Jun 212017

Countless UH students, faculty, staff and alumni served during the three-year voyage in myriad ways, as volunteers, navigators, captains and scientific researchers.

Amid the blowing of pū and the cheering of thousands gathered at Magic Island, the Hōkūleʻa sailed home in June 2017 after a three-year, 40,000-mile voyage around the world.

It was an event of deep significance to the University of Hawaiʻi ʻohana. Countless UH students, faculty, staff and alumni served the voyage in myriad ways, as volunteers, navigators, captains and scientific researchers.

At the homecoming, Polynesian Voyaging Society President Nainoa Thompson reiterated his assertion that UH is “hands down” the most important institution in the region.

“The University of Hawaiʻi is the most important navigator we have in the Pacific,” says Thompson. “It’s the most important navigator and it’s the most important waʻa. It’s the most important canoe that we have. It’s what can help us find our destinations that are worthy of our children that the other big institutions cannot.”

“The university has been instrumental in every part of this voyage,” says UH President David Lassner who also served as a crewmember. “Most obviously we are the homeport for the Hōkūleʻa, Hikianalia, Hawaiʻi Loa the Polynesian Voyaging Society. They are our partners and residents at our Marine Education Training Center at Sand Island, part of Honolulu Community College.”

Honolulu CC instructor Kaʻiulani Murphy served as lead navigator during Hōkūleʻa’s sail home from Tahiti. UH Hilo ʻImiloa Astronomy Center Navigator in Residence Chad Kālepa Baybayan has also captained numerous legs of the voyage.

Prior to undertaking the worldwide voyage, Thompson consulted with UH scientists from the School of Ocean and Earth Sciences and Technology, Institute for Astronomy, oceanography department and more. “There were enormous amounts of research, […] we knew who to call,” he said.

Doctors at the John A. Burns School of Medicine made sure the crew was healthy enough to voyage and helped to keep them that way.

During the voyage, UH held systemwide gatherings at College Hill and UH Hilo to share information and commitments to Mālama Honua or “care for our Earth.”

One key commitment came from the UH Mānoa College of Education: teach the values of Mālama Honua to the future teachers studying in the college.

UH is one of more than a hundred educational partners who have signed the Promise to the Children, which says, in part, “…we promise to create, sustain and navigate a movement dedicated to future generations, one that is imbued with the goodness of Hōkūleʻa and the wisdom born of her legacy.”

“Twenty years from now, sustainability, I promise you, will be figured out,” says Thompson. “We will be on alternative energy 20 years from now. We will have figured out issues of food sovereignty to get off the 95 percent that we import. Itʻs a very dangerous situation that we have in Hawaiʻi and there’s no other institution that has the mandate and the mission and the power to do that.”

Read more UH News on Mālama Honua.


UH System News.

May 262017

The awards are presented to individual students and student organizations that have excelled and contributed to the UH Hilo campus and the Hawai‘i Island community.

The Campus Center Student Leadership Development Program at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo recently presented the 2016-2017 Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Recognition Awards and Certificates of Leadership.

The Ka Lama Ku Umeke Awards and a Ka Lama Ku Koa Plaque Award also were presented.


Alaka‘i—Leadership Award

Rebekah Loving with her family

Rebekah Loving with her family. Courtesy photos from the UH Hilo Student Leadership Development Program.

Rebekah Loving (Mathematics) has provided role modeling and mentorship as a volunteer at Waiakea High School where she has inspired high school students in the area of mathematics. As a volunteer, she shares new opportunities students may have in this area with learning, achievement, and connectedness to Science, Technology, Environment and Mathematics.


‘Ike Pāpālua—To Have the Gift of Vision Award

Amy Gregg & Elise Inouye

Amy Gregg (left), an instructor in the Gender and Women’s Studies Program, with award recipient Elise Inouye.

Elise Inouye (Communications and Gender and Women Studies) has a deep commitment to education. During spring break she volunteered to speak to high school students on O‘ahu about gender-based inequalities, class stratification and economic disenfranchisement. She has a vision of seeing gender and women studies curriculum in high schools to connect people for positive change for our future.


Laulima Award—No Task is Too Big When Done by All Award

Justin Kwee and Jake Llaguno

Justin Araki-Kwee (left) with friend Jake Llaguno.

Justin Araki-Kwee (Computer Science & Japanese Studies) received this award for his ability to collaborate with others in the development of a smartphone-based game application named Nanja Ninja designed to assist deaf children in Japan and the USA. Araki-Kwee coordinated technical and programming advice between Hawai‘i and Japan to launch this research project currently taking place in Japan.


The Ka Lama Ku Koa Plaque Award

Alexandra Huizar & Megan Escalona

Alexandra Huizar (left) with Megan Escalona.

Alexandra Huizar (College of Business and Economics, specializing in Marketing) was awarded for her commitment and dedication in being a student leader at UH Hilo that excels in all of the five values of Ka Lama Ku. As an Alaka‘i, she is a role model in her UH Hilo activities and collaboration with other university programs as part of ‘Ike Pāpālua. Some of these are with the New Student Programs, the Vulcan Booster, Colleges Against Cancer and Relay for Life, UH Hilo Performing Arts and other student life activities. Huizar encourages other students to participate and become part of the UH Hilo ‘ohana by “Leading with Aloha.”


Ka Lama Ku Leadership Plaque Awards
Given to student organizations for contributions to UH Hilo and Hawai‘i Island communities.
Awardees exemplify the five values of Ka Lama Ku: Alaka‘i, ‘Ike Pāpālua, Kuleana, Laulima and Mālama.

Photo of group

The student organization Colleges Against Cancer won the ‘Ike Pāpālua Award. (Front l-r) Misty Figuera, Brittney Luna, Alexandra Huizar, Kapali Bilyeu. (Back) Kimi Taguchi, Brooke Higa, Ashley Maldonado, Jualin Sable Guting. (Missing) Kash Laeda, Ali Nakata, Norie Anne Rosal Calit, Jade Wong, Ruby Ann Sales, Ellie-Jean Kalawe, James Drescher, Sheryl Cariaga, Jayahmie Drio, Shaylyn Fujii, Erin McClure and Stacy Mae Gelacio.

Colleges Against Cancer received the ‘Ike Pāpālua Plaque Award—To Have the Gift of Vision for overcoming obstacles and challenges in the continuance of the 11th Relay for Life at UH Hilo. The students were able to plan, build, problem solve and look beyond what was needed to motivate others in moving forward from beginning to completion with advocacy against cancer that has affected many UH Hilo students, families and communities. As a fundraiser with the American Cancer Society, this organization vowed to fight cancer with the vision that cancer will no longer be a public health problem in the future. Team members are Alexandra Huizar, Brittney Luna, Ashley Maldonado, Kapali Bilyeu, Kash Laeda, Ali Nakata, Brooke Higa, Kimi Taguchi, Norie Anne Rosal Calit, Jade Wong, Misty Figuera, Jualin Sable Guting, Ruby Ann Sales, Ellie-Jean Kalawe, James Drescher, Sheryl Cariaga, Jayahmie Drio, Shaylyn Fujii, Erin McClure and Stacy Mae Gelacio.

The students of Nā Haumāna Huaka‘i i Kaho‘olawe

The students of Nā Haumāna Huaka‘i i Kaho‘olawe. (Front l-r) Sarah Kapalihiwa Bilyeu and Joshua No‘eau Kalima. (Back) Kumu Maikalani Bacling and Ka‘ikena Scanlan with Isaac Ku‘uiponohea Pang, Sophie Kaleimomi Dolera, Sheena Kau‘i Lopes. (Missing) Alana Kanahele, Aaron Kahea Morton, Ulupuamahinamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld and Kiliona Young.

The students of Nā Haumāna Huaka‘i i Kaho‘olawe traveled to the island of Kaho‘olawe during spring break by preparing themselves with networking and having multiple orientations with the Protect Kaho‘olawe ‘Ohana where they learned proper protocol for their journey. The students committed themselves mentally, physically and spiritually through protocol, daily usage of Hawaiian language, and to nurture the environment and elements as Alaka‘i. Part of their Kuleana was clearing invasive grass areas and debris on the shore, restoring pathways from erosion and researching wahi pani (sacred sites). The group developed a presentation at the ‘Aha Haumana Native Hawaiian Student Leadership Conference and inspired other students to become leaders in their communities and across the ocean. Members are Sarah Kapalihiwa Bilyeu, Sophie Kaleimomi Dolera, Joshua No‘eau Kalima, Alana Kanahele, Sheena Kau‘i Lopes, Aaron Kahea Morton, Isaac Ku‘uiponohea Pang, Ulupuamahinamaikalani Peleiholani-Blankenfeld and Kiliona Young.


The Ka Lama Ku Certificate of Leadership Awards

The Alaka‘i Certificate—Leadership was awarded to Kalaiakea Blakemore (Art) for taking a lead role with the Student Art Association and the art of printmaking as a jury member with several art exhibitions.

The Kuleana Certificate—We are Accountable and Responsible was awarded to Bennjamin Siemers (Kinesiology Education) with dedication and accountability in Therapeutic Sciences and community outreach with his internship at the North Hawai‘i Community Hospital.

The 2016-2017 Psychology and Kinesiology and Exercise Sciences (PSY-KES) Peer Advising Team received this award for having the ability to recognize the roles they have with peer academic advising toward student success and being active with campus outreach. Members are Alia Alvarez, Cheyrub Cabarloc, Zach Gorski, Keian Shon, Julie Tom, Leahi Akao, Chelsea Mitsuda, Froile Queja, Kaylee Rapoza, Bennjamin Siemers, Roget Chan, Jamie Ouye and Gabriella Sanchez.

Claire Akau & Lara Hughes

Nominator Claire Akau (left) with award recipient Lara Hughes.

The ‘Ike Pāpālua Certificate—To Have the Gift of Vision was awarded to Lara Hughes (College of Business and Economics with a focus on Business Administration) for her volunteerism as a writer and with the Big Island Press Club’s vision to advance student efforts with their goals for the future.

Students from the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Sciences graduate program Erin Busch, Kailey Pascoe, Keolohilani Lopes, Jessica Kirkpatrick, and Rose Hart won the the Mālama ‘Āina Award. Also pictured is alumnus Nathan Stevenson who was involved in planning this year’s TCBES Symposium. Courtesy photo from TCBES program.

The Mālama ‘Āina Certificate—Taking Care of the Land and Environment was awarded to a group of students from the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Sciences graduate program for their environmental outreach and research in many areas that impact island and global communities and their teamwork at the TCBES Symposium. The students are Erin Busch, Keolohilani Lopes Jr, Kailey Pascoe, Rose Hart and Jessica Kirkpatrick.

The Mālama ‘Ohana—Taking Care of our Families was awarded to Kanani Daley (Art) for embracing her world of art through a native viewpoint and inspiring other artists to share their work in the East Hawai‘i Cultural Center.



The recognition ceremony was sponsored by the UH Hilo Campus Center Fee Board, the Ka Lama Ku Student Leadership Program and Student Advisory Council, the Student Activities Council, University Radio Hilo and Vulcan Video Productions, Ke Kalahea and the Division of Student Affairs.

Apr 212017

The Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation’s awards are Hawaii’s highest recognition of preservation, rehabilitation, restoration and interpretation of the state’s architectural, archaeological and cultural heritage.

The Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation will honor the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM) for its outstanding preservation efforts of Maunakea with a 2017 Preservation Commendation Award at the upcoming 43rd Annual Preservation Honor Award Ceremony on May 19.

Person doing fieldwork.

Fieldwork on Maunakea.

The foundation’s awards are Hawaii’s highest recognition of preservation, rehabilitation, restoration and interpretation of the state’s architectural, archaeological and cultural heritage. The Preservation Commendation will be presented to OMKM, the Maunakea Management Board, Kahu Kū Mauna—a council comprised of Hawaiian cultural resource persons who serve as advisors—and Pacific Consulting Services, Inc., for the preservation efforts related to the Long-Term Historic Property Monitoring Plan for UH Managed Lands on Maunakea.

“The preparation of this plan and implementation of regular, annual monitoring without a statutory requirement demonstrates the Office of Maunakea Management’s commitment to stewardship and best practices in cultural resource understanding, protection and preservation,” says Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation Executive Director Kiersten Faulkner. “We congratulate you on your exemplary preservation efforts.”

“The Office of Maunakea Management together with the Maunakea Management Board, Kahu Kū Mauna and Pacific Consulting Services created a model we believe would enhance our stewardship of the lands we manage,” says OMKM Director Stephanie Nagata. “We are honored and humbled by this recognition.”

A multiple upright shrine (kūahu) in the Maunakea Science Reserve.

A multiple upright shrine (kūahu) in the Maunakea Science Reserve.

Maunakea, a culturally significant mountain to Native Hawaiians, is rich in properties protected by Hawaiʻi State law. The summit and surrounding areas contain sites that archaeologically and architecturally merit inclusion as protected historical properties. These sites include shrines, burials, three traditional cultural properties—Puʻulilinoe, Kūkahauʻula (cluster of cinder cones) and Lake Waiau—and the stone cabins at Halepōhaku.

Since its inception in 2000, OMKM has been responsible for the day-to-day management of more than 11,000 acres of University of Hawaiʻi managed lands, including the Mauna Kea Science Reserve, with oversight by the Maunakea Management Board and Kahu Kū Mauna.

Long-Term Historic Property Monitoring Plan for UH Managed Lands on Maunakea

The 2017 Preservation Commendation is awarded for the Long-Term Historic Property Monitoring Plan, developed and implemented to systematically monitor the condition of more than 200 significant historic properties located within the lands on Maunakea managed by the University of Hawaiʻi.

The Long-Term Historic Property Monitoring Plan includes guidelines for monitoring the condition of significant properties to help identify any alteration patterns and steps for maintaining and updating the catalog of historic properties. An initial evaluation of each historic property was done to determine management needs. Following four years of extensive inventory field work and analysis of more than 11,000 acres, approximately 260 sites were classified for monitoring in three categories: yearly, every three years and every five years. Historic properties monitored yearly are the sites most exposed to possible disturbances and are therefore monitored most frequently.

A key initiative of the Office of Maunakea Management is the protection and preservation of the historic resources found within UH-managed lands, including the Mauna Kea Science Reserve, the summit access road corridor and the mid-level facilities at Halepōhaku. The plan assists with monitoring implementation, establishes assessment parameters and in consultation with State Historic Preservation Division, and develops measures to mitigate possible adverse impacts to preserve and protect historic properties for future generations.

The Office of Maunakea Management was also a recent recipient of the Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce’s Pualu Environmental Award. The 2016 Environmental Awareness Award recognized organizations that exhibit sensitivity and concern for the environment through innovative environmental practice.


UH System News

Apr 212017

In a collaborative project between UH Hilo and UH Mānoa, the NSF funds will create Kaniʻāina, a digital corpus of recordings and transcripts of Native Hawaiian language.

Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa

Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa

A University of Hawaiʻi project to build a digital online repository of spoken Hawaiian language, or ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi received grants from the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities. The grants total $448,464 over a three-year period.

The project, “Building a Hawaiian Spoken Language Repository,” will create Kaniʻāina, a digital corpus of recordings and transcripts of Native Hawaiian language. Kaniʻāina will feature hundreds of hours of audio and video recordings, fully searchable transcripts in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi, catalog information in both English and ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi and a unique crowd-sourcing feature for soliciting enhanced transcription and content-tagging of the recordings from the public.

Larry Kimura

Larry Kimura

The grants will be managed by principal investigator Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, director of the UH Hilo Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, along with co-principal investigators UH Hilo Associate Professor Larry Kimura and UH Mānoa Associate Professor Andrea Berez-Kroeker.

Hawaiian spoken language repository

The recordings and transcripts will be accessible online at Ulukau: The Hawaiian Electronic Library, beginning with phase 1 of the first two collections—Ka Leo Hawaiʻi and Kū i ka Mānaleo—later this year. The content will be archived for long-term preservation in Kaipuleohone, the University of Hawaiʻi Digital Language Archive, which is part of ScholarSpace, the UH institutional repository.

Berez Kroeker

Berez Kroeker

The awards also include funding for undergraduate research opportunities and a cross-campus graduate educational exchange in language documentation and revitalization.

“We are elated that we can now move toward building a larger public repository of audio and visual native speaker collections to support the growing population of Hawaiian speakers,” Kawaiʻaeʻa said. “Kaniʻāina comes at a crucial time when the number of Hawaiian speakers is increasing as the last of the native speaking elders is rapidly dwindling. We now estimate the number of elder native speakers outside of the Niʻihau community to total between 20 and 30.”

The broader impacts of Kaniʻāina will include its integration into immersion-based language education from pre-school to the university level, Hawaiian knowledge in the natural and social sciences, and beyond. The project will also engage underrepresented groups as citizen scientists through its creation of a publicly available corpus of an endangered U.S. language.

For more information, read the UH Hilo news release.


-via UH System News.

Apr 122017

The programs at ‘Imiloa are done annually at to honor Merrie Monarch’s purpose to perpetuate, preserve and promote the art of hula and Hawaiian culture through education.

In celebration of the 54th Annual Merrie Monarch Festival, ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center will host three days of cultural enrichment programs, Wednesday, April 19 through Friday, April 21, 2017. This series is organized annually at ‘Imiloa to complement and honor Merrie Monarch’s major purpose: the perpetuation, preservation and promotion of the art of hula and Hawaiian culture through education.

The program will include stories delivered through the art of hula and chant by Hālau o Kekuhi and live music by Grammy® Award Winner Kalani Pe‘a. Discover the traditions of oral stories in the Oli Workshop by Kumu Hula Mehanaokalā Hind.

Wednesday, April 19

The opening day of events at ‘Imiloa will showcase the Oli Workshop with Kumu Hula Mehanaokalā Hind at 10:00 a.m. Hind will share mele aloha ‘āina that showcase Hawaiian perspectives of origin and connection to the land. Hind is a Kumu Hula and cultural practitioner skilled in hula and oli. She descends from the hula lineage of Kumu Hula Leinaʻala Kalama Heine and has been trained in mele oli by some of Hawaiʻi’s master chanters.

The afternoon session at 1:00 p.m. will feature a film screening of Nā Hulu Lehua: The Royal Cloak and Helmet of Kalaniʻōpuʻu. This documentary film shares the historic story of Kalaniʻōpuʻu, aliʻi nui (high chief) of Hawaiʻi Island, who greeted Captain James Cook in 1779 at Kealakekua Bay and draped his treasured ‘ahu ‘ula (feathered cloak) over the newcomer’s shoulders as a gesture of goodwill. While Cook himself would never leave Hawai‘i, Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s feathered cape and mahiole (feathered helmet) sailed back to Europe with Cook’s crew, and ultimately ended up at the National Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa. Over 230 years later, the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Bishop Museum, Te Papa, and Hawaiian Airlines collaborated in an unprecedented partnership that enabled the return of Kalaniʻōpuʻu’s priceless garments to Hawaiʻi. Hind, who participated in the returning of Kalaniōpuʻu’s cape, will lead the screening with a Q & A to follow.

Thursday, April 20

A live musical performance by Hilo’s own Lito Arkangel will kick off on  at 10:00 a.m. Arkangel has a personal connection to the songs he presents, and delivers more than words, but an essence of the story captured in mele (song). He spent most of his youth growing up in Keaukaha with ‘ohana who have guided him through the many facets of Hawaiian culture and upbringing. Lito perpetuates Hawaiian music and culture as a teacher, mentor and professional musician. Join Lito as he shares mele from his two albums, Me ke aloha(2014) and Kuʻupau (2017), along with the special stories that connect him to these mele Hawaiʻi.

Enjoy an afternoon hula and costume presentation by Hālau o Kekuhi at 1:00 p.m.. Across various dancers and dance instructors, it is a common understanding that costuming should reflect either the performer, the story within their dance, or both. Join Hālau o Kekuhi as they perform hula and lead a conversation that explores the dancer’s kuleana (responsibility) to create a unique environment through detailed chant, motions and intentional costuming.

Friday, April 21

Kealopiko will open the morning session at 10:00 a.m. with He leo aloha: a presentation on the language and story in the Kealopiko design process. The idea to start Kealopiko grew out of a deep aloha for the islands, the history, its people and the Hawaiian language. “Figuring out how we articulate the many voices of the past and present in story and design forms the core of what we do and is an ever-changing process that continually educates us as founders,” says co-founders Jamie Makasobe and Hina Kneubuhl. “As we grow, so does our process and the language we find and use to reconnect elements of the natural and cultural landscapes to our modern day existence.”

Culminating ‘Imiloa’s Merrie Monarch programming is a live musical performance by 2017 Grammy® Award Winner, Singer/Songwriter Kalani Pe‘a at 1:00 p.m.. His debut album E Walea features seven haku mele (Hawaiian original music compositions) and five of his favorite covers. E Walea hit number 1 on the iTunes world music charts, and in August of 2016 it hit number 12 on the Billboard world albums charts. In February of 2017, the debut album took home the Grammy® Award for Best Regional Roots Music Album. Pe‘a is a native to Panaʻewa, Hilo, and currently resides on Maui. Join Pe‘a as he presents mele from his award-winning album and shares his passion for perpetuating the Hawaiian language through music and visual arts.


Pre-sale tickets for each Cultural Enrichment Program at ‘Imiloa are $10 ($8 for ‘Imiloa members.) Pre-sale tickets can be purchased at ‘Imiloa’s front desk, or over the phone by calling 808-932-8901. Pre-sale tickets are available for purchase starting Tuesday, April 4, at 9:00 a.m. A limited supply of tickets will be available for purchase the day of each event for $15.

The ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is a world-class center for informal science education located on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus. Its centerpiece is a 12,000 sq. ft. exhibit hall, showcasing astronomy and Hawaiian culture as parallel journeys of human exploration guided by the light of the stars. The center also has a 3D full dome planetarium and nine acres of native landscape gardens. The center welcomes approximately 100,000 visitors each year, including 10,000+ schoolchildren on guided field trips and other educational programs. ‘Imiloa is located at 600 ‘Imiloa Place in Hilo, off of Komohana and Nowelo Streets at the UH Hilo University Park of Science and Technology.

Apr 112017

Graduates of this program will be ready for heritage-related careers in the interpretation, preservation, and perpetuation of cultural heritage.

Logo of fish hook.

Graduate student Kalā Mossman designed this logo concept for the program and others chipped in with drafting it. He used Manaiakalani as the inspiration for the design as a means of bringing communities together. Makau represents connections between human, land, sea and sustenance, as well as material culture. Aha represents connection to ancestors and elemental forms as well as the living culture. Stars represent Manaiakalani and connection to the universe as well as the importance of moʻolelo. In essence elements of the three papa are represented papa hulilani, papa hulihonua and papa hānaumoku. Via Facebook.

The first cohort of candidates in the Master of Arts in Heritage Management program at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo will be defending their theses this week. The general public and UH community are invited to attend.

Students in the Heritage Management program are training for heritage-related careers in government agencies, private-sector consulting firms, educational institutions, and various other organizations engaged in the interpretation, preservation, and perpetuation of cultural heritage. Two examples of  such places are heritage centers and museums. The UH Hilo program emphasizes heritage training in Hawai’i and the Pacific Islands but does so within the context of a global community.

“In collaboration with the organization Nā Kālai Waʻa, Iʻve spent the past two years creating a project exploring the past and contemporary uses and meanings of the navigational heiau, Koʻa Heiau Holomoana in pursuit of its proper portrayal and preservation,” says  Nicole Mello in a Facebook post. “I would like to invite you to join me as I defend my graduate thesis. I hope to see you there!”

Candidates and schedules

  • Kalā Mossman.
    Restoration of ʻĪmakakāloa Heiau, Kaʻalāiki, Kaʻū, Hawaiʻi: Redefining Ancient Structures of a Living Culture.
    Monday, April 10, 2017.
    12:30 to 1:30 p.m.
    University Classroom Building (UCB), room 118 (campus map).
  • Matthew Clark.
    Crossing the ‘Aʻā: Connecting Cultural Landscapes and Community Values along the Kula Kai Trails of Hīlea, Kaʻū, Hawaiʻi.
    Wednesday, April 12, 2017.
    11:00 a.m. to Noon.
    UCB 100.
  • Nicole Mello.
    Koʻa Heiau Holomoana: Voyaging Set in Stone.
    Thursday, April 13, 2017.
    4:00 to 5:00 p.m.
    UCB 112.
  • Kalena Blakemore.
    Nā Kiʻi Lāʻau: The Gods and Guardians of Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau, National Historical Park, South Kona, Hawaiʻi.
    Friday, April 14, 2017.
    9:30 to 10:30 a.m.
    UCB 111.
  • Lokelani Brandt.
    Through the Lens of an ʻIli Kūpono: an Ethnohistorical Study of Piʻopiʻo, Waiākea.
    Friday April 14, 2017.
    11:00 to Noon.
    UCB 100.
  • Tamara Halliwell.
    Iwi Kūpuna: Connecting the Past, Present, and Future of the ʻŌiwi Mamo
    Friday, April 14, 2017.
    2:00 to 3:00 p.m.
    UCB 100.
Peter Mills

Peter Mills


Peter Mills.


Heritage Management program on Facebook.

Apr 072017

Sponsored by the UH Hilo Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center as part of the Eia Hawai‘i Lecture Series presented as part of developing a Hawaiian world view at UH Hilo.

Poster about event

EVENT: The Kohala Center Mellon-Hawai‘i Doctoral and Post-Doctoral Fellows will present their dissertations.
DATE: Thursday, April 13, 2017.
TIME: 12:00 to 2:00 p.m.
LOCATION: University Classroom Building, room 127, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo (campus map).

Free and open to the UH community and general public.

Sponsored by the UH Hilo Kīpuka Native Hawaiian Student Center as part of the Eia Hawai‘i Lecture Series, a lecture series part of developing a Hawaiian world view at UH Hilo.


Kealoha Fox: “Kukulu Ola Hou. Reconstructing the Native Hawaiian Medical Inventory based on Traditional and Contemporary Kanaka Oiwi Perceptions of Illness and Disease,”

Kiana Frank: “Microbial Ecology of Hawaiian Fishponds.”

Leon Noeau Peralto: “Our Mo‘olelo of Change: Mo‘olelo, Kīpuka, Ea, and Decolonial Futures in Hāmākua, Hawai‘i.”

More detailed information.

Apr 052017

A delegation of 12 from UH Hilo attended the annual sustainability summit on Oʻahu; two students returned home with prestigious awards for their sustainability work on campus.

By Brooke Hansen.

Group photo of UH Hilo delegation to the summit.

The UH Hilo delegation to the fifth annual Hawaiʻi Sustainability in Higher Education Summit held recently at the UH West O‘ahu campus. Left to right, Zoe Whitney, Philippe Binder (back row), Maggie Chen, Ryan Perroy (back row), Mary-Fem Urena, Joshua Boranian (front center), Alexis Stubbs, Daniel Dunnom, Brennan Low and Brooke Hansen. Whitney and Stubbs received awards at the summit. Courtesy photo.

On March 15-18, a delegation of 12 faculty, staff and students from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo attended the 5th Annual Hawaiʻi Sustainability in Higher Education Summit, held at UH West O‘ahu with dozens of our peers across the UH System.

Students from the UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management who attended include Alexis Stubbs, Daniel Dunnom, Josh Boranian, and Jacob Connell, along with College of Arts and Sciences environmental science majors Mary-Fem Urena, Zoe Whitney, and Maggie Chen.

Faculty members attending were Ryan Perroy, assistant professor of geography and chair of the UH Hilo Sustainability Committee; Philippe Binder, professor of physics and astronomy; and Michelle Shuey, instructor of geography and environmental science.

Brennan Low, IT specialist and UH Hilo Sustainability Committee member, was also in attendance.

The guiding principle of the summit was ho‘omauō, “to perpetuate well-being.” Matthew Lynch, director for the UH System Office of Sustainability, gave an overview of UH campus accomplishments over the last five years, which was quite impressive.

Student awards

The student awards were one of the many highlights of the summit.

Alexis Stubbs, from the UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, won the most prestigious prize of $10,000 for the project, “Waste Sustainability Initiative through Vermicomposting and Composting,” which will expand the zero-food waste project at UH Hilo.

Alexis recounts her surprise and enthusiasm of that moment: “As I heard the title being announced, my hands immediately began shaking. I thought to myself, ‘No… No way, is he reading the title of my project?’ It was within moments after receiving the award that I felt re-activated, re-charged, motivated, encouraged, supported, acknowledged, appreciated and stimulated to get right to work!”

Zoe Whitney, from the College of Arts and Sciences, won a $1,000 Green Student Leader Award for her commitment to sustainability initiatives on campus and she received special recognition by Hawai‘i Electric Company for her Green Project Implementation Award for her work on reducing energy, food and material waste on campus.

Zoe reflects, “I am put in awe by the generosity of my community, particularly the UH Office of Sustainability, our UH President, the event sponsors, and Professor Shuey for recommending me for the Student Leadership Award.”

Other highlights at the summit

UH West O‘ahu Chancellor Maenette Benham greeted us warmly and reminded us “this place is pedagogical, it is our greatest teacher.” Indeed, UHWO embraces this mantra with their new program in Sustainable Community Food Systems led by Assistant Professor Albie Miles.

The organic garden is in the piko (center) of the UHWO campus and we toured the garden and thatched hale several times and met faculty and students who discussed their various projects from soil testing different organic methods to experimenting with crop varieties.

UH President David Lassner gave an engaging speech about his commitment to sustainability and recounted his moving journey as a crew member on Hōkūle‘a this past summer on the east coast leg that landed in New York City. I was at that jubilant celebration in NYC with the Statue of Liberty in the background. I had taken several pictures of President Lassner with the crew members and local Native American leaders that I shared with him at the summit.

Other highlights of the summit included the huaka‘i to Ma‘o Farms and Ka‘ala Farms where we worked in the lo‘i, rebuilt irrigation channels, harvested dry kalo and witnessed the revitalization of the ahupua‘a (land division). We learned about some of the traditional uses of the kalo we were harvesting called mana ‘opelu, which was used to feed reef fish to habituate them to eating it so they could be gathered up in a net.


Much mana‘o (knowledge) was shared at the summit from panelists and presenters. At the poster session, I presented my sustainability-related course on agricultural tourism (AG 194) and Professor Binder presented the new energy science certificate program.

In the Meeting of Wisdoms Panel, Noa Lincoln, assistant professor of tropical plant and soil sciences at UH Mānoa, implored us to stop treating indigenous knowledge as low tech and to move beyond generics (e.g., the existence of an ahupua‘a) to specific knowledge of the practices (i.e., all the techniques used in that location for food production and sustainability).

On reflecting about their experiences at the summit, UH Hilo students from our agriculture college shared their thoughts on the importance of gathering with others working on sustainability:

  • “You can get discouraged sometimes but when you see people from other campuses all working towards similar goals you feel this connection” —Maggie Chen.
  • “We got to collaborate with students from other campuses which made it a unique and excellent experience” —Jacob Connell.
  • “I thought it was really inspiring to know that there are people out there that care as much as I do. It was great being up in the mountains and reconnecting with nature—I spent my first night in a hammock outside so that was pretty cool!” —Daniel Dunnom.
  • “It’s about sharing what you have, what you know, and what you perceive about sustainability and how we can work together to solve our issues we have on the campuses.” —Mary-Fem Urena.

Sustainability on campus

Sustainability at UH Hilo has a renewed momentum. We will keep this going through our efforts at identifying sustainability courses, building a certificate program, reducing the ecological footprint of our campus, and uniting all the campus groups working on sustainability under the UH Hilo Sustainability Coalition.

Currently we have the UH Hilo Sustainability Committee (see the committee’s plan and blog), the UH Hilo Student Association (UHHSA) Standing Committee on Sustainability, and the SOS (Students of Sustainability) club that meets on the first and third Tuesdays of every month.

Get involved!


Brooke Hansen is an anthropologist with specialties in food, tourism, sustainability, integrative health, indigenous studies and experiential learning. She has taught edutourism and service learning on Hawaiʻi Island since 1999 with a focus on kānaka maoli culture and revitalization. At UH Hilo, she serves on the Sustainability Committee and the Blue Zones Committee and holds two teaching posts: affiliate associate professor in the Department of Anthropology and lecturer in the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management.

Mar 242017

The training focuses on indigenous HIV/AIDS research, awards the recipient up to $20k for a pilot project or buy-out, and provides access to experts in the field.

Misty Pacheco

Misty Pacheco

The Department of Kinesiology and Exercise Science at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo announced today one of their faculty has been awarded a prestigious fellowship for HIV/AIDS research training.

Misty Pacheco, assistant professor of kinesiology and exercise science, was awarded a fellowship with the Lauhoe Indigenous HIV/AIDS Research Training (IHART) program, beginning April 1, 2017, and ending March 31, 2019.

The IHART fellowship offers up to $20,000 in pilot project development seed funding and/or course buy-out; funds to attend conferences, workshops and professional training opportunities; mentors experienced in the field of HIV/AIDS research and/or cultural mentorship; access to editorial, statistical, and behavioral science expertise and consultants at the University of Washington; and online support via the IHART2 website.

“This great accomplishment of Dr. Pacheco doesn’t only illustrate the interesting and noteworthy research within (the UH Hilo kinesiology and exercise science program), but also the continued efforts regarding Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao,” says Harold Barkhoff, chair of the KES department.

Hawaiʻi Papa O Ke Ao, which translates to “Hawai‘i Foundations of Enlightenment/Knowledge,” has the goal of making the UH System the model for using Native Hawaiian knowledge and viewpoints as the foundation for educational programs. In 2012, each UH campus was tasked with developing its own individual campus plan to help fulfill the initiative—UH Hilo and Hawaiʻi Community College are working collaboratively to jointly integrate Hawaiian knowledge into programs and curricula.

Mar 162017

In honor of educator and public servant Ilima Piʻianaiʻa, the fund will benefit the astronomy center in perpetuity and enable the sharing of programming with current and future generations of young people.

Ilima Piʻianaiʻa, with lei

Ilima Piʻianaiʻa

The legacy of the late educator and government planner Ilima Piʻianaiʻa is being celebrated through the establishment of a new endowment at the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center located on the University of Hawaii at Hilo campus.

Gordon Piʻianaiʻa of Honolulu and Norman Piʻianaiʻa of Kamuela have made a gift through the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation to create a new permanently endowed fund to honor their sister and expand access to educational programming at ʻImiloa by K-12 students.

“Just as we are marking the 11th anniversary of our opening, ʻImiloa is thrilled to have our very first permanent endowment, a fund that will benefit the center in perpetuity and enable us to share our unique brand of programming with both current and future generations of young people,” says ʻImiloa Executive Director Kaʻiu Kimura. “We are humbled by the Piʻianaiʻa family’s vote of confidence in ʻImiloa and excited about what this will mean in our second decade and beyond!”

UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney adds, “This wonderful gift will benefit the children of Hawaiʻi for years to come.”

About Ilima Piʻianaiʻa

Born and raised on Oʻahu, Ilima Piʻianaiʻa (1947–2006) pursued a noteworthy career in the public sector, starting with her service as a Hawaiʻi County planner helping to develop a general plan for the island. She later served with the Hawaiʻi Community Development Authority and worked on the Kakaʻako Improvement District, among other projects. She lectured in geography and planning at UH Mānoa from 1980 to 1984, administered the Task Force on the Hawaiian Homes Commission from 1982 to 1983, then held appointments as Hawaiʻi County deputy planning director, director of the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands, director of the Office of International Relations and Affairs, and deputy director of the state Department of Agriculture.

Norman Piʻianaiʻa comments about his sister, “Even though Ilima was from Honolulu, she loved the Big Island and its people. She moved here around 1970 and mentored in the planning department under Director Raymond Suefuji during the days of Mayor Shunichi Kimura, a time when things were in a process of great change in Hawaiʻi. With ancestral roots firmly planted here, we are confident that Ilima would be pleased to know she has in this way returned and will continue to help nurture and contribute to the future education and development of Hawaiʻi Island youngsters.”

A longtime friend of Ilima, Deanne Lemle Bosnak, remembers her as “a perfect embodiment of ‘aloha.’ She personally represented Hawaiʻi’s beautiful blend of cultures, its warm hospitality and its welcoming aloha spirit. She was also a diplomat who worked hard to build bridges between disparate communities and cultures, demonstrating in everything she did a deep respect for the land and the values of its people.”

Annual distributions from the Ilima Piʻianaiʻa Endowment will support access to ʻImiloa by local elementary, middle and high school students, and may include subsidized admission and or transportation to the center, subsidized fees for ʻImiloa programs, and/or program outreach to rural parts of Hawaiʻi Island and the state.

Get involved

To make a gift to the Ilima Piʻianaiʻa Endowment please visit the UH Foundation website.

—A University of Hawaiʻi Foundation story via UH System News.