Kūlani Noi‘i Award Presentations April 6 🗓 🗺

On behalf of the Biocultural Initiative of the Pacific and Kamehameha Schools we invite you to the Kūlana Noi‘i Award presentations:

When: Monday, April 6, 2020
Time: 3:30-5:30 pm
Where: HIG 210

With funding from Kamehameha Schools, the Kūlana Noi‘i Award for Biocultural Engagement aims to institutionalize community-based research by providing support for undergraduate or graduate students to engage with the community and/or resource managers in Hawaiʻi to foster meaningful relationships for effective research and ‘āina (land and sea) management. In 2019 the inaugural award supported six UH students, each of whom will be giving a short presentation about the community engagement aspects of their research. 

2019 Kūlani Noi‘i Award Recipients:

  • Samantha Alvarado
  • Danielle Bartz
  • Cole Hendrickson
  • Kanoe Morishige
  • Samantha Scott

This will also be an excellent opportunity to learn more about the upcoming 2020 round of Kūlana Noi‘i Award applications. All are welcome, and refreshments will be served. 

Patrick Kirch

Professor of Anthropology, UH Mānoa
kirch [at] hawaii [dot] edu

Born and raised in Hawai’i, Kirch received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. from Yale University. Before joining the University of Hawai’i faculty in 2019, Kirch held positions at the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, the University of Washington, and at the University of California, Berkeley, where he taught from 1989-2017. An anthropologist and archaeologist of Oceania, Kirch’s research interests include the evolution of complex societies, indigenous agricultural systems, and the dynamic interactions between human populations and their environments. Kirch uses islands as “model systems” for understanding both cultural evolution and the complex dynamics between humans and their island ecosystems. He has carried out archaeological fieldwork in the Mussau Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Futuna, the Cook Islands, Society Islands, Mangareva Islands, and Hawaiian Islands. Kirch has published some 25 books and monographs, and more than 300 articles and chapters on the results of his research in the Pacific. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society, and he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Bishop Museum.

A Hawaiian Renaissance That Could Save the World

UH Biocultural Initiative faculty Sam ‘Ohu Gon and Kawika Winter recent published an inspiring essay in American Scientist discussing how the Hawaiian biocultural renaissance can be a model for worldwide sustainability goals.

“If we choose to live in a world where indigenous cultures not only survive but thrive, and their perspectives on resource management are honored and embraced, we can couple that with the best that Western science can offer, reestablish caring reciprocal relationships between people and nature, and remain hopeful for the future of our grandchildren’s grandchildren.”

Image credit: National Tropical Botanical Garden

Graduate Research Assistant opportunity available

Opportunity available for a University of Hawaiʻi Seagrant Fellowship focused on coastal agroforestry systems, carbon storage, and marine health in Hawaiʻi. Fellowship is open to a Masters or PhD student in Botany, Geography, or the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM) (or other relevant department) either currently enrolled or applying for enrollment to start in Fall 2020. Position is a half-time (.50 FTE) 11-Month Research Assistant position, to begin as early as June 1, 2020 or September 1, 2020. Initial appointment is scheduled to run through May 31, 2021 with likely extension through May 31, 2022. Continuation is subject to satisfactory work performance, academic progress, and availability of funds.

Duties: Work with an inter-disciplinary team of community-based non-profits, faculty, and students from the Water Resources Research Center, the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization, Department of Botany, NREM, the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB), the Heʻeia National Estuarine Research Reserve, Kākoʻo ʻŌiwi, and others to evaluate the potential for agroforestry systems to sequester carbon, protect coral reefs, and support biodiversity and cultural values in Hawaiʻi. Activities will include: GIS analysis and spatial modeling of scenarios of agroforestry throughout the State of Hawaiʻi; ecosystem service modeling of carbon storage and land-sea linkages; field data collection at an existing agroforestry restoration project; community work days to support project management. Ideally, the GRA will develop an independent project in line with overall project goals. 

Minimum Qualifications: Graduate student in NREM, Geography, Botany, HIMB, or related field in good standing, with experience in applied environmental research and excellent writing, communication, organizational, and problem-solving skills. Enjoys working in teams, with community groups, and independently. Strong interest in agroecological systems, ecosystem services, and biocultural conservation and eager to learn new skills and gain new experiences working as part of an inter-disciplinary team. Willingness to gain expertise in ARC GIS and R.

Additional Desirable Qualifications: Experience with agroforestry systems and spatial modeling; connection to Windward Oʻahu; excellent technical skills in R and ARC GIS.

Minimum Monthly salary: $1,919.00 (GA-9) + tuition waiver

To Apply: Submit a letter of interest, CV, one or more writing samples, the names and phone numbers of two references for the position to: Leah Bremer (lbremer [at] hawaii.edu). Applicants not yet enrolled in a graduate program must also apply to a graduate program by the deadline this fall.

Closing Date: Review will begin on December 15, 2019 and will be open until filled

Kūlana Noiʻi Award

Biocultural Community Engagement Funding

Mahalo for your interest. The 2019 round of Kūlana Noiʻi Award applications is now closed.

Call for Proposals (2019)

Across Hawaiʻi, there is a great need for community-based research that meets the needs of local resource managers. Many students are interested in conducting useful and impactful research to support those stewarding our lands and seas. Yet, it is rare for resource stewards and students to connect on research in significant ways, and perhaps even rarer that funding is available for students to meaningfully engage with the community. This gap often leads to research disjointed from the places and people the research is intended to assist.

The Biocultural Initiative of the Pacific at UH Mānoa is a knowledge center and network linking scholars, instructors and students who share the common goal of thinking holistically to enhance understanding of biocultural systems. In partnership with Kamehameha Schools and Kuaʻāina ʻUlu ʻAuamo (KUA), we are calling for applications for the 2019 Kūlana Noiʻi Award: Biocultural Community Engagement Funding.  The goal of this award is to institutionalize community-based research by providing support for undergraduate or graduate students to engage with the community and/or resource managers in Hawaiʻi to foster meaningful relationships for effective research and ‘āina (land and sea) management. Awards will be approximately $500-$1000 per project.

Sciences and the Sacred: Geology & Hydrology of Maunakea 🗓 🗺

Ku‘ulei Kanahele (Edith Kanaka‘ole Foundation)
Scott Rowland (Earth Sciences, UHM SOEST)

Tuesday, October 29, 2019
5:30-7:00 PM (light pupus at 5:00 PM)

Art Auditorium, UHM

Part of the series:

Sciences and the Sacred: Conversations on Maunakea

This seminar series will foreground discussions of contemporary issues surrounding Maunakea by providing our UH community with a common understanding of why Maunakea is sacred from multiple perspectives. Each seminar will pair a Hawaiian practitioner with a UH Mānoa faculty member to explore topics from various knowledge systems. Our intent is to create a safe space to dialog about complex issues.

Planned seminar topics include:

  • October 29, 2019: Geological and hydrological phenomena of Maunakea
  • November 21, 2019: Meteorological phenomena and island weather systems relevant to Maunakea
  • January 2020: Biodiversity and climate/ecological zones on Maunakea
  • February 2020: Human interactions on Maunakea pre-1778
  • March 2020: Impact of Maunakea on our understanding of the universe

Sponsored by the UH Mānoa Provost’s Office, Hawai‘i Sea Grant Center of Excellence in Integrated Knowledge Systems, and the Biocultural Initiative of the Pacific

For more information visit Sea Grant or contact Rosie Alegado (rosie [dot] alegado [at] hawaii [dot] edu).

Sam ‘Ohu Gon III

sgon [at] tnc [dot] org

  • Senior Scientist & Cultural Advisor, The Nature Conservancy of Hawaiʻi
  • Affiliate Faculty, Department of Urban and Regional Planning (UHM)
  • Member, Hawaiʻi State Board of Land and Natural Resources
  • Kumu Oli, Nā Waʻa Lālani Kāhuna o Puʻu Koholā, Bishop Museum

Dr. Sam ʻOhu Gon III was born and raised in Nuʻuanu, and over a 40+ year career in conservation in Hawaiʻi has advocated for integration of Hawaiian cultural values and knowledge in conservation efforts. He received his bachelors degree in Zoology from UH Mānoa (the first recipient to have Hawaiian accepted as fulfilling the language requirement for a life science degree). He went on to the University of California at Davis to earn his Masters degree in Zoology (Ecology, Evolution and Behavior) and his Ph.D. from the Animal Behavior Graduate Group there, conducting a comparative behavioral ecology study of the Hawaiian Happyface Spider (Theridion grallator). 


Rosie ʻAnolani Alegado

Department of Oceanography
rosie.alegado [at] hawaii [dot] edu

Rosie ʻAnolani Alegado was born and raised in Kaʻiwiʻula Oʻahu, and lives with her family in Āhuimanu, Kahaluʻu. She is an Assistant Professor of Oceanography and Sea Grant at UH Mānoawhere she is Director for the Center of Excellence in Integrated Knowledge Systems and a member of the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education. Rosie completed her postdoctral work in evolutionary biology at UC Berkeley and holds a PhD in Microbiology and Immunology from Stanford and a BS in Biology with a minor in Environmental Health and Toxicology from MIT. Her work focuses oninvestigatinghow microbes shape the adaptive potential of their ecosystem across a broad range of biological and temporal scales. In partnership with Paepae o Heʻeia, her group has tracked the influence of restoration, storms and multi-annual climate patterns on the health of Heʻeia Fishpond since 2014. Together with the non-profit Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo and Hawai’i Sea Grant, she is involved in developing kūlana noiʻi, a process wherein researchers build and sustain equitable partnerships with community. She is deeply committed to increasing participation of underrepresented minorities in STEM and is the Director of the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology Maile Mentoring Bridge Program, providing individualized mentoring and peer support for undergraduates transitioning from community colleges to Mānoa. In 2018, she was confirmed to the City & County of Honolulu Climate Change Commission.

Website: alegadolab.org

Twitter: @algoriphagus

Biocultural Restoration in Hawai‘i

A new issue of the journal Sustainability focuses on “Biocultural Restoration in Hawai‘i. Edited by BCIP faculty Kawika Winter and Noa Lincoln, along with Kevin Chang, the 14 papers in this issue highlight:

“viable models in the larger effort to restore ʻāina momona, with some focus on the management of forest, streams, nearshore fisheries, traditional crop diversity, traditional food systems, and health and wellness; as well as the legal and policy steps needed to build a foundation that can facilitate this change.”

See the UH New Release or see access the journal here.

Biocultural restoration in Limahuli Valley, Hāʻena, Kauaʻi (Photo credit: Kim S. Rogers)

Kim Burnett

UH Economic Research Organization
kburnett [at] hawaii [dot] edu

Dr. Kimberly Burnett is a Specialist Faculty with the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization (within the Social Science Research Institute) in the College of Social Sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Her primary research interests include environmental and natural resource economics, invasive species management, and watershed management, particularly for Hawaii and the Pacific. Kimberly’s publications and extramural grants have focused on invasive species and watershed management, groundwater management and the value of watershed conservation.