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Nahelehele Dry Forest Symposium 2018


This year is the twelfth annual Nāhelehele Dryland Forest Symposium. It will feature presentations by scientists and conservationists who are working to learn about and preserve Hawaiian dryland forest plants and ecosystems. The Symposium will be held at the Courtyard at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel on Friday, February 9th, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Early registration until January 30th is $75 and includes lunch and $5 parking. Student registration is $40 (reduced from $55) thanks to sponsorship by Hawai’i Forest Institute. After January 30th, late registration increases to $90 ($55 for students). Registration is limited to 200 to preserve the quality of the event for everyone attending and to facilitate networking. There will be two accompanying field trips ($40 each, lunch provided) to to Pōhakuloa Training Area on Thursday, February 8th and the Queen Emma Land Trust Dry Forest Restoration Project on Saturday, February 10th.

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 ecosystem on the Hawaiian Islands but today they are extremely deforested and degraded. Only remnant patches of the habitat remain to remind us of the highly diverse community of plants and animals that once dominated the landscape of West Hawai‘i. The Dryland Forest Symposium provides a forum for hearing about recent developments in dryland forest conservation and restoration, and an opportunity to interact with others interested in dryland forest.

Keynote speaker Dr. Rakan (Zak) Zahawi, new director of Lyon Arboretum at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, will start things off with a talk about dry forest restoration work in Costa Rica entitled “Project Orange: the Power of Agricultural Waste to Regenerate a Forest.” Zahawi will be followed by Dr. Jonathan Price, University of Hawai‘i Hilo, talking about “Coming up with Real Restoration Baselines.”

Don’t wait to register – field trips are limited to 25 and are on a first come, first served basis.

Field Trips

Pōhakuloa Training Area Natural Resources Management Tour
Thursday, February 8, 2018   9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Queen Emma Land Trust Dry Forest Restoration Project
Saturday, February 10, 2018   9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. 

Earlier Event: February 3
World Wetlands Day