CTAHR professor gives college largest faculty gift and receives national award

Professor James Brewbaker, Ph.D., gave the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) its largest monetary, faculty-given gift and received a national award today.

Brewbaker, a member of CTAHR, established the James L. Brewbaker Endowed Fellowship with outright and estate gifts totaling $1 million.

“This fellowship will assist full-time graduate students who studying plant breeding in CTAHR’s department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences,” CTAHR Dean Maria Gallo said at a press conference.


Gallo said Brewbaker has mentored over 50 Master’s and doctoral students.

“He keeps in touch with them through his Dr. B newsletter. That’s not enough for him,” Gallo said.

According to Gallo, Brewbaker’s gift is the largest gift the college has ever received from a CTAHR faculty member.

Brewbaker said he got the $1 million from saving five percent of his monthly salary for 60 years.

“The amazing thing is when I finished my Ph.D. in 1952, people were kind enough to pay me a monthly salary, which has been increasing for 60 years. One of the great pleasures being in a university and getting tenure,” Brewbaker said at a press conference. “I just put five percent of that away. Of course 15 percent had already gone to the government. A little five percent goes a long ways.”

Brewbaker said it was nice to be honored.

“When I began to think about sharing my wealth, I had no question that it would be this college, and I had no question it would be plant breeding crop improvement broadly,” Brewbaker said.


Brewbaker also received the Crop Science Society of America (CSSA) Presidential Award, recognizing his six decades of work as a plant breeder.

According to a press release, the award recognizes outstanding contributions to crop science through education, national and international service, and research.

Gallo received the award on his behalf during the society’s meeting earlier this month in Florida.

“I was privileged to accept on his behalf his latest award, the Crop Science Society of America 2013 Presidential Award. I did so at the international organization’s annual meeting in Florida a couple of days ago, and I’m even more honored to be able to present it to him today,” Gallo said.


Brewbaker is known as the “father of corn” and “grandfather of supersweet corn in Asia,” according to Gallo.

“He’s been a prolific scholar since joining the UH faculty in 1961,” Gallo said. “He developed the local seed corn industry, which is now the state’s leading local commodity, producing a record $243 million of revenue in 2011.”

Brewbaker also established Hawaiʻi Foundation Seeds to preserve and manage parent seed stocks.

“For these reasons and many, many more he has received nearly every accolade available to a plant breeder in geneticists,” Gallo said.

Brewbaker joined the UH faculty in 1961. He received a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Colorado and a Ph.D. from Cornell University.



Gift tips for da ʻohana

Gift tips for da ʻohana

Published on Nov. 25, 2013.
Published on Nov. 25, 2013.

A tip that I’ve always found helpful when searching for gifts for my family is to buy them something they can use. When looking for gifts for your family, you should consider what they can use as well as what they will like.

Most dads won’t be as outright about what they want for Christmas as a sibling. I’ve had to ask my dad numerous times about what he wants for Christmas, and every time he’ll say something like “I’ll like whatever you get me.” But getting him something he can use would be better than a random hat or shirt that he can toss away in the back of his closet. If your dad is outside a lot, why not get him a new tool like a hammer or drill that he can use for that broken window or new shed he’s building? If he cooks, try getting him a new wooden cutting board or some spices.

Moms can be especially tricky to shop for. Most are picky and will pretty much buy what they need when they need it. If you notice your mom eyeing something in the store but she doesn’t get it, that can be a hint for you to get it for her. Coming from the mainland, I get my mom things that she can’t get at home. These can include new slippers, tropical-scented candles or some unique shell earrings. And she’ll always hint at what she wants.

Shopping for a sister shouldn’t be bad. Like moms, sisters tend to be open about what they want. Take your sister’s suggestions and start looking. A great present for a sister would be something that she doesn’t expect, especially if she’s always open about what she wants.

Brothers tend to be quieter about what they want for gifts. Figure out what your brother likes and find him something that he could use. If he plays sports, try getting him a new bat or tickets to see his favorite team. If he likes to go to the beach, why not get him new flippers or a body board?


Ten “do-able” New Years resolutions

Ten “do-able” New Years resolutions

Published on Nov. 25, 2013.
Published on Nov. 25, 2013.

With the new year coming up, it’s time to start planning how you want to spend it. See how long you can stick to these “do-able” resolutions:

1.Walk, instead of drive, whenever you can.

2.Recycle all your bottles, cans and paper for the year.

3.Turn off all lights when you leave the room and unplug all electronics you don’t use.

4.Eat healthy: Go as long as you can without any fast food.

5.Get healthy: Set a workout schedule and exercise plan and stick to it.

6.There are more than 50 student organizations on campus. Find one you like and get involved.

7.Study more before every test. Set a study plan.

8.Break a physical habit like biting your nails or twirling your hair.

9.Save money: For every dollar you spend, put a dollar into a “savings” jar.

10. Find out what causes you stress and get rid of it.


UH forms Task Force on Veterans Affairs

The university has formed a system-wide task force on improving services for student veterans, which will hold its first meeting today.

“We owe all of our veterans a path to a high-quality degree that will help them find rewarding employment.  But just as importantly, we owe it to Hawaiʻi as well,” Interim President David Lassner said. “Veterans have a wealth of talent and expertise to share if we are successful in providing them with higher education experiences that enable them to obtain great jobs and contribute in our communities.”

Lassner announced his plan to appoint a new task force at a joint news conference in September with retired Secretary of the U.S. Veterans Administration General Eric Shinseki.

The university’s ten-campus system currently enrolls more than 2,400 veterans, comprising about four percent of the student body.

UH students, faculty and staff and community members submitted nominations and self-nominations, which led to the appointment of the 15 task force members.

The task force, which is chaired by Chris Manaseri, Dean of Student Services at Leeward Community College, is charged with providing recommendations that improve veteran access to UH and the success of student veterans by reaching out to all campuses and representing the interests and concerns of the entire system and veterans throughout the state.

The group may engage in activities like surveying and cataloging current capabilities and practices of UH campuses relative to known best practices and available programs; working with UH veteran students and recent veteran graduates to understand barriers and contributors to their enrollment and success; and identifying changes in federal policy that would support increased access and success for student veterans that UH can recommend to federal officials and our Congressional Delegation.

Task Force results and recommendations will be shared at a system-wide conference on support for veterans hosted by UH Mānoa next spring.


UH asks state to renew Mauna Kea leases

Published on Nov. 15, 2013.
Published on Nov. 15, 2013.

The state Board of Land and Natural Resources will review the University of Hawai‘i’s request to issue new 65-year leases atop Mauna Kea at its Dec. 13 meeting.

According to Big Island Now, UH asked the board to cancel its existing leases for the Mauna Kea Science Reserve and the property under the Hale Pōhaku Mid-Level Facility and to issue new ones.

“UH made this request because of its commitment to long-term stewardship of the UH-managed lands on Mauna Kea and to advancing the state of Hawai‘i as a global leader in astronomical research,” UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney said.


According to Straney, the new 65-year lease will allow UH “a long-term horizon to better plan and commit to the design and development of instrumentation that has put the facilities on Mauna Kea at the forefront in cutting edge astronomical research in the world.”

The lease will also enhance the university’s ability to work effectively with sublease holders on issues like decommissioning and removing observatories and develop those programs to meet the needs and requirements of the Comprehensive Management Plan.

The university is asking the state to extend leases for more than 11,000 acres, which, according to Straney, are already part of the Mauna Kea lands that UH is charged to manage and protect.

“The 2000 Master Plan confined the development of astronomy facilities to the 525-acre Astronomy Precinct, leaving the remaining 11,000 plus acres in the Mauna Kea Science Reserve as a buffer for the protection of the mountain’s scientific, natural and cultural resources,” Straney said.

He said the proposed new leases will provide additional flexibility and direction for UH and the Department of Land and Natural Resources in implementing the CMP and its subplans.

“Many of the management recommendations will require long-range planning and implementation extending well beyond the 2033 expiration of the current leases,” Straney said.


The Associated Students of the University of Hawai‘i passed Senate Resolution 13-14 in opposition to the renewal of leases on Mauna a Wākea on Nov. 6. The final vote tally recorded 21 ayes and five nos.

“Now that it has passed and has been approved by the Senate, it gets codified and distributed to the individuals/organizations listed in the document,” ASUH president Richard Mizusawa said.

Opponents of the resolution and supporters for the renewal of leases on Mauna a Wākea, or Mauna Kea, argued that UH is a research institution, and one of its goals is to focus on expanding its research in a variety of fields.

“Opponents of the resolution argued that the renewal of leases would allow the creation of a bigger and more advanced telescope, ensuring this tradition of preeminent research,” Mizusawa said. “In addition, access to Mauna Kea draws researchers, professors and students to the university.”


According to the Office of Hawaiian Affairs’ testimony to the BLNR at its Nov. 8 meeting, the lease cancellation and reissuance requested would be necessary to extend subleases beyond 2033 and potentially allow the extension of these uses by 45 years.

“Such extensions would provide for the continued

disruption of cultural and environmental resources for over a generation’s worth of time beyond the currently contemplated,” OHA said in its testimony. “In addition, 45 additional years of use would allow even relatively minor environmental impacts to become cumulatively significant over time.”

OHA also asked that an environmental site assessment be conducted prior to the issuance of a new lease.

OHA is the constitutionally established body responsible for protecting and promoting the rights of Native Hawaiians.


Former chairman of the Mauna Kea Management Board Barry Taniguchi said issuing the new 65-year lease will allow UH Hilo and the Office of Mauna Kea Management to continue doing what’s right for the mountain.

In his testimony to the BLNR, Taniguchi said major milestones have been achieved on Mauna Kea.

“UHH is achieving its commitments and has instilled spirited community trust through the excellent performance of the Office of Mauna Kea Management,” Taniguchi said.


How to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan

The Filipino Law Students Association is actively promoting a list of organizations that will accept donations to aid those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

“One of our concerns is that donations will line the pockets of those whose routine theft worsened the impact of this horrific calamity,” FLSA president Khara Jabola-Carolus said. “We want to make sure folks contribute to organizations that are transparent and effective.”

It has been six days since the typhoon hit the Philippines and according to Jabola-Carolus, only 20 percent of survivors are receiving aid.

Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on Nov. 8, clocking two full days as a Category 5-size storm and with winds gusting over 200 miles per hour, according to the Los Angeles Times. Approximately one million people were evacuated, with 12 million in the path of the storm.

Jabola-Carolus is a member of the national organization Af3irm, the Association of Filipina Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Re-feudalization, and Marginalization, which is a national organization of women engaged in transnational feminist, anti-imperialist activism.

Af3irm compiled a list of organizations that will receive donations to aid the Philippines, along with an additional recommendation by FLSA.

“Beyond monetary giving, what would help is efforts to build collective pressure and casting a vigilant eye on NGOs, private contractors, and local politicians who handle the generous donations and public funds,” Jabola-Carolus said. “We do not want a repeat Haiti.”

1. Kaisa Ka (Unity of Women for Freedom): a grassroots national organization advancing the rights and welfare of Filipino women who are usually in the periphery of development and most often, the victims of natural and man-made disasters, economic crisis and militarism fomented by globalization. Women from various sectors—peasants, workers, students, urban poor and indigenous people—have formed KAISA KA chapters in different regions and provinces throughout the Philippines.

You can send your donations to women sector account:

Account Name: Pagkakaisa ng Kababaihan para sa Kalayaan Inc. (KAISA KA)

Account Number: 106930026351


Routing No.: 021-000089

Name of the Bank: BDO-Mandaluyong Libertad Branch

Address of the Bank Branch: G/F Sierra Heights Place Domingo Guevarra corner Sierra Madre

Streets,Mandaluyong City, Philippines, 1550

2. Gota de Leche Manila: Established in 1907 by the Asociacion Feminista Filipina, GDL focuses on aiding women and children. Check out them out atwww.facebook.com/gotadelechemanila

Their bank account for cash donations:

La Proteccion de la Infancia, Inc.

BPI Morayta (Manila)

Account #1584-0022-19


Monetary donations can be sent to:

Filipino-American Community of Los Angeles (FACLA)

1740 W. Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90026

4. Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF)

MSF will have more than 100 staff in the area in the coming days, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, logisticians, psychologists, and water and sanitation experts.

See more at: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/onetime-mobilr.cfm?source=ADS131101802

5. STP ( Sagip Tuluy-tuloy tulong Pilipinas) to help typhoon Yolanda victims in the Visayas.

Sponsored by: People’s CORE, Justice for Filipino American Veterans and KmB

You can donate cash, by check or in kind to People’s CORE, 1610 Beverly Blvd, Suite No. 2 Los Angeles, CA 90026.

6. Advancement for Rural Kids


ARK Relief Plan

Situation: Capiz is in a state of emergency

– Haiyan lingered and ravaged the province for 5+ hours – the longest time it was on land

– villages and towns have been leveled, some were underwater/flooded for 72 hours.

– 90% of buildings and ALL of the schools are damaged

– families lost their homes, while those who have it, no longer have roofs

– there is no electricity – all the villages are in the dark

– 80-90% of trees are uprooted, with not a leaf left in the school gardens or all around

– rice paddies – source of food and income – are decimated. The next time the communities can get income from rice farming is next September.

Despite all of the above, relief organizations have not reached Capiz and government aid has been very little.

For online donations: http://bit.ly/HSAMiF


Graduate student receives international sustainability award

Published on Nov. 13, 2013.
Published on Nov. 13, 2013.

Post-doctorate researcher Robert Brewer won the 2013 Graduate Student Research on Campus Sustainability Award for his dissertation on the results of the Kukui Cup Energy Challenge at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa.

“It’s an honor to win the award from AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education), and really it reflects the work of the whole Kukui Cup team,” Brewer said.

Brewer’s dissertation, “Fostering Sustained Energy Behavior Change and Increasing Literacy in a Student Housing Energy Challenge,” included a demonstration of increased energy literacy as a result of the challenge, the discovery of fundamental problems with the use of baselines for assessing energy competitions, the creation of two open-source software systems and the creation of an energy literacy assessment instrument.

“So what Robert did was study the impact of the Kukui Cup, and he learned about the impact of the educational portion of the challenge and that students who participated in the Kukui Cup did learn more about energy issues than those that didn’t,” Information and Computer Sciences professor Philip Johnson said.

The results were based on data collected in 2011 and have been used to improve the Kukui Cup in 2012 and 2013.

“For example, because of the problems my dissertation revealed in using a traditional static baseline for evaluation, we have switched to a dynamic baseline,” Brewer said.


Brewer and Johnson developed the Kukui Cup Energy Challenge along with George Lee, Computer Science Ph.D. student Yongwen Xu and Computer and Information Sciences Ph.D. student Michelle Katchuck.

Students in residence halls compete to see which floor or building can use the least energy, while earning points by learning about energy and sustainability. They started the work in 2010 and held the first Kukui Cup in the Hale Aloha Towers in 2011.

A second UH Mānoa Kukui Cup was held in 2012. Brewer and his colleagues also assisted Hawai‘i Pacific University and the East-West Center in running their own Kukui Cups.

“We situated the Kukui Cup in higher education for a few reasons,” Brewer said. “First off, as university researchers, residence halls are an obvious and convenient place to conduct research. The support and cooperation of UH Mānoa Student Housing has been essential to the success of the Kukui Cup. Involving students living in residence halls also made sense because one of the core ideas of the Kukui Cup is that education must be integrated into these types of competitions for them to help foster changes in behavior.”

Johnson said Brewer’s dissertation had an impact on how the Kukui Cup was run.

“The dissertation has had a significant impact on the way that we do the Kukui Cup now,” Johnson said. “It has indicated that, to me at least, his research indicates that it’s very important to combine education with game mechanics, such as competitions.”

About four years ago, the Collaborative Software Development Laboratory was awarded a three-year grant for about $400,000 by the National Science Foundation to investigate ways to create positive behavioral change with respect to energy usage, according to Johnson.


Brewer said he knew he wanted his research to directly address the problems of climate change and sustainability when he returned to UH Mānoa in 2007 to pursue a Ph.D. in Computer Science.

“There are many departments at UHM doing world-class work on climate change, such as SOEST,” Brewer said. “As a computer scientist, I wanted my research to help mitigate the problem.”


Brewer moved to Hawai‘i in 1992 after graduating with a B.A. in physics from Reed College in Portland, Ore. While living in Hawai‘i, he received his master’s in Information and Computer Sciences from UH Mānoa and co-founded the Internet Service Provider, LavaNet.

“I like computer science because it combines the beauty of mathematics with practicality of engineering,” Brewer said. “In CS, we can create software and make it available to anyone in the world with Internet access. That’s a powerful way to make the world a better place.”

Since graduating in 2013 with a Ph.D. in Computer Science, Brewer has moved to the country of Denmark, where he is a post-doctorate researcher in the Computer Science department at Aarhus University for the next two years.

He is currently working on the EcoSense project, which aims to use data from sensors in smartphones and buildings to make people more aware of their environmental impact and to help foster changes in behavior.

“My focus is on a dormitory in Aarhus that has been instrumented with a variety of sensors, making it into a living lab for energy behavior research,” Brewer said. “My work on the Kukui Cup has provided me with a great foundation to contribute on the EcoSense project.”

To find out more information about the Kukui Cup, go to kukuicup.org.

Correction issued at 12:44 on Nov. 13:

Brewer moved from Hawaiʻi to the country of Denmark. Quote changed to: “It has indicated that, to me at least, his research indicates that it’s very important to combine education with game mechanics, such as competitions.”