SWARS Session at Hawaii Conservation Conference Big Success

by Ron on August 8, 2009

Society of American Foresters honor Bob Merriam for 50 years as an SAF member.

Society of American Foresters honor Bob Merriam for 50 years as an SAF member.

This years Hawaii Conservation Conference ”Hawaii in a Changing Climate” was a big success. Mahalo to everyone who helped put this together.

This conference, now in its 17th year, has grown to three intense days plus a Friday field-trip day, four or five concurrent sessions per day, an Open Public Day, an amazing array of posters, lots of great interaction, and the latest news on research, management, and climate change issues relevant to Hawai`i.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Stephen Schneider, a world renound climatologist from Stanford who shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and several others for their work in identifying climate change, and for advocating a coordinated response to the impending impacts due to changes in weather, rainfall, and sea level.

Hawaii SWARS had a two-hour session on Public Information Day that was very well attended. Ron (your author) gave the general overview of SWARS; Dr, Kimberly Bennett (University of Hawaii Economist) gave a presentation on the economics of water and complex systems; Teresa Truman-Madriaga presented on the Urban Perspective of SWARS, Darren Johnson; a fire ecologist who assisted with the Hawaii LANDFIRE project presented this brand-new dataset, Dawn Greenlee (US Fish & Wildlife Service) and Glenn Shishido (DOFAW) presented on the latest fire data and how it will be used in Hawaii SWARS.

At the conclusion of our talk, we presented Bob Merriam a placque on behalf of the Society of American Foresters for celebrating his 50th year as an active SAF member.

We got a lot of great feedback and make some powerful new connections with our partners.

And, since Aaron Lowe (DOFAW’s Na Ala Hele program manager for the island of Oahu) and his hot-shot team of multimedia techs were managing the hundred twenty plus powerpoint presentations, we decided to record all of the presentations using Camtasia Studio. Several speakers did not want to be recorded, and a few presentations were not successfully recorded due to technical issues, but we did manage to produce nearly 90 of the conference presentations.

Many of these presentations are of direct relevance to Hawaii SWARS. Not only our own session, but others as well. For example, NOAA is in the process of producing a similar type of plan to SWARS, but specifically geared to the response to climate change in Hawaii. We too, must address this in Hawaii SWARS. So, they held a two hour planning workshop, all of which was recorded.

I have done virtually all of the post production, and it has been quite a learning experience. As soon as the whole conference is up on the web, checked, and an index is created, we will announce the results and you can see for yourself the most current information that we have on research, science, cultural practices, and management of Hawaii’s unique environment and culture.

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