A Unique Initiative…
In February 2011, former University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UH Mānoa) Chancellor Virginia Hinshaw (former) announced a university-wide strategic hiring initiative to increase the pool of scholars in the teaching and research community. In a competition with 11 other departmental proposals, the University of Hawai‘i recognized the excellence of the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program (Hawai‘i Sea Grant) and its longstanding commitment to coastal sustainability by selecting the Hawai‘i Sea Grant-led proposal entitled “Integrating Marine Science, Economics, Engineering, Design and Policy for Sustainable Coastal Communities.” Through this initiative, Hawai‘i Sea Grant was able to hire six new general-funded faculty. Over the next 30 years, this will represent an approximate $50 million investment in Sea Grant’s outreach and research program. This is likely an unprecedented commitment on the part of a university to Sea Grant and its National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration partner. This initiative greatly increases our ability to address diverse challenges, needs, and opportunities in a multifaceted fashion.
According to Chancellor Hinshaw, “The proposal was a well-defined, tightly integrated cluster on a topic of great importance for the state with the potential for significant education, research, and community impact.” Five tenure-track faculty positions were proposed, one in each of the following areas: coastal civil engineering, coastal policy and community development, environmental economics, microbial oceanography/biogeochemistry and sustainable building/community design – all with partial appointments in UH Sea Grant for the purpose of conducting outreach. During the faculty recruitment process, the Chancellor added a second position for microbial oceanography/biogeochemistry.
Through a second initiative from the UH Mānoa Chancellor’s Office, Hawai‘i Sea Grant had the opportunity to collaborate with the Hawai‘inuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge and the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources to hire an additional tenure track faculty. This new position was designed to transcend traditional academic boundaries and focus on cross-disciplinary solutions to natural and cultural resource management, sustainability, and food security issues facing Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders, and other indigenous communities using traditional Hawaiian knowledge and practices.
Learn more about these talented faculty members below.