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 202017

Researchers from the UH Cancer Center at UH Mānoa and the College of Pharmacy at UH Hilo are studying how ironweed plant extract can be used to treat breast and brain cancers.

James Turkson holds ironweed plant extract.

James Turkson holds ironweed plant extract.

A year ago, James Turkson, director of the University of Hawai‘i Cancer Center’s Cancer Biology Program (UH Mānoa), along with collaborators Leng Chee Chang, Dianqing Sun and Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit at the UH Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy, published a study showing that the natural compounds from the ironweed plant were effective in killing breast cancer and brain tumor cells and blocked the development and growth of these cancers in the laboratory.

Leng Chee Chang

Leng Chee Chang

Now, in recognition of these preliminary findings, the National Cancer Institute has awarded a five-year $3 million grant for the researchers to deepen their study into how natural compounds in ironweed plant extract can be used to treat breast and brain cancers.

Dianqing Sun

Dianqing Sun

“It would be life changing for cancer patients if ironweed extract could help fight aggressive types of breast and brain cancers,” says Turkson. “Since the compounds are found in the plant, they are less toxic than traditional forms of treatment such as chemotherapy. This gives cancer patients a better quality of life when developed as drugs.”

Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit

Supakit Wongwiwatthananukit

Glioblastoma is an aggressive brain cancer that currently has no cure, explains Turkson. In addition, the types of breast cancers the researchers are targeting are some of the most life-threatening breast cancers with few successful treatments.

-Learn more, UH Mānoa media release.

Apr 202017

ʻIʻiwi have gone from being one of the most common native birds in Hawaiʻi over 100 years ago, to now being a species limited to remote forests and in danger of extinction.

Man with bird caught in net.

Adult ʻiʻiwi being removed from a mist net which was used to capture the bird for banding. Photo credit Eben Paxton, U.S. Geological Survey.

A new study evaluates conservation actions that could save the ʻiʻiwi or Hawaiian honeycreeper bird. The study, headed by Alban Guillaumet of the Hawaiʻi Cooperative Studies Unit at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, provides land managers with guidance on how to save this important pollinator. The study demonstrates how the movement of ʻiʻiwi across the slopes of Hawaiʻi volcanos in search of nectar from flowers can increase their risk of contracting disease and dying.

The journal article, “Altitudinal migration and the future of an iconic Hawaiian honeycreeper in response to climate change and management,” was published in Ecological Monographs with lead author Guillaumet, Wendy Kuntz of Kapiʻolani Community College, Michael Samuel with the USGS Wisconsin Cooperative Wildlife Research Unit, and Eben Paxton, a researcher with the USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center.

ʻIʻiwi are highly susceptible to introduced avian malaria, which is transmitted by a tropical mosquito that only occurs at low to mid-elevations of Hawaiʻi. The birds breed only in high-elevation forests where the temperatures are too cool for the mosquito to occur, but their flights to find flowering trees can take them to where diseases occur.

“ʻIʻiwi evolved over millennia to track flowering trees up and down the slopes of Hawaii’s volcanoes,” says Paxton. “Their flights to seek out blooming flowers allowed them to thrive across the Hawaiian Islands in the past. Today, however, with avian disease rampant at low and mid-elevations of the islands, these movements could lead to their extinction.”

Future disease distributions under climate change

Warming temperatures are helping mosquitoes and the diseases they carry to move into increasingly higher elevation mountain forests, leading to increased contacts with ʻiʻiwi . As a result, ʻiʻiwi have gone from being one of the most common native birds in Hawaiʻi over 100 years ago, to now being a species limited to remote forests and in danger of extinction.

Researchers tracked ʻiʻiwi movements by attaching small radio transmitters to the birds and followed their signal as they moved across the forests of Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge and beyond. These movements were mapped with the current distribution of avian malaria and future disease distributions under climate change. Researchers were then able to evaluate how the current and future distribution of disease are likely to affect ʻiʻiwi populations.

The study showed that after the breeding season, ʻiʻiwi leave their disease-free breeding areas in search of blooming trees and travel to lower elevations where disease is present. As disease expands into increasingly higher elevation areas because of increasing temperatures, disease-free areas are projected to vanish and ʻiʻiwi rapidly decline. The study indicates the species may go extinct by 2100 if action is not taken to control avian diseases and secure disease-free habitat.

Finding solutions

The study evaluated the benefits of increasing habitat and availability of nectar at high elevations, reducing mosquito numbers, and promoting the evolution of disease resistance. Efforts to reduce disease prevalence through mosquito control could help buy time, but far-ranging movements of ʻiʻiwi mean a large-scale reduction in disease would likely be required to save the species. Current efforts to reduce or eliminate mosquitoes that transmit avian malaria may be the most effective means of preserving the species.

Additionally, habitat restoration efforts to increase native flowering trees at high elevations in parallel with mosquito control efforts may be the most effective conservation plan available to managers at this time. While more resistance to malaria is the best outcome for long-term survival of the species, this may be the most difficult option for managers to directly affect.

USGS media release.

Apr 192017

The goals of the project in Keaukaha go beyond scientific and clinical objectives—the main goal is to help the community and culture surrounding the loko i‘a (fishponds).

By Anne Rivera.
This story is the fourth in a series on climate change research at UH Hilo.

Group photo in front of ocean mural, Cherie Kauahi, Steven Colbert, Kamala Anthony and Jason Adolf.

Research team (l-r) Cherie Kauahi, Steven Colbert, Kamala Anthony and Jason Adolf.

Research projects at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo are more than opportunities for students to do applied learning, they are also often geared toward helping communities and culture in Hawai‘i flourish. A perfect example of this is a project run by Kamala Anthony and Cherie Kauahi, two UH Hilo graduate students, who have taken on loko i‘a (fishpond) research in Keaukaha, Hilo, with the help of two marine science faculty advisors, Steven Colbert and Jason Adolf.

Aerial of fishpond

Aerial of fishpond in Keaukaha, now a subject of research conducted by UH Hilo. Click photos to enlarge.

The project is aimed at studying current conditions in several fishponds in Keaukaha in order to restore, sustain and manage them better in the face of climate change. The research team is collecting baseline data from the fishponds—never before collected—to study how future climate change will affect the groundwater flow into the ponds.

But the goals of the project go beyond the scientific and clinical objectives—ultimately the goal is to help the community and culture surrounding the loko i‘a. Members of the research team each have their own community connections to Keaukaha and a sense of obligation to help the loko i‘a and the local culture.

Anthony and Kauahi are both graduate students in the Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science program at UH Hilo and have a deep, personal connection with this research project beyond the student level.

Aerial of Fishpond

Aerial of Honokea fishpond at Richardson Ocean Park, Keaukaha.

Anthony is originally from Waiuli in the Keaukaha area. She attended UH Hilo for her undergraduate degree in agriculture with a specialty in aquaculture and later moved on to the TCBES graduate program. She says she feels much like the fish who enter the fishpond where the research is being conducted—she says her motivation for doing this project is because she, too, “seeks nourishment, growth, support, function, skills and the potential to pass on these processes to the next generation for the protection of a resource that sustains the community.”

Kauahi was raised on Hawai‘i Island. She completed her undergraduate studies at UH Hilo and earned a bachelor of arts in marine science. She says her overall goal of this current project is to provide the people who mālama (care for) these places added information to continue to perpetuate loko iʻa pratices as well as to ultimately provide food for the people who depend on loko iʻa resources.

“I’m learning a lot about groundwater and how complex it is as well as learning different techniques on how to look at it and measure it,” she says. “Most importantly I’m learning about wai [water] not just in the context of science but in the context of a Hawaiian and recognizing that wai is life.”

Aerials of two fishponds

Aerials of road into Keaukaha with (left) Waiahole fishpond on mauka side of road and (right) Hale o Lono fishpond on makai side of road with wall of fishpond visible. Bing Maps.

Wai is life: Linking culture and science

Both graduate students are taking away more than just the technical skills with their work on this project—rather they are learning how to join their passion for community and culture in Hawai‘i with the techniques and applicability of science. Project advisor Adolf, an associate professor of marine science, says he likes seeing students make the linkage between the two.

“I’d like to see the scientific part be as meaningful as well as be interactive with the community and outreach steps,” he says.

Adolf is originally from New Jersey. He received his master of science in botany from UH Mānoa and his doctor of philosophy biological oceanography from the University of Maryland. He worked on water quality in the Chesapeake Bay after gaining his PhD and made his way back to the islands in 2008 when he joined the faculty at UH Hilo.

Because Adolf’s specialty is in water quality and phytoplankton, he is the faculty advisor on the current fishpond project. He has known Anthony for about five years and has watched her come up through her undergraduate program—he has seen her passion and focus on lokoi‘a restoration, which was part of his motivation to join the research team.

Adolf says his favorite part about the research projects on campus is working with the students to help them write their thesis.

“The real satisfaction is using the data to generate information,” he explains. “The process of analyzing data to tell a story and yield information is my favorite part because it gives the research context and the students’ hard work purpose.”

Colbert, an associate professor of marine science, also serves as advisor for Anthony and Kauahi and helped write the proposal for this project because he has his own connections to the community of Keaukaha.

“One of the biggest goals of this project is to provide information about the hydrology of these fishponds that is useful to the community,” says Colbert. “Keaukaha is the community in Hilo where we are and spend so much of our time, so we owe them.”

Colbert is from Indiana and received his master of science in geology and doctor of philosophy in geology from the University of Southern California. While in California he studied groundwater hydrology in the coastal ocean, which is what he continues to do in Hawai‘i. He joined the UH Hilo faculty in 2010 and has developed a deep connection to the ‘āina (land) and takes joy in giving back to a community that he feels has done so much for him and his students.

Leadership for the future

Funding for the fishpond research is from the Pacific Islands Climate Science Center at UH Hilo.  The center is a partnership between U.S. Geological Survey and a university consortium that includes UH Mānoa (the consortium lead) and University of Guam, in addition to UH Hilo.

In discussing the ultimate project goal, Anthony says, “It is to produce a piece of information or a resource that will contribute to the protection and well-being of the resources that we depend on in Hawai‘i, and in doing so will allow for a combination of scientific approaches and ancestral knowledge of the people who have an intimate relationship with these resources.”

She says she plans to continue the work she does with the loko i‘a restoration through a non-profit organization known as Hui Ho‘olei Maluo to support and guide loko i‘a restoration efforts.

Although she is a first-year graduate student, Kauahi is already starting to plan for after graduation. She says she is looking to take a year off before possibly continuing on to earn her doctorate or she may immediately go to work protecting water resources.

Applied learning for students is fundamental in research projects at UH Hilo—however, connecting classroom learning and field work to the communities outside UH Hilo is vital to the success of the students.

On the various skills Anthony and Kauahi have been gaining through the fishpond research, Colbert says, “Technical skills are the number one thing but leadership experience is second because that’s where our master’s students and graduates are going—TCBES graduates are going to take on these leadership roles and they often end up in leadership roles across Hawai‘i.”

This story was edited for clarification after further input from the students.


About the author of this story: Anne Rivera (junior, communication) is a public information intern in the Office of the Chancellor.

-UH Hilo Stories


Also in this series:

Climate change research at UH Hilo: Monitoring the coasts for signs of erosion and planning ahead

Climate change research at UH Hilo: Tree rings and bird song

Climate change research at UH Hilo: Collecting data on forests and trees

Apr 112017

Walgreens began the diversity program in 2009 to donate $1 million annually toward diversity initiatives at all of the accredited pharmacy schools nationwide.

From left, Quinn Taira, Eleanor Wong, Carolyn Ma, Amy Song and Heidi Ho-Muniz

From left, Quinn Taira, Eleanor Wong, Carolyn Ma, Amy Song and Heidi Ho-Muniz

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy received a $7,000 check from retail pharmacy Walgreens to fund a diversity initiative. An additional $5,000 will go toward scholarships to students in the PharmD professional program.

This is the ninth year the college has received funding from Walgreens for diversity. The funds have sponsored educational programs such as a tour of healthcare facilities at Kalaupapa on Molokaʻi.

Walgreens began the diversity program in 2009 to donate $1 million annually toward diversity initiatives at all of the accredited pharmacy schools nationwide.

Eleanor Wong, Walgreens area healthcare supervisor for the San Francisco Peninsula/Hawaiʻi region, presented the check to Dean Carolyn Ma at Walgreens specialty store on Oʻahu. Daniel K. Inouye College of Pharmacy alums Quinn Taira and Amy Song, who both work at the retail store, were in attendance along with Heidi Ho-Muniz, district manager for Walgreens Pharmacy and Retail Operations.

“We are grateful for this initiative that has helped our student pharmacists through the years and strengthened our own commitment to promoting and embracing diversity,” Ma says.


UH System News

Apr 112017

The listing is a first step on the way to developing a Certificate in Sustainability.

Students working on aquaponics project.

Students work with Prof. Bill Sakai (center) on one of several aquaponics systems at the UH Hilo Farm Lab at Panaʻewa. A course on Sustainable Agriculture (AG 230) taught by Assoc. Prof. Norman Aracon is now designated as a Sustainability-Focus course at UH Hilo.

The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo has designated 29 courses as sustainability focused (S-Focus), where most of the course is all about sustainability, or sustainability-topic related (S-Related), where a portion of the course will immerse students in sustainability topics. S-ready courses are just entering the designation process.

Below are the fall 2017 offerings. The UH System is working on different models for a Sustainability Certificate and the S-Focused courses will count towards that. UH Hilo will be working on a model for a Sustainability Certificate that complements the campus curricula.

See the Class Availability list for more details on each course.


Brooke Hansen, member of the UH Hilo Sustainability Committee and faculty advisor for the Students of Sustainability student organization.

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 112017

The endowed scholarship is made in honor of Maurice Zimring, a writer and reporter who served at UH Hilo twice during his long career.

Maurice Zimring

Maurice Zimring

Franklin Zimring, a professor of law at the University of California at Berkeley, has established a $25,000 endowment at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo in honor of his late father, Maurice Zimring. The endowment will support undergraduate students in their senior year of earning a bachelor of arts in communication and who have submitted an outstanding research paper that can make an important contribution to the field of communication.

Recipients of the scholarship can be part- or full-time students and must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or above.

Twice in his long career as a writer and reporter, Maurice Zimring joined the staff at UH Hilo. First, he served as an administrative aide to John Stalker (who directed the Peace Corps Training Center in Hilo and was a staff aide at the UH Mānoa East-West Center), and then he was an assistant and speechwriter for the UH Hilo chancellor.

Franklin Zimring

Franklin Zimring

“His affection for the people and ambitions of the UH Hilo campus were the inspiration for this award program,” says Frank Zimring in a statement about the endowment.

Maury and Molly Zimring moved to Hawai‘i Island in 1960. Married since 1933 and with their two children grown, Hilo appealed to their pioneer spirits.

Molly became the first woman to practice law on the island after opening her office in 1961. The Zimrings invested in real estate in Hilo and Puna and began development of the land that eventually became Puna Beach Pallisades.

Maurice Zimring grew up in Waterloo, Iowa, one of five children of an immigrant family. He was educated in public schools, including one term at the University of Iowa.

During the Depression, he worked as a reporter for the local newspaper before setting off for southern California in 1932. His career in media began in radio during its golden age where he specialized in writing original dramatic scripts for a series of network programs, most notably Hollywood Star Playhouse where his work was performed by Joan Crawford, Ida Lupino, Barbara Stanwyck, Mel Ferrer, Dana Andrews and the premiere performance of Marilyn Monroe. His pen name in Hollywood was Maurice Zimm.

Maury made the transition from radio to motion pictures in the early 1950s when one of his radio stories was produced by MGM as Jeopardy starring Barbara Stanwick and Barry Sullivan. His other film credits included The Prodigal and Good Day for Hanging.

But most famously, he invented and wrote the story for the misunderstood monster who became The Creature from the Black Lagoon in a series of films produced by Universal Pictures.

In the late 1950s, Maury’s most important work was in network television. He spent two years as a staff writer for the classic television series Perry Mason, where he was the author of eight one-hour scripts produced from 1959 to 1963.

Maury passed away on Nov. 17, 2005, in Westwood, CA, at 96 years old—but along with his wonderful writing, his legacy lives on at UH Hilo.


Jin Yin.

Learn more about giving

UH Foundation.

Apr 102017

The endowment will provide financial support for students to pursue beekeeping interests and become active contributors to Hawai‘i’s agricultural community.

Vincent and Alison planting a 'Ōhi'a Lehua tree that will be named for them at the bee farm.

Vincent and Alison planting a ʻŌhiʻa Lehua tree that will be named for them at the bee farm.

Alison and Vincent Shigekuni are passionate about the environment and especially about bees. Since the Adopt-a-Beehive Program was launched at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo in 2011, the Shigekunis have supported a beehive named in honor of Alison’s parents, Ben and Fusae Fujise.

Now, they are building on their generosity and have created the Ben and Fusae Fujise Beekeeping Endowed Scholarship. This is the first endowed scholarship established for this innovative program and will support undergraduate students at UH Hilo.

Recently, they joined UH Hilo Professor of Entomology Lorna Tsutsumi for a visit to the UH Hilo Farm Laboratory in Panaʻewa to see the beehive farm.

“The Adopt-A-Beehive with Alan Wong program is extremely grateful and appreciative for the generosity of the Shigekunis,” says Tsutsumi. “Their endowment will provide much needed financial support for students so that they can pursue their beekeeping interests and become active contributors to Hawai‘i’s agricultural community. As an endowed fund, their gift will make a difference for Hawai‘i now and in the future.”

The Shigekunis hands-on experience at the UH Hilo farm deepened their commitment to the bee program.

“It is gratifying to be able to support this important program,” says Alison Shigekuni. “We feel connected to this project through the personal updates we get from the students about the work they are doing, and by attending events where we meet some of the students and other donors.”

In 2015, the Shigekunis set up the Albert and Dorothy Shigekuni Endowed Scholarship in honor of Vincent’s parents to benefit UH students who have never left home and are participating in the study abroad program. Vincent was a scholarship recipient in the 1970s when he was a student at UH and he remembers how much the support helped when he was struggling to make ends meet while finishing school.


Adapted from a media release and other media reports.