovery and developing assays for determination of source populations. You need a BS and the willingness to move to Hilo to work at the US PBARC. Learn more about the research program here. If you have any questions, you can contact Dr. Scott Geib at scott.geib@ars.usda.gov. To apply, complete and submit an application package, following the instructions in the job posting.

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.

Do you have an upcoming event that you'd like to promote? CTAHR faculty and staff can post events to the CTAHR website's calendar.

All CTAHR Notes readers can browse the calendar to learn more about the college's activities.