13 September 2019

Characterizing Hawai‘i’s Natural Resources Management Sector


This report provides an update to the 2015 “Recent Trends in Hawai‘i’s Green Economy: Agriculture, Energy, and Natural Resource Management” publication, the second update since our original report in 2012. Hawai‘i’s natural resource management jobs were at least 4,697 in 2018, 33% higher than reported for 2014, which is equivalent to an annual growth rate of roughly 7%.

According to survey data, Hawai‘i’s natural resource management expenditures were at least $542 million in 2018, roughly equal to expenditures reported for 2014. Read more

9/19/2019 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Kaiāulu: Gathering Tides

Brown Bag Biography, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management, and Sea Grant College Program Present:

September 19: “Kaiāulu: Gathering Tides.” Mehana Vaughan, Assistant Professor at UH Mānoa in the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM), Sea Grant College Program, and Hui ‘Āina Momona. Cosponsored by the Dept. of NREM and the Sea Grant College Program *this session will be held in KUYKENDALL 410 On the northeast coast of Kauaʻi, catch from small local reefs, and the sharing of this abundance, has sustained area kaiāulu (communities) for centuries, through tidal waves, hurricanes, burgeoning tourism, an influx of new residents, and loss of access of coastal lands, now private retreats for the ultra-wealthy. Building on interviews with more than sixty Hawaiian elders, leaders, and fisher men and fisher women, Kaiāulu shares their stories of enduring community efforts to cultivate fishing spots, maintain connection to family lands, reassert local governance rooted in ancestral values, and teach future generations to carry on. Mehana Blaich Vaughan grew up where the moku (districts) of Halele‘a and Ko‘olau meet on the island of Kaua‘i. Her home is on Kaua‘i with her husband, mother, and three children

9/18/2019 3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

NREM Fall Seminar Series:Dr. Yi Qiang, Geography Department, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Tracing the Curves of Bouncing Back: Data-Driven Methods for Assessing Disaster Resilience

Please join us fall semester from 3:30-4:20 pm, on Wednesdays in St. John Rm 011 on the UH Mānoa campus (map attached) for the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management seminar series (series schedule attached)! Zoom information is on the attached flyer for those who would like to join us online. If you would like to be removed from the weekly announcements list, please let me know.

Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Management

Fall 2019 Seminar Series, 3:30–4:20 pm Wednesdays

St. John Rm 011 (basement), University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Campus

Join Zoom Meeting     https://zoom.us/j/294386624

Call in  +1 669 900 6833 US; Meeting ID: 294 386 624

Tracing the Curves of Bouncing Back: 
Data-Driven Methods for Assessing Disaster Resilience

Dr. Yi Qiang
Assistant Professor, Assistant Professor Department of Geography & Environment, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Considerable efforts have been made to understand resilience of human systems and develop useful metrics to measure it. Despite the extensive work on the conceptual frameworks, definitions, and case studies, quantitative assessment of resilience are still challenging due to the lack of empirical observations about human and infrastructure in real disaster events. In the era of big data, various types of sensors generate large volumes of data which can be used to monitor human activities at real-time and real-place. This presentation introduces a series of methods for assessing community and infrastructure resilience using various types of data including census data, remote sensing imageries, social media data and crowdsourced data. This research aims to fill the critical gap of empirical data and assessment methods for disaster resilience. The findings increase the understanding the complexity and dynamics of resilience and provide actionable information for disaster management, urban planning and sustainable development.

9/20/2019 8:00 AM - 9:00 AM

Rivero Castro Master's Thesis Defense: Examining the Effect of Zero-deforestation Commitment Characteristics on Land Cover Change and Spillover Effects

Title: Examining the Effect of Zero-deforestation Commitment Characteristics on Land Cover Change and Spillover Effects
Committee members:
Dr. Kimberly Carlson (Chair)
Dr. Rachael Garret
Dr. Linda Cox

Date: Friday, September 20, 2019
Time: 8:00 - 9:00 AM
Location: Sherman 103


Public concern over deforestation from tropical commodity crop expansion has led many corporations
that handle such commodities to adopt zero-deforestation commitments (ZDCs), which are pledges to stop
sourcing commodities produced on recently deforested or currently forested lands. Most ZDCs have yet to
be implemented, and they differ in implementation details including forest clearance cut-off date and land
covers that are off limits. Moreover, region-specific ZDCs may displace deforestation to areas not covered
by commitments. My research aims to investigate the effect of zero-deforestation commitments on tropical
land cover by addressing the following questions: 1) How might ZDC implementation affect geospatial
patterns of soy expansion? 2) How do changes in soy expansion patterns alter locations and patterns of
non-soy land cover change? 3) How does ZDC implementation date affect these outcomes? To answer
these questions, I built a land cover change simulation model for Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay
from 2014-2030 that included a mechanism for simulating the effect of ZDC implementation by companies. I
evaluated land cover outcomes under different potential future scenarios, including no ZDCs, currently
pledged ZDCs, earlier implementation of these current ZDCs, and a soy moratorium in the Cerrado and
Gran Chaco ecoregions. In contrast to the No ZDC future, the current ZDC scenario reduced natural land
cover conversion by 3.2% while maintaining total national soy area, despite some displacement of natural
land conversion from the Cerrado and Gran Chaco regions to Brazilian Amazon and Argentinian Pampas
regions. Implementing these pledges about five years earlier (by 2020) resulted 357,000 ha (6.7%)
additional natural land cover in BBAP by 2030. Compared to the currently pledged ZDC scenario, the
Cerrado and Gran Chaco moratorium scenario reduced natural land cover loss by an additional 35,000 ha

(0.6%). These findings suggest that ZDCs may generate net preservation of natural land cover despite intra-
country leakage. Earlier ZDC implementation appears to be far more effective at conserving natural land

cover than increasing ZDC market share in later years.

9/23/2019 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Harrison Master's Thesis Defense: Targeted cattle grazing as a tool to reduce wildfire risk at Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Forest Reserve

Targeted cattle grazing as a tool to reduce wildfire risk at Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Forest Reserve

Committee Members: Dr. Clay Trauernicht (Chair) Dr. Linda Cox, Dr. Kimberly Burnett  

2:00-3:00 PM, Sherman 103

Monday September 23, 2019


The establishment of flammable invasive grasses in Hawaiʻi has created a grass-fire cycle that promotes fire and replaces native forest. Targeted livestock grazing provides a potential tool to reduce grassy fuels and fire risk at large spatial scales. In Hawaiʻi, cattle grazing can reduce invasive grass biomass, although little has been done on implementation. There is a long cultural heritage of cattle grazing in Hawaii, which is controversial due to historic contribution to forest degradation. Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Forest Reserve on Hawai’i Island contains one of the largest remnants of tropical dry forests in Hawai’i and is threatened by fire promoting invasive grasses. This study 1) Examines the role and challenges of grazing in response to dry forest management and conservation in Hawaiʻi using Puʻu Waʻawaʻa as a case study; 2) Investigate stakeholder values, preferences, concerns, and potential conflicts regarding Puʻu Waʻawaʻa fire management. Of special interest is the cost of production of cattle ranchers that graze in Puʻu Waʻawaʻa; and 3) assess stakeholder support for specific dry forest management strategies. This could aid land managers and policy makers in making better informed decisions and provide a model for other fire prone areas in Hawaʻi to utilize. 

New Faces: Mahealani Kaneshiro 4 September 2019

New Faces: Mahealani Kaneshiro

Welcome to Mahealani Kaneshiro—UH alumna, kanaka maoli, and uchinanchu (local descendent of Okinawan immigrants)—who is a new instructor in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM). Mahealani has a wide range of experience in college-level instruction and outreach Extension. She will be responsible for many of the required NREM undergraduate courses, including internships, and plans to teach elective and graduate-level courses as well. 

Conservation Innovation 6 August 2019

Conservation Innovation

ROD squad recognized at Hawai‘i conservation conference

The Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death Working Group—also known as the ROD Squad—was formed to respond to the new disease threatening Hawai‘i’s most important native forest tree. With nearly 200 individuals representing state, county, federal, university, and non-profit organizations; local and private businesses; and private citizens, the group facilitates inclusive communication on all issues related to the fungal disease and shares knowledge on a regular basis among group members, their organizations, and the people of Hawai‘i.

Islands in Flames 6 August 2019

Islands in Flames

Wildfire educator sounds a warning

Wildland fire expert and 2019 winner of the Excellence in Extension award Clay Trauernicht (NREM) was recently interviewed by Noe Tanigawa on Hawai‘i Public Radio’s Planet 808 show about the increasing danger of wildfire in the Islands and its connection with climate change.

Awed by the ROD Squad! 9 July 2019

Awed by the ROD Squad!

Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death documentary features J.B. Friday

UH plays a vital role in researching and raising awareness of Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD), a disease that is killing off the native and iconic ‘ōhi‘a lehua tree. CTAHR and other UH scientists are working with state and federal agencies and non-governmental organizations to learn about this disease and to assess what can be done to protect ‘ōhi‘a for future generations.

ROD Roundtable 12 April 2019

ROD Roundtable

JB Friday (NREM) joined Marian Chau of the Lyon Arboretum, Lisa Keith of USDA ARS, and Kumu Kehaulani Kekua of Kaua‘i for in-depth interviews about Rapid ‘Ohi‘a Death on the PBS program Insights. The experts explained the recently discovered pathogens that cause it and how it is spread by burrowing ambrosia beetles that create fungus-imbued sawdust, which floats over forest canopies and infects other trees.

New Faces: Sarah Rehkamp 5 April 2019

New Faces: Sarah Rehkamp

Sustainability in agriculture isn’t just about using practices that don’t harm the environment, crucial though that is; another important aspect is being able to make enough money to keep producing. That’s a big part of what agricultural economics focuses on, and CTAHR will be better equipped to help farmers with this now that Sarah Rehkamp (NREM) will soon be starting as the new assistant Extension agent in Ag Economics.

Their Research Is Taking Off 5 April 2019

Their Research Is Taking Off

Up, up, and away! Want to know more about growing jet fuel from plants? Junior researcher Adel Youkhana (NREM), Richard Ogoshi (TPSS, retired), and their co-authors recently published a new paper in Energy & Fuel Journal, “Review of Biomass Resources and Conversion Technologies for Alternative Jet Fuel Production in Hawai’i and Tropical Regions.”

Man on Fire 22 February 2019

Man on Fire

Wildfires are a serious concern, in the Islands as well as on the Mainland. Wildland fire expert Clay Trauernicht (NREM) recently gave a presentation on this timely subject on Maui, in which he explained that since 72 percent of wildfires with known causes are accidental, that means they can be prevented, and the time for prevention is now!  

New Faces: Shannon Sand 31 January 2019

New Faces: Shannon Sand

Shannon Sand (NREM) will be the new assistant Extension agent in Agricultural Finance. Based out of the Komohana Agriculture Research & Extension Center in Hilo, she will have state-wide responsibilities. Shannon has earned master’s degrees in Agriculture, Agricultural Economics, and Food and Resource Economics. Please welcome her when she starts work in June!

Sugarcane and Sustainability 24 January 2019

Sugarcane and Sustainability

A new study, co-authored by NREM’s Kimberly Carlson, suggests that only one third of global sugarcane production complies with Bonsucro, the leading sustainability standard for sugarcane. “Voluntary Sustainability Standards Could Significantly Reduce Detrimental Impacts of Global Agriculture” was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA.