The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa College of Agriculture and Human Resources is asking for help on two projects of interest to the public. The first is a call to anyone working with coffee plants to help track and stop the spread of a previously unseen virus threatening the Hawaiʻi coffee crop. The second is a crowdsourcing campaign for an educational pavilion in the popular Waimānalo Research Station.

Calling all citizen scientists

Coffee leaf with symptomatic lesions

Coffee leaf with symptomatic lesions

A new virus first discovered on the Big Island in January 2014 creates lesions on the leaves and petioles of coffee plants and reportedly renders the cherries unmarketable. The virus was first identified through CTAHR plant pathologist Scot Nelson’s app Plant Doctor.

Nelson is asking growers to report symptoms of the disease on their plants so the geographic distribution of the virus can be determined. Share this info with CTAHR either through a website to monitor the virus or by emailing

Read the full UH Mānoa news release about the coffee plant virus.

Help raise the roof!

Rendering of the Learning Pavilion

Rendering of the Learning Pavilion

In 2013, more than 2,500 people from keiki to kupuna visited the Waimānalo Research Station for workshops, field days and other educational events related to local agriculture, aquaponics, honeybees, pest control and more.

Since the original classroom collapsed in a 2011 storm, temporary tents have been erected to shelter class and workshop participants from the famous Waimānalo sun and rain. Recent fundraising efforts have earned enough to build the base and columns of a new Learning Pavilion but not enough for the most important part, the roof. Enter, crowdsourcing.

Crowdsourcing is a method of grassroots fundraising in which individuals, non-profits and many other groups set up campaigns to raise money on websites. The Learning Pavilion campaign on Indiegogo gives people a way to help for as little as $25 and runs through May 18.

Read the full UH Mānoa news release about the crowdsourcing campaign.

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