Weekly Newsletter for Faculty and Staff, Oct. 12, 2021

Featured in this week’s issue of Ha‘ilono o UH Hilo (News of UH Hilo): Richards Grifiths, David Lassner, Bonnie Irwin, Kainani Kahaunaele, Philippe Binder, Kara Murphy, Cecelia Rudo, and Kiha Stevens.

Richard Griffiths pictured with NASA image of Hamilton's Object (in space).
UH Hilo astronomy professor Richard Griffiths led a team of scientists that recently solved the mystery of the light from a single galaxy being split into multiple distorted images, something that has puzzled astronomers for many years.


Message from UH President David Lassner: Please plan now for return to campus in the spring.

Message from Chancellor Bonnie Irwin: Annual Hawai‘i Island United Way Campaign is underway.


Kainani Kahaunaele, UH Hilo alumna and Hawaiian studies lecturer, wins big at 2021 Na Hoku Hanohano Awards. Her third album, Waipunalei, won seven awards in six categories.


The Long Range Budget and Planning Committee met Oct. 8. The meeting notes are available here.

Community Outreach

ʻImiloa Astronomy Center invites students grades K-12 to enter the Spooky Species Poster Contest by illustrating endemic spooky species of Maunakea and their unique ecosystems: the nananana peʻepeʻe (Hawaiian non-webmaking Wolf Spider), the ʻenuhe hamuiʻa (Carnivorous Caterpillar), the ʻōpeʻapeʻa (Hoary Bat). Submission deadline is Sunday, October 24, 4 p.m.

Covid Updates

COVID-19 vaccination required of all UH employees in 2022.

Out-of-State Travel:

  • Employees who are returning from out-of-state travel—business or personal—are strongly encouraged to obtain a negative COVID-19 test result prior to returning to campus or workplace. Employees must also follow all State of Hawaiʻi Safe Travel guidelines and UH COVID-19 Guidelines, including being cleared by the LumiSight UH daily health check app to be on campus. Return to work testing should be done 3-5 days after return from travel. Tests should either be a PCR or Rapid Antigen Test. Testing must be through an approved venue, which includes the State’s Trusted Travel Partners and County of Hawai‘i sponsored community testing. Over-the- counter rapid COVID tests are generally not acceptable.
  • If the out-of-state travel is for approved work purposes, employees may make an appointment through Clinical Labs for testing. Appointments must be made through this appointment portal. If the out-of-state travel is for personal (non-work) reasons, then the employee will need to obtain testing on their own.

Two options for free testing:

  • Students only: Friday, October 15, Noon to 4:00 p.m., University Classroom Building room 127. PCR testing. Sign-up not necessary; valid picture ID required. Any changes will be sent via UH Announce email.
  • Employees and students: Clinical Labs statewide. PCR testing. Registration required. Testing by online appointment only; walk-ins not accepted.

Continue to stay informed through the UH Hilo COVID-19 webpage and the UH System COVID-19 webpage for information and advisories, including the updated interim UH COVID-19 Guidelines and updated interim UH Hilo COVID-19 Guidelines.


Graduate Thesis/Dissertation to Committee Deadline, Friday, Oct. 15.

Graduate Students Only: Deadline to Apply for Fall 2021 Graduation, Friday, Oct. 15.


“Everything Ancient Was Once New: Indigenous Persistence from Hawaiʻi to Kahiki,” by Emalani Case, Thursday, Oct. 14, 12:30-1:45 p.m., via Zoom. Registration required.

“Managing Carbon Stored in Sediment,” by Trisha Atwood, Associate Professor of Watershed Sciences and the Ecology Center, Utah State University, Thursday, Oct. 14, 3:00-4:00 p.m., via Zoom. Passcode: carbon.

“Stories of Hawaiian Royalty Who Visited England,” with historian Colette Higgins, Monday, Oct. 18, 11:00a-12:00p, via Zoom. Meeting ID: 991 3257 7321; Passcode: BrownBag.

For more info on events, see UH Hilo Calendar of Events.


UH Hilo physics professor Philippe Binder translates scientific terms into Indigenous languages. He knows that when physics students can learn and use introductory scientific terms and concepts in their native tongue, they are more likely to understand the subject.


UH Hilo astronomy professor Richard Griffiths leads team that solves gravitational lens phenomenon. UH Hilo physics and astronomy students assisted with data analysis, observations, and obtaining spectroscopic measurements using telescopes from Gemini and W.M. Keck observatories.

Climate change research is funded by NASA; UH Hilo students to investigate coastal erosion. The purpose of the NASA funding is to equip students with the skills necessary to assess and analyze the impacts of sea level rise upon coastal ecosystems.


See Sodexo’s Family Dinner menu for this week, including how to order.


Two UH Hilo marine science students win awards to fund their ocean conservation projects. Marine science majors Kara Murphy and Cecelia Rudo will apply the monetary awards to their projects focused on engaging the community in ocean conservation.

Supporting Student Success

UH Hilo receives nearly $9 million in federal funds for Native Hawaiian student success programs. The funding will support staff at UH Hilo in their work with colleagues on campus and across other UH campuses to create new pathways for Native Hawaiian students to achieve success from freshman year to graduation.

Word of the Week

Above, join Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language student Kiha Stevens for a lesson on the Hawaiian word of the week. “Kū” is the Hawaiian god of war, agriculture, politics and fishing. Hua Maka is a weekly video series produced by the college and edited by the UH Hilo Office of University Relations.

In fall and spring semesters, this newsletter is a weekly e-blast of news and information for faculty and staff, produced by University Relations, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.