UH West Oʻahu Assistant Professor of Sustainable Community Food Systems Albie Miles and colleagues recently published “Landscape Diversity and Crop Vigor Influence Biological Control of the Western Grape Leafhopper (E. elegantula Osborn) in Vineyards” in the peer-reviewed online journal PLOS ONE. Together with colleagues Dr. Houston Wilson, Dr. Kent M. Daane, and Dr. Miguel A. Altieri, Dr. Miles conducted a study evaluating how the proportional area of natural habitat surrounding a vineyard worked together with crop vigor and other factors to influence biological control of the western grape leafhopper. The study is a part Dr. Miles’ natural science research measuring the impact of biological diversity on agroecosystem functioning, a topic that figures prominently in UH West Oʻahu sustainable community food systems curriculum.
UH West Oʻahu is the only University of Hawaiʻi campus to offer a concentration in sustainable community food systems, an experiential and applied education focused on the analysis of key ecological and social issues in the food system. The concentration incorporates problem-based and hands-on learning to develop food system professionals capable of solving real-world problems and transitioning Hawaiʻi’s food and agriculture sector toward greater ecological sustainability and social equity. Integrated into the sustainable community food systems curriculum and located on the UH West Oʻahu campus, the UHWO Student Organic Garden serves as one of many “living laboratories” where students directly apply the theoretical knowledge taught in the classroom.