Hawai'i conservation alliance

Speaker Presentations



SYMPOSIUM: Sea Level Impacts in Hawai'i, Implications for the Natural and Built Environment

Moderator: Dolan Eversole, University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program

The last century has seen a rapid increase in land use along the coasts with continued development of heavily populated coastal regions worldwide. These communities have become increasingly vulnerable to sea-level rise and variability. Rising sea levels will contribute to increased storm surge and flooding, leading to more frequent and destructive damage to coastal infrastructure and ecosystems. Rising sea levels will also contribute to the erosion of sandy beaches. Research of sea-level rise and variability along with projected shoreline positions will result in improved recognition of hazards and allow government to evaluate and plan for various response strategies. Future structural and non-structural adaptation measures will need to include relocating critical infrastructure vulnerable to coastal hazards as well as ecosystem protection.

FORUM: Climate Change and Hawai'i's Evolving Energy Policy

Moderators: Douglas A. Codiga, Esq., Schlack Ito Lockwood Piper & Elkind

Energy law and policy can play a critical role in controlling and mitigating the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change. Efforts to promote the rapid adoption of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency through law and policy – to reduce emissions and combat climate change – continue to proliferate at the international, national, regional and local levels. In Hawai‘i, energy and climate change policy are particularly important and dynamic areas of interest given the State’s abundant renewable energy resources and the potential economic and environmental benefits from Hawai‘i’s swift transition to a clean energy economy. This interactive panel discussion features brief presentations by a broad array of climate and energy policy specialists and an informal round-table discussion with audience Q&A. Presenters include representatives from federal and state government agencies, the University of Hawai‘i, Hawaiian Electric Company, and local non-profit energy and environmental organizations.

SYMPOSIUM: Climate Change Impacts in Hawai'i and Island Communities

Moderator: Eileen Shea, NOAA National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)/National Climate Data Center (NCDC)

This panel presentation will be moderated by Eileen Shea, the lead author of the Islands Chapter of the Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States report, who will introduce the session with an overview of the key findings and recommendations in that chapter. Following this overview, panelists comprising state and regional experts from NOAA, other Federal agencies (most notably USGS), academia, and regional organizations will discuss climate change impacts in Hawai‘i and Pacific Islands in the context of the three key issues addressed in the USP Islands Chapter: (1) Anticipated reductions in the availability of freshwater resources will have significant implications for island communities, economies and resources; (2) Island communities, infrastructure and ecosystems are vulnerable to coastal inundation due to sea level rise and coastal storms; and (3) Climate changes affecting coastal and marine ecosystems will have major implications for tourism and fisheries.

SYMPOSIUM: Ecological Restoration in a Changing World

Moderator: David Burney, National Tropical Botanical Garden

Although we are constantly reminded that the world is changing, it maybe less evident what these changes mean for Hawai‘i. Efforts to conserve and restore the biological resources of the archipelago must meet many challenges that are moving targets–climate change, biological invasion, and development are all major concerns that are not static entities but ever-growing and ever-changing threats to ecological integrity. Speakers will address aspects of conservation in Hawai‘i that are likely to be affected in the near future by these and other, even unforeseen changes. Climate change in the islands will be explored in light of the model projections and past evidence. Ecological baseline measurement and monitoring will be covered from the standpoint of evaluating the success of restoration efforts in the midst of these challenges. Large-scale restoration projects, in both wet and dry habitats, must be planned in such a way as to face the realities of invasion and climate uncertainty. Reintroductions, assisted migrations, inter situ restorations, and other innovative strategies for coping with the mounting extinction challenge may be keys to success, and will be presented and evaluated. Genetic aspects of conservation management will be important in preserving small isolated populations in the face of global change. The role of culture, especially restoration and land-management efforts based on traditional concepts such as ahupua‘a projects, will be discussed in the light of future challenges and “green” solutions. Food and energy issues will become increasingly important in the next few years, and these pressing needs must be taken into account in planning for biodiversity protection and ecological restoration. In the discussion to follow, we hope to integrate ideas for dealing with all these challenges into some concrete recommendations that take into account the pressing realities of a major economic downturn and energy transition.

SYMPOSIUM: Building Scientific and Management Tools to Address Climate Change in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI)

Moderator: Malia Chow, NOAA Papahanāumokuākea Marine National Monument

Pacific Ocean is a critical region that both drives the global climate system and faces some of the most severe impacts of anthropogenic CO2 emissions: surface temperature warming, changes in the level and intensity of precipitation, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. It is also the home of the three largest marine protected areas in the world representing some of the richest, most complex, and least impacted marine ecosystems in the world. The size and scale of these marine protected areas is unprecedented, not just in the Pacific, but globally, and represents an important tool for managing diverse ecosystems against the global threats of climate change. The Papahanāumokuākea Marine National Monument can serve as a vitally important monitoring station to assess the impacts of global change under ecologically optimal conditions with a gradient of local human disturbances across the Hawaiian Archipelago. In the morning session, a panel of speakers will discuss the management-driven research underway to identify biological indicators to forecast environmental change in the NWHI. Building on the scientific information presented information in the morning session, the afternoon session host a panel of speakers who will discuss the management strategies undertaken to understand and forecast climate change impacts in the NWHI.
Session 1

Michael Stat The Effect of Thermal History on the Diversity of Coral Endosymbionts (Symbiodinium ssp.) Harbored by Montipora capitata and Porites lobata in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Monument, Papahānaumokuākea

Greta Aeby Climate Change and Coral Health in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

Paul Jokiel Impact of Ocean Acidification on Hawaiian Coral Reefs in the 21st Century

Session 2

Kimberly A. Selkoe Putting Climate Change on the Map: A Spatial Assessment of Climate Change in the Context of Cumulative Human Impacts in Papahānaumokuākea

Ronald Hoeke Modeled Changes in Coral Growth and Mortality Over the Next 100 Years in the Hawaiian Archipelago

Rob Toonen Characterizing Patterns of Connectivity in the Hawaiian Archipelago in the Face of Global Climate Change

SYMPOSIUM: Integration of Native Hawaiian and Western Sciences to Understand the Environment of Hawai'i: Lessons from the Ku'ula Class at UH Hilo

Moderator: Misaki Takabayashi, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo Marine Science Department and ‘Aulani Wilhelm, NOAA Papahanāumokuākea Marine National Monument

Native Hawaiian knowledge system was born and developed specifically to understand the inhabitants and natural processes of Hawai‘i. Given the current urgent need to respond to the effects of climate change on our unique island ecosystems, integration of Native Hawaiian worldviews into today’s resource management in Hawai‘i is of paramount importance. However, integration of knowledge systems is very challenging to implement in education and management practices. Students in the Kū‘ula class at UH-Hilo explored ways to understand the natural environment of Hawai‘i by quantitative methods, that drew from both Native Hawaiian and Western sciences with assistance from cultural practitioners, academics, and agency partners. Outcomes from these projects will be presented along with a discussion that incorporates perspectives from agencies and community groups striving to broaden knowledge bases in their management work in Hawai‘i.

SESSION: Huihuina - A Mixture of Hawaiian Conservation Issues

Moderator: Trisha Kehaulani Watson

Christopher Lepczyk Does size matter? Human perceptions of species endangerment

SYMPOSIUM: Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources for Hawai'i (SWARS)

Moderator: Ron Cannarella, Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife

This symposium will introduce the Statewide Assessment of Forest Conditions and Statewide Resource Strategy (SWARS). Each State and Territory is required to complete these two documents and submit them to the Secretary of Agriculture no later than June 18, 2010. The speakers will address some of the data sets and analyses to be included in Hawai‘i’s Assessment of Forest Conditions.

FORUM: Conservation, Land and Culture: Creating Conservation and Cultural Alliances

Moderator: Kevin Chang, Office of Hawaiian Affairs Land Management Hale and Kawika Burgess, The Trust for Public Land

There are a growing number of successful projects and programs in Hawai‘i integrating traditional Hawaiian knowledge and culture with conservation. This panel will share with conference members their knowledge and experiences in integrating traditional cultural practices, traditional land and natural resource management concepts, ahupua‘a based planning and programs, and land conservation.
Charles "Doc" Burrows, President, ‘Ahahui Malama I Ka Lokahi
‘Ahahui Mālama I Ka Lōkahi is a non-profit organization first created by native Hawaiians who recognize that Hawai‘i’s unique native plants, animals, and ecosystems represent a vital cultural resource in danger of extinction. We believe that Hawai‘i’s native ecosystems provide the cultural heart of its people, the basis for traditional material culture, and constitute what makes the Hawaiian link to a land unique in the world.

Eric Enos, Director, Ka‘ala Farm
Ka‘ala Farm, Inc. is a Cultural Learning Center and a community organization, existing at the intersection of several related fields/areas of operations: (1) Education (2) Hawaiian cultural preservation and perpetuation (3) Cultivation of traditional knowledge in the modern world (4) Aloha ‘Āina (and environmental advocacy) (5) Resource management (6) Community organizing and economic development

Aric Arakaki, Superintendent, Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail (NHT)
Established in 2000 for the preservation, protection and interpretation of traditional Native Hawaiian culture and natural resources, the Ala Kahakai NHT is a 175-mile trail corridor full of cultural and historical significance. It traverses through hundreds of ancient Hawaiian settlement sites and through over 200 ahupua‘a, or traditional sea to mountain land divisions.
William Aila, Mohala I Kaw Wai
Mohala I Ka Waiis a Wai‘anae watershed restoration group. Education, stream restoration and preservation, interwoven with Native Hawaiian values, are among the group’s goals.
Jonathan Scheuer, Director, Office of Hawaiian Affairs (OHA) Land Management Hale
OHA Land Management Haleis charged with pursuing the Real Estate Mission Vision and Strategy to protect and preserve Hawai‘i lands and their cultural significance by: (1) Bridging the ancient use of lands with future land use patterns. (2) Advocating for land use transaction practices and regulations congruent with a Hawaiian sense of place. (3) Creating financially viable property investments.

SYMPOSIUM: Environmental Education Efforts in Hawai'i

Moderator: Denby Freeland-Cole, Maui Coastal Land Trust

Presenters in this symposium will describe various environmental education programs that are being implemented throughout our state. A multitude of conservation efforts occur throughout the state, including environmental education. Integrating information of Hawai‘i’s environment into the school curriculum, community activities, and public enjoyment is crucial to the success of conservation. The awareness that is built among people beyond those working in the conservation field brings increased participation towards a sustainable future for Hawai‘i’s ecosystems. The programs to be presented include curriculum for grades K-12, terrestrial and marine education, integration of Hawaiian culture, service learning, partnering with scientists, and more.

SESSION: Marine and Coastal Ecosystems

Moderator: Noelani Puniwai

SYMPOSIUM: Linking Ecology, Conservation and Health in Hawai'i

Moderator: John N. (Jack) Kittinger, University of Hawai'i at Manoa Department of Geography, and Bruce A. Wilcox, University of Hawai'i John A. Burns School of Medicine

Direct and indirect anthropogenic influences are changing human-environmental dynamics in ways that affect the sustainability of ecosystems and the services required for a healthy Hawaiian society. As a result, critical problems in human health now lie at the intersection of ecological, environmental and biomedical sciences, and social sciences, requiring integrative and transdisciplinary research approaches. This symposium will invite papers that utilize a broad conceptual framework on coupled human-natural systems and social-ecological systems dynamics to address the relationship between the health of ecosystems and human societies in Hawai‘i. The overarching goal of this symposium is to explore the linkages between human-environmental health challenges, investigate how the elements of coupled human-natural systems evolve, and advance novel, integrative research models to investigate and present solutions to human-environmental health problems. Achieving these objectives requires a transdisciplinary approach to the integration of knowledge drawn from multiple areas of expertise, including ecology and evolutionary biology, conservation biology, pathogen biology, social science and infectious diseases. Speakers will focus on identifying and clearly articulating human-environment health challenges and presenting novel research models to investigate these problems. It is expected that speakers will address both direct and indirect linkages between ecology and health, and that health topics will include projects focused on human health and/or wildlife health (e.g. Native bird species). The organizers hope this will be achieved through integration of the participants’ areas of expertise and systems knowledge (ecological, social, health, cultural, etc.). The organizers hope to facilitate participant involvement during the symposium in multiple ways, including interactive plenary sessions, traditional oral presentations, and an interactive panel discussion.

SESSION: Terrestrial Pests: Research, Management and Tools (Session 1)

Moderator: John Henshaw, The Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i

David Benitez A Biogeographical Comparison of Invasive Forest Weeds in Hawai‘i

Darcy Oishi An update on the current status of biological control programs for the Erythrina Gall Wasp (Quadrastichus erythrinae)

William Haines Recent defoliations of koa forest on East Maui caused by the endemic caterpillar, Scotorythra paludicola

Jaynee Kim The Prevalence of Angiostrongylus cantonensis in the Main Hawaiian Islands

Sheldon Plentovich Effects of eradication and control of two species of invasive ants on offshore islets in the Hawaiian Archipelago

SYMPOSIUM: Experiemental Education for Hawai'i's K-12 Students

Moderator: Stephanie Bennett, NOAA Pacific Services Center

This forum “Experiential Environmental Education for Hawai‘i’s K-12 Students” will focus on specific projects supported by the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Pacific Services Center (PSC) in partnership with other federal and state agencies, as well as for-profit and non-profit organizations. NOAA PSC administers the Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) Hawai‘i Program and the Pacific Science Challenge. Both programs focus on connecting K-12 students and their teachers with first-hand, outdoor experiences that provide them a tangible, natural link with science. Professional development opportunities for educators to study earth system sciences, hazards, and climate change will translate to more students getting access to NOAA science over time. Ultimately, NOAA hopes to inspire students to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) careers and therefore develop a workforce that can make well-informed decisions regarding the environment. Forum presentations will highlight ongoing efforts to get students and educators out of the traditional classroom and involved in real-time, on-the-ground science.

Evening Public Presentations

Ramsay Taum

Raising the Blue Continent:

Looking to the Past to Ensure a Sustainable Future for Hawai`i

Dr. Stephen Schneider

From Local to the Global:


SYMPOSIUM: Integrating Science and Culture: A New Paradigm for Large Scale Ecological Restoration and Conservation in Hawai'i
Moderator: Christian Giardina, USDA Forest Service
Despite numerous dedicated efforts to thwart the many threats to Hawai‘i’s native ecosystems, resources to protect remaining native areas are entirely inadequate for slowing down, let alone halting, the losses of Hawai‘i’s native ecosystems. For native Hawaiians, the ramifications of ecological destruction and cultural loss are enormous. Combating these losses will require funding and implementing large-scale restoration and conservation efforts, while anchoring these efforts to a new generation of cultural, educational and economic programs that will sustain and expand our native ecosystems as well as create the next generation of Hawai‘i’ leaders and stewards. This Symposium will address a planning process for a long-term and large scale restoration and conservation initiative for Hawai‘i.

Christian Giardina The Hawaii Restoration and Conservation Initiative - an Overview

Chipper Wichman The Importance of Rare Plant Conservation in Large Scale Ecological Restoration

Boone Kauffman Large Scale Restoration as an Adaptive Strategy to Climate Change

Chris Dacus Hawaiian Plant Initiative - Retooling the Green Industry

Sam Gon State-wide assessments: resource and condition mapping for large scale restoration and conservation

SYMPOSIUM: Monitoring and Evaluating Impact of Incidental Take to Protect Species

Moderator: Paula Hartzell, Department of Land and Natural Resources Division of Forestry and Wildlife and Gregory Spencer, First Wind

Hawai‘i’s endangered and threatened species are protected by law, but incidental harm to these species may be permitted for otherwise lawful activities, if net benefit is provided to the species and their habitat, and when mitigation contributes to the recovery of the species. Monitoring of impacts to the species is critical to ensuring the recovery of these species, yet the methods and interpretation of results has yet to be standardized, and there are few trained at the technician and mid-professional levels in this field. Challenges include, for example, determining current population levels for species in remote environments, accurately estimating take of protected species, identifying adequate mitigation projects to ensure that mitigation measures chosen are likely to promote recovery of the species, and establishing realistic and scientifically sound methods of monitoring success. Speakers will share lessons from research and management perspectives on Maui, Kaua‘i, O‘ahu, Moloka‘i and Lana‘i, focusing primarily on state and federally protected seabirds, waterbirds, bats, and Nēnē. We will also identify key research needs, and future management requirements necessary to ensure that these initiatives continue to address the recovery needs for these protected species in Hawai‘i.

Bill Standley Monitoring Under Incidental Take Permits For Listed Species

Alicia Oller Fatality Monitoring Associated With Wind Energy Development In Hawaii And Throughout The U.S.

Andrea Erichsen Down to Earth: Light Attraction Minimization and Monitoring Strategies for the Kaua‘i Seabird Habitat Conservation Plan.

Gregory Spencer Contributing to Species Recovery and Net Conservation Benefit on Maui: A Kaheawa Perspective

Paula Hartzell Opportunities for Students and Researchers: Protected Species Research and Information Needs

SESSION: Terrestrial Pests: Research, Management and Tools (Session 3)

Moderator: Christine Ogura, Hawai‘i Association of Watershed Partnerships

Joshua VanDeMark The Effects of Rodents on Reproduction in Rare and Endangered Plants of Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park

Tavita Togia Integrating Conservation, Management, and Science in a Traditional Cultural Context:Tamaligi (Falcataria moluccana) Control in Forests across Tutuila Island, American Samoa

Jason Sumiye Improvements and Changes in Ungulate Management in Hawaii based on The Nature Conservancy’s Forest Recovery Project

SYMPOSIUM: Reproductive Biology of Hawai'i's Endangered Flora: The Role of Research in Conservation

Moderator: Donald Drake and Clifford Morden, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa Botany Department

The native flora of Hawai‘i is renowned both for its high level of endemism and for threats to its survival. No state has more species of plants that are either endangered or presumed extinct. At least 150 extant taxa are represented by natural populations of fewer than 50 individuals. There is an urgent need to understand the reproductive biology of rare Hawaiian plants so that barriers to their reproduction can be addressed through management. This symposium will review what is known about the reproductive biology of endangered Hawaiian plants, including aspects of: breeding system, pollination biology, seed/spore dispersal, seed predation, seed/spore germination and dormancy, reproductive phenology, and population genetics. It will also enable scientists who have expertise with other floras—and experience in Hawai‘i—to share their perspectives, suggest research applications, and participate in discussions with local scientists and managers. Finally, it will propose means to improve the effective level of collaboration between researchers and managers interested in rare plants. Our goal is to increase the efficiency with which data on reproductive biology are collected and applied to the conservation of rare plants in Hawai‘i.

Donald Drake Reproductive Biology of Rare Hawaiian Plants: What Do We Know and How Can We Learn More?Carol C. Baskin Seed Dormancy and Germination of Hawaiian Montane Species: Meeting Common Goals of Basic Science and Conservation

Alvin Yoshinaga Seed Longevity Research and Seed Banking of Hawaiian Plants

Tom Ranker Reproductive Biology and Population Genetics of Hawaiian Ferns

Caroline Gross Fruitful Partnerships In Plant Reproductive Ecology For Conservation Management – An Australian Perspective

SYMPOSIUM: Marine Debris Priorities and Actions in Hawai'i
Moderator: Kris McElwee and Carey Morishige, NOAA Marine Debris Program
The Hawaiian Archipelago, extending 1,500 miles, is one of the longest and most remote island chains in the world. The location of the Hawaiian Islands, including the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, just south of the Subtropical Convergence Zone, makes them prone to accumulating floating debris. Each year, thousands of pounds of marine debris from domestic and foreign sources wash ashore and snag on reefs across the island chain. In Hawai‘i as well as other parts of the world, marine debris continues to present a hazard to marine ecosystems, safe navigation, and wildlife, such as the endangered Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi). Over the years many people have seen the effects of marine debris on our environment and resources, and have come forward to help do something. Agencies, businesses, and organizations from across the state and beyond have partnered on efforts ranging from cleanups to research to education and outreach. In order to prioritize Hawai‘i marine debris issues, coordinate between projects, and create a strategic plan of action, the NOAA Marine Debris Program supported a series of statewide planning workshops that kicked off in Honolulu in January 2008. These workshops brought together representatives from government, academia, nongovernmental organizations, and private businesses working to address the issue of marine debris in Hawai‘i. At these workshops, marine debris activities and priorities, in both the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, were discussed. Partnerships were created and a commitment made to develop a dynamic and comprehensive Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan (HI-MDAP), which would include greater coordination among partners, identification of potential avenues for funding, and increased communication. The development and implementation of the HI-MDAP is being supported by the NOAA Marine Debris Program, with assistance from the US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9. This symposium will feature an overview of the Hawai‘i Marine Debris Action Plan as well as ongoing or planned activities within the focused areas of research and assessment, outreach, land-based debris prevention, beach cleanups, and in-water debris prevention and removal.

Carey Morishige Addressing Marine Debris in Hawaii: A Dynamic Statewide Action Plan

Randall Wakumoto Urban Stream and Storm Water Controls as a Key to Preventing Marine Debris

Kris McElwee At-Sea Detection of Derelict Fishing Gear: An Interdisciplinary Strategy to Address Marine Debris