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Month: November 2015

Chancellor’s Message on UH Hilo response to dengue fever outbreak, updated Nov. 30

The university is looking into the possibility of spraying for mosquitoes. We are in contact and communication with County Civil Defense and the State Department of Health in this regard and will inform you before we spray, should we decide to do so.

Nov. 30, 2015

Aloha,

Hilo sealThe State Department of Health has ordered spraying at a number of public schools in Hilo to control the mosquito vector that spreads the dengue virus. Our understanding is that this action is related to areas near where an individual has been exposed. The virus has spread around the island because exposed individuals often move around.

The Department of Health has not designated the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus as a place to spray. Nevertheless, we are looking into the possibility of spraying. We are in contact and communication with County Civil Defense and the State Department of Health in this regard and will inform you before we spray, should we decide to do so.

Meanwhile there are things you can do to protect yourself:

  • wear pants and long-sleeved shirts; light colors are best;
  • use insect repellent;
  • avoid areas were mosquitoes are present.

We encourage you to help by informing Auxiliary Services at uhhauxsv@hawaii.edu if you see situations on campus with standing water.

More detailed instructions on preventative measures and updates on reported cases are available at the Department of Health website and at the Hawaii County Civil Defense website.

Be safe.

Don Straney

Complete archive of messages on dengue at UH Hilo Stories website.

Message from President Lassner and Chancellor Straney: UH remains committed to positive stewardship of Maunakea

The University of Hawaiʻi remains committed to positive stewardship of Maunakea for all who treasure this precious resource and for generations to come.

This editorial by UH President David Lassner and UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney first ran in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on November 29, 2015.

The monitoring of archaeological sites is conducted annually according to the guidelines in the archaeological monitoring and burial treatment plans. Pictured here: A multiple upright shrine (kūahu) in the Maunakea Science Reserve.
The monitoring of archaeological sites is conducted annually according to the guidelines in the archaeological monitoring and burial treatment plans. Pictured here: A multiple upright shrine (kuahu) in the Maunakea Science Reserve.

Current controversies unfortunately overshadow the remarkable advances made in the stewardship of Maunakea. Critics often cite the 1998 State Auditor report on UH management. The university never disputed these findings, but viewed the report as a wakeup call to drive the creation of a completely new approach to stewardship.

The most recent follow-up by the State Auditor in 2014 observed: “We found that UH has developed several management plans that provide a comprehensive framework for managing and protecting Mauna Kea while balancing the competing interests of culture, conservation, scientific research, and recreation.”

This dramatic turnaround occurred with UH’s shift of stewardship responsibility to Hawaiʻi Island and the creation of the Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM) in 2000 under the UH Hilo Chancellor. With this commitment to community and island-based management, OMKM led the development of the much-neededMaunakea Comprehensive Management Plan (CMP) and its four subplans. These were created with significant community input and approved in 2009-2010 by the UH Board of Regents and State Board of Land and Natural Resources. The CMP provides overarching management guidelines for Maunakea including public access, cultural resources management, natural resources management and decommissioning of observatories as well as management of construction activities, education and outreach.

The Maunakea rangers program has been key to the turnaround. The rangers are on duty every day, interacting with some 300,000 visitors each year–cultural practitioners, local residents, tourists and observatory personnel. Rangers offer first response emergency care, health and safety warnings and answer questions regarding the cultural, scientific and natural resources of Maunakea.

With the support of the observatories, UH ensures safe public access for all by properly maintaining the road to the summit with twice weekly grading, snow plowing and issuing weather alerts.

UH conducts the regular monitoring of over 250 cultural sites, including shrines, ahu and burials. The sites were identified in an extensive archeological inventory survey the university completed for the entire Maunakea Science Reserve and access road.

UH has a robust natural resources program for the mountain and oversees regular monitoring of the mountain’s plant life as identified in the botanical survey UH conducted. Regular surveys and control programs are also conducted for invasive species that threaten the environment. One success story is the wēkiu bug, found only on the Maunakea summit. The federal government recognized UH’s management plans and work to protect the wēkiu bug, which was removed as a candidate for federal protection in 2011.

Three observatories were publicly identified this year for decommissioning and will follow the stringent guidelines of the CMP that require review of telescope deconstruction, removal, site restoration, environmental due diligence and cultural considerations.

The 2014 State Auditor report did note one shortcoming in UH stewardship: the need to develop Administrative Rules to guide public access. UH accepts this responsibility and work is now underway, beginning with the public open houses conducted by OMKM this summer at multiple locations on Hawaiʻi Island. The drafting and approval processes are expected to be completed in 2017.

In addition, UH is committed to improving cultural education and is designing a new curriculum for visitors–local residents and tourists–and for those who work on the mountain. The establishment of a new research program about Maunakea is also underway.

Governor Ige has stated that, “The activities of Native Hawaiians, and of our scientists, to seek knowledge and to explore our relationship with our cosmos and its creation can and should co-exist on the mountain.”

The University of Hawaiʻi couldn’t agree more, and remains committed to positive stewardship of Maunakea for all who treasure this precious resource and for generations to come.

-Also published at UH System News and UH Hilo Stories.

Chancellor’s Message: UH Hilo response to dengue fever outbreak, updated Nov. 20

The Department of Health has not confirmed any cases that would directly impact the campus, but in the meantime there are things you can do to protect yourself.

Nov. 20, 2015

Aloha,

Hilo sealThe outbreak of dengue fever continues on Hawai‘i Island. The Hawai‘i Department of Health reports that the number of cases is still increasing and they occur throughout the island, including the Hilo area. The mosquitoes that carry the dengue virus occur in Hilo and on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus. The virus is only transmitted to humans by mosquito bites.

Mosquitoes breed in standing water. UH Hilo staff continue to monitor campus to eliminate situations on campus that accumulate standing water, such as open containers, clogged gutters and persistent puddles. They are also checking window screens to locate holes to repair. Open doors are a way mosquitoes can enter buildings and we ask you to help by always keeping building doors closed.

The Department of Health has not confirmed any cases that would directly impact the campus, but in the meantime there are things you can do to protect yourself:

  • Wear pants and long-sleeved shirts, light colors are best.
  • Use insect repellent.
  • Avoid areas were mosquitoes are present.

If you see situations on campus with standing water, we encourage you to help by informing UH Hilo Auxiliary Services by email uhhauxsv[at]hawaii.edu, call (808) 932-7009, or via a work order request.

See the Hawai‘i Department of Health website on Dengue Fever for more information. Posted there are more detailed instructions on preventative measures and updates on reported cases.

As the outbreak continues, we will issue additional campus updates.

Be safe.

Don Straney

This post was updated to correct proper contact for Auxiliary Services.

Complete archive of messages on dengue at UH Hilo Stories website.

Chancellor Straney visits students at the UH Foundation call center

The annual UH Foundation Fall Calling Campaign began this month.

UHF
Chancellor Straney visits with students at the UH Foundation call center on O‘ahu.

Chancellor Don Straney recently visited the UH Foundation call center on O‘ahu to visit with student fundraisers and share information about the various programs and activities at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. The annual UH Foundation Fall Calling Campaign began this month.

Chancellor Straney encourages the UH community to donate and support UH Hilo.

For more information, contact Dale Hagadone at the UH Foundation.

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