Lara Hackney 13 October 2021

Lara Hackney

2021 Ka Pouhana Mentor Awardee

Lara Hackney is an instructor in the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences. Currently, she teaches three courses in Food Science and Human Nutrition (FSHN 112, 181, and 312), and is the RIO Coalition president for the Stop Student Hunger program.  

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lara worked tirelessly to ensure food security for CTAHR students. She worked with the Academic and Student Affairs Office to implement a monthly cooking show to teach students how to cook a nutritious meal and provided cooking show kits. To prepare for these shows, Lara researched the dishes to ensure they were suitable for our students.  

“Lara is an excellent CTAHR faculty member who goes above and beyond her faculty teaching duties to give back to the community,” says Associate Dean Ania Wieczorek. “Her endless dedication to the college and its students is truly remarkable!”     

Watch Lara’s cooking show in this Tik Tok video made by CTAHR student Riana Kawasaki and her friend, Matt Kam.

Deep Soil 13 October 2021

Deep Soil

NREM will participate in a study on terrestrial ecosystems

If you’re looking for a high concentration of carbon, skip the trees and atmosphere, because soil contains more carbon than both of them combined. In fact, the highest stocks of carbon can be found where very deep soils exist – such as in the tropics.

Unfortunately, few people get to spend much time this close to deep soil. But that’s about to change with the Deep Soil Ecotron, a facility to be built at the University of Idaho that will enable scientists to conduct experiments on columns of soil up to 10 feet deep, using an $18.9M grant from the National Science Foundation.

The facility will contain as many of 24 “eco-units,” each with roughly three meters of intact soil monolith transported to Idaho from diverse places, potentially including tropical and volcanic ash soils from Hawaiʻi.

“Hawaiʻi’s soils provide key climate, weathering, and mineralogical end-members in global soil diversity, says Susan Crow of the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Management. “As part of the Ecotron, Hawaiʻi’s soils will help us better understand the profound changes the earth system is currently undergoing, and hopefully better care for the earth’s ecosystems.”

By housing diverse soils together, scientists can establish a common set of experimental conditions, or subject one soil to a full set of interacting environmental variables. This capability

College Strategic Positioning Plan 13 October 2021

College Strategic Positioning Plan

What's the latest for October?

Lots of planning has been going on behind the scenes to prepare for all of the events coming up in the next few weeks. Meetings, site visits, phone calls, emails galore! You name it, it's all been happening – all so that we can bring the following events to you. Hope to see YOU there!

BUT FIRST, AN IMPORTANT REMINDER: County Administrators and Extension Faculty, your interviews should be wrapping up by the week of October 18th so you can present the information collected at the upcoming Extension Retreat.

Public Listening Sessions:
* 10/14 (Thursday). In-Person on Kauaʻi at the Extension Classroom. 9:30am-11:30am or 5:30pm-7:30pm. Contact Glenn Evans at gje2@hawaii.edu.
* 10/15 (Friday). In-Person in Hilo at the Komohana Research Station. 9:00am-11am or 1:30pm-3:30pm. Contact Michael Shintaku at shintaku@hawaii.edu.
* 10/18 (Monday). In-Person on Oʻahu at Leeward Community College, ED201. 9am-11am or 1:00pm-3:00pm. Contact Jari Sugano at suganoj@hawaii.edu.

To accommodate for COVID restrictions, County Administrators have sent out invitations to potential interested parties. If you know anyone who might be interested to join, please contact the County Administrator to pass on the contact information.

Other Scheduled Events:
* 10/13 Wed. Virtual Permanent Staff Listening Session, 8:00am-10am
* 10/19 Tue. Virtual Permanent Staff Listening Session, 1:30pm-3:30pm
* 10/20 Wed. In-Person Permanent Faculty Listening Session on Oʻahu at Gilmore Hall, 9am-11am or 1:30pm-3:30pm
* 10/21 Thu. In-Person Extension Retreat at Pearl City Urban Garden Center. time TBD

To accommodate for COVID restrictions, invitations were sent out to all permanent faculty and staff to RSVP as space per session is limited.

Across the Pacific 5 October 2021

Across the Pacific

A $10M grant will enable Children’s Healthy Living to build resilient food systems

The award-winning Children’s Healthy Living (CHL) program just got a booster shot, to the tune of $10M. With this game-changing grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Sustainable Agricultural Systems Program, CHL will create a ‘Food Systems Model’ that will identify the drivers of resiliency in food supply chains, and promote them throughout the Pacific Basin.

The five-year, project will start by developing a ‘systems dynamics,’ transdisciplinary, multilevel food and nutrition security resiliency model, explains P.I. Rachel Novotny of the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences. Using this model, the researchers will provide graduate training to future leaders in the region in food and nutrition security model development. Additionally, they will incorporate the model’s key results and tools into community programs, including online access to simulation tools to guide change in multilevel systems.

“Our goals are to increase food and nutrition security, diet quality, and healthy body size among children,” she says. “Long-term, we aim to help prevent chronic disease in households and communities across the U.S.-affiliated Pacific insular area, which includes Alaska, Hawaiʻi, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. The findings and tools will also help guide education and Extension programs.”

Rachel adds, “This grant will help provide the data needed to guide policies so that Pacific food systems can assure the health of children, and thus a healthy future.”

Read the full grant.

Pest Particulars 5 October 2021

Pest Particulars

PEPS will improve Extension’s ability to update Hawaiʻi farmers

With hundreds of invasive pests in the Hawaiian Islands to keep track of, entomologists have their hands full sorting out which insects constitute the highest-impact threat to local Ag – not to mention, getting this information into the hands of growers. With a new grant from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Mark Wright and Joanna Bloese will improve CTAHR Extension’s ability to disseminate the most current data to farmers and other stakeholders statewide. From the Dept. of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences, they will continue and expand upon Integrated Pest Management (IPM) implementation programs across the most highly valued crops in Hawaiʻi agriculture.

“The improvements include upgrading our online IPM portal (the old Crop Knowledge Master) to a modernized and more accessible format, with updated information and images for hundreds of pests of numerous crops in Hawaiʻi,” says Mark. “We’re developing an app with Mark Thorne (of the Dept. of Human Nutrition, Food and Animal Sciences) for the identification, monitoring, and management of the Two-Lined Spittle Bug, a devastating pest of Hawaiʻi pastures. We’re also collaborating with Angelita Acebes of USDA-ARS to make all our IPM information available through the MyIPM app.”

In addition to delivering IPM Extension materials via Best Management Practice factsheets, online access, and direct interactions with stakeholders, Mark and Joanna will develop predictive forecasts for new, potentially high-impact insect pests. Such preemptive forecasts should help improve surveillance and early detection of pests, and responses to new invasions.

“The grant also supports research on new invasive species,” Mark adds, “such as the Rami moth, a relatively recent arrival that threatens mamaki plants in Hawaiʻi. The grant also supports short-term Extension projects run by Extension agents.”

Read the full grant.