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Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences

Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences

Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences

Gilmore 310
3050 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-7076
Fax: (808) 956-2428
Email: peps@ctahr.hawaii.edu
Web: www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/peps/

Faculty

*Graduate Faculty

*H. Spafford, PhD (Chair)—integrated pest management, biological control and biosecurity
*M. Arif, PhD—host bacterial interaction, bacterial genomics
*G. M. Bennett, IV, PhD—insect symbiosis and vector biology
*W. B. Borth PhD—plant virology, mycoplasmas
*Z. Cheng, PhD—turfgrass and landscape pest management environmental bio-indicators, urban soil ecology and environmental sciences
R. Curruthers, PhD—population ecology, integrated pest management biological control
J. Dupuis, PhD—evolutionary biology and speciation, insect systematics, population genetics and genomics
R. H. Ebesu, MS—extension education (Kaua‘i Cooperative Extension Service)
C. Ewing, PhD—forest entomology
K. Fiedler, PhD—invasive plant pests, plant pathology, food safety
*S. A. Ferreira, PhD—crop protection, extension education
*J. K. Grace, PhD—urban entomology, termite and social insect biology and control, insect behavior
*J. R. Graham, PhD –pollinator management, native bee conservation, bee health and biodiversity
R. Guiterrez, PhD—integrated pest management
*W. Haines, PhD—insect ecology life history, plant-insect interactions, population genetics, conservation of native insects
R. T. Hamasaki, MS—fruit and vegetable crops extension education (Hawai‘i Cooperative Extension Service)
*J. Hu, PhD—virology
*M. Kawate, PhD—pesticide registration
*P. Krushelnycky, PhD—entomology, invasion biology
M. Mao, PhD—insect-microbial symbiosis, genomic evolution of bacterial symbionts
*M. Melzer, PhD—agrosecurity, virology
*R. H. Messing, PhD—insect ecology and biological control (Kaua‘i Agricultural Research Center)
I. Pulakkatu Thodi, PhD—integrated pest management
*D. Rubinoff, PhD—insect systematics and ecology, invasive species, conservation biology
K. T. Sewake, MS—extension education (Hawai‘i Cooperative Extension Service)
R. Shimabuku, MS—vegetable crops production and disease management extension education (Maui Cooperative Extension Service)
S. Sim, PhD—Tephritidae genomics, genetics, speciation, evolution and management
*B. S. Sipes, PhD—nematology, alternative control methods
J. S. Sugano, MS—extensions education (O‘ahu Cooperative Extension Service)
*M. Tian, PhD—molecular host-pathogen interactions
*J. Y. Uchida, PhD—fungal pathology, biological control of diseases, environmental impacts
H. Valenzuela, PhD—sustainable, organic products
*E. Villalobos PhD—pollinator management, honeybee health
*K. H. Wang, PhD—nematology, ecological pest management
S. Watanabe, PhD—agrosecurity
*M. G. Wright, PhD—integrated pest management, tropical fruits and nuts, insect ecology, biological control

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

L. Arita-Tsutsumi, PhD—insect behavior, honeybee ecology (UH Hilo)
K. Hayes, PhD—evolution and conservation biology
B. Holland, PhD—EECB
K. Y. Kaneshiro, PhD—systematics, evolution, insect behavior
S. Marahatta, PhD—sustainable agriculture, ecology and nematology (UH Kauai)
M. Medeiros, PhD—mosquito ecology
M. Shintaku, PhD—virology (UH Hilo)

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

N. Evenhuis, PhD—systematics of Diptera (Bishop Museum)
P. A. Follett, PhD—commodity quarantine treatments, tropical tree fruit IPM (USDA-ARS, Hilo)
S. Geib, PhD—genomic analysis
L. Kaufman, PhD—integrated pest management, biological control, risk assessment
N. Liquido, PhD—fruit flies, entomology
R. Myers, PhD—plant pathology and nematology (USDA-ARS Hilo)
R. I. Vargas, PhD—ecology, mass-rearing techniques (USDA-ARS, Hilo)
A. Vorsino, PhD—GIS and spatial modeling (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Degrees Offered: BS in tropical agriculture and the environment with specialization in invasive species management, MS in entomology, MS in tropical plant pathology, PhD in entomology, PhD in tropical plant pathology

The Academic Program

Agriculture, urban, and natural environments are severely affected by established and invasive plants, animals, arthropods, and disease-causing organisms. Management of these pests and pathogens is essential to preserve the economic and ecological future of Hawai‘i and the Pacific Basin. The need to protect our natural resources and the environment using methods with low non-target impacts have resulted in a focus on using biological control, integrated pest management, cultural, traditional, and genetically-based methods.

Hawai‘i’s location in the Pacific basin provides students with an ideal setting for tropical and environmental studies. The unique island ecosystem also encompasses many cropping niches and natural environments from humid tropical environments to arid temperate conditions. In addition, the multitude of agricultural and landscape plants produced provides a natural laboratory to study a diversity of urban and agricultural inputs. The multicultural aspect of the human population further adds to the intriguing plant, human, and pest interactions that are a part of the PEPS academic and research program.

The faculty in the PEPS department use cutting-edge research tools to address the challenge of plant and environmental protection and food security and develop solutions for rational pest management and conservation of endangered species that have impact locally and globally. Through interaction with faculty from various disciplines, students are presented with great educational opportunities through a BS degree in Tropical Agriculture and the Environment with a specialization in Invasive Species Management, MS, and PhD degrees in Entomology, and Tropical Plant Pathology. Students are prepared for employment in agricultural and urban pest management, science education, government, industry, and environmental resource management. Undergraduate students will be well-prepared for professional and graduate studies.

Affiliations

Studies in Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences (PEPS) at UH Manoa are strengthened by cooperative relationships with Departments of Tropical Plants and Soil Sciences and Natural Resources and Environmental Management in CTAHR, the Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology Program; Harold L. Lyons Arboretum; Hawai‘i Agriculture Research Center; State of Hawai‘i Departments of Agriculture and Department of Land and Natural Resources; B. P. Bishop Museum; Agricultural Research Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture; Forest Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and U.S. Geological Service.

Advising/Mentorship

Undergraduate students are mentored by the program mentors: Dr. Ken Leonhardt (leonhard@hawaii.edu) or Dr. Helen Spafford (helen.spafford@hawaii.edu) for the program and specializations. The specialization areas in the TAE program are detailed in the following section each student may also identify a faculty member in TPSS or PEPS to act as a mentor in the student’s area of interest and specialization.

Undergraduates are required to consult with a CTAHR advisor prior to registration each semester. Go to www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/ugadvising for more information. Academic advisors are available by appointment only, Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (except holidays). Appointment website: ctahradv.youcanbook.me. Gilmore Hall, first floor, email: ctahradv@hawaii.edu.

Graduate students are advised initially by a research program advisor or by the department’s graduate program chairperson.

Undergraduate Study

BS Degree

The Departments of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences and Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences jointly offer a BS degree in Tropical Agriculture and the Environment (TAE). Students in this program complete a common core of courses taught by faculty in both departments and then specializations in one or more of the following areas:

  1. environmental soil science,
  2. invasive species management,
  3. landscape horticulture,
  4. plant physiology and genetics,
  5. plant production and management.

Students who undertake this program of study will:

  1. Demonstrate understanding of the science of agriculture and its interaction with the environment from molecules to ecosystems.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to critically evaluate scientific evidence, knowledge and issues associated with agriculture in a dynamic world.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to identify problems associated with agroecosystems and apply the scientific method to develop solutions.
  4. Demonstrate proficiency in oral and written communication for both professional and lay audiences.

A student is required to complete 120 credits to graduate with a BS in TAE.

Note: The Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences formerly offered a BS degree. However, there is no admittance to the BS in Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences degree effective Fall 2016. Students interested in study of invasive species management should enroll in the BS in Tropical Agriculture and the Environment (TAE) and specialize in Invasive Species Management.

Requirements

Students must complete the UH Manoa General Education Requirements. An updated list of the courses recommended to satisfy the requirements is available from the undergraduate advisor. The college has a core consisting of the following courses:

  • NREM 310 or FAMR 380/380L
  • Capstone or Internship (TPSS 492/492L or PEPS 495)

The department has a core consisting of the following courses:

  • TPSS 200
  • BIOL 265
  • TPSS 304
  • TPSS 470/470L
  • PEPS 421
  • TPSS/PEPS 499

Specialization in Environmental Soil Science

Students are prepared to effectively manage soils for the production of agricultural commodities and preservation of this important natural resource for human uses and environmental conservation. Students understand the chemical and biological processes that govern soil formation and nutrient cycling.
Students selecting this option need to take BIOL 171/171L, BIOL 172/172L, CHEM 161/161L and 162/162L (or their equivalent), PHYS 151, and Calculus I (MATH 215) and TPSS 492/492L. Some of these courses will fulfill part of the Natural Science requirement of the UH Manoa General Education Requirements. Some of these courses are considered prerequisite to some courses in the major.

Major Courses (Specialization in Environmental Soil Science)

The following courses are required for this specialization.

  • TPSS 435
  • TPSS 450
  • TPSS 460
  • TPSS 475

Electives

The student must take 18 credits from 14 electives courses for this specialization. The options available are listed on the Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.

Specialization in Invasive Species Management

Students who specialize in invasive species management are prepared to design and implement pest management programs and conduct basic and applied research using multidisciplinary approaches. Students receive interdisciplinary education in entomology, plant pathology, weed science, and invasive species management.

Students selecting this option need to take MATH 140 or NREM 203, BIOL 171/171L and BIOL 172/172L (or their equivalent), and CHEM 161/161L and CHEM 162/162L (or their equivalent) and PEPS 495. Some of these courses will fulfill part of the Natural Science requirement of the UH Manoa General Education Requirements. Some of these courses are considered prerequisite to some courses in the major.

Major Requirements (Specialization in Invasive Species Management)

The following courses are required for this specialization:

  • PEPS 350
  • PEPS 363/363L
  • PEPS 405
  • PEPS 422
  • PEPS 430
  • TPSS/PEPS 481

Electives

The student must take 12 credits from a list of 8 courses. The options available are listed on the Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.

Specialization in Landscape Horticulture

The landscape horticulture specialization prepares students to effectively design, install, and maintain landscapes that include trees, shrubs, flowers, house plants, and turf grass that are used to enhance the environment. Students of the program learn theoretical foundations, which lead to a practical understanding and implementation of how to produce environmentally and economically sustainable landscapes.

Students selecting this option need to take MATH 140 or NREM 203, BIOL 171/171L and BIOL 172/172L (or their equivalent), and CHEM 161/161L and CHEM 162/162L (or their equivalent) and TPSS 492/492L. Some of these courses will fulfill part of the Natural Science requirement of the UH Manoa General Education Requirements. Some of these courses are considered prerequisite to some courses in the major.

Major Requirements (Specialization in Landscape Horticulture)

The following courses need to be taken for this specialization:

  • TPSS 354
  • TPSS 463
  • TPSS 481
  • PEPS 363/363L
  • PEPS 405

Electives

The student must take 15 credits from a list of over 20 courses. The options available are listed on the Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.

Specialization in Plant Physiology and Genetics

Specializing in plant physiology and genetics allows students to cross the traditional boundaries that have separated genetics, plant physiology, molecular biology, and their application to crop production. By linking laboratory approaches and plant production systems through the application of plant biotechnology students learn to solve multi-disciplinary problems. Students can select courses that allow concentration on genetic engineering or whole plant physiology and plant breeding to address real-world problems.

Students selecting this option must take MATH 140 or NREM 203, BIOL 171/171L, BIOL 172/172L, and CHEM 161/161L, 162/162L and TPSS 492/492L. Some of these courses will fulfill part of the Natural Science requirement of the UH Manoa General Education Requirements. Some of these courses are considered prerequisite to some courses in the major.

Major Courses (Specialization in Plant Physiology and Genetics)

Students are required to take 10 courses (30 credits) from a list of over 30 choices. The available options are listed on the Bachelor Degree Program Sheet. For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.

Electives

Students may choose from the array of courses, offered on an advising list of courses to fulfill the university credit requirement for graduation. Advisors will be available to assist students in selecting courses that prepare students for a career in plant sciences and genetics.

Specialization in Plant Production and Management

Students are prepared to produce, manage, and market plants grown as crops or in landscapes with an emphasis on productivity with appropriate pest and disease management. Students learn to solve horticultural problems using evidence-based methods.

Students selecting this option need to take MATH 140 or NREM 203, BIOL 171/171L, BIOL 172/172L, and CHEM 161/161L and 162/162L and TPSS 492/492L. Some of these courses will fulfill part of the Natural Science requirement of the UH Manoa General Education Requirements. These courses are considered prerequisite to some courses in the major.

Major Courses (Specialization in Plant Production and Management)

The following courses are required for this specialization:

  • TPSS 364
  • TPSS 420
  • TPSS/PEPS 481
  • PEPS 363
  • PEPS 363L
  • PEPS 405

In addition, the student must take 6 courses from a list of over 30 choices. The options available are listed on the Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.

Elective Courses

Students may choose from the array of courses offered on an advising list of courses to fulfill the university credit requirement for graduation. Advisors will be available to assist students in selecting courses that prepare students for a career in horticultural crop production and management.

Graduate Study

Entomology

MS and PhD degrees are offered in the entomology program. Courses are offered in biological control of insect pests and weed, insect ecology, insect physiology, insect transmission of plant pathogens, systematics and phylogenetics, and various special topics in genomics, conservation and pest management. Thesis and dissertation research can be selected from any of these subject areas.

Students applying for graduate programs in entomology are expected to have acquired a bachelor’s degree with credit hours in entomology and biology, including general biology, general entomology, integrated pest management; one year of chemistry; and an appropriate course in mathematics and/or statistics. Deficiencies in undergraduate preparation can be satisfied during the graduate program.

To apply for the graduate program in entomology, a student must complete the University Graduate Student application, the Graduate Record Examination and any English language proficiency examinations required by the university. Each student should communicate with and identify a graduate advisor from among the entomology graduate faculty and prepare a statement of objectives that describes the goals for and interests in entomology. This statement of objectives and three confidential letters of reference should be sent directly to the graduate program chair.

The MS and PhD degrees in entomology are recognized by the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) regional graduate programs. Residents of Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming are eligible, upon admission, to enroll at Hawai‘i-resident tuition rates.

Master’s Degree

The MS degree program is offered under either Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis). A total of 30 credit hours are required for each degree option. An advisory committee composed of at least three members of the graduate faculty provides guidance to the student. For a general description of these options, see "Requirements" for each option.

The program provides an education in general knowledge of entomology, including basic principles of insect identification, biology, and control and prepares the student for employment in private industry, government agencies, and research institutions. Expected student learning outcomes are: (1) acquire and demonstrate competency/skills as a biologist; (2) acquire and demonstrate entomological knowledge necessary for professional success; (3) acquire and demonstrate communication and literacy skills; (4) write and defend a thesis of entomological research; and (5) present findings of their research in oral and/or poster formats in scientific form and publish the results of their research in peer-reviewed journals. Students shall develop into competent and knowledgeable biologists. They demonstrate this competency by having a basic understanding of entomology, insect ecology, phylogeny, and pest management.

MS Plan A (Thesis)

  • 16 credit hours of course work including seminars
  • 2 credit hours of PEPS 690
  • 12 credit hours of PEPS 700
  • 2 credit hours of PEPS 799
  • Final oral defense and submission of acceptable thesis

MS Plan B (Non-thesis)

Students preparing for a career in research or admission to a doctoral program are advised to enroll in MS Plan A (thesis).

  • 23 credit hours of course work including seminars
  • 2 credit hours of PEPS 690
  • 1 credit hour of PEPS 799 (CR/NC) during the semester in which a proposal for the directed research project is given.
  • Final defense of the directed research project and examination on other aspects of entomological training before the advisory committee.

Doctoral Degree

Intended candidates for the PhD program should have earned the MS degree in entomology or equivalent from a recognized institution. Those with a BS or BA may petition for admittance into the PhD program only after enrolling in the MS program.

The goal of the PhD program is to have students possess broad general knowledge in all areas of entomology, in-depth knowledge in at least one area of specialization and develop the capability for original independent research. Employment options for PhD graduates are in teaching, research, and extension at universities and in research, consulting, or management with private industries and government agencies. Expected student learning outcomes are: (1) acquire and demonstrate competency/skills as a biologist; (2) acquire and demonstrate entomological knowledge necessary for professional success; (3) acquire and demonstrate communication and literacy skills; and (4) demonstrate the ability to apply creative and critical thinking in the independent development and conduct of research.

Requirements

  • 3 credit hours of PEPS 690
  • 2 credit hours of PEPS 799 (CR/NC)
  • 1 credit hour of PEPS 800 during semester of graduation
  • Additional course work as determined by the doctoral advisory committee
  • Oral, or oral and written comprehensive examination administered by the doctoral committee.
  • Final oral defense of the dissertation research and submission of an acceptable dissertation.

Tropical Plant Pathology

Plant pathology is the study of plant diseases, their causes, and the interactions with the environment. The primary thrust in the program focuses on agricultural crops of economic importance; however, opportunities exist for discovery research in natural ecosystems and the laboratory. The field consists of several sub-disciplines including phytomycology, plant virology, bacteriology, nematology, epidemiology, crop protection, and molecular biology of host-pathogen interactions.

Tropical plant pathology has three student learning outcomes. Students in the program will communicate effectively; write and defend a thesis of original phytopathological research; present findings of their research in oral and/or poster formats in scientific forums; publish the results of their research in peer-reviewed journals; and assist others in learning plant pathology. Students are competent and knowledgeable biologists. They demonstrate this competency by having a basic understanding of molecular biology and genetics; with a general knowledge of the four major pathogen groups, by possessing understanding of plant disease epidemiology; having strong knowledge of their specialized field of study; and conducting research in plant pathology. Students will propose and formulate research objectives to address relevant plant pathological questions; and will conduct research using appropriate design and methods.

Students should have their undergraduate preparation in botany, horticulture, agronomy, microbiology, or plant and environmental protection sciences. Plant pathology has its foundation in biology and agriculture and offers wide opportunities in both basic and applied areas of biology, plant sciences, and agriculture. The tropical plant pathology program at UH Manoa offers students a unique opportunity to gain knowledge of plant diseases on a vast diversity of tropical crops and native plants as well as the impacts of plant protection practices on the environment.

Please see the Graduate Education website for general graduate admissions requirements and procedures.
Applications for admission must include GRE scores for verbal and quantitative aptitude. Candidates may need to demonstrate evidence of adequate preparation in other subject areas as well. Deficiencies may be corrected during the graduate program. In addition, applicants must: (1) submit a Statement of Objectives describing their goals and interests in plant pathology directly to the graduate program chair, and (2) arrange to have three confidential letters of reference sent directly to the graduate program chair.

Master’s Degree

The MS degree program is offered under either Plan A (thesis) or Plan B (non-thesis). A total of 30 credit hours are required for each degree option. An advisory committee composed of at least three members of the graduate faculty provides guidance to the student. For a general description of these options, see “Requirements” for each option.

The MS degree in tropical plant pathology provides a basic education and understanding of the pathogen groupings. Employment opportunities exist in industry, government agencies, research institutions, consulting, and farm management.

MS Plan A (Thesis)

  • Research: 12 credits in PEPS 700 and submission of acceptable thesis.
  • Courses: 16 credits in courses approved by the candidate’s committee, including 10 credits in courses numbered 600-698, excluding 660 and 699, including at least 6 credits selected from 616, 630, 646.
  • Seminars: Minimum of 2 credits in 660, which is required each semester except when enrolled in 799; 2 credits in 799 (CR/NC). CR/NC credits are not counted towards degree credit requirements.

MS Plan B (Non-thesis)

  • Research: 6-9 credits in PEPS 699, preferably taken in 2-3 different laboratories.
  • Courses: 19-22 credits in courses approved by the candidate’s committee, including 16 credits in courses numbered 600-698, excluding 660 and 699, including at least 6 credits selected from 616, 630, 646.
  • Seminars: Minimum of 2 credits in 660, which is required each semester except when enrolled in 799; 1 credit in 799 (CR/NC). CR/NC credits are not counted towards degree credit requirements.

Doctoral Degree

Intended candidates for the PhD program should have earned the MS degree in plant pathology or equivalent from a recognized institution. Those with a BS or BA may petition for admittance into the PhD program only after enrolling in the MS program.

Employment options for PhD graduates are in teaching, research, and extension at universities and in research, consulting or management with private industries and government agencies.

Requirements

  • No minimum course requirement. A candidate’s committee develops a course plan together with the student.
  • 1 credit hour of PEPS 660 each semester, except when enrolled in 799.
  • 2 credit hours of 799 (CR/NC).
  • Comprehensive and final defense examinations.
  • 1 credit hour of 800 during semester of graduation.
  • Submission of acceptable dissertation.

PEPS Courses