Nāhelehele Dryland Forest Symposium Set for March 27

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The 2019 Nāhelehele Dryland Forest Symposium will highlight dryland forest ecology and restoration efforts in Hawai‘i. The symposium will be held on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center on Nowelo Street in Hilo, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The symposium will be held at ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center.

The symposium is open to the public. Early registration is available for $75 per person until March 15; after March 15 registration is $90 per person. The Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association, Mary Begier Realty and the State Division of Forestry and Wildlife are sponsoring discounts for students with valid ID. Student registration is $40 before March 15 or $55 after. Registration fees include lunch. More information and registration are available online or by contacting Ron Terry at [email protected] or (808) 969-7090.

A fascinating limited-participant field trip to the recent burn area of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park is offered on Tuesday, March 26 ($40, lunch provided).

The dryland forests of Hawai‘i are fragile habitats that are home to many of the rarest plants in the world. Dryland forests were once considered to be the most diverse forest ecosystems in the Hawaiian Islands but have suffered decades of deforestation and degradation. Only remnant patches of these habitats of highly diverse communities of plants and animals remain today. The Dryland Forest Symposium provides a forum to discuss recent developments in dryland forest conservation and restoration, and an opportunity to interact with others interested in dryland forest ecology.


At this year’s symposium we are honored to have Hālau ‘Ōhi‘a open the event with a kīpaepae to help establish and strengthen our specific intentions as we engage in this symposium meant to help conserve a resource with profound biocultural significance. Keynote speaker Dr. Jennifer Powers from the University of Minnesota has been an avid researcher of tropical dry forests in Costa Rica since 1994. She investigates the relationships among ecological processes, the patterns they generate, and the effects of anthropogenic environmental changes across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Other
presenters include Dr. Natalie Kurashima of Kamehameha Schools, Jen Lawson of the Waikoloa Dry Forest Initiative, Dr. Patrick Hart of UH-Hilo, Pablo Beimler and Elizabeth Pickett of the Hawai‘i Wildfire Management Organization, the team of botanists and traditional ecology expert Bobby Camara and horticulturalist Kathy Kawakami, Dr. Christian Giardina of the USDA’s Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Philipp Lahaela-Walter of the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, and Dr. Chris Balzotti.

The Nahelehele Dryland Forest Symposium is a project of Ka‘ahahui ‘O Ka Nāhelehele, a nonprofit organization dedicated to dry forest advocacy and partnerships. Symposium sponsors include the Hawai‘i Forest Industry Association, Mary Begier Realty, and the State of Hawai‘i Division of Forestry and Wildlife. Organizations and individuals interested in sponsoring the symposium or contributing to
student scholarships may contact Terry at [email protected] or (808) 969-7090


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