Monday, March 15, 2010

Changes for the DOFAW blog...

We wanted to let you know....

The DOFAW blog is making some changes.

We will be transitioning to another blog site:, and will be focusing more exclusively on Environmental Education issues in Hawaii. The new site will be maintained by members of the Hawaii Environmental Education Alliance.

To obtain information about the Division of Forestry and Wildlife in the future, please visit the DOFAW website at

All of the current content from the DOFAW blog has been transitioned to the new site, and we will continue to offer "This Week in Nature" as well as posts and announcements regarding natural resources, native species and EE opportunities and news.

There will be very few major changes to the blog besides the name, so keep tuning in and let us know if there is something you'd like to learn more about. And don't forget to subscribe to the new blog: if you'd like to continue receiving updates!

Thank you for your support and flexibility, we'll see you at!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

National Wildlife Week - March 15-21, 2010


Celebrate National Wildlife Week 
March 15-21, 2010 
Get Wild, Child!

See below for ideas from the National Wildlife Federation for how to celebrate an entire week dedicated to wildlife and the outdoors!

playing familyStudies show that children who spend time outside are more creative, have less stress and perform better in school. Help your child unlock their learning and imaginative potential "after-school" during National Wildlife Week. Celebrate nature and jump-start your spring with fun outdoor activities, tips for gardening with children and more.
Get started:

1. Download your custom Family Activity Passport

2. Spend an extra hour this week outside with your children observing wildlife and doing fun outdoor activities.

3. Capture the wildlife in your neighborhood - with your camera! Children can enter the youth competition in the National Wildlife Federation Photo Contest.

 Digital Outdoor Toolbox
 Exploration and Education
The above information is from the National Wildlife Federation. It is being provided here as a resource for those interested in environmental education, wildlife conservation and other environment-focused topics.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

This Week in Nature - The 2nd Week in March - Palila

What's Happening in Hawaii
During the 2nd Week in March:

The palila (Loxioides bailleui), now beginning its breeding season, is another of the Hawaiian honeycreepers but differs conspicuously from the 'apapane and the 'ākohekohe. Male and female palila are similar, having a yellow head and breast, greenish wings and tail, a gray back, and white underparts. Males have a black mask, and females have less yellow on the back of their heads and a gray mask.

Apart from color, the most visible difference between palila and the other honecreepers is in beak shape, with the palila adapted for eating seeds and insects rather than for drinking nectar.

Palila feed primarily on pods of the māmane tree, holding them down with one or both feet while opening them and digging out seeds. Approximately 90 percent of the palila’s diet consists of immature māmane seeds; the remainder consists of māmane flowers, buds, leaves, and naio (Myoporum sandwicense) berries.

Dependent on māmane as their main food source, palila today are confined to the mixed māmane-naio forest of upper Mauna Kea and are endangered by mouflon sheep's destruction of this habitat. The forest has been reduced to a tenth of its former size, and its future remains uncertain.

The Palila is a sociable bird, and has a sweet voice and varied repertoire, including one song similar to the canary's.

To learn more about Palila, visit the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS) Palila Fact Sheet here.

Image and text from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
published by Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Middle School students visit Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve on Oahu

This week, DOFAW outreach staff hosted a field trip to Kaena Point for a group of seventh grade students from Oahu. For many of the students, this was their first time to the Natural Area Reserve at the Northwestern tip of Oahu. It was an exciting day!

The trip coincided with some really big surf on the North Shore.


Have you ever wondered what an albatross bolus is, or what a dancing albatross looks like? Students were given an informational presentation prior to visiting Kaena, and learned the answers to these questions and much more about this special place.

(A bolus is the regurgitated mass composed of undigestable items. Recently, rather than squid beaks and other natural food items, plastic has made up a large portion of the contents of many boluses, reflecting the growing problem of plastics in the marine environment.) Photo (left) by Forest and Kim Starr.

See video below to see a dancing Laysan Albatross!

outreach staff accompanied the students, teachers and chaperones on the 6-mile roundtrip hike along the coastal trail to Kaena. The day was beautiful and sunny, with a nice breeze and lots of sea spray coming off the ocean.

The Kaena Point Ambassedor shared a cultural lesson at a cove while we took a rest and rehydrated for the second half of the hike. 

Once the group reached the Natural Area Reserve boundary, students began to see adult albatross flying overhead and native plants growing along the path.

While visiting the NAR, students were able to observe:

Naupaka kahakai - "Naupaka by the sea":

Monk seals:

 Can you see the seals in the above photo?

A closer photo of the two monk seals at the point

Ohai - Sesbania tomentosa:

A newly hatched Laysan albatross chick:

For more information about hiking to Kaena Point, or about the plants and animals that call it home, click here.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

This Week in Nature - The 1st Week of March - Nana

What's Happening in Hawaii
During the First Week of March (Nana):
The beginning of the hot season is still two months off, but the weather has started to shift. Winter storms and surf are subsiding, and as the Hawaiian writer Kepelino observed, in Nana the leaves on the trees are no longer bruised by hard, driving rains.

A Hawaiian proverb also marks Nana as a month when pāpa'i (crabs) are fat. The nature of this "fatness" is not indicated, but the proverb probably refers to the presence of eggs on the underside of female pāpa'i. This phenomenon, known as berrying, reaches its heaight about this time, prior to heavy spawning that occurs in spring and summer.
Images and text from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
published by Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This Week in Nature: The 4th Week in February - Laysan Albatross

What's Happening in Hawaii
during the 4th week in February:

Newly hatched Laysan albatross chick at Kaena Point NAR, O'ahu

Chicks of the Laysan albatross (Diomedea immutabilis), known to the Hawaiians as mōlī or ka'upu, are starting to hatch.

Above: A juvenile Laysan albatross at Kaena Point NAR, O'ahu

A mōlī begins to call even before its shell is cracked, and its parents respond, establishing a dialogue that lasts until the chick emerges, as much as six days later. Most nesting occurs on the remote northwest islands, but there is a large nesting colony at Ka'ena Point on Oahu. 

Full-grown members of this handsome and powerful species have a wingspan of more than six feet and sometimes can be seen in flight off O'ahu and other main islands. But the search for squid, their primary food, commonly carries them hundreds of miles out to sea.

Noting its keen attention to life under the sea, Hawaiians took the albatross as a metaphor, calling an especially observant person ka manu ka'upu hālō ale o ka moana - "the ka'upu, the bird that observes the ocean."

Visit the Comprehansive Wildlife Conservation Strategy fact sheet here to learn more about the Laysan albatross.

The above information comes from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
Published by Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989

All photos by C. Tucker

Monday, February 22, 2010

DLNR Takes Steps to Protect Natural, Cultural Resources

The following comes from the Governor's weekly E-Newsletter:

The Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) is implementing new measures to improve its management of the Kealakekua Bay State Historic Park on Hawaii Island and better protect its sensitive natural, historic and cultural resources through education.

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park on the Big Island of Hawai`i is the site of the first extensive contact between Hawaiians and Westerners with the arrival of Captain Cook in 1779.

To prevent damage to the shoreline and coral reef and accidental destruction of significant historic and cultural sites by large numbers of visitors, DLNR is now requiring that visitors to the park receive information regarding the sensitive sites and guidance on how they can help preserve the natural beauty of the area during their visit.

Effective February 23, 2010, information will be provided through a simple permit system for people seeking to land vessels along the Ka‘awaloa shoreline or moor at the wharf adjacent to the Captain Cook Monument in the bay.

"Residents can easily access free education and cultural practices permits that will provide guidance to ensure there is no accidental damage to the cultural sites," said Laura H. Thielen, DLNR chairperson.

"Visitors have guided tours to ensure they appreciate the historical and cultural significance of the areas and eliminate inadvertent damage," she added. "In the meantime, the entire bay remains open to all people to enjoy the pristine waters and marine life."

Signs will be posted at entry locations along the bay to notify people of this new system and provide information on how to obtain a permit.

Kealakekua Bay State Historical Park and Ka`awaloa peninsula within the bay are two of Hawai`i's most significant historical and cultural locations, with an abundance of fragile and significant archaeological sites. Ka`awaloa is the shoreline commonly used to access the famous Captain Cook Monument from the bay. Boaters also use this shoreline to beach their vessel before snorkeling at Ka`awaloa Cove.

DLNR has conducted recent law enforcement actions at the pier in cooperation with Hawai`i County Police to address illegal commercial rental of kayaks. Several illegal kayaks have been confiscated. The department is informing kayak rental vendors of the new permit requirement, and requesting that the vendors advise their customers of the landing without a permit restriction.

DLNR Enforcement officers have posted and distributed the same notice at Napo`opo`o Pier. DLNR will also implement an outreach plan to kayak and ocean recreation companies, visitor and resident recreational interests.

Visit the DLNR website to learn more.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Recovery Youth Conservation Corps Day of Service on Maui

On Monday, February 15th from 9:30 to 3:30, forty-five Recovery Youth Conservation Corps (RYCC) AmeriCorps members worked together during a day of service restoring Kanaha Pond on Maui.  Throughout the day, RYCC members removed invasive plants, planted native plants, and removed debris from the surrounding area. 

Click here to see the front page story in the Maui News!

 Kanaha Pond is a 234-acre wetland adjacent to industrial buildings, commercial centers, and the airport in Kahului.  Despite these challenges, Kanaha pond is extremely productive and home to three endangered Hawaiian birds: Hawaiian coot ('alae ke'oke'o), Hawaiian stilt (ae'o), and Hawaiian duck (koloa maoli). 

Over 80 species of migratory shorebirds, waterbirds, and ducks frequent the pond. Native plants including makaloa and kaluha, species favored by Hawaiians for matmaking, are also found at Kanaha.

To find out more about the Youth Conservation Corps program and other ways to get involved, visit the DOFAW website here.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

A friendly reminder about pets and wildlife

A friendly reminder:
Hawaii's native wildlife is sensitive and can be easy impacted by domestic animals. Please remember to keep pets indoors and all pets on a leash while outside and pick up any waste while enjoying Hawaii's resources. Make sure to read signs and guidelines for visiting public areas. Many public lands are also hunting areas - another reason to keep your pet on a leash.

We care about the safety of Hawaii's wildlife and your pets!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

This Week in Nature: The 3rd week in February

What's Happening in Hawaii
During the 3rd week in February:


On the atolls and islands at the northwest end of the archipelago, the Hawaiian monk seal (Monachus schauinslandi) is beginning to bear its young. Already 30 pounds at birth, a seal pup grows rapidly during the next five or six weeks, increasing in weight to as much as 200 pounds. Throughout this period, its mother devotes all her time to nursing the pup and teaching it to swim, not even pausing to feed herself.

The monk seal once lived throughout the archipelago and, except for the Hawaiian bat, is the only native mammal remaining on the islands.

Biologically unchanged in 15 million years, it does not flee from intruders, and after centuries of human predation and intrusion into breeding areas, the monk seal today is a federally listed endangered species.

Its Hawaiian name, ilio-holo-i-ka-uaua, means "dog running in the toughness" and probably refers to its awkward gait as well as to its doglike face.
Click here to visit a previous DOFAW blog post about the Hawaiian monk seal, including information about hiking at Kaena Point, Oahu.

Also, visit the Monk Seal Mania blog, where photos, frequent updates and even video will keep you up-to-date with Monk seal activity on Oahu.
Some text from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
published by the Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989

All photos by C. Tucker

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Grant Opportunity for Teachers using Environmental Education in classrooms

Environmental Education benefits students in so many ways:
  • It increases their understanding of how earth's resources and natural systems work,
  • Offers opportunities for hands-on activities and inquiry-based learning,
  • Provides practical information about how to succeed in the green economy.

Classroom Earth wants to help support teachers around the country who want to make environmental education part of their curriculum.

Classroom Earth's 2010 National High School Challenge provides grants up to $4,000 to help support innovative projects to incorporate environmental education into all subject areas.
Classroom Earth is committed to helping teachers integrate environmental education into their curricula to inspire their students to help solve environmental problems. Teachers from all subject areas are encouraged apply.

Deadline: Monday Feb. 22, 2010

For more information and to apply online, visit 

The above info comes from the National Environmental Education Foundation.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

This Week in Nature: The 2nd week in February - 'Akohekohe

What's Happening in Hawaii
during the 2nd week in February:
  'Ākohekohe, the crested honey-creeper, displays its brightest plumage this month, probably as part of its breeding cycle. The ‘ākohekohe (Palmeria dolei), is the largest extant (still existing) honeycreeper on Maui Nui (Lāna‘i, Moloka‘i, Maui, and Kaho‘olawe). Although primarily black, the plumage of the ‘ākohekohe is striking. Depending on their location, feathers are tipped with orange-yellow, gray, silver, or white. Orange feathers surround the eyes and extend over the nape, orange or yellow-white feathers cover the thighs, and the epaulettes are white with orange tips. Finally, the ‘ākohekohe has a distinctive plume of white feathers that curl forward over the bill.

Like 'apapane and other Hawaiian honeycreepers, 'ākohekohe live in the high, native forest and feed on 'ōhia lehua nectar. ‘Ākohekohe may spend up to 70 percent of the day foraging. But while 'apapane still thrive in this habitat, 'ākohekohe have become an endangered species, and are restricted to a 58 square kilometer (22 square mile) area on the northeastern slope of Haleakalā, which makes up less than 5% of their historic range.

This species of bird does not sing, but produces a random series of buzzes, croaks, and whistles.

To learn more about this endemic endangered bird, visit the
'ākohekohe fact sheet on the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy (CWCS) webpage.

Image and selected text from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
published by the Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989

Some information taken from the CWCS.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Call for Presentation and Poster Abstracts: 2010 Hawaii Conservation Conference

Please see below for opportunities to submit abstracts for presentations and proposals for the 2010 Hawaii Conservation Conference...

DEADLINE: March 19, 2010, 5 PM

The annual Hawai‘i Conservation Conference (HCC), presented by the Hawai‘i Conservation Alliance (HCA), is the largest gathering of people actively involved in the protection and management of the natural environment in Hawai‘i. The conference facilitates interaction among resource managers, the scientific community, students and other stakeholders. This is an annual opportunity to share experiences and ideas on a wide range of conservation issues affecting Hawai‘i and the Pacific Region.

The conference committee is soliciting abstracts for presentations and posters that explore the 2010 theme—Pacific Ecosystem Management and Restoration: Applying Traditional and Western Knowledge Systems. However, contributions on conservation topics divergent from this general theme are also encouraged and will be evaluated based on their level of significance as research and contributions to conservation.

Ecosystem management and restoration in Hawai‘i and across the Pacific continues to evolve. Over the past decade landowners, communities, agencies, and governments have begun to work together more collaboratively, utilizing diverse knowledge systems and decision-making approaches. The 2010 HCC will highlight success stories from Hawai‘i, New Zealand, Micronesia, and other Pacific Islands. Join us in an exploration of this emerging trend in ecosystem management and restoration through formal presentations, informal discussions, and other opportunities to talk story with scientists and citizens, cultural practitioners and researchers.

Oral presentations will be 20 minutes (18 minutes plus 2 minutes for questions). Contributions will be grouped into sessions with similar themes to the extent possible. Sessions will run concurrently with symposia and fora.

Poster presentations will be displayed August 4-6 in the exhibit hall. Authors are required to attend the evening poster session on August 4 from 6-8 PM. Posters may be installed on the afternoon of August 3 and must be removed by 3 pm on August 6.

Conservation Through Art Exhibit—"What Inspires You To Be A Conservationist?"
The HCA invites all employees and retirees of our 15 partner organizations to take part in the Conservation Through Art exhibit at the 2010 HCC. The exhibit aims to provide a venue for conservationists affiliated with HCA Partner organizations to express through an artistic medium why they do the work they do.  Each display will be accompanied by an artist’s statement describing the personal meaning of the image or object and how it relates to each individuals commitment to the conservation of the ecosystems, native species, and culture that comprise Hawai‘i. 

What Can Be Displayed: Original artwork, a poem, an object (such as a carving or textile), or another artist’s work that illuminates the connection between the image, you as an individual, and the role your organization plays in the Hawai‘i conservation community. Abstracts for the art exhibit are due by April 30, 2010, 5 PM. See the Conservation Through Art page for guidelines and a list of HCA Partner organizations.
All abstracts for symposia, individual oral presentations, and posters are due by March 19, 2010, 5 PM.

ABSTRACT SUBMISSION: Abstracts must be submitted through the online form on the 2010 HCC page and must follow the guidelines (250-word maximum). The committee reserves the right to reject any abstract received that does not follow the HCC guidelines.

QUESTIONS? Contact Mariza Silva (808) 587-0061 or email

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Professional Water Flow Workshop - Hydrus Hands-on Training/Workshop - February 15-17 2010

"Hydrus Hands-on Training/Workshop" at University of Hawaii at Manoa.

The shortcourse instructor: Dr. Jirka Šimunek , Dept. of Environmental Sciences, University of California, Riverside (CA)

Course scope: The course begins with a detailed conceptual and mathematical description of water flow and solute transport processes in the vadose zone, followed by an brief overview of the use of finite element techniques for solving the governing flow and transport equations. Special attention is given to the highly nonlinear nature of the governing flow equation. Alternative methods for describing and modeling the hydraulic functions of unsaturated porous media are also described. "Hands-on" computer sessions will provide participants an opportunity to become familiar with the Windows-based HYDRUS-1D and HYDRUS (2D/3D) software packages. Emphasis will be on the preparation of input data for a variety of applications, including flow and transport in a vadose zone, subsurface drip irrigation, flow and transport to a tile drain, and two-dimensional leachate migration from a landfill through the unsaturated zone into groundwater. Calibration will be discussed and demonstrated by means of a one-dimensional inverse problem.

When: February 15-17 2010
Where: University of Hawaii-Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii

For additional information about registration fees and other details:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Eco-Comedy Video Competition - $1,000 Prize!

Announcing an "Eco-Comedy Video Competition" with a $1,000 Prize!

This contest is open to anyone who prepares a short, funny video for YouTube which communicates a clear message that strongly motivates a specific behavior change (for example: driving a fuel efficient car, turning down thermostats, or donating to a conservation cause). Submissions due March 1, 2010.

Submissions must:

  • Be humorous!
  • Address a critical environmental issue
  • Be an original production
  • Reach a broad audience beyond just environmentalists
  • Be less than 4 minutes
There will be six judges representing the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, Friends of the Earth, the US Environmental Protection Agency, Mill Reef Productions, and EcoSense. The decision of the judges is final. Awards are based on overall merit of the entries. Judges reserve the right not to grant an award. The organizations listed above reserve the right to post submissions on their websites.

Submissions that are not received by March 1, 2010 will not be judged. The winner will be announced at American University on Tuesday, March 23 at the DC Environmental Film Festival.

For more information regarding submission guidelines and contest rules, visit: Questions may be addressed to Chris Palmer at

This contest is sponsored by the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, Friends of the Earth, Mill Reef Productions, and EcoSense.

Monday, February 1, 2010

This Week in Nature: The 1st week in February - limu pahe'e

 What's Happening in Hawaii
during the 1st Week in February:

 A highly prized seasonal seaweed, limu pahe'e (Porphyra sp.), can usually be found this time of year, growing high on rocks in areas of heavy surf where fresh water mixes with ocean water. At other times of year, this limu seems to vanish, but actually it takes on a microscopic form, producing spores which will mature only in winter or early spring, when days are short and nights long. Pahe'e means "slippery" and very accurately describes the texture of the mature limu.

Hawaiians identified more than sixty kinds of edible limu, an indication of its importance in their diet. An old saying refers to seaweed as ka i'a lauoho loloa o ke kai, "the long-haired fish of the sea," and sometimes, especially for women, it replaced fish or other foods that were kapu. Limu pahe'e was so rare that it was reserved for ali'i and forbidden to commoners, but today related species are widely cultivated in northern Asia and can be found dried and packaged on the grocery shelf under the familiar Japanese name of nori.

Image and text from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
published by the Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Announcing 2010 Project Learning Tree Environmental Education workshops on Oahu and Maui!

Announcing 2010 Project Learning Tree Environmental Education workshops on Oahu and Maui!

Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning, multi-disciplinary Environmental Education program. These FREE professional development opportunities will provide educators with the chance to meet and share ideas with other teachers and participate in interactive lessons while learning how to use the PLT activity guide.

Maui educators participating in the PLT activity "Tree Factory"

Oahu PLT Workshop
Location: Hawaii Nature Center
Date: February 20th 2010
Time: 9-3:30pm
Details: Join us at the Hawaii Nature Center in Makiki to learn how the Project Learning Tree (PLT) curriculum can be integrated into 7th and 8th grade science classrooms. We will be offering PDE credits through the Department of Education to DOE teachers of 7th and 8th grade science that complete additional requirements. If this is of interest to you, please ask for more details prior to registering.
Educators of other grades and subjects are encouraged to attend, and may adapt materials for their own use. Lunch will be provided by Whole Foods Honolulu, and participants will receive the PLT activity guide with 96 interactive lessons as well as other educational resources.
For more information, visit

Maui PLT Workshop
Location: Hawaii Nature Center in Iao Valley
Date: March 20th 2010
Time: 9-3:30pm
Details: Meet at the beautiful Hawaii Nature Center in Iao Valley and learn how to use the Project Learning Tree (PLT) Activity Guide with your students. This interactive workshop will demonstrate several hands-on activities from PLT as well as Ohia Project and Hoike o Haleakala - two valuable Hawaii-specific environmental education resources. Lunch and snacks will be provided, and participants will receive free educational resources in addition to the PLT Activity Guide which contains 96 interactive lesson plans.

The Project Learning Tree (PLT) Pre K-8 Guide

Kauai and Hawaii Island PLT Workshops
Details to be determined. If you are interested in attending a workshop on Kauai or Hawaii Island in 2010, please ask for more info!

For more information about the workshops and to register, visit

For more about Project Learning Tree, visit

PLT workshops in Hawaii are sponsored by the Department of Land and Natural Resources - Division of Forestry and Wildlife, in cooperation with Hawaii Nature Center, the US Forest Service, the American Forest Foundation and other partners.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Celebrate World Wetlands Day - Saturday February 6th 2010

You are invited to a World Wetlands Day celebration 
in Kailua, Oahu on Saturday, February 6th 2010!

This event is free and open to the public, and this year, the festivities will take place in the covered parking structure at the Kailua Long's Drugstore. The day will begin at 8:30 am with pule and continue until 2:00pm.

Take a free guided tour of the Kawainui and Hamakua Marsh complex, browse interactive exhibits in the covered parking structure, listen to music by Hawaii Loa, or take a stroll through the marsh and experience the natural beauty of the wetlands right near Kailua town!

Several federally-listed endangered bird species live in Kawainui and Hamakua marshes.
While visiting, keep an eye out for the Hawaiian stilt; ae'o (pictured above), Hawaiian moorhen; 'alae 'ula
(a black bird with a red shield above its beak), and Hawaiian coot; 'alae ke'oke'o (a black bird with a white shield and beak). Click the above links for more info and photos.

Did you know that Kawainui Marsh was designated a "Ramsar Wetland of International Importance" in 2005? To read more about what this means, visit the Ramsar webpage here.

Hope to see you in Kailua on Saturday, February 6th!

Monday, January 25, 2010

This Week in Nature: The 4th week in January - Potter's Angelfish

What's Happening in Hawaii
during the 4th week in January:
Potter's angelfish (Centropyge potteri), a native reef dweller, spawns this week - the week before the full moon. Its reproductive behavior is tied not only to the moon phase but also to the season and time of day, in a complex pattern that appears to increase the odds that its larvae will survive. Spawning occurs over high reef areas at dusk, when the lunar pull creates tides likely to carry larvae offshore, away from potential predators resting in the lower reef. At this time of year, larvae subsequently will be picked up by northwesterly ocean currents and swept along the archipelago, improving the chances that juveniles eventually will be redeposited on a Hawaiian reef.

Potter's angelfish is among the most common inhabitants of island reefs. It grows to a maximum length of five inches, and like other fish that have little or no value as food, it lacks a Hawaiian name. Today, however, this shy algae-eater has gained popularity as an aquarium fish, ranking third in commercial trade in Hawaii.

Image and text from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
published by the Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989

Thursday, January 21, 2010

"Walk on the Wild Side," A free lecture by Betsy Gagne, January 27th 2010, Waikiki

"Natural Treasures of Hawaii" Free Lecture Series presents "Walk on the Wild Side" January 27th, 2010 at ING Direct Cafe in Waikiki.

Join us on Wednesday January 27th, 2010 at 6:00 PM for an engaging presentation by Betsy Gagne, Executive Secretary of the Natural Area Reserves System Commission.

"Ever wonder about the natural world that exists just outside of our homes and offices? It is a past, present and future to invest and believe in. Just as saving money is part of your investment in life, so are the many unique places and critters that call Hawaii (and nowhere else on the planet!) home. Come share a visual walk on the wild side of life on lands managed by the State of Hawaii. Learn about the important role these areas play in the natural and cultural history of Hawaii and how the Natural Area Reserves System program is working with other private and public organizations to accomplish a great deal on not very much funding."

Betsy was born and raised on Oahu (Roosevelt HS and UH graduate) and has had a lifelong interest in and involvement with native ecosystems, both here and other islands in the Pacific. Her background includes building fences and vegetation management at Haleakala National Park for 8 years and 17 years at the Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Hope to see you there!

This event is part of a series of monthly lectures (the last Wednesday of the month) and is brought to you by the Hawaii Conservation Alliance in partnership with ING Direct.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Grants, Awards and Scholarships Page - updated

See below for grants for teachers, filmmakers, and photographers, as well as competitions and awards for students. Do you know of any grant opportunities we should know about? Feel free to leave a comment!

"Living on the Ocean Planet" Video Contest - Submission deadline January 25, 2010. The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) "Living on the Ocean Planet" Video Contest seeks to highlight the important role technology plays in ocean research. Any student enrolled in a high school in the United States is eligible to submit a video. Students are encouraged to work in teams. The top prize is an invitation to the 2010 NOSB Finals Competition at the University of South Florida in St. Petersburg, Fla. on April 23-25. Learn more.
The following has been compiled by the National Science Teacher's Association (NSTA):

DuPont Challenge© Science Essay Competition

DuPont Challenge© Science Essay Competition gets students writing about science! Students in seventh through12th grade research and write a 700 to 1,000-word essay about a scientific discovery, theory, event or technological application that has captured their interest. Created to honor the Challenger astronauts, students can win savings bonds up to $5,000, and a trip to Walt Disney World and to the Kennedy Space Center. Teachers win too! Along with the trips with their students, teachers can also win $500 grants. Students have the opportunity to be inspired, to be creative, and to tell a story in this essay about any scientific topic. Teachers can use this competition to motivate students to reach beyond themselves and push the limits! To learn more about the competition, check out the website at Entries will be accepted from December 1, 2009 until January 31, 2010.

Toshiba/NSTA ExploraVision Awards Program
ExploraVision is a competition that makes science fun and exciting for students and gives educators an innovative way to present science topics in the classroom. This competition encourages K-12 students of any interest and ability levels to imagine a future technology using present day predicaments. Students can win up to $10,000 in savings bonds for college and cool gifts from Toshiba. Applications are now being accepted; the deadline is February 2, 2010. For more information about the program or to learn how to apply, visit

Action for Nature Eco-Hero awards: To recognize the outstanding accomplishments of environmentally minded young people, Action for Nature will present cash prizes of up to $500 to young Eco-Heroes for their environmental successes. Applicants ages 16 or under are eligible to apply. Winners will receive both a cash prize up to $500, and public recognition through Action for Nature’s public relations department. Application deadline is February 28, 2010.

We Can Change the World Challenge
K-8 students have the opportunity to become “Agents of Change” as they team up with their classmates to create replicable solutions to environmental issues in their classroom, school and community. Student and teacher/mentor prizes, which vary according to grade level, include savings bonds, school grants, exciting trips, TV appearances and much more. Applications are now being accepted. The deadline for elementary level entries is January 31, 2010 (finalists and winners to be announced March 10, 2010); and the deadline for middle school entries is March 15, 2010 (state winners to be announced April 26, 2010, and national winners to be announced May 10, 2010). For more information about the Challenge or to register for the competition, visit


Disney Planet Challenge will fund hands-on classroom projects that benefit the environment. To be eligible, teachers must first register to participate in the Disney Planet Challenge, then submit a hands-on project request focusing on the environment at Full-time fourth, fifth and sixth grade teachers at public schools are eligible.

Lowe's Toolbox for Education Grants
Searching for funding for your outdoor classroom, schoolyard garden, or school greening project? Lowe's will donate $5 million to public schools and public school parent teacher groups at more than 1,000 different public schools per school year. 

Nickelodeon's Big Green Grants Program provides resources to schools and community-based organizations to support environmentally friendly projects that educate and inspire kids to take care of the environment, be active, live healthily, and engage in community service. Each Green Grant will provide up to $5,000. Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis throughout the year.

NOAA's Office of Education requests applications for environmental literacy projects in K-12 education.  Funded projects will be 1-5 years in duration and will promote changes in K-12 education to expand the amount of Earth System Science taught in the classroom.

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) is the highest recognition that a kindergarten through 12th-grade mathematics or science teacher may receive for outstanding teaching in the United States.  Winners receive a paid trip to Washington, D.C., and a $10,000 award from the National Science Foundation. 

Explore Funding Opportunities
Teaching about the environment does not always require funding, but if you have a creative idea that needs funding, or want to allow an opportunity to enrich your skills, browse funding resources by using the link above.

Do Something Grants: Did you recently create a sustainable community action project, program or organization? Would $500 help further the growth and success of your program? If you answered, "YES!" you are eligible to apply for a Plum Youth Grant. Plum grants are awarded weekly on a rolling basis. Applications can be submitted every two months.

Apprentice Ecologist Initiative Grant:
The Apprentice Ecologist Initiative has engaged many young people to participate in environmental conservation and cleanup projects over the past decade. It is a two-part award.  First, teens lead a project, such as a clean-up of a natural area or a tree-planting project.  Then photos of the experience are uploaded to the Nicodemus Wilderness Project Web site.  The final component of the competition is to submit an essay about the project experience. A $500 educational scholarship, as well as several runner-up prizes, are awarded annually to the author of the top Apprentice Ecologist essay.

President’s Environmental Youth Awards: Since 1971, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has annually sponsored the President’s Environmental Youth Awards. The awards program recognizes forward-thinking youth with outstanding ideas about the environment and how to sustain it. All applicants receive a signed certificate by the President honoring them for their efforts. Regional winners receive a presidential plaque as well as an invitation to an EPA-sponsored ceremony in Washington, D.C. The competition is open to K-12 youth in all 50 states and the U.S. territories with an adult sponsor.

Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards: Do you think you have an idea that could impact the field of renewable energy? The Pete Conrad Spirit of Innovation Awards challenges teams of high school students to create innovative products for use in various fields of science and technology, including lunar exploration, personal spaceflight and renewable energy. Teams vie for more than $100,000 in cash prizes and the opportunity to commercialize their products for general market use.

Canon Envirothon Competition: The Canon Envirothon – North America’s largest high school environmental competition – is an annual youth environmental competition taking place over five days during the summer (August 1-7, 2010). Teams must demonstrate their knowledge of environmental science and natural resource management at five training/testing stations.

Volvo Adventure and United Nations Environment Program Competition:
Volvo Adventure, in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program, recognizes and rewards students’ environmental activities. Finalists receive a trip to Sweden for the final judging and awards ceremony. Three prizes are awarded, including a grand prize of $10,000. To enter the competition students, must form a team of two to five members between 13 and 16 years of age plus one adult team leader. Teams plan and perform an environmental project and submit the finished project for judging. Submission deadline is January 31, 2011.

The above competition information comes from High School students interested in keeping up with conservation news, including contests, awards, and scholarship info can check it out here


Are you a film maker interested in conservation issues? This grant may be for you: The Hawaii Community Foundation presents: The Pikake Fund; a grant given for film and video projects about environmental protection.

The Pikake Fund provides support for film or video projects about environmental protection efforts. It is a small fund that only makes grants in even years, (i.e., 2008, 2010 etc.) Usually, no more than $18,000 is available for grant-making in any of these years. There are no set deadlines, and inquiries may be made or proposals submitted after January 31st of any grant-making year (i.e., 2006, 2008, 2010). This year's grant cycle begins January 31, 2010.
 The Fund is interested in supporting film or video projects that describe:
•  conservation work that positively impacts the health of terrestrial or nearshore marine ecosystems,
•  community-led projects or programs that demonstrate broad community involvement in the stewardship of natural resources, AND
•  projects that integrate natural resource protection with Hawaiian cultural practices and traditions.
If you are interested in finding out more, or applying for this grant for the 2010 grant cycle, visit the Hawaii Community Foundation grant info page.