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2018 Conference

Call For Proposals

25th Annual Hawai‘i Conservation Conference Call for Proposals is now closed.

Ulu Ka Lālā I Ke Kumu: From a Strong Foundation Grows an Abundant Future

July 24 – 26th, 2018, Hawai‘i Convention Center, Honolulu Session & Abstract

Proposal Deadline: February 9th, 2018

Deadline for Presenters to Register: June 1st, 2018

Conference theme

The Hawaiian ʻōlelo noʻeau (wise saying) “Ulu ka lālā i ke kumu” literally means, “the branch grows from the tree trunk.” The word kumu can mean foundation, trunk, base, source, and teacher. The foundation set and the lessons learned from our past conservation efforts prepare us for further growth and evolution of our work. We remember and honor the foundations, and forge ahead, using new and better tools and techniques that our forebears did not have access to. We recognize that without our ancestors, we would not have the knowledge and resources we have today. We also trust that one day our own work will be the kumu, so we build the science and praxis to buttress the future we desire. At the 25th annual Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference, we will reach from our rich foundations of biocultural stewardship and innovate scientific exploration towards an abundant future for our environment and our communities.


The Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference Organizing Committee is soliciting proposals for symposia, forums, workshops, trainings, and individual oral or poster presentations under the following four tracks. Integrated, multi-disciplinary, and transdisciplinary approaches to research and management are increasingly relying on community involvement, founded on multiple knowledge systems, and emphasizing biocultural knowledge. Proposals that demonstrate these innovative approaches are highly encouraged.

1. Lessons from Indigenous Knowledge and Conservation History

Our conservation approaches and methods today have been shaped by centuries of hands-on experiences and lessons learned in Hawaiʻi. At the same time, conservation is a rapidly evolving field, with important changes in how it is conceived and implemented; in particular, the ways in which technologies and knowledge systems, both ancestral and contemporary, are integrated into today’s science and practice. This track uses the history of conservation in Hawaiʻi and the broader Pacific to derive lessons for today. It focuses on gathering insights from the rich array of experience and knowledge systems in the region, including contemporary western (e.g., protected area) and traditional Hawaiian (e.g. the ahupuaʻa, kapu system) approaches to conservation management. The track honors ancestral wisdom, often captured in

traditional stories and chants, but also kept alive with families that engage in intergenerational stewardship. Topics will span groundbreaking approaches to biocultural conservation, land and sea stewardship, community-based collaborative management, species vs. ecosystem focused management, ʻāina-based management, as well as new tools in conservation.

Guiding Questions:

  • What does history teach us? How can lessons from the past inform today’s science and conservation practice?
  • How do historical cultural practices and indigenous knowledge systems inform contemporary scientific inquiry, management, and conservation practice?
  • How are we incorporating the knowledge of kūpuna into our conservation practices?
  • How are we continuing the legacy of aloha and mālama ʻāina in contemporary research and management efforts?
  • How has community co-management impacted conservation practice? Are there successes to build on and/or cautionary tales to learn from?
  • What makes Hawaiʻi uniquely positioned to be a model for conservation worldwide? What are the successes and lessons learned?

2. Building the Future

In addressing complex challenges, we often find the need to work collaboratively, learning from and leaning on each other. The work of restoring and preserving our heavily impacted native ecosystems will take expertise, effort, and long-term commitment from every sector and every generation. Our collective work will thrive through the successful engagement in authentic, innovative, and meaningful experiences that bridge knowledge systems, incorporate traditional Hawaiian values and practices into contemporary research and management efforts, utilize intergenerational learning experiences, and exalt the value of kuleana. As practitioners of aloha and mālama ʻāina, we are the products of those who taught and mentored us and we must now work together to share and build our knowledge and collective efforts across generations. This track features efforts that seek to push the creative boundaries of environmental stewardship to engage new audiences and build strong partnerships for the present while we uplift the next generation of caretakers for our Island Earth.

Guiding Questions:

  • How are communities leading stewardship and conservation and how has this changed natural resource management?
  • What tools and/or approaches have demonstrated success in communicating complex environmental issues to the general public and other audiences? How successful have conservation communication efforts been and how can we better inform the public?
  • How have collaborative sustainability initiatives in Hawaiʻi influenced public discourse, policy, and action within and beyond the conservation community? Are these initiatives on track for success and what needs to be done to reach targets?

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  • How do we better integrate ʻāina-based education into conventional and innovative education systems? What have been the outcomes (i.e. behavior change in Hawaiʻi’s youth and communities) so far and how can we grow and improve?
  • How are we effectively collaborating to develop pathways that support the next generation of conservation professionals in Hawaiʻi? How could we improve?
  • How have we committed to the development of future mālama ʻāina warriors in our work, institutions/organizations, and communities?
  • How do integrative, collaborative, and community-based approaches to research and natural resource management benefit environmental stewardship?
  • How can high-level commitments to a sustainable future translate to meaningful on-the-ground action?

3. Invasive Species & Biosecurity

Invasive species pose some of the greatest threats to Hawaiʻi’s endemic and native species as well as our ability to protect our local agriculture, human health, economy, and overall quality of life. Learning from past successes and failures, the Hawaiʻi Interagency Biosecurity Plan (HIBP) provides a framework for enhancing biosecurity capacity in the areas of pre-border, border, and post-border actions and articulating policies that minimize the potential impacts of invasive species by preventing their entry or establishment in Hawaiʻi. As the State implements this plan, there is continued need for vigilance and innovation in all sectors to prevent introduction and spread of both terrestrial and aquatic invasive species and to address and mitigate the significant impacts of those that have become established throughout our archipelago. This track explores Hawaiʻi’s complex history in battling invasive species through the development and implementation of biosecurity measures, and identifies future opportunities that build upon that foundation.

Guiding Questions:

  • How have lessons of the past (previous invasions, past successful eradications) guided future efforts to protect Hawaiʻi from introduction and spread of invasive species and to mitigate and restore already impacted ecosystems?
  • How is historical work and lessons learned in invasive species prevention and control incorporated into current and future directions for invasive species management in Hawaiʻi?
  • How will climate change impact invasive species management and biosecurity throughout the archipelago?
  • How effective are our prevention and control efforts? What can we do to improve our efficacy?
  • What are some of the innovative tools and technologies available to prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species as well as to mitigate existing and emerging threats? What opportunities do new technologies provide for increasing efficacy or lowering management costs? What are the most urgent biosecurity needs for Hawaiʻi? How do we prioritize for action
  • Hawaiʻi’s many invasive species issues, and how do we balance resources between existing invasive species management and prevention of new introductions?

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4. Putting Research into Practice for Thriving ʻĀina

Research efforts in natural resources science broadly defined provide Hawaiʻi with information on species biology, ecology at species and ecosystem levels, ecosystem processes and services, and the socioeconomic and socioecological context of human relationships with the natural world. This knowledge base underlies all of our conservation efforts, and provides managers and legislators with the confidence to take actions and formalize policies. This track includes syntheses that highlight how current research continues to inform our day-to-day conservation, emerging technologies, as well as broader resource management and policy. Topics span the natural and social sciences. The former will focus on the ecological role of species composition in shaping the structure, function, and dynamics of ecosystems; the ecological processes that underpin the provisioning of goods and services; the tools used to understand the baseline biology of previously under-investigated locations; and the role of taxonomy and taxonomic revision in conservation. Social science topics may include the role of citizen science in conservation research, environmental valuation, human-environment interactions, conservation decision making, etc.

Guiding Questions:

  • What are the research frontiers in native species ecology and ecosystem science?
  • How can socio-ecological research shape tomorrow’s conservation practices?
  • How is citizen science and collaborative research impacting natural resource management, and what is its potential for growing conservation research capacity?
  • What “emerging technologies” will define the conservation enterprise in 10 years, and what can be done to facilitate their development and implementation?
  • How have science and research been applied in policy and practice by Hawaiʻi’s governing institutions?
  • What are some significant recent finding related to native ecosystems, ecosystem services, and endemic and native species? What are the implications for conservation and management?
  • What are the implications of new climate change projections for Hawaiʻi?

Session & Abstract Proposal Deadline: February 9th, 2018
*ALL FINAL abstracts, including those that are part of a symposium or forum, are due by February 9th, 2018. All abstracts submitted at this time will be reviewed by the Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference Abstract Committee based on the Evaluation Criteria ( on_Instructions_FINAL.pdf ).

Link for Abstract Submission:
Link for Symposium Submission: page

Deadline for Presenters to Register: June 1st, 2018

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*ALL presenters are required to register for the conference. Only presenters with accepted abstracts that are registered by June 1st, 2018, will be considered for inclusion in the program book.
Session proposals and abstracts must be submitted online. Please review the Evaluation Criteria and Submission Instructions documented for detailed instructions.

Oral and Poster Presentations: Formal, individual presentations on various conservation topics will be scheduled in general sessions depending on the specific “Track” in which it was submitted and the thematic content. The abstract submission form requires the selection of preferred presentation format (oral or poster) and whether you are submitting your abstract as an individual or part of an organized symposium. The review committee may suggest that you change your proposed format depending on the novelty, relationship to theme, available time in the program, and whether or not the content has been previously presented. All oral and poster presenters must be registered participants.

1. Individual Oral Presentation:

Oral presentations are limited to 15-minute individual presentations (15-minute talk, 3 minutes Q&A, 2 minute for transition time). Oral presentations will be scheduled in thematic 1-2 hour long sessions. If your abstract is accepted by cannot be accommodated as an oral presentation, we may offer you the opportunity to present as an Electronic Poster Presentation.

2. Electronic Poster Presentation:

The Electronic Poster Presentation showcases your work visually to attendees through a presentation session. Each electronic poster presenter will be asked to build their poster through our online poster platform. Presenters scheduled to present their electronic posters over the course of a 1 hour time slot during the conference. This year, we will utilize [TBD] sized television monitors to showcase the posters.

3. Symposium:
Symposiums are formal moderated sessions containing 4-6 individual oral presentations organized around a topic or theme. Each individual presentation time is limited to 15 minutes with 3 minutes for Q&A and 2 minute for moderator introductions and transitions. Symposiums can be between 1 and 2 hours long. The symposium organizer is required to first submit a symposium description and session agenda. Each presenter is required to submit an individual oral presentation abstract linked to the symposium by the deadline, February 9th, 2018. All presenters and moderators must be registered participants.

4. Forum:
Forums may include panel presentation, roundtable sessions, or another structured presentation format that utilized innovative facilitation methods. It is meant to be a less formal, more interactive session guided by a moderator or facilitator that engages with presenters and the audience through a variety of participatory techniques. Forums may be scheduled in a 1 to 2 hour time block, and should allow for participation at least 25% of the time. Forum submissions require true audience participation that consists of more than a question and answer session. When submitting their abstract, we request that the Forum organizer describe how audience interaction will be integrated into the presentation format. Abstracts for each presenter are not required unless requested by the forum organizer/chair. All presenters, facilitators and/or moderators must be registered participants.

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5. Workshop:
An interactive, highly facilitated, “hands on” session that minimizes formal presentations and emphasizes the application of information and/or technology. Active audience participation and innovative facilitation methods are encouraged. To register, one cohesive workshop abstract is required that describes engagement technique used by the person(s) facilitating the workshop. Workshop facilitators must be registered participants. Conference workshops can be 1 to 2 hours; for an extended off-site workshop, see section below on “Affiliated / Off-site Workshops and Trainings”.

6. Training:
Organizations have the opportunity to host capacity-building trainings and activities that focus on skill transfer to conservation practitioners, teachers, etc. or a time to engage a specific audience in a particular topic related to the conference theme. A description that explains training goals and target audience is required. Training facilitators must be registered conference participants. Conference trainings can be 1 to 2 hours; for an extended off-site workshop, see section below on “Affiliated / Off-site Workshops and Trainings”.

Affiliated / Off-site Workshops and Trainings: Organizations and practitioners are welcome to conduct trainings or workshops off-site, either during, before, and after the conference. The host organization(s) is responsible for organizing all aspects of their training or workshop. The HCA can assist with listing your workshop or training with conference marketing materials as an affiliated event. Please contact us for details about this opportunity.

For more information, please contact 2018 HCC Abstract Manager, 808-944-7417,

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