Olohana Foundation

The proposed project is in collaboration with the Olohana Foundations food forest projects, which work to restore traditional farming practices and food systems, University of Alaska Fairbanks and GLOBE. The Foundation is interested in studying the long-term effects of water availability, either in the ground or the atmosphere, so that local food growing capacity can be predicted. Students will answer research questions that address: How do drought conditions impact the ability of atmospheric moisture to translate into ground moisture? How do arid conditions develop, how do they cycle back, revert or convert into moist conditions? How do drought conditions affect our food systems and in turn the local economy? Their research results will be submitted to the GLOBE International Virtual Science Symposium.  The number of students involved each year will build from 6 the first year to 200 in year 5, and 2,000 in year 10.


The project will use 3D-PAWS weather stations to enable efficient atmosphere data collection. Soil conditions on the big island of Hawaii will be measured following GLOBE Pedosphere protocols. All data will be reported to GLOBE. Given the many ecosystems on our island, weather data must be collected at various sites in order to see changing weather patterns, and their use will enable data ti be collected at remote sites (sites that would otherwise be difficult to reach on a regular basis). Local youth and community members will be taught how to operate 3D-PAWS equipment. 


The Olohana Foundation works with communities to monitor local climate to cultivate resilience around food, energy, water, and knowledge systems. While partnering with agencies and academic institutions, the focus is on increasing environmental literacy, community resilience, and traditional ecological knowledge acquired through cultural and environmental education and mentorship.


Local youth will take a leading role in assembling the stations and continually monitoring the sites. Beginning in 2019 after the sites are established, the plan is to collaborate with science classes from Honokaa High and Intermediate School and Laupahoehoe Public Charter School as well as families and the community at large. Through these activities students and the community will have a better understanding of climate adaptation and mitigation. In direct support of the Olohana Foundation mission, resources provided will help improve scientific understanding of the changing climate system and its local impacts.  As part of the citizen science process, participants will utilize GLOBE protocols to assess current and future states of the local climate system and identify potential impacts to inform their disaster preparedness, and stewardship decision-making.  Peer-education will contribute to a climate-literate public. The goal is to foster a better understanding of our vulnerability to a changing climate, allowing citizens to make more informed decisions. The answer may lie in community driven citizen oriented actionable climate adaptation and mitigation efforts supported by sustained, reliable, and timely climate knowledge. One key outcome will be to measure and evaluate increases in environmental literacy, traditional ecological knowledge and community capacity directly linked to climate adaptation practices.


The grant will fund the purchase and installation of three weather stations on archaeological sites that are a part of the Ala Kahakai National Historic Trail, which is a 175 mile cultural heritage trail along the western coast of the Big Island.

YLACES President, Dixon Butler and the Olohana Foundation's M. Kalani Souza at the 2018 AGU event in Washington D.C.


Youth Learning as Citizen Environmental Scientists assists and rewards the implementation of inquiry-based, experiential science education where students do science and contribute to understanding of our environment through recognition and financial reward programs.

Grants range from support for taking simple measurements to teacher professional development and working for pervasive inclusion of student research projects in science teaching.


© 2020 by Youth Learning As Citizen Environmental Scientists.