Twenty CTAHR students and staff, including CTAHR Dean Nicholas Comerford, enjoyed CTAHR’s 14th Annual Meaningful Experience in Kona. They visited Mealani Research Station, where farm manager Marla Fergerstrom and other staff led the students on a tour. They learned about tea cultivation and picked their own tea leaves, then learned about Mealani’s award-winning cattle operation. The group hiked to the top of the flume system and floated down through the 110-year-old irrigation ditch system, learning about sugar plantation history, how the flume was built, and the area’s natural resources. The day concluded with team-building activities. On day two, the group woke toured the The Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority’s Ocean Science and Technology Park to see the many research and commercial facilities using the deep sea water. Students stopped at the massive Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion unit, which uses temperature differentials to generate power, then toured an octopus farm—the trip highlight for many was playing with and feeding these gentle and mischievous creatures! Then they headed for a tour of the UCC Coffee Farm, where they harvested coffee berries and saw how the beans are roasted and fermented.
View photos of the trip