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Hawaii Recovers $130,367 in Prevailing Wages for Work Done on UH Hilo College of Hawaii Language Building

The Hawaii State Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DLIR) today announced it has assessed Tradewind Plastering and Drywall, Inc. a total of $143,000. $130,367 is for wages owed to construction workers, with $13,037 added for penalties. Tradewind Plastering and Drywall, Inc. was a subcontractor of Jacobsen Construction Co., Inc. on the University of Hawaii at Hilo College of Hawaii Language Building construction project.

tradewind-drywallThe most costly of the violations was underpaying construction workers by misclassifying them as apprentices, and paying lower apprentice wages, with no registered apprenticeship in evidence. This was in violation of Hawaii’s prevailing wage law covering public works construction.

“Our State prevailing wage law intends that all construction contractors bid on a “level playing field” with regard to labor costs,” said DLIR Director Linda Chu Takayama. “Bids are to be won because of better, more efficient contracting methods, rather than by pushing down the standard of living for Hawaii’s workers.”

Director Takayama explained, “This is a different sort of misclassification from the case at the presumptive Holiday Inn Express at the Maile Sky Court. In that case, workers were wrongly misclassified as independent contractors, and protections and benefits required for employees were not provided. In this case, workers were classified as lower paid apprentices, but there was no registered apprenticeship. In both types of cases, law-abiding bidders face unfair competition, and the workers lose.”

DLIR also notes that it recently recovered wages for hair salon workers who were paid nothing for work performed. They were labelled as apprentices, and kept off-the-books for employment purposes. DLIR has been working with the Hawaii State Department of Commerce and Consumer affairs to educate salon owners and workers on the matter.

UH Hilo Accepting Applications for Marine Science and Conservation Project

Applications are currently being accepted for the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Project Maʻa. The year-round Mānowai o Hanakahi project, funded by the National Marine Fisheries Service, provides up to 15 students marine conservation and outreach training.

manowai-o-hanakahi-projectHawai’i Island middle and high school students currently attending grades 8-12 are eligible to apply for the free program. The application deadline is Friday, November 11, 2016.

Activities will include field trips, mentored research projects and career pathway exposure beginning in mid-November and running until mid-May. A kick-off tide pooling event will be held on Sunday, November 6, from noon – 3 p.m. at Onekahakaha Beach Park, where more can be learned about the project.

For more information, to apply, or to RSVP for the tide pooling kickoff, call 933-0707, email hperry@hawaii.edu or visit http://stem.uhh.hawaii.edu/manowai.php.

Butchering and Curing Meat Class Coming to Hilo

The College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo offers a class in “The Art of Butchering and Curing Meat for Home Food Preservation” on Saturdays, November 19 and December 3, from 1 – 4 p.m. at The Kitchen, located at 615 Haihai Street in Hilo. Tuition is $80.

Porchetta

Porchetta

Chef Dean Shigeoka, co-founder of The Kitchen, will cover a wide range of topics, including meat dressing, salting, corning and aging. Shigeoka will also provide participants with an introduction to the craft of charcuterie as they make sausage and porchetta, corn their own beef, and taste samples. The instruction and hands-on experience will provide students with the basic skills needed to begin experimenting with home butchery and charcuterie.

For more information, disability accommodations, or to register, call CCECS at 932-7830 (V) or 932-7002 (TTY).

People’s Congress Tonight at UH Hilo

Leading non-profit and advocacy groups in Hawai‘i launched “The People’s Congress,” a new initiative to build a more just, fair and healthy future for Hawai`i. Working with organizations and individuals across the islands, this coalition seeks to end systemic barriers to justice with the launch of a “People’s Agenda” – a political and organizing strategy for lasting positive change in Hawaiʻi.

peoples-congressThe main launch event of The People’s Congress is a two-day statewide convention on December 2-4, 2016 in Honolulu, hosted by organizations and community leaders working across the islands on issues of social, economic, racial and environmental justice. Also, from October 19th – 27th, community forums will be held on each island to convene local leaders and gather input for the People’s Agenda.

Today, Thursday Oct. 27th, from 6pm-9pm in UCB 100 at UHH 200 W. Kawili St. Free parking on campus after 4pm. This event is free and will include some light pupus from local restaurants and farmers, feel free to bring something to share.

There will be food/refreshments at the event and free HAPA T-shirts for the first 15 people to sign-in.

The People’s Congress will provide an opportunity to engage in shared movement building and concrete action. More information is available at: https://www.facebook.com/PeoplesCongressHI. (Upcoming website address: www.PeoplesCongressHI.org)

People’s Congress Partner Organizations include Aikea Movement, Community Alliance on Prisons, Hawaiʻi Alliance for Progressive Action (HAPA), Hawaiʻi Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice, Hawaiʻi Center for Food Safety (HCFS), Hawai‘i People’s Fund, Hawai‘i SEED, Hawai‘i Teachers for Change Caucus, Hawai‘i’s Thousand Friends, Life of the Land, Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC), Sierra Club of Hawai`i, the Aloha ‘Aina Project, and Unite Here! Local 5 Union and Global HOPE.

Why Now? Hawai‘i residents are facing fundamental challenges: historic wealth inequality and a high cost of living, lack of affordable housing, an education system in crisis, and the 6th highest rate of poverty in the United States. And Hawai‘i’s lands and waters are at increasing risk: local funding for environmental protection is dropping as the climate crisis worsens; streams are diverted even as we face drought. Because Hawai`i imports 80% of our food and much of our energy, we are vulnerable to high food and energy prices, shortages in basic necessities, and unstable job markets. Hawaiʻi’s residents need fundamental change. That is why The People’s Congress will convene concerned citizens throughout the islands to focus on positive solutions to these long-standing problems.

“Hawai‘i Appleseed is excited to be a part of the People’s Congress because of its potential to bring together a strong, unified voice to address the most pressing issues facing Hawai‘i,” said Gavin Thornton, Co-Executive Director of the Hawai‘i Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. “So many of our residents struggle with high housing costs, low wages, inequitable tax burdens, and other widespread problems that threaten their ability to achieve economic stability and fulfill their potential.

The People’s Congress can help create a shared vision of a better Hawai‘i and raise the chorus for positive change.” Cade Watanabe, of Unite Here! Local 5 and Aikea Movement said, “We live in a Hawai`i that today provides less and less opportunity for Hawai‘i’s working families. The People’s Congress is an exciting opportunity for our members to connect, strategize and organize for a better Hawai‘i. It’s time for us to take back our community.” Tiare Lawrence, Project Coordinator for HAPA, and also a founder and community organizer for the Aloha `Āina Project, believes that the People’s Congress “will allow us the opportunity to build partnerships and help us help each other. I believe these partnerships will assist us in achieving our goals for a better Hawai‘i.”

Moses K.N. Haia, Executive Director for the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation (NHLC) said, “The People’s Congress represents cooperative and collaborative work which seeks proactive change for the benefit of the entire community. For NHLC, this initiative provides a partnership opportunity that will greatly assist with identifying the issues important to members of the larger community as a means of engaging in a collective effort to align those interests with the best interests of the Hawaiian community.”

The head of the Hawai`i “Teachers for Change” Caucus, Mireille Ellsworth, makes clear “we want to establish connections with activists on other issues that also affect our students, members and the larger community. Without developing shared understanding of the need for crosscutting solidarity in action, we will always be easily isolated and defeated.”

Marti Townsend, Director of Sierra Club of Hawai‘i said, “People’s Congress provides a unique opportunity for us to work together with others of like-mind and mission. The Sierra Club’s mission is to protect both the natural and human environment. To achieve this mission we need a fair and open government committed to serving the interests of the people, not corporations. We need a system that respects and includes all of us equally. We need a community united in our collective best interest to overcome the oppression and fear that dictates so much of our decisionmaking today.”

“There are so many good people working on important issues, from protecting our natural resources for future generations, to issues of homelessness, wealth inequality, open government, education and equal rights,” said Anne Frederick, Executive Director of HAPA. “We believe that if we come together through the People’s Congress to identify the barriers we face in common and illuminate the root causes of injustice we all face, that we (and our work) can be more powerful and effective.”

Entertainment Business Careers with CBS and Hawaiʻi Five-0

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Career Center hosts CBS On-Tour at Mānoa with two presentations, Student of the Business, November 2, and A Conversation with Hawaiʻi Five-0, November 3. Both presentations will be held in the UH Mānoa Art Auditorium at 3:30 p.m.

hawaii-5-0CBS On Tour is a community outreach program where CBS executives visit universities and junior colleges to speak with students about career opportunities in the entertainment industry. The program was created in 2011 to expose students in largely diverse regions/institutions about the vast occupational options available in entertainment. CBS On Tour, specifically, brings students awareness to the often overlooked career opportunities at CBS, focusing on positions in front of and behind the camera. The goal of this initiative is to create a direct pipeline for diverse individuals from academia to the professional world, and diversify the networks and studios on an executive level.

The speakers for Student of the Business are Tiffany Smith-Anoaʻi, executive vice president of entertainment diversity, inclusion and communications, and Jeanne Mau, vice president of entertainment diversity.

In A Conversation with Hawaiʻi Five-0, participants can get an inside look at the process of how an episode gets made.

  • What is involved in hiring the cast and crew.
  • How the storytelling comes to life.
  • Telling diverse stories that reflect the people of Hawaiʻi.
  • Insight on how to break into the business.

Panelists include:

  • Peter M. Lenkov, executive producer
  • Brian Spicer, co-executive producer and director
  • Rachel Sutton, casting director (Hawaiʻi)
  • Tiffany Smith-Anoaʻi, executive vice president of entertainment diversity, inclusion and communications will moderate.

Sign ups for the workshops are available here:  A Conversation with Hawaiʻi Five-0.

UH Hilo Announces Gilman Scholarship Recipients

Four students at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have been awarded the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship to study abroad:

  • Anayah Doi, a linguistics major, is studying at Hokkaido University in Japan
  • Sequoia Marks, a kinesiology and mathematics double major, is studying at Rikkyo University in Japan
  • Keith Nerida, a Japanese studies and computer science double major, is studying at Tokyo Gakugei University in Koganei, Japan
  • Marleena Sheffield, a linguistics major who is also working toward a Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) certificate, is studying at Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru in South America

benjamin-a-gilman-international-scholarshipThe Gilman scholarship program supports undergraduate students with high financial need and who are underrepresented in education abroad. This scholarship program provides the opportunity to better prepare U.S. students to assume significant roles in a globally interdependent world.

For further information, contact the Center for Global Education and Exchange at 932-7488 or email uhhglobe@hawaii.edu.

UH Hilo Appointment of Administrators

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Matthew Platz announces the appointment of two deanship positions following the UH Board of Regents meeting held today on O`ahu. The positions take effect November 1, 2016.

uh-hilo-monikerDr. Bruce Mathews has been appointed permanent dean of the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management. He previously served as acting dean from January – July 2012, then interim dean to present.

A 1986 graduate of UH Hilo, Mathews joined the University in 1993 as a Temporary Assistant Professor of Soils & Agronomy and became a tenure-track assistant professor two years later. His areas of research include plant nutrient cycling and soil fertility as affected by environmental conditions and crop management, assessment of the impact of agricultural and forestry production practices on soil, coastal wetlands, and surface waters, and the development of environmentally sound and economically viable nutrient management practices for pastures, forests, and field crops in the tropics.

He received an M.S. in agronomy from Louisiana State University and a Ph.D. in agronomy & soils from the University of Florida.

“As a graduate, faculty member and most recently interim dean, Bruce has unrivaled knowledge of this College, its mission, and its potential,” said Chancellor Don Straney. “I can think of no one else who better understands our responsibility to the community and the entire state of Hawaiʻi than Bruce Mathews.”

Dr. Drew Martin will serve as interim dean of the College of Business and Education. He joined UH Hilo in August 2004 and most recently served as professor of marketing. He has over 25 years of higher education teaching experience that spans three countries. Currently, he is also an affiliate faculty member of Daito Bunka University’s (Japan) Business Research Institute and the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa’s Center for Japanese Studies.

Martin received a B.A. and an MBA in business administration from Pacific Lutheran University, and an M.A. and a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa.

His intellectual contributions include extensive research on consumer behavior. He has published 65 research papers and book chapters.

“Drew is an intellectual heavyweight with an extensive professional background in business, government and academia,” Platz said. “His extensive research and publications have earned him international acclaim and numerous invitations to speak with emerging scholars on how to get their research published in leading academic journals.”

Farrah-Marie Gomes Appointed UH Hilo Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney today announced the appointment of Farrah-Marie Gomes as the University’s new permanent vice chancellor for student affairs following the UH Board of Regents meeting held today on O`ahu. The appointment is effective December 1, 2016.

uh-hilo-monikerGomes currently serves as interim associate vice president for student affairs for the UH System, a position she has held since April 1, 2016. Prior to that, she served as founding director of the North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center since its inception in 2006, and from 2011-2016, also served as interim dean of the College of Continuing Education and Community Service. She is active in numerous university and community committees.

Gomes received her B.A. in psychology and sociology from UH Hilo in 1998, Masters in counseling psychology from Chaminade University in Honolulu in 2000, and a Ph.D. in educational studies with a specialization in educational leadership and higher education from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln in 2016.

“Farrah is a dynamic leader who has effectively served our students and community in numerous administrative roles,” Straney said. “She also possesses tremendous energy, vision and a special capacity to connect with various constituencies, which will help the Division of Student Affairs serve the needs of our students.”

Gomes succeeds Interim Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Gail Makuakane-Lundin, who returns to the position of Executive Assistant to the Chancellor.

“We all deeply appreciate the outstanding and tireless job Gail has done as interim vice chancellor for student affairs,” Straney said. “I now look forward to her putting those same unique skills and versatility to work again as a member of my executive team.”

Big Island, UH Hilo to Host PWC Cross Country Championships

When the University of Hawai`i Hilo hosts the Pacific West Conference Cross Country Championships this Saturday (Oct. 22), one thing is certain… the course will be unlike any other that the teams have run on this season, or maybe ever.

uhh-xcThe jungle trail at Kamehameha School Hawai`i will feature grass, gravel, mud and likely, standing water. There will be a mixture of hill and flat. There could be rain, and it will be warm and humid.

In other words, this is no walk in the park.

“It is a true cross country course,” said Vulcan head coach Jaime Guerpo. “Other than the Hawaii schools that were here for our meet early in the year, this will be a new experience for everyone else. It’s a fair course, and it is challenging, which in my mind is perfect for a championship meet.”

14 schools will make their way to Hilo and Keaau, flying in from Utah, northern California, southern California and Oahu. 14 men’s teams will compete in the 7:30 a.m. race, and 12 women’s squads (including UHH) will run at 8:30 a.m.

In both races, California Baptist University is the defending champion. In fact, the Lancers have won the last five championships on the men’s side, and the last two trophies in the women’s race. Individually, 2015 PacWest champion Eileen Stressling from Azusa Pacific is back. The junior is running strong again this season and was named the PacWest Runner of the Week earlier in the month after crossing the line as the top Division II finisher at the Stanford Invitational.

CBU is ranked 17th nationally this week in the men’s NCAA Division II poll, with Academy of Art at No. 24. On the women’s side, the Lancers are No. 8 in this week’s national listing, with Point Loma at No. 16.

Hawai`i Hilo hosted the very first PacWest Cross Country Championships in 2006, on their campus. The conference was much smaller back then, but now nearly 250 student-athletes will race and many more coaches, administrators, parents and fans will travel to the Big Island for the event.

“We are pleased to host this event for a number of reasons,” said Vulcan athletic director Patrick Guillen. “We are excited to show off the Big Island to our fellow PacWest universities and we look forward to putting on a quality event. At the same time, these championships bring in significant tourism dollars to Hilo and the surrounding communities, and we feel privileged to partner with local businesses to help make this a great experience for all involved.”

Dr. Tam Vu, Chair of the UHH Business Administration and Economics department, confirmed that teams visiting Hilo bring in significant dollars.

“Between airfare, rental vehicles, hotel rooms, restaurants and shopping, there will be significant spending,” said Vu, who along with
Dr. Eric Im compiled the long-run impact for this event. “That includes spending in Oahu and the Big Island. The number on the Big Island can be estimated at over a half million dollars ($556,100) including the leakage spending due to the larger number of Big Island residents shopping in Oahu in the future, and with Oahu as the base for Hawaiian Airlines, their number is close to $400,000 ($390,700). That brings you close to a million dollars ($946,800) in long term impact.”

United Nations Official to Address Global Refugee Crisis at UH Hilo

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo observes United Nations Day with a public lecture by Robert Skinner, director of the United Nations Information Centre in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, October 25 at 2 p.m. in UCB Room 100. Skinner’s talk, entitled “Global Refugee Crisis: Finding a Way Forward,” will focus on the current crisis and discuss UN efforts to mitigate such crises.

Robert Skinner

Robert Skinner

Skinner was appointed to his current position by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on November 9, 2015. He previously held leadership positions in the United Nations Foundation New York Office as executive director and the United States Department of State as deputy spokesperson at the United States Mission to the United Nations in New York. He was also a public affairs officer for the United States Embassy in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

The talk is sponsored by the UNA-USA Hawaiʻi Chapter, the UH Hilo Political Science Department, and the UH Hilo International Student Services & Intercultural Education program.

For more information, contact Dr. Su-Mi Lee at 932-7127 or email sumilee@hawaii.edu.

Got Drugs? Drug Take-Back Booth Joins UH Hilo College of Pharmacy Health Fair

Student pharmacists from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy (DKICP) will be assisting the National Take-Back Initiative at DKICP’s 8th Annual Health Fair on Saturday, October 22, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m, at the Prince Kuhio Plaza. This is the first time the national event has coincided with DKICP’s health fair.

got-drugs-2016The purpose of the Prescription Take-Back booth is to turn in any unused or expired medications for safe, anonymous disposal. New or used needles and syringes will not be accepted.

The student pharmacists also hope to educate the general public about the potential for abuse of medications. In Hawai’i, more than 22,300 pounds of drugs have been safely collected and disposed. Nationwide, the take-backs have collected over 3,200 tons of pharmaceuticals.

The National Take-Back Initiative is a nationwide effort led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in partnership with the Department of Public Safety, Narcotics Enforcement Division and Department of the Attorney General, Crime Prevention and Justice Assistance Division.

For more information, contact Tracey Niimi at 932-7139.

Hawaii Innocence Project Event Will Test Reliability of Eyewitness Identification

Could you be a reliable eyewitness? Want to test your skills with some expert attorneys?

eyewitnees-identification

On Tuesday, October 4, 2016, in recognition of “International Wrongful Conviction Day,” the Hawai‘i Innocence Project will challenge audience members to see how well they can identify a possible suspect in a mock exercise at the UH Law School.

The program, titled “Eyewitness Identification,” is scheduled from 12 noon to 1:15 p.m. in Classroom 2.  Lunch is available in the courtyard; donations are welcome.  Similar programs are taking place across the nation and around the world.

“Eyewitness Identification” aims to demonstrate pitfalls in the standard technique that has been used in courtrooms for decades. Documentation has begun to show that faulty eyewitness identification accounts for as much as 75 percent of all wrongful convictions, according to Innocence Project data.

The Hawai‘i Innocence Project is run by faculty members at the William S. Richardson School of Law, with assistance from community attorneys. In 2011, using advanced DNA testing technology, the Hawai‘i project succeeded in having Alvin Francis Jardine exonerated after he spent almost 20 years in prison for a rape and burglary he consistently maintained that he did not commit. The national organization has freed several hundred wrongly incarcerated people by using advanced DNA testing.

As part of the national Innocence Project network, Faculty Specialist Kenneth Lawson and Associate Dean Ronette Kawakami head the project and work with other attorneys on cases in Hawai‘i.  Said Law Dean Avi Soifer, “Our faculty and students, along with our cooperating attorneys, deserve great admiration for their passionate, tireless work to free those who have been unjustly imprisoned.”

The October 4 program will help show just how fallible eyewitness testimony can be.

Mark Alan Vocal Works Brings A (Mostly) Classical Recital: Songs and Arias to Hilo

Local singing students from Mark Alan Vocal Works, Mark Sheffield’s voice studio, together with singers from his UH Hilo voice studio, will present a recital of (mostly) classical songs and arias.  Together with legendary pianist Quack Moore and the new vocal ensemble VOICES, they bring their unique interpretations of classics and modern favorites to Hilo. Showtime is Friday, September 30, at 7:30 p.m. at Hilo’s Church of the Holy Cross. Admission is free.  For more information, call 238-6040.

classical-recital

A (Mostly) Classical Recital: Songs and Arias presents singers in various stages of vocal development – from young beginners to experienced performers – in a recital designed to showcase and celebrate their particular strengths.  Singers include RyAnne Raffipiy, Landon Ballesteros, Samantha Saiki, Rachel Edwards, Amy Horst, and Bridge Hartman, along with Mark Sheffield, who teaches the other singers. Students from Mark’s private Vocal Works studio join singers from his UH Hilo voice studio to bring to life songs of love, heartbreak, joy, and beauty.

VOICES, a new vocal ensemble also led by Mark Sheffield, joins the concert with a return to their roots. They will perform their signature motet, “The Silver Swan” by Orlando Gibbons.  The solo singers follow, celebrating classics including old Italian songs “O cessate di piagarmi” and “Caro mio ben;” while bringing to life arias such as “Si, mi chiamano Mimi” from La Boheme and Rachmaninoff’s haunting “Vocalise.” The recital earns its (mostly) classical label with the performance of pop tunes by Adele and Billy Joel, and sizzling Broadway hits including Sondheim’s great song “Being Alive.”

Mark Sheffield maintains a busy private voice studio in Hilo, where he has taught both privately and at UH Hilo for ten years. 2016 saw the inauguration of Mark’s Vocal Works program, designed to provide both individual training and theory-based practical education in the vocal arts. This year also saw the inception of VOICES, a vocal ensemble comprised of Mark’s advanced students from both his Vocal Works and UH Hilo studios. Mark is joined at the helm of this recital by Quack Moore, the Grammy-winning pianist of Hilo Palace Theater and Saturday Night Live fame, who now devotes much of her time to supporting and promoting young musicians.

When asked how he came to create A (Mostly) Classical Recital: Songs and Arias, Mark said, “For a decade now, my students have performed in joint studio recitals given by my wife, piano teacher Katie Sheffield, and I. Beyond this, my students have performed to acclaim in shows locally and around the country, as they pursue studies, work, and dreams of Broadway success. Now we invite our friends and our community to a recital of our very own.  Thank you, Hilo, for supporting vocal music. We look forward to singing for you.”

A (Mostly) Classical Recital: Songs and Arias comes to Hilo September 30, 2016, at 7:30 p.m. at Hilo’s Church of the Holy Cross for one show only.  Admission is free.  Call 238-6040 for more information.

UHH Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy 8th Annual Health Fair

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy presents its 8th Annual Health Fair on Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Prince Kuhio Plaza in Hilo.

(l-r) Late Sen. Gilbert Kahele, a big supporter of the pharmacy college, stands with Class of 2016 students Josen Ho, David Ung and Miraya Talavera, who were tending a booth at the fair in 2014.

(l-r) Late Sen. Gilbert Kahele, a big supporter of the pharmacy college, stands with Class of 2016 students Josen Ho, David Ung and Miraya Talavera, who were tending a booth at the fair in 2014.

More than 150 student pharmacists will host education booths, health screenings, and giveaways. There also will be live demonstrations, entertainment, and a keiki poster contest for elementary- and middle-school students.

Participating organizations include Aloha Care, Bone Marrow Registry, Center for the Study of Active Volcanoes, Crisis Line of Hawaiʻi, Hawaiʻi Island Diabetes Coalition, Hawaiian Islands AIDS and HIV Foundation, HMSA, Hui Malama Hawaiʻi, Medical Reserve Corps, NAMI – National Alliance of Mental Illness – Big Island, Partners in Developments, Senior Medicare Patrol, The Arc of Hilo and The Food Basket.

For more information, contact Tracey Niimi at 933-7663 or tniimi@hawaii.edu.

Zika Video Released by University of Hawaii’s National Disaster Preparedness Training Center

The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) at the University of Hawaiʻi focuses on natural hazards like climate change and other threats to coastal and island communities.

Under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency, NDPTC has developed a short video in partnership with the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Health and the University of Hawaiʻi as part of its Just-in-Time Training initiative to promote awareness and deliver basic information about the Zika virus. The center has developed other Just-in-Time Training on tsunamis, volcanoes, and other emerging threats and hazards.

In this video, Sarah Park, state epidemiologist and chief of the Hawaiʻi Department of Health’s Disease Outbreak Control Division, provides key information about the virus including its potential for spreading from an infected pregnant woman to her fetus causing birth defects and transmission via mosquitoes and through sexual contact.

Zika has been found in the Americas, Oceania/Pacific Islands, Africa and Asia. According to the Center for Disease Control, travel-associated cases of the Zika virus have been found in every U.S. state except Alaska and Wyoming, and in every U.S. territory except Guam and American Samoa. Locally acquired cases have been found in only Florida, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands. It is spread by the bite of an infected Aedes species of mosquito (Aedes aegypti and Aedis albopictus). With the impact of climate change there has been a growth in regions that support mosquito habitats worldwide, increasing the world’s vulnerability to mosquito-borne diseases.

Aedes species of mosquito

Aedes species of mosquito

“We are particularly concerned about Zika and other mosquito-borne diseases because of their potential impacts on vulnerable, at-risk populations,” said Karl Kim, professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and executive director of the National Disaster Preparedness Training Center. “We need to increase awareness of the disease but also work towards effective strategies for monitoring as well as combating Zika. As a global visitor destination, Hawaiʻi needs a multi-pronged approach involving health care providers, urban planners, emergency responders, as well as households and businesses is needed to manage this health threat.”

Homeowners and businesses need to protect themselves against mosquitoes and implement effective programs for mosquito control. Training and education is needed to increase preparedness as well as response and mitigation capabilities.

NDPTC is committed to provide relevant and up-to-date training and education on the latest threats to our society.

UH Hilo Graduate Receives Fulbright Award

A recent graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has been awarded the 2016-2017 J. William Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship (ETA) Award to teach English to seventh, eighth and ninth grade students at Bongseon Middle School, located in Gwangju, South Korea.

Chelsea Sato

Chelsea Sato

Chelsea Sato graduated from UH Hilo in Spring 2016 with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and mathematics, along with certificates in global engagement and mathematics STEM research honors. Sato was a Chancellor’s Scholarship recipient, who studied abroad at Korea University in 2013 and was a member of the Vulcan tennis team.

The Fulbright ETA Award was established by Senator J. William Fulbright in 1946 to fund student exchanges designed to promote international good will and understanding between the United States and the world. More than 360,000 students in over 160 countries have participated in the program since its creation. Fulbright alumni include ambassadors, members of Congress, university presidents, heads of corporations, and more.

UH Hilo graduates seeking more information on the Fulbright Program can visit
http://us.fulbrightonline.org/applicants/application-checklists/eta-applicationchecklist or contact the Center for Global Education and Exchange at 932-7488.

UH Manoa Student Wins EPA Grant to Study Coral Resiliency

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced more than $1.6 million in Science to Achieve Results (STAR) graduate fellowships for 13 students at universities in Arizona, California, Hawaii, and Nevada. The fellowships, which will allow these students to further their education while conducting environmental research, were part of over $6 million awarded to 52 students across the nation.

“Through EPA’s funding, the STAR fellows will pursue innovative research projects while attaining advanced academic degrees,” said Alexis Strauss, EPA’s Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “The work these students are doing is inspirational, and will help address environmental challenges in fields such as atmospheric chemistry, green energy, hydrogeology and toxicology.”

Since 1995, the STAR fellowship program has awarded nearly 2,000 students a total of more than $65 million in funding. Recipients have engaged in innovative research opportunities, with some becoming prominent leaders in environmental science. This year’s STAR fellows are poised to become the next generation of environmental professionals who can make significant impacts in environmental science and beyond.

EPA Grant

University of Hawaii, Manoa: Christopher Wall

Project Title: The Dynamic Interaction of Nutrient Pollution and Seawater Temperature on Reef Corals: Is Nutrient Enrichment Undermining Coral Resilience?

Award Amount: $132,000

Objective:

Local nutrient pollution and global ocean warming threaten coral reefs by disrupting the symbiosis between reef corals and their symbiont algae (Symbiodinium spp.). Nutrient pollution alters the exchange of metabolites between host and symbiont and can increase the sensitivity of corals to thermal stress, thereby affecting the ability for corals to respond to regional and global environmental change. This research will use field and laboratory experiments to test for nutrient and temperature effects on the performance, bleaching, and nutrition of reef corals and Symbiodinium to offer insights on the response of corals to changing environmental conditions.

Approach:

I will use carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes (d13C, d15N) to test for effects of temperature and nutrient on reef coral nutrition and the autotrophic performance of genetically distinct Symbiodinium types. In a field experiment I will test for nutrient effects on the nutritional modes of corals across a gradient of human impacted reefs in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. I will then design a laboratory experiment to test for nutrient and temperature effects on the fixation, exchange, and storage of autotrophic metabolites among coral species and Symbiodinium clades. Data will be used to construct mass balanced carbon budgets, stable isotope mixing models, and trophic relationship for corals under changing environmental conditions.

Expected Results:

The interaction of nutrient pollution and temperature stress affects the function of the coral-algae symbiosis and shapes ecological outcomes for coral reefs. Nutrient pollution destabilizes reef corals by favoring the retention of autotrophic metabolites by the symbiont at the expense of the host, while temperature stress disrupts symbiont photosynthesis and drastically reduces autotrophic nutrition available to the host. Corals display alternative strategies for coping with environmental stress, including shifting modes of nutrition (autotrophy vs. heterotrophy) and associating with stress tolerant and functionally distinct Symbiodinium partners. However, the capacity to be flexible in nutrient acquisition or in symbiont partnerships is not shared among all coral taxa. By evaluating nutritional flexibility and autotrophic performance among reef corals and symbiont types it will be possible to identify whether nutrient and temperature effects on reef corals are conserved or dependent on species or host-symbiont combinations.

Hawaii International AgriTourism Symposium

Hawai‘i AgriTourism Association (HATA) will host the state’s first Hawai‘i International AgriTourism Symposium on October 15, 2016 at the College of Hawaiian Language: Ka Haka ‘Ulu O Ke‘elikōlani, in Hilo. Industry experts from Hawai‘i, New Zealand and Japan will share their forecasts, trends and tips on how they compete on a global stage. They will share what visitors from their regions are looking to experience in AgriTourism, as well as perspectives on how they have diversified agricultural operations in innovative ways to increase profitability, reduce risk, and protect rural communities.

agritourism symposium

This global symposium aims to help people get on trend with the connections between agriculture and travel/tourism. The industry is an “economic multiplier” that impacts restaurants, lodging, health, and education. For every dollar spent at an AgriTourism farm, an additional $2.25 is spent within the community in food, fuel, and retail.  The ripple effect continues with home based and small businesses that create value add products from the farm crop such as jams, baked goods, and beauty or health products.

As a popular and highly marketable segment of Hawai‘i’s $10-billion dollar visitor industry, AgriTourism is poised to take off in the next decade. It’s not only a viable part of the economy; it’s also an important way to preserve our island lifestyles and culture.

AgriTourism offers farmers and small businesses an incredible opportunity to expand their business using creative approaches, and innovative partnerships. This symposium will show how the state’s largest economic industries, tourism and agriculture, merge to create economic diversity and innovation that visitors will pay for.

Farmers who include an AgriTourism component in their marketing plan can see substantial financial benefits. AgriTourism can provide the difference between a profitable and an unprofitable farming operation, and between a sustainable and an unsustainable agricultural region. With the potential of this niche market expanding at such a fast pace, there has never been a better time to learn more about AgriTourism.

Online Registration for Hawai‘i’s International AgriTourism Symposium is open at www.hiagtourism.org.  Vendors who wish to sell products at the Hawai‘i Marketplace may also register online as well.  For more information, please contact Lani Weigert, lani@hiagtourism.org.  Space is limited, early registration encouraged.

All University of Hawaii Facilities on Big Island Announces Closure in Advance of Hurricane Madeline

All University of Hawaiʻi facilities on Hawaiʻi Island will be closed for all students and non-essential personnel starting Wednesday, August 31, in advance of Hurricane Madeline.

UH Hilo Moniker

This includes UH Hilo, Hawaiʻi Community College, Hawaiʻi Community College-Palamanui, ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, North Hawaiʻi Education and Research Center, Hale Pohaku – Onizuka Center for International Astronomy and food and lodging facilities, all UH Mānoa College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) facilities, and all UH Mānoa Institute for Astronomy (IfA) facilities.

The Hale Kehau dining room will remain open on a weekend schedule for on-campus residents.

Please follow the National Weather Service Central Pacific Hurricane Center and local agencies and media for the latest weather news. Please sign up for UH Alert for text message updates. Notifications affecting UH campuses will be posted at the UH System Emergency Notifications.

UH Hilo Students to Participate in Conservation Congress Gathering

Four cohorts of students from the Kūʻula Integrated Science class in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Marine Science program have been invited by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Marine Program to open the Marine World Heritage Reception on September 5. The reception is part of the Internal Union of Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress (IUCN WCC) that will be held in Honolulu September 1-10.

UH Hilo Moniker

The Kūʻula students will present a chant and hula describing human relationships with the ocean and coral reefs. One of these chants, Uku ʻĀkoʻakoʻa, was composed specifically for Kūʻula by Dr. Taupōuri Tangarō, the director of Hawaiian Culture and Protocols Engagement for UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College through the Uluākea Program. The students presented the same chant and hula to open the International Coral Reef Symposium in Honolulu attended by 2,500 people in July.

Kū’ula students integrate western and Native Hawaiian scientific knowledge and research methodologies to understand the environment of Hawai’i. Their research has enabled them to establish personal and meaningful connections to the places they study, which have included Midway Atoll and Ha’ena, Kaua’i. Most Kū’ula graduates have gone on to graduate schools or to jobs in natural resource management and education.

“This is a significant achievement for our students majoring in natural sciences, Hawaiian Studies, and social sciences, who worked together through the Kūʻula class experience,” said Dr. Misaki Takabayashi, professor, marine science. “The recognition they are receiving is well-deserved.”

For more information about Kūʻula, contact Takabayashi at 932-7095 or email
misakita@hawaii.edu.