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Plant and Environmental Biotechnology Program

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) 956-6737
Fax: (808) 956-2428
Email: peps@ctahr.hawaii.edu
Web: www.ctahr.hawaii.edu/peps/

Faculty

*Graduate Faculty

*B. S. Sipes, PhD (Chair)—nematology, alternative control methods
*A. M. Alvarez, PhD—bacterial diseases
*W. B. Borth PhD—plant virology, micoplasmas
*A. Bressan, PhD— insect vectors of plant pathogens
*Y. Cho, PhD—plant host pathogen interactions, molecular genetics of pathogens
R. H. Ebesu, MS—extension education (Kaua'i Cooperative Extension Service)
*S. A. Ferreira, PhD—crop protection, extension education
*J. K. Grace, PhD—urban entomology, termite and social insect biology and control, insect behavior
R. T. Hamasaki, MS—fruit and vegetable crops extension education (Hawai'i Cooperative Extension Service)
*A. H. Hara, PhD—horticultural entomology, post-harvest insect control, regulatory entomology (Komohana Agricultural Research Center, Hilo)
*J. Hu, PhD—virology
*M. Kawate, PhD—pesticide registration
*P. Krushelnycky, PhD—entomology, invasion biology
*R. H. Messing, PhD—insect ecology and biological control (Kaua'i Agricultural Research Center)
*S. C. Nelson, PhD—epidemiology, extension education
*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)
*H. Spafford, PhD—integrated pest management, biological control
J. S. Sugano, MS—extensions education (O'ahu Cooperative Extension Service)
*J. Y. Uchida, PhD—fungal pathology, biological control of diseases, environmental impacts
*H. Valenzuela, PhD—sustainable, organic products
*E. Villalobos PhD—entomology, insect ecology
*K. H. Wang, PhD—nematology, ecological pest management
*M. G. Wright, PhD—integrated pest management, tropical fruits and nuts, insect ecology, biological control
*J. R. Yates III, PhD—urban pest management, termite biology and control

Cooperating Graduate Faculty

L. Arita-Tsutsumi, PhD—insect behavior, honeybee ecology (UH Hilo)
D. Borthakur, PhD—molecular biology
K. Hayes, PhD—evolution and conservation biology
K. Y. Kaneshiro, PhD—systematics, evolution, insect behavior
M. Shintaku, PhD—virology (UH Hilo)

Affiliate Graduate Faculty

R. Cabos, PhD—nematology (USDA-ARS, Hilo)
R-S. Chen, PhD—plant pathology (National Chiayi U, Taiwan)
N. Evenhuis, PhD—systematics of Diptera (Bishop Museum)
P. A. Follett, PhD—commodity quarantine treatments, tropical tree fruit IPM (USDA-ARS, Hilo)
D. Gonsalves, PhD—plant virology (USDA-ARS, Hilo)
C. R. R. Hooks, PhD—entomology (University of Maryland at College Park)
F. G. Howarth, PhD—systematics (HDOA, Honolulu)
E. B. Jang, PhD—insect physiology, fruit fly control (USDA-ARS, Hilo)
L. Keith, PhD—phytobacteriology (USDA-ARS, Hilo)
N. J. Reimer, PhD—ant biology and control, biological control of weeds (HDOA, Honolulu)
R. I. Vargas, PhD—ecology, mass-rearing techniques (USDA-ARS, Hilo)

Degrees Offered: BS in plant and environmental protection sciences, 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. Societal concerns about protecting our natural resources and the environment have resulted in a plant and resource protection focus stressing 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 encompass many cropping niches 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. Students are presented with great educational opportunities to understand plant and environmental protection and pest management. Students will be 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 Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology Program; Harold L. Lyons Arboretum; Hawai'i Agriculture Research Center; 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; U.S. Geological Service; and Hawai'i Department of Agriculture.

Advising

Students are assigned an academic advisor upon acceptance into the PEPS program. Undergraduates are required to consult with their advisor prior to registration each semester.

Undergraduate Study

BS Degree

PEPS is a multidisciplinary science degree that promotes the understanding of complex agricultural and urban problems created in the global ecosystem. Students receive interdisciplinary exposure to entomology, plant pathology, weed science, and environmental science and can focus on one of these areas in their upper division studies. This holistic program is developed so each student has the opportunity to learn pest management, crop protection, biotechnological approaches, environmental regulations, toxicology, and rural and urban sociology as these relate to their focus areas.

The instructional program is structured to achieve the following student learning outcomes: (1) students will demonstrate growth in the ability to analyze and communicate an environmental issue; (2) students will recognize and be able to explain the biology of at least 10 insect orders; (3) students will recognize and be able to describe biology and management methods for at least five significant plant pathogens in each category: fungi, viruses, bacteria, nematodes; (4) students will be able to describe the biology and damage of at least five invasive insects, pathogesn, or plants (weeds), and explain the limitations and implications of control strategies; (5) students will be able to explain and provide examples of economic injury level and threshold based pest management options; (6) students will demonstrate ability to apply skills learned to a real world situation or employment experience and effectively describe the experience; and (7) students will demonstrate the ability to clearly communicate the results of self analysis and critical thinking.

Requirements (120 credit hours)

PEPS offers a flexible and individualized degree program that allows students to select among several different options to fulfill university core requirements. In accord with their own particular interests and in consultation with their advisor, students also choose from a variety of departmental courses and general electives. PEPS 499 (Independent Research) is a unique requirement that provides students with the opportunity to work individually with faculty members throughout their program.

Specific requirements are:

  • CHEM 161/161L, 162/162L
  • BIOL 171/171L or BOT 101/101L or ZOOL 101/101L
  • NREM 310 or FAMR 380/380L
  • PEPS 210 or 250
  • PEPS 363/363L, 405, 481 and 495; 2 courses numbered from 200 to 391; 6 credits of 499; and 9 credit hours of courses numbered from 400 to 491.
  • 29 credit hours of approved electives based upon students' academic interests.
  • Additional credit hours as necessary to meet UH Manoa General Education Core and graduation requirements.
  • Hawaiian/Second Language Requirement: Undergraduate students in PEPS, in consultation with their undergraduate advisor, will be asked to select one of the following three options:

    Option 1: Show proficiency in a Hawaiian/Second Language at the 202 level;
    Option 2: Show proficiency in a Hawaiian/Second Language at the 102 level, and take one additional 3-credit semester course in the Social Sciences and one additional 3 or 4-credit semester course in Natural Sciences;
    Option 3: Take two additional 3-credit semester courses in Social Sciences and two additional 3 or 4-credit semester courses in Natural Sciences. One of the courses in the Natural Sciences must include a laboratory.

Prospective majors should consult with the department to design an appropriate curriculum tailored to their interests.

For information on a Bachelor Degree Program Sheet, go to www.manoa.hawaii.edu/ovcaa/programsheets/.

Graduate Study

Entomology

MS and PhD degrees are offered in the entomology program. Courses are offered in biological control of insect and weed pests, insect ecology, insect physiology, insect transmission of plant pathogens, pest management, systematics, urban entomology, and tropical 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. The statement of objectives submitted with your application should describe your goals and interests in entomology. Applicants should also arrange to have three confidential letters of reference 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