Two alumni volunteers assist UH Hilo entomologist in creating a digital accession database of the moth for the university’s web-based Teaching and Research Arthropod Collection.

Agrotis baliopa
Agrotis baliopa

An entomologist and two alumni from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo have collaborated to create a digital accession database of an endemic moth collection donated to the university.

UH Hilo alumna Quinn Hamamoto (bachelor of arts in English), along with alumna Ellison Montgomery (bachelor of science from the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management), and Assistant Professor of Entomology Jesse Eiben, who serves as manager of the UH Hilo Teaching and Research Arthropod Collection (TRAC), collaborated to curate and digitize pictures of the endemic Hawaiian insects. The database is posted to the web as a way to raise awareness of the moths.

Student and faculty delegates from all 10 campuses of the University of Hawai‘i System joined together for extensive breakout sessions, brainstorming, strategic planning and more.

By Alexis Stubbs, Sophomore, Tropical Horticulture.

Students working in large open area on campus.
In preparation for showcasing UH Hilo’s sustainability projects during the summit, Professor Norman Arancon’s Sustainable Agriculture class (AG 230) worked together to beautify the surrounding areas and revitalize the nearby Waste Sustainability through Composting and Vermicomposting Project in progress.

Tis the season to be ‘susty’! It’s that time of year again when student and faculty delegates from all 10 campuses of the University of Hawai‘i join together for extensive breakout sessions, brainstorming, strategic planning and more. The 6th Annual Sustainability in Higher Education Summit was hosted on Hawai‘i Island at UH Hilo and Palamanui on February 8-10, 2018, for the first time.

The fearless women who run the UH Hilo bee program raise awareness about honey bees as vital pollinators of crops around the island and worldwide.

By Maria McCarthy, Student, Bachelor of Science in Agriculture student, with an animal science track.

Lorna Tsutsumi holds up honeycomb from hive.
Lorna Tsutsumi

Screaming, swatting and running are the common reactions that majority of people have on sighting a bee. Cheryl Yara, Alex Doi, Maria McCarthy and Vanessa Staffer of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, do the opposite. They spend their days getting as close to the honey bees (Apis mellifera) as possible.

“I enjoy giving back to the ‘āina (land) and helping save the honey bees for our future generations to benefit from a crucial insect in our ecosystem,” Yara explains.

The students received their bachelor of science in agriculture degrees on Dec.16, 2017.

The College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo celebrated 10 candidates for fall 2017 graduation. The students received their bachelors of science in agriculture degrees on Dec.16, 2017.

Prior to their graduation, a special ceremony was held to recognize their achievements at the UH Hlo Farm Pavillion in Pana‘ewa.

The Class of Fall 2017:

  • Gema Brigitte Cobian Gutierrez (VET)
  • Blake Robert Dinger (THO)
  • Kawaikapuokalani Wei Xian Genovia (AGB)
  • Kayuri Kadoya (Tropical Plant Science and Agroecology)
  • Cornel Antonius Kea (ANS)
  • Jensen Kohashi (THO)
  • Maria Jerine McCarthy (ANS)
  • Keith Mauola Metuli (TPSA)
  • Ellison Parker Montgomery (TPSA, AGB)
  • Kuupomaikaiokeaohou Lindsey Akuila Stevens (TPSA)

-This announcement was originally published in the CAFNRM/Agriculture Club Newsletter, Nov-Dec 2017 Issue 1.

Photos featuring faculty and students and their hands-on activities at the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

Student in fish facility with weighing equipment, breeding tubs in background.
Tilapia experiment 2017: Aquaculture major weighs fish in a feeding experiment with Spirulina-based diets for juvenile tilapia at the Pana‘ewa farm, UH Hilo.

In full circle, we were able to observe the work that these farmers had already done to shape their landscape, worked our hands in the soil and planted the cuttings that were harvested.

Students walking through taro patches.
Students make their way through six wetland taro patches.

We stood facing our hosts, our teachers for the day, the kua‘aina of the valley. Following traditional protocol, the chant Kūnihi ka Mauna presented us to Waipi‘o Valley, and more specifically Ka‘ilipu‘ueo. ʻAma Lilly, vice president of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Agriculture Club, lead us in this chant. It allowed the club not only to present themselves in reverence to a place rich with Hawaiian traditional legacies but also helped to set the tone for the day ahead.

Students clear brush and overgrown trees during a recent Give Back Day.

Students stand for photo in front of the UH Hilo farm pavilion.
Students and faculty pose for photo at the Farm Pavilion after working to cleanup around the UH Hilo Agricultural Farm Laboratory. The day was sponsored by the UH Foundation.

In an effort to give back to the College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management facilities, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo students in the campus’s Agriculture Club created “Give Back Days,” where students, faculty and staff help get work done at the three college facilities: the College of Agriculture Building, the Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center, and the Agricultural Farm Laboratory. These photos show a day at the farm, cleaning up brush and overgrown trees.

Two Hawaiian language students create a video on beekeeping done entirely in ʻōlelo Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian language).

Still from video of two student and bee hives.
Click image to view video on YouTube (no closed captions).

The Farm Laboratory of the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, located in Pana‘ewa just south of Hilo, is home to about 50 beehives with the total number of bees at an estimated 500,000. The apiary is maintained by students and is used for hands-on learning of beekeeping from hive to market to table.

Mele Adams, a senior at UH Hilo, helps take care of the bees on the farm. She manages the bee hives when beekeeping labs aren’t in session and helps to manage the honey products as well.

“I had friends who took the course and told me about it,” says Adams, referring to the UH Hilo course on introductory beekeeping. “I was able to volunteer at the bee farm all summer and ended up getting a job at the bee farm, so I decided to take the course.” Entomology 262 is taught by Professor Lorna Tsutsumi, an entomologist and expert in beekeeping whose contributions to bee awareness in the state has brought her and the program recognition by the State Senate.

One of the advantages of studying tropical agriculture on the Big Island is the opportunity we have as students to see a diversity of farming methods, all of which play a role in the island economy and community.

By Michael Sthreshley, Senior, Agriculture.

Michael Sthreshley, background is lava flowing into ocean with steam rising.
Michael Sthreshley

Following the graduation of several key members, the Agriculture Club at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo has had a few changes in leadership starting in the fall of 2014. Among the new officers are Michael Sthreshley as president, and Miguel Bravo Escobar as vice president. Lukas Kambic and Rachel Gorenflo continue as treasurer and secretary, respectively.

The “Ag” Club has been working to establish new relations with the UH Hilo Farm Laboratory faculty. In previous semesters the club has had limited involvement with the university farm. Since the club represents our College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management and aims to open up opportunities to students, we wish to learn more and gain further experience with agriculture and related topics utilizing college’s facilities.