Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Issue 104 | February 25, 2013 | Archive

News & Events

Envisioning Excellence, O‘ahu-Style

The O‘ahu sessions of “Charting Our Course to Excellence: Preparation for the Journey” that Dean Gallo and the CTAHR Leadership Team are hosting across the state are coming up! The sessions will focus on increasing innovation and adaptation and on improving working relationships within the college. Small groups will discuss paradigms that are limiting us and identify something impossible to do in CTAHR today that would fundamentally change the college for the better if it could be done. Before your session, think about these questions and be ready to discuss them. O‘ahu sessions will be held March 7 and 11, both 8:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. and both at the Campus Center Executive Dining Room; and March 14, 1:00–4:30 p.m., Campus Center 308/309. RSVP to Robyn Chow-Hoy or 956-8234. Don't miss the opportunity to add your vision!

Before We Disappear Beneath the Waves…

Wave crashing against seawallSarah Henly-Shepard will be defending her dissertation, Climate Change & Disaster Vulnerability—Socio-Ecological Resilience Research & Planning in Hawaii, on Thursday, March 7, at 9:00 a.m. in Sherman 103. Sarah, whose committee chair is Linda Cox (NREM), researched the effects of climate change on Hawai‘i and other Pacific islands in terms of “hazard vulnerability,” arguing for the need to “engage in disaster resilience, an interdisciplinary approach of proactive prevention, preparation, and adaptation.” Come hear important insights on a very timely issue!

Water and Weeds

Hydroponic systemHeads-up for some upcoming useful information: Local Immigrant Farmer Education (LIFE) and Risk Management Hawaii (RMH) will be hosting two workshops on Hydroponics for Ag Tourism and School Systems at Kahuku Farms, located at 56-800 Kamehameha Hwy. Part I will be held on Feb. 26 from 10 a.m. to noon, while Part II takes place on March 3 from 9 to 11 a.m. Participants will learn such important information as what crops and varieties do best in hydroponic systems, what government programs are associated with hydroponic ag tourism, and how best to incorporate food safety in the systems. Then it’s off to the Big Island for a 2-day workshop and field demonstration on weed management, where Joe DeFrank (TPSS) will demonstrate both chemical and non-chemical methods of killing weeds such as yellow nutsedge. The workshop will be given at the Waimea Civic Center (67-5189 Kamamalu Road) on March 7 from 6 to 8 p.m., while the field demo will be offered 9–9:45 a.m. at Nakamoto Farm in Kamuela. Participants who wish to receive credits towards pesticide recertification should bring their pesticide cards, and there will also be information useful to organic growers. For the hydroponics events, call Lynn at 622-4185 to register; for the weed control, call Didi or Perci at 887-6183 or

When Is a Crop Not Just a Crop?

Hawaii value-added productsThe Pearl City Urban Garden Center will be hosting one of a series of workshops presented by educators and longtime CTAHR collaborators Craig Elevitch and Ken Love on making family-farm crops more marketable and profitable. The workshop, which will be held March 28 from 9:00 a.m. to noon, will discuss ways to add value to agricultural products, covering an array of topics including creating a brand identity, developing market niches, using certifications to increase product worth, and pricing for a range of markets.Click here to see the other dates and locations the workshop will be held and to pre-register for free.

Grants & Awards

New Funding Opportunities Newsletter Feb 21

Baby, it’s cold outside! So why not get into the spirit of things by going after some cold, hard cash to fund your research? Check out the chill options at Sharee Pepper’s latest Current Funding Opportunities newsletter, including the especially relevant following:
  • USDA, NIFA Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program - Organic Transitions (ORG), LOI due March 1.
  • NOAA Environmental Literacy Grants for Building Capacity of Informal and Formal, March 12.
  • Dept of Labor, Employment and Training Administration - National Farmworker Jobs Program Grants (NFJP), April 2.

Science Mentorship on the Move

Hawai‘i 4-H has been awarded an additional $40,250 to continue and expand the science mentoring programs established at Kamaile Public Charter School in Wai‘anae and Kalaniana‘ole Middle School in Hilo. Teams of teens and their teachers have been prepared by CTAHR faculty and staff to serve as mentors to students at the schools; the mentor teams will be using activities they learned on the UH-Manoa campus to get students involved in hands-on learning of aquaponics, hydroponics, horticulture, and related topics. The grant is from the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention, which since initially funding the program in 2010 has provided $231,000 to Hawai‘i 4-H for science mentoring.

Spotlight on Our Community

Fighting Fireweed With Fireweed Moth

Madagascar fireweedThe biocontrol agent the Madagascan Fireweed Moth has just been released on Hawai‘i Island, and hopes are high it will be a major ally in the fight against the invasive Madagascar fireweed, which is toxic to cattle and horses and which also takes up nutrients and water needed by other native and beneficial plant species. CTAHR researchers including Tomoaki Miura and James Leary (both NREM) and Mark Thorne (HNFAS), as well as the staff of the Mealani Research Station, helped to map the range and spread of the weed for assessment and monitoring purposes and to raise and release the moth’s larvae; monitoring will be continued of the moth’s spread and the fireweed’s hopeful decline.

Chocolate Buzz

Image of article on cacao in Star-AdvertiserH.C. “Skip” Bittenbender (TPSS) and the statewide cacao variety trial for which he is principal investigator were prominently noted in afront-page article in theHonolulu Star-Advertiser. Though cacao production in the state is still in its infancy, interest in local chocolate is exploding, and the variety trial will yield invaluable information for hopeful cacao farmers. As the article explains, 14 plots have been established at sites throughout the islands that represent all different microclimates in terms of elevation and precipitation. Ten different types of cacao trees are planted at each site, and they are starting to bear fruit this year, 4 years after planting, with samples of the finished chocolate to be available by next year. Mmm-mmm!

Help Along the Path

Brett Tyler with CTAHR studentsThe Plant Pathology Graduate Student Organization (PPGSO) organized dinner and a personal meeting for PEPS graduate students with Dr. Brett Tyler, director of the Center for Genome Research and Bio-computing at Oregon State University. Dr. Tyler shared his research experiences and views on current research opportunities in molecular plant pathology and genomics, while students discussed their individual research projects and received valuable suggestions. Dr. Tyler also presented two seminars during his visit to CTAHR and met with faculty in PEPS, MBBE, and TPSS. Dr. Tyler (center) is pictured with (left to right) Kishore Dey, Gabriel Shierman, Glorimar Marrero, Philip Waisen, Shikha Srivastava, and Akhil Srivastava.

Help our community to keep in touch! Please send news items -- awards, grants, special projects, special people -- and pictures to Frederika Bain

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

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

CTAHR faculty and staff can always check out the latest
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