UH Manoa Professor Receives Fulbright Award to Teach Horticulture at the University of Mauritius

University of Hawaiʻi
Posted: Nov 4, 2003

John Griffis, a professor in the Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa, has received a Fulbright award to teach greenhouse-based amenity horticulture at the University of Mauritius from January to June 2004.

Mauritius, located in the Indian Ocean about 500 miles southeast of Madagascar, shares many commonalities with Hawai'i, as it is about the same latitude south as Hawai'i is north and is volcanic. The local economy in Mauritius is also heavily based on sugarcane and there is a sustained interest in diversifying the agriculture.

While at the University of Mauritius, Griffis will teach a course in greenhouse operations and plant production in "protected" culture as well as a course in hydroponics and lectures on biotechnology and ethnobotany. As co-principal investigator on a grant to develop new Dracaena cultivars, Griffis will also collect native plant materials to send back to Hawai'i.

Griffis, who recently joined the UH Mānoa faculty, currently teaches tropical foliage production in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources. In addition to teaching, he has done considerable international volunteer work with Winrock International in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Nigeria and ACDI/VOCA in Russia and in Zimbabwe where he helped form the Export Flower Growers Association of Zimbabwe. Griffis was also a Fulbright scholar in 1996-97 at Africa University in Mutare, Zimbabwe, where he taught a course in Commercial Floriculture and Plant Biotechnology.