Publicity

UH Launches Pacific ICT Initiative

The College of Social Sciences (CSS) at UH Mānoa has established the Pacific Information and Communication Technology for Development Collaborative (PICTDC). PICTDC is an innovative interdisciplinary initiative focusing on the social and economic implications of information and communications technology in the Pacific region. The collaborative emphasizes the potential uses of technology for social good, promotion of digital inclusiveness, sustainable improvement in quality of life, and empowerment of public discourse on good governance. [...]

Hurricane preparedness tips from Hawaii Red Cross

Are you ready for hurricane season? June 1 signals the start of hurricane season in Hawaii, which lasts all the way until November. The Hawaii Red Cross is telling residents that now is the time to create or update preparedness plans. “Avoid the craze of standing in supermarket lines to get bottled water and the anxiety of last minute plans for you and your family members,” the organization urges. “The Hawaii Red Cross is here for you and your loved ones by providing services and information to ensure that you can be prepared for any natural disaster that comes your way.” The Hawaii Red Cross offers three tips to help you get ready for this year’s hurricane season. [...]

Contemporary island art featured in ‘Contact 2016’

For
 the
 third
 year,
 Pu‘uhonua
 Society’s
 Maoli
 Arts
 Alliance
 is
 presenting 
its 
juried 
contemporary 
art 
exhibition “Contact 2016.” The 
exhibition 
features 
new 
and
 recent
 artworks
 by
 Hawaii’s
 contemporary
 artists,
 and
 is
 the
 only
 show
 of
 its
 kind
 in
 the
 islands. Selected
 artworks
 explore
 themes
 of
 “Contact,” cultural
 exchange
 and
 migratory
 movements, many of
 them 
reflecting 
on 
personal 
narratives 
of 
heritage 
and 
connection.

 This
 year’s
 show
 is
 titled
 “Foreign
 and
 Familiar.” Jurors
 are
 expected
 to
 select
 work
 by
 over
 80
 submissions
 in
 a
 wide
 variety
 of
 media
 from
 over
 50
 artists
 for
 the
 exhibition.
 On
 view
 at
 the
 Honolulu
 Museum
 of
 Art
 School
 from
 March
 24
 to April
 17,
 2016,
 “Contact 2016” also
 includes
 a
 series
 of
 free
 programs,
 including
 lectures,
 panel
 discussions,
 and
 films,
 designed
 to
 complement
 the
 show. [...]

Report: Honolulu has 10th worst traffic in U.S.

A new report out of transportation analytics firm INRIX ranks Honolulu 10th on its list of the 10 most congested cities in the country, with each commuter wasting 49 hours per year stuck in traffic. The top 10 list also includes Los Angeles, Washington D.C., San Francisco, Houston, New York and Seattle, and commuters spent a total of 8 billion hours stuck in traffic in 2015 across all ten cities combined. INRIX also notes that the U.S. accounts for 50 percent of the top 10 metros with the worst traffic congestion across both the U.S. and Europe. Only London has worse traffic than top-ranked U.S. cities. INRIX released its 2015 Traffic Scorecard today, a benchmark for governments and agencies in the U.S. and Europe to measure progress in improving urban mobility. [...]

Kids win latest Startup Weekend Honolulu

History was made on Sunday when 12-year-old Buddy Leong, 10-year-old Koko Leong and 6-year-old Kyndra Leong beat out a field of over fifty adults to win first place at Startup Weekend Honolulu. The achievement may represent the youngest team to win a Startup Weekend worldwide. Founded in 2009, Startup Weekend has been held over 1,200 times in over 560 cities with an estimated 105,000 participants. The Global Startup Battle is now being held in over 250 cities worldwide. Over 25 individuals pitched an idea on Friday night and the 10 ideas with the most votes went on to recruit a team. The teams had until Sunday afternoon to create a business model, prototype, get customer validation and deliver a five-minute final presentation. They are judged by industry experts and a winner is named. [...]

Tech-Savvy Educator Named Windward Teacher of the Year

Stephanie Mew of Kapunahala Elementary is the 2016 Windward District Teacher of the Year. The third-grade instructor has taught at the Kaneohe school for 13 years and possesses 26 years of professional teaching experience. Known for her high energy, Mew incorporates topics that interest her into her classroom to inspire students. Topics have included technology, engineering, math, robotics, science and gardening. Fostering creativity, Mew also teaches that failure is sometimes good. [...]

KeckWatch App Fuels Fans of Astronomy

Today, W. M. Keck Observatory launched a new smartphone app to stoke the curiosity and wonder of astronomy. KeckWatch offers mankind’s collected knowledge of the cosmos on the screen of your iOS device. In addition to being able to easily identify stars and planets with both conventional and Hawaiian names, it offers a unique glimpse through the gigantic eyes of the Keck I and Keck II telescopes, the two largest and most scientifically productive telescope on Earth. The app was built by First Light Design, the makers of category-defining app Distant Suns, and can be can be downloaded from the iTunes App Store today. “Our work studying the cosmos these past two decades has led to remarkable understandings of our Universe and has placed Hawaii as the premiere location on Earth for astronomical research,” said Hilton Lewis, director of Keck Observatory. [...]

Lawmakers commit to 100 percent renewable energy by 2045

Hawaii lawmakers voted 74-2 today to pass the nation’s first 100% renewable energy requirement. The measure, House Bill 623, makes Hawaii a global leader in renewable energy policy by requiring that 100% of the islands’ electricity must be generated from renewable energy resources—such as wind, solar, and geothermal—no later than 2045. “Hawaii lawmakers made history today—not only for the state, but for the planet,” said Jeff Mikulina, Executive Director of the Blue Planet Foundation. The measure, if enacted by Governor David Ige, would make Hawaii the first state in the nation with such a 100% renewable energy standard. Blue Planet Foundation, whose mission is to clear the path for 100% renewable energy, praised the move. “Passage of this measure is a historic step towards a fossil fuel free Hawaii,” said Mikulina. “This visionary policy is a promise to future generations that their lives will be powered not by climate-changing fossil fuel, but by clean, local, and sustainable sources of energy.” “We applaud the leadership of both the House and the Senate, and of the energy committee chairs, Rep. Chris Lee and Sen. Mike Gabbard, for helping make this historic policy a reality,” he added. [...]

Latest crew set for 8-month simulated Mars mission

The six astronaut-like crew members of the next Hawai‘i Space Exploration Analog and Simulation (HI-SEAS) mission starting October 15 will be isolated in their dome habitat for eight months. This mission is twice as long as any previously completed at the Hawaiʻi site, and second only to Russia’s Mars500 experiment in total duration. Also, for the first time, HI-SEAS will have a female commander. In NASA history, only two women have ever commanded the spaceship: astronauts Eileen Collins in July 1999, and Pamela Melroy in November 2007. For true space flight, the commander role requires previous astronaut experience as well as at least 1,000 hours experience piloting a jet aircraft. For HI-SEAS, Commander Martha Lenio was selected based on feedback from fellow crew members and from instructors of the National Outdoor Leadership Skills course that both NASA and HI-SEAS require of their teams in training. [...]

Energy Excelerator announces latest cohort

The Energy Excelerator selected 17 startups from a pool of high quality applicants to transform Hawaii’s energy system. Fifty percent of the new portfolio startups has principal team members with previous exits. “We are excited to work with a new cohort of startups with a ton of experience in running successful companies,” says Dawn Lippert, Director of the Energy Excelerator. “These are really smart people that have vetted technologies and are eager to partner with our local businesses to help solve some of our most difficult energy challenges.” The Energy Excelerator’s goal is to strategically address Hawaii’s energy challenges across many different sectors. The 2015 cohort consists of startups with innovative solutions for the State’s energy, transportation, water, and agriculture industries. [...]

Microbes touted as key to future agriculture

A local technology commercialization company is working with two mainland biotechnology firms to encourage the adoption of microbial treatments to boost agricultural productivity while reducing water consumption as well as cutting the use of fertilizers and pesticides. “Everything we’ve been taught about farming is incorrect,” declares Vincent Kimura, president of Inovi Green. “Historical and current agricultural processes of crop fertilization and soil tilling are falling out of favor, damaging ecosystems and producing diminishing returns. Environmentally-friendly microbial treatments have evolved to do this work far more effectively.” [...]

Hawaii scientist maps, names ‘Laniakea’ galaxy cluster

An international team of astronomers has defined the contours of the immense supercluster of galaxies containing our own Milky Way. They have named the supercluster “Laniakea,” meaning “immense heaven” in Hawaiian. The team was led by University of Hawaii at Manoa astronomer R. Brent Tully, who recently shared the 2014 Gruber Cosmology Prize and the 2014 Victor Ambartsumian International Prize. The paper explaining this work is the cover story of the September 4 issue of the prestigious journal Nature. [...]

Three UH scientists selected for Mars rover teams

NASA has announced the selection of seven science instruments to be included on the Mars 2020 rover. Three scientists from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) — Sarah Fagents, Shiv Sharma and Anupam Misra — will be members on the instrument teams to conduct unprecedented science and exploration technology investigations on the Red Planet. The new rover will carry sophisticated hardware and instruments to perform geological assessments of the rover’s landing site, determine the potential habitability of the environment, and directly search for signs of ancient Martian life. [...]

Big Island Election Challenged in Hawaii Supreme Court

On August 6, 2014, Governor Abercrombie signed an emergency proclamation, in advance of two anticipated storms projected to impact Hawai‘i: Hurricanes Iselle and Julio. The proclamation – valid from August 6 through August 15 – included a statement that “the danger of disaster is of such magnitude to warrant preemptive and protective action in order to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the people.” Facing massive damage from Iselle on August 8, and thousands of Hawai‘i County residents dealing with historic flooding, power outages, property damage, and road closures – some of which continue even now – the Chief Elections Officer determined that the primary would go on as scheduled on August 9. the Chief Elections Officer went on to change the rules of the election (who could vote, where and how) at least two more times over the course of three days. This series of decisions led to the denial of the right to vote for many Hawai‘i County residents. Indeed, Precinct 04-03 had among its lowest voter turnout ever. [...]

Hawaii Herald launches online edition

The Hawai‘i Herald today took a major step forward in its more than thirty­ year ­history with the launch of its online edition. The debut issue is focused on the Primary Election, with a story on the “David vs. Goliath” gubernatorial race between incumbent Governor Neil Abercrombie and veteran State Senator David Ige, as well as a Q&A forum on the issues with responding candidates for the major offices. “This is an historic moment for The Hawai‘i Herald, the only Hawaii­-based newspaper dedicated to covering the local Japanese American community,” says Keiichi Tagata, president of parent company Hawaii Hochi, Ltd. “After 34 years of sharing stories in print with loyal readers, mostly in Hawaii, we look forward to sharing the Herald with a wider audience of readers around the world.” [...]

Third historic volcano found off O‘ahu

University of Hawaii researchers, working with colleagues in California and France, have discovered evidence of a third major shield volcano making up the island of O‘ahu. Previously, geologists believed the island’s current profile is the remnants of two volcanoes, Wai‘anae and Ko‘olau. But extending almost 100 km WNW from Ka‘ena Point, the western tip of the island of O‘ahu, is a large region of shallow bathymetry, called the submarine Ka‘ena Ridge. It is that region that has now been recognized to represent a precursor volcano to the island of O‘ahu, and on whose flanks the Wai‘anae and Ko‘olau Volcanoes later formed. The team included scientists from the University of Hawai‘i–Mānoa, Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et de L’Environment in France, and Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. [...]

Leaf Doctor: UH plant expert launches third app

Fresh from his success with two widely utilized smartphone apps, plant pathologist Scot Nelson has created a new and more technical app, the Leaf Doctor, for a more specialized audience. Nelson, who works at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources at the University of Hawaii, doesn’t anticipate that the Leaf Doctor will have the same broad, popular appeal as his Plant Doctor app. For many of those who will use the Leaf Doctor, though, it is likely to be a professional game-changer. The Leaf Doctor focuses on the finer points of diagnosing plant diseases. [...]

Study: Shorter men may live longer

Short height and long life have a direct connection in Japanese men, according to new research based on the Kuakini Honolulu Heart Program (HHP) and the Kuakini Honolulu-Asia Aging Study (HAAS). “We split people into two groups – those who were 5-foot-2 and shorter, and 5-4 and taller,” said Dr. Bradley Willcox, one of the investigators for the study and a UH Mānoa Professor at the John A. Burns School of Medicine’s (JABSOM’s) Department of Geriatric Medicine. “The folks that were 5-2 and shorter lived the longest. The range was seen all the way across from being 5-foot tall to 6-foot tall. The taller you got, the shorter you lived.” Researchers at the Kuakini Medical Center, JABSOM and U.S. Veterans Affairs worked on the study, which was recently published in PLOS ONE, a peer-reviewed medical journal. The researchers showed that shorter men were more likely to have a protective form of the longevity gene, FOXO3, leading to smaller body size during early development and a longer lifespan. Shorter men were also more likely to have lower blood insulin levels and less cancer. [...]