A New Day in Hawai‘i
Photo: Guy Kaulukukui.
As a new year begins, The Kohala Center (TKC) bids a fond aloha to Guy Kaulukukui, who was recently appointed by Governor Neil Abercrombie to the position of Deputy Director of the Department of Land and Natural Resources. “I know that we will all be missing Guy’s extraordinarily good work as TKC’s Associate Director for Strategic Partnerships, but I think you will also agree with me that his leadership skills will be greatly appreciated by all of us who look forward to a future of sustained abundance for the State of Hawai‘i,” writes TKC Executive Director Matt Hamabata.
Guy assumed his new position this month, and he shared these thoughts with us before departing:
“I was impressed by Abercrombie’s commitment to increasing local food production and to gaining control over the introduction of invasive species. This kind of talk was refreshing to hear from someone who aspired to lead our state and it resonated with so much of what we do at TKC. I was even more inspired when I saw these commitments spelled out in his ‘A New Day in Hawai‘i’ Comprehensive Plan. The Governor’s position regarding the natural environment (see plan excerpt below) reflects service through proper stewardship, and he believes that a strong economy is based on sustainable consumption of our natural resources.
“As Deputy Director of DLNR, I would like to make sure that the State has a policy in place to guarantee that local food production on public and (as much as possible) private lands is not compromised, at any point in the future, by the potential large-scale production of bio-fuel feed stocks. I’d also like to find ways to increase the funds available for the restoration of watersheds as a means of recharging our aquifers. I welcome the opportunity to serve our community while helping to develop policies that ensure the most appropriate and pono (just) use of our natural resources.
“TKC is the smartest organization I have ever worked for, and all of the staff are high functioning, motivated, energetic, and interesting people to be around. It's these people I will miss most. At TKC I had fun while working on important and meaningful projects for our island, and I had the chance to work with individuals and communities around the island that are actively working to ensure that we are able to live a sustainable lifestyle in Hawai‘i.”
Cornell EES: The Next Generation
By Alexandra Moore, Program Director
Photo: (from front to back and left to right) Professor Lou Derry, Ciara Chambers, Robert Levine, Jacqui Yost, Liz Ceperley, Dylan Webster, Mike Augustin, Matt Hamabata (TKC Executive Director), Meagan Mnich, Claire McKinley, Mindy Anthony, Trinity Boisvert, Professor Alexandra Moore, Cindi Punihaole (TKC Outreach Coordinator), Claire Derry, Kourtney Reynolds, Matt Connelly, Alex Huth, Carl Greiner, and Nikiforos Delatolas.
In 2011, the Cornell Earth and Environmental Systems (EES) Field Program welcomes 13 new students to experience life and learning on Hawai‘i Island. Students and faculty engage in a semester of hands-on project-based study of the environment, in the amazing outdoor laboratory that the island provides. The Cornell program is hosted by TKC with the collaborative mission to inspire stewardship of the Earth though first-hand experience with the power—and fragility—of Earth’s interconnected systems. Faculty from the Mainland and Hawai‘i Island work at the intersection of indigenous and western scientific traditions to explore terrestrial and marine ecosystems and their conservation.
The EES Field Program enrolls undergraduate students with an interest in environmental science from any college or university. This year, students from Cornell, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Boston University, and Beloit College will move into our “campus,” located at HPA. As we work to create a new EES ‘ohana (family) this year, we are especially pleased that our group includes two younger siblings of students who have participated in the program in the past.
In the face of global climate change, the EES ‘ohana is committed to creating a carbon-neutral program—a goal we accomplished for the first time in 2009. Students tally all of the primary emissions from program activities, including their air travel, ground travel, domestic gas and electricity use, food, and waste. While reducing emissions is the best means of achieving carbon-neutrality, those emissions that cannot be eliminated are offset by planting trees. Working with two partners, the Dryland Forest Working Group at Ka‘ūpūlehu and the Kohala Watershed Partnership, EES faculty and students have now outplanted 800 native trees and shrubs. When mature, these trees will sequester fossil-fuel-derived carbon for hundreds to thousands of years, and they will help to restore degraded dryland forest ecosystems in West Hawai‘i. In 2011, we will continue to tabulate our emissions and outplant native tree species, and we will monitor the areas we helped to re-forest in 2009 and 2010 in order to assess the rate of growth and actual carbon storage capacity of Hawaiian forest ecosystems. Learn more about the EES Program at http://www.geo.cornell.edu/hawaii/.
Preserving His Native Tongue
Photo: Keao in Miloli‘i, Kaua‘i, on an assessment and research mission with Nāpali Coast ‘Ohana: Summer 2009. In this photo, Keao is standing on the foundation of the pili grass house that was taken in the early 1900s and re-erected in Hawai‘i Hall at the Bishop Museum.
The most driving thought of mine as I pursue my Ph.D. is how exactly I can support my home community in Kekaha, Kaua‘i, and help ensure that the language of native speakers of Hawaiian continues in as true a form to the original as possible as it is taught to Hawaiian language learners.
—Keao NeSmith, 2010 Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral Fellow
Hawaiian scholar Keao NeSmith is currently a doctoral candidate in applied linguistics at the University of Waikato in Hamilton, New Zealand. His doctoral dissertation is “The Teaching and Learning of Hawaiian Language and Culture in Public High Schools and Tertiary Level Schools in Hawai‘i: Issues Relating to Linguistic and Cultural Continuity and Discontinuity.” The main question driving his doctoral thesis is how Hawaiian is being taught in classrooms today and what the best methods are for teaching second languages. NeSmith’s mentor is Winifred H. Crombie, Ph.D., Associate Professor (Language and Language Education), School of Māori and Pacific Development (SMPD), Te Pua Wānanga ki te Ao, University of Waikato in New Zealand. “The main focus of Keao’s research is the teaching and learning of Hawaiian language and culture, but his findings thus far are likely to have very important implications for the teaching and learning of indigenous languages throughout the world,” says Crombie.
Read “Revolutionizing the Teaching and Learning of Hawaiian” by Keao NeSmith on the Back Page. For more information about the Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program, visit http://kohalacenter.org/mellon/about.html.
The Land, the Sea, Culture, & Fun
Photo: A group of 2010 BELL Hawai‘i students at Ka‘ūpūlehu pulling fountain grass.
Kekai Edens (center) was a Hawai‘i Island scholarship recipient.
The BELL program had an amazing staff that pulled and tied together every part of the brain, the land, the sea, culture, fun, and social interactions. The experience changed my life, and I made friends from all around the world in just one week! —Noa Eads, 2010 BELL Hawai‘i scholarship recipient and currently a freshman at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo
“Noa was really inspired by the BELL program,” said his mother, Calley O’Neill. “He came home and said he had not realized that HE could be a leader. Since that experience, Noa has set his sights on leading the way to self sufficiency and ecological restoration for Hawai‘i Island.”
Island high school students are invited to join teens from across the country for a week-long outdoor adventure and an outstanding environmental leadership program—the Brown Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL) on Hawai‘i Island in April. The Kohala Center and Brown University are offering a full scholarship for one student to attend BELL Hawai‘i from April 15–22. This select national leadership program integrates the development of leadership skills with outstanding opportunities for high school students to study the biology, ecology, and cultural traditions of Hawai‘i Island.
Students spend the week meeting with cultural practitioners to learn about the culture and history of the island, participating in the restoration of native forests, exploring the geological wonders of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, kayaking, camping near the ocean, and learning about coral reef ecology and management. In addition to providing incredible adventures and experiences, the program gives students a chance to identify and develop their group building and leadership skills.
For more program details, visit the BELL Web site, http://brown.edu/ce/pre-college/leadership/hawaii/program.php. Monday, January 31, is the deadline to submit all application materials directly to The Kohala Center. Application materials can be downloaded at http://www.kohalacenter.org/scholarships/bellhi.html or are available from The Kohala Center, 808- 887-6411. Hawai‘i Island students applying for this scholarship do not need to pay the deposit or application fee.
Seeking Environmental Leaders
Photo: Alyssa Evans (far left) returns from quahogging in Narrangansett Bay. Quahogs are the largest of the hard-shelled clams and are used in chowder, steamed, boiled, baked, stuffed, or just eaten raw.
BELL is an incredible program. We learned about the different components of environmental studies, including cultural values, government policies, and environmental research. I enjoyed being able to connect with so many different people and discuss such important topics with them. Not only did we learn about the environment, but also about how to be a good leader or person in general. BELL was a lot of fun, and if I could do it again, I would. —Alyssa Evans, 2010 BELL Rhode Island scholarship recipient and currently a senior at HPA
The Kohala Center and Brown University are offering two full-tuition scholarships to qualified high school students to attend the Brown University Environmental Leadership Lab (BELL) Sustainable Development Program in Providence, Rhode Island, this summer. Recipients must cover their own travel costs.
Photo: Making new friends at the BELL Rhode Island ropes course.
In the program, students learn how human demands on the environment can compromise the long-term health of ecosystems that exist to sustain us. Students develop the leadership necessary for tackling environmental problems within their communities. They also learn about policies, practices, and emerging technologies that help to reduce human ecological impact. Students are mentored by Brown faculty and graduate and undergraduate students. For two-week sessions, students will live at the university’s Haffenreffer estate, a 372-acre historic farm adjacent to Narragansett Bay, which is among the most diverse and biologically productive ecosystems on earth.
Students can choose one of three separate sessions:
- June 27–July 8
- July 11–July 22
- July 25–August 5
For program details, visit the BELL Web site, http://www.brown.edu/ce/pre-college/catalog/course.php?id=40. Application materials can be downloaded at http://www.kohalacenter.org/scholarships/bellri.html or are available from The Kohala Center, 808- 887-6411. The application deadline is February 25. The application must include an official school transcript and a one-page essay describing what you hope to learn during this course. Hawai‘i Island students applying for this scholarship do not need to pay the deposit or application fee.
Engineering: A Passionate Pursuit at Cornell
Photo: Some of the 2010 CATALYST Academy scholars on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York. Photo courtesy of Roya Sabri.
As students of the CATALYST Academy, we were able to work with a distinguished professor and his teaching assistants on a variety of electrical engineering projects. By the end of the week, my group had created an efficient solar charger and had presented it to our peers. Not only was I able to experience engineering first-hand, but I was also able to network with fascinating students at Cornell and brilliant students from all over the country who have now become my friends. Imagine being able to pursue a passion in the most ethereal campus in the country. It is now a dream of mine to pursue my education at Cornell. —Roya Sabri, 2010 CATALYST Academy scholarship recipient and currently a senior at Kealakehe High School
The Kohala Center invites high school students to apply for scholarships to the CATALYST and CURIE academies’ summer residential engineering programs hosted by Diversity Programs in Engineering at Cornell University.
The CATALYST Academy is a one-week residential engineering program for high school freshman, sophomore, and junior boys and girls who share a strong interest in engineering and its related disciplines. From July 17–23, participating students engage in classes, lab sessions, and research projects led by the university’s faculty and graduate students on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York. Additional social events, panel discussions, and field activities provide students with opportunities to network with Cornell faculty, staff, and university students. Scholarship applicants for CATALYST Academy must be current freshman, sophomores, and juniors with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
Photo: Roya Sabri’s group created this circuit board for their solar charger. Photo courtesy of Roya Sabri.
The CURIE Academy, also July 17–23, is a one-week residential engineering program for high school girls who excel in math and science. The focus is on sophomores and juniors who may not have had prior exposure to the study engineering, but who would like to learn more about the many opportunities in engineering in an interactive atmosphere. Cornell University's world-renowned faculty and graduate students will lead CURIE participants in classes, lab sessions, and project-based research. Social events, panel discussions, and other out-of-classroom activities will provide participants with opportunities to network informally with Cornell faculty, staff, and students. Current freshman, sophomore, and junior girls with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale are eligible to apply to the CURIE Academy.
Interested students may apply for either program online at the Cornell University Diversity Programs Web site, http://www.engineering.cornell.edu/curie and http://www.engineering.cornell.edu/catalyst.
The Kohala Center is offering full tuition scholarships for qualified island students. Applicants may apply for one or both of the programs. Two scholarships will be awarded. Recipients must cover their own travel costs. The scholarship application deadline is February 25. Visit http://www.kohalacenter.org/scholarships/catalyst.html to learn more and apply for a CATALYST Academy scholarship. Visit http://www.kohalacenter.org/scholarships/curie.html to learn more and apply for a CURIE Academy scholarship.
Making Academic Connections
Never has it been so important to spark the imagination of our young students through participatory research and science. The goal of our program is to connect select high school students with UCSD by providing hands-on college subject matter courses. Program participation provides students with the opportunity to experience life and learning at a top-ranked research university, located in the beautiful San Diego area, or at our new location on the Island of Hawai‘i. —Dr. Edward Abeyta, Director of K–16 Programs at UC San Diego (UCSD) Extension
The Kohala Center is excited about its newly formed partnership with the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). Staff from UCSD visited the island in December to meet with Kohala Center staff and explore potential sites for a new field-based Global Environmental Leadership and Sustainability Program. This island-based program is a part of UCSD’s Academic Connections. One-week sessions are planned from August 7–14 and from August 17–24. High school students from around the country are invited to apply for these sessions, which are based on Hawai‘i Island. Expert staff from UCSD and The Kohala Center will lead a group of 25 students on an exploration of the island, to learn about the remarkable ecosystems and culture of Hawai‘i. Each session includes a tour of Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park, a visit to the dry forest, and camping and marine science activities at Kalaemano Interpretative Center in Ka‘ūpūlehu. The application deadline is June 10, 2011. For more information and application information, please see http://www.kohalacenter.org/ucsdhawaii/about.html.
Photo: If there’s one thing that kids and parents agree on, it’s that San Diego is an exciting place to have their first pre-college experience. Whether you're an aspiring playwright, oceanographer, or robotics engineer, this seaside city offers an amazing array of sites and sounds, starting right on the UCSD campus. Image and caption courtesy of http://academicconnections.ucsd.edu/about/san-diego.cfm.
The Kohala Center and UCSD have also partnered to offer a new residential scholarship opportunity for Hawai‘i Island high school students this summer. Highly motivated students in grades 9–12 are invited to apply for a three-week pre-college summer academic and residential experience at UCSD. From July 10–30, students enroll in courses taught by UCSD graduate students or work side-by-side with world-renowned UCSD researchers in their labs on specific projects. Academic Connections gives students a feel for academic life at a university and provides multiple opportunities for students to network with their peers from around the country.
For program details, visit the Academic Connections Web site, http://academicconnections.ucsd.edu/. UCSD and The Kohala Center are offering one full-tuition scholarship, which will provide funding for the selected recipient to attend the Academic Connections program in San Diego. The scholarship recipient must cover their own travel costs. The application deadline is March 25. Application materials are available at http://www.kohalacenter.org/scholarships/connections.html or from The Kohala Center, 808- 887-6411.
Photo: A regular Crop Share participant harvests a leek from Mala‘ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School.
Depending on the season, the fruit trees in our backyards are overflowing with food, more than we can consume. The goal of the Crop Share is to gather this abundance and distribute it to families in the community. If families are unable to attend a Saturday Crop Share, the food will still reach them through Waimea-based food banks and through Mala‘ai: The Culinary Garden of Waimea Middle School. We want everyone to feel welcome, regardless of their ability to bring something to share. —Nicole Milne, Crop Share Project Coordinator
The Kohala Center extends a warm mahalo to the individuals and families who have been gathering food from their communities and participating every week. A guaranteed supply of fresh fruit and vegetables from Crop Share participants has enabled us to consistently supply the food banks and Mala‘ai Garden students with fresh produce. In fall 2010, the Crop Share accepted over 1,000 pounds of produce and donated approximately 550 pounds of food to the Annunciation Church in Waimea, and Crop Share participants swapped over 400 pounds of food.
We welcome everyone to join in the weekly Crop Shares, which take place every Saturday through the end of May, from 12:30 to 3:00 p.m., at Mala‘ai Garden at Waimea Middle School. Folks are not limited to dropping off food on a Crop Share Saturday; food to share can be delivered at anytime and placed in the cooler between the tool sheds in the garden. If you need assistance harvesting your fresh fruits and vegetables or delivering your produce to the Crop Share, we can help! Please contact Nicole Milne at 808-987-9210 or via e-mail at email@example.com to arrange for Crop Share volunteers and staff to assist you.
Photo: Waimea Middle School 6th graders enjoying guacamole wrapped in lettuce leaves and coconut water. Avocadoes and coconuts were provided by Crop Share participants. Thank you for your donations!.
The Crop Share invites everyone to attend the following free gardening workshops at the Mala‘ai site:
- Saturday, January 29, 9:00–11:00 a.m.
Sustainable Pollination with Natural Bee Keeping Practices
Presenter: Jenny Bach
An informative discussion and demonstration on honey bees and their importance for agricultural health and sustainability.
- Saturday, February 12, 10:00 a.m.–Noon
The Scoop on the Coop: Raising Chickens in Your Backyard
Presenters: Ben and Deb Discoe
Chicken 101 class, including tips on local vegetation and backyard garden products you can feed your chickens.
- Saturday, April 2, 10:00 a.m.–Noon
Presenter: Dr. Norman Arancon
Learn how to establish a worm composting system for your home or garden.
The Kohala Center recently received additional funding for the project from Kaiser Permanente, which will enable our staff to purchase more coolers, add ten new Crop Share dates, and expand their public relations efforts and ultimately provide more fresh fruits and vegetables to individuals and families in our community.
“Non-monetary exchange markets, where no money changes hands, can serve as distribution channels for surplus backyard produce, and provide a welcoming environment where residents can share and trade community resources,” says Milne. “The Crop Share program is designed to take advantage of Hawai‘i’s year-round growing season and aloha spirit; it is a unique program that I hope will catch on across the state,” she adds.
Very Rare and Endangered
Photo: Dave Faucette, Waikoloa Dry Forest Recovery Project Manager, standing next to an uhiuhi tree. The Waikoloa Dry Forest is home to 13 of these trees. Photo courtesy of Kathy Frost.
As little as 20 years ago, few people knew of the dry forest remnant that existed approximately one mile southwest of Waikoloa Village on Hawai‘i Island. The dry forest landscape had been decimated by decades of grazing, invasive plants, wildfires, and damaging insects—95% of the native dry forests have been destroyed. Few people knew of the extent of the wiliwili population scattered across this landscape, and probably less than a handful knew of the existence of the very rare uhiuhi trees, which are listed by the federal government as endangered. Today, it is estimated that less than 30 uhiuhi remain in the wild.
How are prolonged drought and climate change affecting Hawaiian dry forests? Come to the 5th annual Nāhelehele Dry Forest Symposium and hear native plant experts from around the state discuss the effects of climate change on Hawaiian dry forests, the battle for water and other resources in native forests invaded by introduced plants, and the current status of dry forest restoration efforts. Learn more about restoration efforts at Auwahi (Maui), the Waikoloa Dry Forest Recovery Project, and the Palamanui dry forest. The 2011 Nāhelehele Dry Forest Symposium will be held on Friday, February 25, at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Learn more about this year’s Nāhelehele Symposium on the Back Page.
A Garden at Every School
Photo: Representative Denny Coffman and Principal Jessica Yamazawa join our Kaiser Doctors for a satisfying end-of-day photo at Kahakai Elementary School Garden.
On Monday, January 17, Martin Luther King Day, Kaiser Permanente in Hawai‘i closed its clinics, and Kaiser doctors, staff, and their families joined the community to help build school gardens. This year, 169 volunteers worked at three School Gardens: Kahakai Elementary School in Kona, the Mala‘ai Culinary Garden of the Waimea Middle School, and the Hilo High School Garden. We are deeply grateful to these health care providers for taking time to connect to our food, the land, and our children. The links between diet and lifestyle and childhood obesity and related diseases are clear. Hands-on nutritional and garden-based education inspires our children to enjoy a healthier life, to reconnect with the gifts of the land, and to find meaning in their learning.
The Kohala Center has a dream that someday soon there will be a school garden program in every school on Hawai‘i Island. If you would like to help us achieve that dream, please consider volunteering for a school garden program near you. Visit www.kohalacenter.org/HISGN/volunteer.html to learn more.
Smart by Nature Presentations Now Online
Photo: Sowing the seeds for a new educational paradigm at Mala‘ai Culinary Garden.
Garden enthusiasts and supporters of the school garden movement can now view presentations on all aspects of school gardening—including food, culture, health, and environment—online at The Kohala Center’s Web site, http://www.kohalacenter.org/smartbynature/about.html.
The presentations were given this summer during a conference for school garden and classroom teachers from around the state entitled “Smart by Nature: Growing a School Garden Curriculum.” The goal of the conference, held at Mala‘ai Culinary Garden of the Waimea Middle School, was to develop a school garden curriculum that is relevant both today and tomorrow. Staff from the Center for Ecoliteracy in Berkeley, California, partnered with the Hawai‘i Island School Garden Network (HISGN) to interweave their “Big Ideas” school garden curriculum and their “Smart By Nature” school sustainability work into a practical hands-on workshops for garden teachers. Presenters from the Center for Ecoliteracy included Executive Director Zenobia Barlow, Director of Education Carolie Sly, and Creative Director Karen Brown. Also presenting were school garden leaders from O‘ahu and Hawai‘i Island.
To learn more about the conference and see photos, visit the HISGN blog at The Kohala Center’s Web site at http://kohalacenter.org/schoolgardensblog/?p=154. For additional information about HISGN, contact Nancy Redfeather, program director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 322-2801.
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