Media release: The Kohala Center
The 2014 Nahelehele Dryland Forest Symposium will highlight dryland forest ecology and restoration efforts in Hawai‘i. The symposium will be held from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Friday, February 21 at the Courtyard at King Kamehameha’s Kona Beach Hotel in Kailua-Kona.
There will be two accompanying half-day field trips ($35 each with lunch provided) on Thursday, February 20 to the Kiholo Bay fishpond and Saturday, February 22 to Pu‘u Wa‘awa‘a. Field trips will provide participants with opportunities to do on-site service work to “give back to the forest.”
“The dryland forests of Hawai‘i are fragile habitats that are home to many of the rarest plants in the world,” said Kathy Frost, symposium chairperson. “Dryland forests were once considered to be the most diverse forest ecosystems in 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 forests,” Frost said.
The symposium will feature presentations by scientists and conservationists who are working to learn about and preserve Hawaiian dryland forest plants and ecosystems. The keynote speaker this year will be Dr. Michael Soulé, Professor Emeritus at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who will talk about conservation in a changing world. Dr. Soulé is often considered the “father of conservation biology.” He was a founder and president of the Society for Conservation Biology.
The public is invited to attend the symposium. Registration by February 10 is $55, which includes lunch; after February 10, registration is $70. Student with valid school identification can register for $40 before February 10; $50 after. For more information and to register, visit kohalacenter.org. Purchase orders are not accepted. Questions regarding registration may be directed to Cortney Okumura at The Kohala Center at email@example.com or 808-443-2757.
The Nahelehele Dryland Forest Symposium is a project of Ka‘ahahui ‘o ka Nahelehele (drylandforest.org), a non-profit organization dedicated to dry forest advocacy and partnerships. Sponsors of this symposium include State of Hawaiʻi Department of Forestry and Wildlife, Geometrician Associates, Hawai‘i Forest Institute, Hawai‘i Tourism Authority, Kamehameha Schools-Land Assets Division, The Kohala Center, Will J. Reid Foundation, and the University of Hawai‘i Hilo Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science graduate program.