Directed studies provide opportunities for students to engage in some of the most interesting and rewarding educational experiences while in college.
Directed studies at the College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management provide opportunities for University of Hawai’i at Hilo students to engage in some of the most interesting and rewarding educational experiences while in college. The following is a glimpse of some of the activities students in CAFNRM are doing to fulfill their requirements in directed studies while producing useful research data and significant community service:
Ellison Montgomery is a recent graduate of CAFNRM, who came back to get more experience in applied sciences. She is working on acclimatizing native plants raised in a nursery management course taught initially by now retired Professor of Horticulture William Sakai and continued by Assistant Professor of Entomology Jesse Eiben. She is also working on a little fire ant integrated pest management project in CAFNRM greenhouses. She is currently employed at Komohana Research and Extension Center.
Eddie Bufil works for the Big Island Invasive Species Committee (BIISC) through a Forest Service grant controlling Albezia trees. He is renovating insect biological control displays for the control of invasive weeds. These educational displays are resources for teaching and outreach. He is also working on little fire ant management in the non-greenhouse areas at the farm this semester. Eddie’s adviser is Assistant Professor Jessie Eiben.
Connor Rhyno and Shaun Gutierrez, both with specialization in tropical horticulture, are creating digital maps of the orchards at the CAFRNM farm. The maps will provide digitized information of all the fruit trees at the farm which will be linked to a QR code embedded on the tree labels. The labels can be scanned using any mobile device to link to information about the trees in the orchard. High resolution images were taken by Timothy Sullivan, a geospatial research specialist at UH Hilo. Connor and Shaun are also propagating fruit trees by air layering and grafting to supply the needs of a land in Hilo soon to be developed into an orchard. Additionally, Shaun is cleaning up and redesigning the sustainable agriculture area of the farm. Connor and Shaun’s adviser is Associate Professor of Horticulture Norman Arancon.
Keith Metuli, Faatali Faiai, Lemau Ale, Faamanu Puaina, and Iosefa Lefi are revitalizing the CAFRNM greenhouse. Their activities include propagating fruits trees, production of lowering potted plants, hydroponics, renovation of compost piles and shed and general maintenance of the greenhouse.
The Aquaculture Student Workforce Training Program employs about 25 students annually to conduct research and production in the aquaponics, oyster, and marine ornamental programs. Students typically gain two to three years of work experience prior to graduation and even though there are non-student managers and technicians, students are responsible for the bulk of the work and manage, supervise and even train other students. Professor of Aquaculture Maria Haws advises students in the program.
This article was originally published in the Feb 2018 CAFNRM/Agriculture Club Newsletter.