A Year-End Message from Matt
Paradoxically, a Time of Opportunity and Optimism
Photo: Second grade students at Paauilo School check on the progress of their radish bed. Photo courtesy of Donna Mitts, Paauilo School Garden Leader.
With economic and environmental crises swirling around us, I find myself in the most paradoxical place of feeling quite optimistic. The crises we face present enormous opportunities to rebuild our economy and society, to rethink our life strategies, and to recommit ourselves to a future of sustained abundance. At no time has it been clearer that we must move toward energy and food self-reliance and that we must build an economy that enhances ecosystem health. All of this requires great agility, enormous creativity, and rigorous thinking. It means that we have no choice but to move forward with building a knowledge-based society, in which all occupations require us to tap into the human potential for growth and learning … at all times. In order for this shift to occur, we must actively seek out and challenge those who shape public policy. And this requires civic engagement. An engaged society, an informed society, a democratic society, a creative society, a self-reliant society, a knowledge based society—not just a vision but a requirement if we are going to do more than just barely survive. We can thrive if we seize the moment. We have no choice but to move forward … and quickly! And that seems like a good thing to me.
My very best wishes for the New Year!
I mua (onward)!
Matthews M. Hamabata, Ph.D.
Standing Room Only
Photo: Comedian Frank De Lima entertains a full house at the second annual Bay Concert. Photo courtesy of West Hawaii Today.
Over 900 people gathered in the Convention Hall at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort to listen to music, to laugh at Frank De Lima’s island-style humor, and to show their public support for a very worthy cause: saving Kahalu‘u Bay. The second annual Bay Concert celebrated our community’s ongoing and successful efforts to restore the historic, cultural, and natural resources of this sacred site. Over 200 community volunteers and three dozen island businesses are involved in the work at the bay. Visitors and residents alike are educated in reef etiquette, and a new Citizen Science program that monitors water quality and the health of the reef has been launched. Volunteers, clad in their blue ReefTeach t-shirts, joined in the concert festivities. The auditorium rocked with positive energy, with a sense of optimism, and of course, with fantastic music! The Kohala Center extends a heartfelt mahalo (thank you) to everyone for believing that we can create a healthy society and economy by maintaining the health of our beautiful natural environment.
Eventually, by educating more and more people that visit us at Kahalu‘u, we will make a beautiful ‘Lei of Aloha’ around the World. —Cindi Punihaole, Public Outreach and Volunteer Coordinator, TKC
Read more wonderful comments from concert-goers, entertainers, and TKC organizers.
Citizen Scientists Hit the Beach
Photo: Four students from the University of the Nations Foundation School were trained as Citizen Scientists in October. Photo by Caroline Neary.
The first cadre of more than twenty Citizen Scientists were trained in October. Each of these dedicated citizens will be monitoring nearshore water quality at Kahalu‘u Bay twice a week as part of TKC’s new Citizen Science initiative. Volunteers, including five students from West Hawaii Explorations Academy and eight students from the University of the Nations Foundation School, were taught how to properly take water samples from predesignated spots in the bay. The samples are then tested for the presence of bacteria, pharmaceuticals, nitrates, phosphates, and other pollutants at Kona Labs Analytical. Training was conducted by Dr. Richard DeVerse, who will also be overseeing analysis of the data collected by citizen volunteers. The water sampling protocols expand upon current sampling done by the Hawai‘i State Department of Health (DOH), and this volunteer initiative is being supported by DOH, Kona Labs Analytical, and the federal Environmental Protection Agency.
“This nearshore water quality monitoring may help determine the effects of the surrounding coastal development on the water in Kahalu‘u Bay, including the effects of surface run-off and subsurface flow of pollutants into the shallow bay ecosystem,” explains Caroline Neary, the assistant public outreach and volunteer coordinator of The Kohala Center.
Our Citizen Scientists are having fun and helping to make a difference at Kahalu‘u Bay.
Photo: Volunteer Jamie Pardau collects a water sample at Kahalu‘u Bay. Photo by Caroline Neary.
I saw an advertisement the other day about how the ocean is becoming more acidic and it made me realize how great it is that we are doing our part to monitor the water around us so we can start to better understand what sort of impact this has. —Jamie Pardau, Citizen Scientist and retired teacher
I am excited to be gaining insight about the factors influencing our ecosystem. It’s really fun and I look forward to expanding our sampling throughout the coming months. —Mary Ellen Mynter, Citizen Scientist and supervisor at Huggo’s on the Rocks
Photo: Faith Ozer weeding English ivy from Niaulani Forest in Volcano. Behind Faith is Tim Tunison from Volcano Arts Center (standing with grey baseball cap), who oriented the students to the native rainforest and showed them which weeds to pull out.
Last spring I attended the BELL Hawai‘i trip. At BELL I came closer than I could ever imagine to other teens from across the country. We camped out without electricity, cell phones, or anything else from the outside world, and I can honestly say that it was the greatest time of my life. I learned about the Hawaiian culture and experienced firsthand the one-of-a-kind landscapes of this beautiful island. I learned much about myself through team-building exercises and matured as a young adult and as a leader. The BELL trip was a unique once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will always cherish. —Faith Ozer, sophomore at St. Joseph High School and 2008 BELL Hawai‘i scholarship recipient
Island high school students are invited to join a group of twenty teens from across the country for a week-long adventure into the backwoods of Hawai‘i Island, to share in an outstanding environmental leadership program. The sixth annual Brown University Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL) will be led by Dr. Robin Rose, director of leadership programs at Brown University. The Hawai‘i field lab is scheduled for April 4–11, 2009. Highlights of the program include:
- Participating in a sunrise blessing and cultural protocols at Halema‘uma‘u Crater.
- Learning about the environment of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park on guided hikes with Rob McGovern (Volcano Arts Center) to lava tubes, steam vents, and Kilauea Iki crater; visiting Jaggar Museum; taking a field trip to the lava ocean entry at night; studying the geologic processes that are still at work forming the Hawaiian Islands.
- Camping out at a coastal site in Kawaihae.
- Doing service work (weeding and seeding) in Ka‘ūpulehu dry forest with naturalists and cultural experts, Yvonne and Keoki Carter.
- Hiking Pololū valley with Kalani Flores, cultural historian.
- Kayaking and engaging in marine science activities at Puakō; learning about the Hawaiian coral reef and management/conservation of the reef.
- Talking story with kūpuna (Hawaiian elders) from the Kawaihae area.
- Visiting the Makali‘i voyaging canoe with Chadd Paishon, executive director of Nā Kalai Wa‘a Moku o Hawai‘i.
- Participating in group building and leadership exercises.
Two tuition scholarships are available for Hawai‘i Island students to attend the April program. The deadline to apply is January 30, 2009, and application forms are available online. Visit the BELL Web site for more program details.
Inspired by Learning
Photo: Sydney L. Iaukea at her Ph.D. dissertation defense on
July 28, 2009.
The Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program was established in 2008 to support gifted Native Hawaiian scholars whose work focuses on Hawai‘i’s natural and cultural landscapes, history, politics, and/or society. The establishment of this fellowship program, with the generous support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and Kamehameha Schools, is the culmination of a dearly held dream for Matt Hamabata, executive director of The Kohala Center. “A knowledge-based society requires intellectual leadership of great depth and power. The Mellon-Hawai‘i Fellows are expected to perform at the top of their fields of research and to eventually lead academic institutions and scholarly societies,” explains Hamabata.
Five leading Hawaiian scholars were selected as the first cohort of Mellon-Hawai‘i Fellows: the postdoctoral fellows are B. Kamanamaikalani Beamer, Sydney L. Iaukea, and Kathleen L. Kawelu; the doctoral fellows are Noelani Arista and Nannette Nālani Sing. In the coming months we will feature each of these scholars and their work. This month we introduce Sydney Iaukea, who recently completed a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Sydney was selected as one of two doctoral student marshals at her commencement ceremony, in honor of her outstanding achievement—obtaining a 3.91 GPA. Learn more about Sydney’s life and her work on “Understanding Hawaiian Place and Politics.”
The Kohala Center is now accepting applications for the second cohort of Mellon-Hawai‘i Fellows. The application deadline is February 23, 2009. Application materials are available online.
Papahānaumokuākea ‘Ahahui Alaka‘i (PAA)
Photo: The Hawaiian monk seal is critically endangered.
Photo courtesy of James Watt at www.oceanstock.com.
The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument encompasses the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and 139,797 square miles of the Pacific Ocean—an area larger than all of the U.S. national parks combined. ‘Ahahui refers to a society or club. Alaka‘i means ambassador or leader. The acronym PAA or Pa‘a for Papahānaumokuākea ‘Ahahui Alaka‘i means steadfast or strong, or to keep or retain.1
The Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument’s Educator’s Workshop, or PAA, will be held from June 13–23, 2009. The PAA will bring together up to twelve educators and community leaders from diverse backgrounds to become ambassadors of Papahānaumokuākea and to promote active stewardship of the monument back in their home communities.
Participation is open to local, national, and international residents. Nominees must submit a written application and letters of support. The application deadline is January 2, 2009. Learn more and apply.
1Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument/NOAA, “Papahānaumokuākea ‘Ahahui Alaka‘i, Overview,” http://papahanaumokuakea.gov/education/teachers_midway.html#overview
The Flow of Water
Photo: By Jordan Hill.
Join Dr. Ka‘eo Duarte for a free public lecture on “Water in Hawai‘i: Changing Times and Changing Paradigms.” Dr. Duarte’s presentation is part of the Puana Ka ‘Ike Lecture Series co-sponsored by The Kohala Center. The lectures cover a diverse range of topics focusing on Hawaiian culture, history, and tradition. Dr. Duarte’s talk will explore some of the issues surrounding the flow, use, quality, laws, and stewardship of water in Hawai‘i over the past two centuries.
The talk will be offered twice: first in West Hawai‘i on January 23, 2009, from 5:30–7 p.m. at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort, Ballroom II, and then again in East Hawai‘i on January 26, 2009, from Noon–1:30 p.m. at UH Hilo University Classroom Building #127.
Dr. Duarte was born and raised in Hōlualoa, Kona, on Hawai‘i Island. His interests include hydrology, water management and optimization, coastal processes, eco-hydrology, and indigenous knowledge systems. He holds a B.S.E. in environmental engineering from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering, specializing in hydrology, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Digging in the Dirt
Photo: Waimea Middle School students planting seedlings in Mala‘ai Garden. Photo by Patti Cook.
When it comes to eliciting a warm, fuzzy feeling, kids with smiling faces and dirty hands, digging in the dirt and beaming next to the food they’ve grown—what could be more wholesome? —Patti Cook, Waimea Middle School
In 2008 new school gardens sprouted in communities around the island, and the Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network more than doubled in size. There are currently fourty-five gardens, at varying stages of development, participating in the network. The Kohala Center coordinates the garden network and helps to support these projects as part of our food self-reliance initiative. School gardens encourage students and their families to grow edible plants, help to increase consumption of locally grown fruits and vegetables, and promote knowledge of and respect for traditional Hawaiian food crops.
The Kohala Center recently launched the Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network (HISGN) Web site so that island residents can learn more about the HISGN, the participating schools, and upcoming events which showcase school gardens around the island. Community members are invited to get involved with their local garden projects. To volunteer, contact HISGN Project Director Nancy Redfeather, at 808-322-2801 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This month we showcase the work being done at one of the fourty-five sites: Mala‘ai, The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School. Mala‘ai's mission "to deepen Waimea Middle School students’ relationship with food, their culture, and their environment by creating and sustaining an organic garden and kitchen classroom that engages them in all aspects of growing, harvesting, preparing, and sharing nourishing, healthy food. Ultimately we intend for all food served in the school to be wholesome, fresh, delicious and just.” The Mala‘ai project began in 2003 with the leadership of Dr. Michelle Suber, a Waimea physician who was concerned about the negative impacts our consumer-based, fast-food society was having on children. Suber led the effort to establish a garden at Waimea Middle School in 2005. Since that time local farmers, businesses, and Hawaiian cultural practitioners have joined hands to support this project. Read more.
Learn more about the HISGN in the December issue of Hawaii Business Magazine.
Image: The winning entry by Mikki Fujimoto.
In April 2008 five members of Girl Scout Troop #425 of Kailua-Kona entered their artwork in a contest sponsored by the Georgia Sea Turtle Center. The winning artwork would be featured on the cover of the center’s coloring and activity booklet. “Being so far away from Georgia, we didn't know what kind of chance we'd have. We entered, however, because we were working toward our Drawing and Painting badge, and we needed another activity. We had a great time learning about loggerhead sea turtles which are seldom seen in our waters but frequent the Eastern sea coast and nest on Jekyll Island, where the Georgia Sea Turtle Center is located. The pictures were sent off, and we went about completing our badge work with watercolor paintings, whale pictures, and some coral reef and ocean seascapes,” explains Rosanne Shank, troop leader.
About a month later, Ms. Shank was informed that one of her girl scouts, Mikki Fujimoto, had won the contest. When the sea turtle booklets arrived at the end of October, Mikki's turtle was on the front cover with a picture and a note from Mikki on the inside cover. “I was thoroughly delighted and so proud of all the girls and of Mikki, the winner!” exclaims Shank. The booklet costs $4.95 plus tax and shipping; to order a copy call 912-635-4079.
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