HFIA Announces “Growing Koa in Hawai’i Nei” Symposium 2012

The Hawai’i Forest Industry Association (HFIA), in conjuntion with a group of community leaders, will present the “Growing Koa in Hawai’i Nei” Symposium, which will be held on Hawai’i Island Friday and Saturday November 16th & 17th, 2012.

Presentations will take place on Friday, November 16th in the Ohia Room at Kilauea Military Camp (KMC) in Volcanos National Park from 9:00 am-5:00 pm followed by a Pau Hana Reception from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.  A field trip to Keauhou Ranch, Ka’u is scheduled for Saturday, November 17th from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Dr. Charles Michler

Keynote speaker Dr. Charles Michler, Director of both the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC) at Purdue University and the Tropical HTIRC in Hawai’i, will present his topic “The Right Koa for You”.  Dr. Michler leads the strategic planning for hardwood research and development of nine principal scientists at Purdue University. The HTIRC, with staff totaling over 58 U.S. Forest Service and Purdue University employees and an annual budget of over $5.5 million, has been publishing over 90 papers a year.

Currently, Dr. Michler is Site Director of the National Science Foundation Industry University Cooperative Research Center, Center for Advanced Forestry Systems. Over Dr. Michler’s career, he has produced over 184 publications, ranging from refereed papers, proceedings, popular articles, and reports.  He has shared in grants over $5.8 million, of which over $2.8 million went towards his research. Dr. Michler has been instrumental in procuring four endowments on Purdue’s behalf, totaling $39.8 million.

Presentations by leading experts in koa research and management will present on the following topics:

  • Who’s Growing Koa and How Many Acres are Involved?
  • Low Elevation Research Progress; Silvicultural Practices to Improve Form and Branching
  • Koa Case Studies
  • Plantation Establishment Techniques
  • Improvement Efforts to Date: Hawai’i Tree Improvement Research Center
  • Recent Koa Research
  • Koa Establishment and Management.

The Keauhou Ranch field trip will include visits to a 1987 koa stand (thinning trial); a 1978 koa stand (crop tree thinning); a 7 year and younger koa plantation; a spacing trial, and a 3 to 6 year old koa plantation.Maps and topics of discussion will be provided at each stop.

The Koa Symposium Committee is encouraging students, land managers, farmers, ranchers, policymakers, government agencies, community groups, educators, and the general public to attend the symposium.  The deadline to register in October 31.  Visit the symposium webpage at http://hawaiiforest.org/index.php/article/2012_Koa_Symposium to register and learn more about the symposium and tour, committee members, and sponsorship opportunities and benefits.

Mahalo to symposium sponsors County of Hawai’i Department of Research & Development, Tropical Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center, Awapuhi Farms & Mill, Hawaii Forest & Trail, Mike Robinson, and Heather and Peter Simmons.

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