About the TPSS Graduate Program

Research encompasses the use of observation and measurement to discover new knowledge, refine or refute existing knowledge, and develop technological innovations. Extension brings this knowledge and innovation to members of the public through community education and outreach. The research and extension activities carried out by faculty members, students, and staff in UH Mānoa’s Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences (TPSS) are two components of our mission as part of Hawai‘i’s land-grant college and university. (The third component is academic instruction).

TPSS research and extension are integrated. Most faculty members participate in both research and extension activities, although the fraction of time dedicated to each varies among faculty appointments. Research is a required component of TPSS degrees, and students can find opportunities to participate in extension both through working with faculty members and by joining organizations that engage in community outreach, including the TPSS Horticulture Society and the Student Organic Farm Training program. Additionally the GENE-ius Day program also provides educational outreach events for students and their families.

Granting agencies often require that projects they fund include coordinated research and extension efforts. Many TPSS facilities serve both research and extension functions. By linking the creation and propagation of knowledge, TPSS encourages members of the public to (1) benefit directly from the research they support through state and federal funding and (2) provide feedback to shape the direction of future investigations.