Image: Percentage of carbon dioxide sequestered by the various species of trees the Cornell program outplanted this spring. Note that one ōhi‘a tree sequestered over 4% of the total carbon, and just five koa trees sequestered over 20% of the total carbon. Graph by Angelo Bardales.
For the last six weeks of their semester in Hawai‘i, students in the Cornell Earth and Environmental Systems Field Program fanned out across the island to work as interns for various public and private entities. The students got their hands dirty gathering and analyzing soil samples; studying the effects of sedimentation on nearshore coral reefs; helping visitors to master proper reef “etiquette” before snorkeling; surveying the succession of species which repopulate burned areas after a wildfire; studying the activity of the vent at Halema‘uma‘u since it opened last March; participating in the intensive process of caring for and training the 12 dolphins at Dolphin Quest Hawai‘i’s Waikoloa site; reviewing public comments on an EIS (environmental impact statement) for the largest open ocean aquaculture project ever proposed in the waters off Kawaihae; tracking legislation being voted on by the Hawai‘i County Council; and carefully calculating their own carbon footprint by counting everything from their propane usage to the volume of local foods they consumed during their five months on the island.
As the students depart for home, they leave a legacy of good will and good work behind them. In addition to planting over 300 trees, shrubs, and other native plants in the forests of Kohala and Kona, the students developed new display boards for the ReefTeach program, compiled data on soil fertility for Hawai‘i Preparatory Academy’s Go Green initiative, and gathered valuable baseline data for use by local organizations that are working to preserve Hawai‘i’s watersheds, coral reefs, and dryland forests. At the end of the day, the students’ outplanting efforts sequestered four times as much carbon as they emitted in the course of their program. The Cornell group leaves Hawai‘i Island a little bit greener than when they arrived—what better lesson can any classroom anywhere teach them? Read more about the Cornell internships in " Ambassadors of Malama ‘Āina" on the back page.
Photo: Backstage at the 2008 Merrie Monarch Festival. (From left to right) Kathleen Kawelu, her mother Luana Kawelu, and her niece Kawena Kawelu.
When I first entered the field of archaeology, not many people in my community saw the benefits of such a discipline, and honestly, I didn’t fully grasp the potential initially either. However, this discipline has both academic and practical applications that can benefit Hawaiian communities. Like I tell young Hawaiians I speak with, archaeology is another means of looking at the Hawaiian past, and it’s a method of writing history, therefore the people practicing archaeology are writing Hawaiian history. If Hawaiians want to have a hand in writing our history, then participating in anthropology and archaeology is one way to do this.
—Dr. Kathleen Kawelu, 2008–2009 Mellon-Hawai‘i Postdoctoral Fellow
Kathleen Kawelu earned her Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley in May 2007. After graduating, she moved back home to Hawai‘i, where she secured a position as an assistant professor in anthropology at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (UHH). She will begin teaching courses at UHH this fall. Professor Peter Mills, Kathleen’s mentor for the Mellon-Hawai‘i Postdoctoral Fellowship, is the chair of the Anthropology Department at UHH, and he is spearheading an effort to create a master’s program in cultural resource management (CRM) archaeology there. Students in the UHH program will receive both academic and cultural training, in order to deepen their understanding of Hawaiian culture. Kathleen is looking forward to working with others to train this next generation of Hawaiian archaeologists. She believes that culturally sensitive archaeologists will recognize the importance of protecting significant sites and landscapes from irresponsible development, and that they will help to transform the practice of archaeology in Hawai‘i. Read more about Kathleen’s life and work in “Finding a Sense of Purpose” on the back page.
The Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellowship Program was established in 2008. Dr. Kathleen Kawelu was among the first cohort of scholars who received year-long fellowships to support their academic work in Hawaiian cultural and natural environments, or Hawaiian history, politics, and society. The 2009–2010 cohort of Mellon-Hawai‘i Fellows has recently been selected. Read the next story for details.
As someone who grew up in Hawai‘i, I had difficulty fully understanding the Hawaiian history that I was being taught at school. It somehow didn’t make sense to me, and I couldn’t retain it. It felt foreign to me. And it turns out that the history I was being taught actually is a ‘foreign’ view of Hawai‘i’s history, and the Mellon-Hawai‘i scholars are now uncovering a whole different perspective, an indigenous perspective. The Mellon Fellows are bilingual scholars who are steeped in Hawaiian intellectual traditions. By referring back to original sources and by interpreting them through a rigorous understanding of Hawaiian interpretive traditions, these scholars are helping to rewrite Hawaiian history. What I once experienced as foreign is now finally beginning to make sense to me.
—Matt Hamabata, Executive Director, The Kohala Center
The Kohala Center is pleased to announce the second cohort of Mellon-Hawai‘i Fellows for 2009–2010. We congratulate the following Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows:
Photo: Dr. Ku‘ualoha Ho‘omanawanui signing books at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Women's History Month Colloquium on March 13, 2006.
Ku‘ualoha Ho‘omanawanui, Postdoctoral Fellow, Ph.D. in English (2007), Department of English, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. Dissertation title: “Pele's Appeal: Mo‘olelo [myth], Kaona [metaphor], and Hulihia [resistance] in 'Pele and Hi‘iaka' Literature (1860–1928)”
Photo: Karin Ingersoll helping to remove invasive, non-native limu, or marine algae, in Maunalua Bay. Working beside her are other volunteers with Mālama Maunalua, as well as students from Hālau Kū Māna. The predominant limu in this area is called avrainvillea amadelpha, or mud weed, which grows over and smothers coral reefs and native limu communities, killing extensive areas of native habitat.
Karin Na‘auali‘u Amimoto Ingersoll, Postdoctoral Fellow, Ph.D. Candidate (Ph.D. to be awarded in summer 2009) in political science, Department of Political Science, University of Hawai‘i. Dissertation title: "Seascape Epistemology: Decolonization within Hawai‘i's Neocolonial Surf Tourism Industry"
Photo: Ms. Kauanoe Kamanā with third grade students practicing reading in Hawaiian at Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u.
Kauanoe Kamanā, Doctoral Fellow, earning a Ph.D. in Hawaiian language and indigenous language and culture revitalization at the College of Hawaiian Language, the University of Hawai‘i Hilo. Dissertation title: “Ke Ō O Ka ‘Ike Ku‘una Ma O Ka Mo‘oki‘ina Ho‘oponopono Ma Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahāokalani‘ōpu‘u: Living Traditional Culture through the Contemporary Application of the Conflict Resolution System, Mo‘oki‘ina Ho‘oponopono, at Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u School”
Dr. Dennis Gonsalves of the Mellon-Hawai‘i Fellowship Selection Committee notes, “The Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows selected last year were outstanding and are doing great. This year, the pool of outstanding candidates was even larger and the competition tougher. I have great expectations for the incoming Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral and Postdoctoral Fellows! It does my soul good and proud to see such outstanding Hawai‘i people being selected.”
Hands on the Pulse of the Bay
Photo: Chip Kull, Samantha Birch, Lisa Bidinosti, and Caroline Neary collecting samples to be tested for nutrients. Chip and Sam are making observations on data sheets, Lisa is reading the YSI, and Caroline is holding the probe and water samples.
Tuesdays and Saturdays are water quality monitoring days at Kahalu‘u Bay. Armed with newly acquired high-tech instruments, teams of Citizen Scientists have begun biweekly collecting and testing of water samples from six different sites around the bay. These trained volunteers are using sophisticated tools to measure temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, and water clarity in the samples. The new tools enable volunteers to accurately measure physical and chemical parameters of water samples almost instantaneously. Samples will undergo further analysis for additional dissolved nutrients on a quarterly basis, at the NELHA (Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority) labs.
The Kohala Center’s (TKC) Citizen Science Project is made possible through generous support from the Environmental Protection Agency and assistance from NELHA. The goal of the project is to involve volunteers in monitoring the health of our marine environment, to train them to understand what the data they collect means, and to make their data available to the public online. “Kahalu‘u has been the center of a human community for at least 800 years,” explains Caroline Neary, the assistant outreach and volunteer coordinator for TKC. “Residences, businesses, transportation networks, golf courses, and new construction all impact water quality. Working closely with the Hawai‘i Department of Health and our partners at NELHA, we have identified a few, relatively basic characteristics of the water that we can measure to inform the community and decision makers on the health and resiliency of our ecosystem,” says Caroline.
New volunteers are always welcome. To learn more about the Citizen Science program, contact Caroline Neary at 808-345-0238 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read more about why it’s important to monitor the quality of the water in Kahalu‘u Bay in “Monitoring the Health of Kahalu‘u Bay” on the back page.
A Very Cool Farm Tour
Photo: Hamakua Springs Country Farms encompasses 600 acres, some of which are planted in bananas, some in hydroponic vegetables, and some are rented to area farmers. Approximately 60 workers and three generations of the Ha family work on the farm. Photo copyright Macario 2009.
Come visit us and let’s talk about sustainability. We're putting in a hydroelectric generator that will take us off the electrical grid. And we are raising tilapia, utilizing spring water, and experimenting to see if the fish will eat bananas. The waste from the fish runs into our reservoir and fertilizes the hydroponic vegetables. We have other ideas, too, that we can talk about during your visit.
—Richard Ha, Hamakua Springs Country Farms
Richard Ha and his wife June operate Hamakua Springs Country Farms (formerly Kea‘au Bananas). This Hāmākua Coast farm produces tomatoes, lettuce, cucumbers, and other specialty vegetables for island markets, restaurants, and top local chefs. From 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, members of The Kohala Center’s Circle of Friends are invited to tour Hamakua Springs Country Farms and enjoy lunch with Richard and June Ha. Richard will discuss alternative energy use and his efforts to create a zero-waste system, partly by integrating fish into farm operations, in response to rising energy costs.
Richard is a director on The Kohala Center’s Board and the Hawai‘i Island Economic Development Board. Richard is an advocate for Hawai‘i’s farmers and for self-sufficiency with regard to renewable energy and food security in the islands. Visit the farm’s Web site or enjoy Richard’s very active blog.
To register, call 808-887-6411 or download the registration form, then mail or fax completed forms to: The Kohala Center, P.O. Box 437462, Kamuela, Hawai‘i 96743; fax 808-885-6707.
A Special Mahalo (Thank You) to Friends and Volunteers
Photo: Matt Hamabata, Wally Lau of the Mayor's Office, Cindi Punihaole and Debera Crosson of The Kohala Center (from left to right) share a happy moment with Dr. Earl Bakken. Photo by Randy Magnus.
“That's a crowd we like to hang with!” Keith Olson said in reference to the many volunteers and Friends of The Kohala Center who enjoyed Sunset on the Bay, the annual Mahalo Party held at Gussie and John Pace’s Bay House on Keauhou Bay on Saturday, May 2.
"You can tell a lot about an organization by the people who populate it. It appears from my limited perspective at the Mahalo Party that I was surrounded by caring, big-hearted people who have defined goals and can achieve desirable results,” said Olson, Water Quality Laboratory Manager at Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawai‘i Authority and who partners with The Kohala Center on the new Citizen Science Project at Kahalu‘u.
“My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed the company, food, and entertainment! We also were able to bump into people we have not seen in a while, so on a personal level it was very fruitful,” Olson added.
Indeed! The annual Mahalo Party is a great event to meet people, reconnect with old friends, and just relax and have fun. It’s the Center’s way of saying mahalo nui loa (thank you very much) to its many volunteers and Circle of Friends for taking such good care of Hawai‘i Island’s natural and cultural landscape.
Read more guest comments in “Giving from Their Hearts” on the back page.
A Finger on Our Heartbeat
Visit The Kohala Center’s new Twitter account at http://twitter.com/Kohala_Center for daily updates on what’s new with TKC. Enjoy!
Subscribe to Kalei Tsuha's Hawaiian Moon Calendar.
Please click here and then send from your e-mail. Mahalo!