Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Outdoor watershed study offered again

Teachers need to sign up by Sept. 3 for school program

Island students and their teachers will have the chance again this year to leave the classroom and study the watersheds of Hawaii Island.

The Kohala Center is recruiting teachers for its second year of the Hawaii Island Meaningful Outdoor Experiences for Students, an innovative hands-on science-based program that focuses on bay and watershed education in ahupua'a -- the Hawaiian term for designated land divisions running from the mountain to the sea -- of the Kona coast, Kohala Mountain and Hilo Bay.

Students will learn about their ahupua'a through classroom presentations and field trips, and identify and implement a scientific research project to work on throughout the year on topics such as coral reefs, forest flora and fauna, water quality, non-point source pollution, runoff, sedimentation or marine debris.

The program will culminate in a year-end conference.

Sept. 3 is the registration deadline for teachers. Contact info@kohalacenter.org or 887-6411, or visit http://www.kohalacenter.org

Teachers who participated in last year's program are encouraged to apply again.

The program focuses on intermediate and high school science teachers in Kona, Kohala and North and South Hilo.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This Week in Nature: The 4th week in August - Alula

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

Alula, or Brighamia insignis, is blossoming now on windward sea cliffs of Kaua'i and Moloka'i. Formerly found also on Maui and Ni'ihau, this rare and endangered native lobelia has made some remarkable adaptations to survive in its dry, windy, and salty environment.

In times of drought, alula lives on water it has stored in its thick stem and grows smaller leaves than usual, thereby reducing loss of moisture. its roots grow horizontally to provide footing in the thin soil and crevasses of cliff faces, and its base is rounded, enabling it to sway a little with the stiffest gusts of wind.

Owing to these adaptations, alula is a hardy and long-lived plant, with individuals reaching heights of more than twelve feet. Unfortunately, it now faces threats for which the centuries of evolution have not prepared it, including predation by goats, competition from foreign plants, and removal by admiring humans.

Brighamia insignis is one of the plants being monitored and protected by the Plant Extinction Prevention Program, or PEP.

To find out more about Brighamia insignis, visit the Hawaii Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy fact sheet.

For more info, check out the National Tropical Botanical Garden fact sheet.

Also see the HEAR.org alula webpage.

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

Saturday, August 21, 2010

This Week in Nature: The 3rd week in August

What's Happening in Hawaii
during the 3rd week in August:

Schools of small akule, known alternatively as halalū or hahalalū, come into sheltered bays and harbors at this time of year. This fish is also known as Bigeye scad.

When word of their presence gets out, people with bamboo poles crowd beaches and piers day and night, landing shining blue halalū one after another. On Oahu, prime spots for this delicious fish are Poka'ī Bay, Hale'iwa Bay, and Honolulu Harbor.
Juveniles of several other fish also move close to shore in large numbers at this season. Swarms of 'oama, young of the weke (yellowstripe goatfish), appear in sandy shallows and rival halalū for the attention of pole fishermen. Throw nets are in use, too, as shadowy grey schools of moili'i - immanture moi, or threadfin - turn up along beaches and in protected coves.

*Disclaimer: Although some of this information is still relevant, it was written and published in 1989. If you are interested in more information about current fisheries and practices, please visit the Division of Aquatic Resources webpage.
Taken from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"
published by the Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Ocean Adventures

A generation ago, Jacques-Yves Cousteau revealed the oceans' mysteries to millions of landlocked PBS television viewers, and inspired a groundswell of public awareness of the unique problems faced by the world's marine environments. Now, 30 years later, Jacques' son Jean-Michel Cousteau and his expedition team have set sail to explore dangerous and spectacular locales across the globe in the high-definition series, Jean-Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures.  The themes of adaptations, ecosystems and human impact are interwoven throughout the Ocean Adventures episodes and educational materials.

Honu, Sharks Cove, Oahu
Photo: N.Galase

The website offers new educational resources including Videos, Interactive Games, episode-based viewing guides, activities, standards-based lesson plans and in-depth articles.   They are aligned with National Science Content Standards and Ocean Literacy Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts.  The resources are  designed primarily for middle school educators and students and are appropriate for use in both formal and informal educational settings.

Jean Michel Cousteau: Ocean Adventures website

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

This Week in Nature: The 2nd week in August

What's Happening in Hawaii
during the 2nd week in August:

The first kōlea are arriving in the islands now, completing their flight of 3000 miles or more from their breeding grounds in Siberia and Alaska.

Clocked at speeds up to 70 miles per hour, kōlea make the trip non-stop and theoretically could fly twice as far as they do. Adults come first, leaving young birds to fatten up another month before the long flight to winter quarters. 

Kōlea molt from brown to nearly black before the return in April, but in any season, their plumage is flecked with the gold feathers that earned them the name golden plover.

Photo courtesy of Forest & Kim Starr

Its beauty and behavior have made the kōlea one of the islands' most closely watched birds. In Hawaiian sayings, it appears as a metaphor for independence, wanderlust, mystery, transience, and ingratitude. In legends, it serves as a messenger of the gods.

Plovers were netted for food, but killing them wastefully was not tolerated. A story tells of kōlea pecking to death a man who caught more than he needed.
lea on Oahu leave for their breeding grounds on April 25th, plus or minus only a couple of days! Scientists have discovered that this is one of the most precise internal calendars in the animal kingdom.

Photo courtesy of Forest & Kim Starr

Text and illustration taken from "Hawaii: A Calendar of Natural Events"  
published by the Bishop Museum and Kamehameha Schools in 1989

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Book Fair to Support Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development

Barnes and Noble Book Fair

This SPECIAL BookFair Event is to Support Tri-Isle Resource Conservation & Development

Friday, Saturday & Sunday
August 13, 14 & 15
9:00 AM to 11:00 PM

Proceeds will be dispersed for Roi Round-up efforts to control invasive species on our reefs and educate the public about these issues.  The Roi Round-up calls local divers into action to help remove three species of fish that became invasive after their introduction to Hawaiian waters in the 1950s, including roi, to‘au, and ta‘ape. An average-sized roi is estimated to consume about 146 reef fish per year!

Nationwide Purchases made in any of the Barnes  Noble 800 Stores And Worldwide On-Line, Using this ID # 10253227 Generate Profits for Tri-Isle Conservation & Development

Can't attend?
Visit bn.com/bookfairs to support us in assisting our community by entering Bookfair ID # 10253227 when you place your order 24 hours a day from August 13th thru August 20th

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hawai'i Conservation Alliance Open House

Looking for a free evening of art, entertainment, and education?  Join us for the Hawaii Conservation Alliance Open House!

Live music by Kupa'aina
Silk aerial dance performance by Samadhi Hawai'i
Free lecture by wildlife photographer and biologist Jack Jeffrey
Presentation by Rick Barboza of Hui Ku Maoli Ola native Hawaiian plant nursery
Community Market
Conservation posters and art exhibits

Thursday, August 5
Hawai'i Convention Center, Honolulu, O'ahu

4:30 - 6:30 p.m. - Open House
6:30 - 8 p.m. - "Feathered Treasures: Hawai'i's Forest Birds Past, Present and Future" by Jack Jeffrey

This Week in Nature: The 1st week in August

What's Happening in Hawaii
during the 1st week in August:

"Aia a pohā ka leo o ka 'a'o,
kāpule ke momona o ka 'ua'u i ka puapua.

When the 'a'o birds' voices are distinctly heard,
the 'ua'u birds are fat even to the very tails."

The raucous cry of the 'a'o, Newell's Shearwater (Puffinus auricularis newelli), is heard before dawn and after dusk in the late summer and early fall. It is nesting season for both the 'a'o and the 'ua'u, or dark-rumped petrel, seabirds that spend the day foraging at sea for squid and fish.

The clearest indication of their nesting is the cry of the 'a'o, which sounds like a cross between a crow's caw and the braying of a donkey. In the old days, this odd noise was a cue that the breeding colonies were full of plump 'ua'u chicks. Hawaiians hunted and ate both old and young 'ua'u, netting adults as they returned to nests at sunset.

Human and animal predation have endangered both species. 'A'o now breed only on inaccessible ridges of Kaua'i and Hawai'i, while 'ua'u nest mostly on Haleakalā. Thir extinction would crete serious problems for fishermen, who historically have depended on them to locate feeding schools of aku.

For more information about Newell's Shearwater, visit the Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy 'a'o webpage.

Also visit the HEAR.org Newell's Shearwater page.

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