Sustainable Community Food Systems awarded $169,861 grant from Kamehameha Schools

The UHWO Student Organic Garden.

The UHWO Student Organic Garden.

UH West Oʻahu Assistant Professor Albie Miles and the Sustainable Community Food Systems (SCFS) program received an ʻAina Ulu grant award from Kamehameha Schools for $169,861. ʻĀina Ulu brings together more than twenty different community organizations to manage agricultural and conservation lands and provide culture-based and place-based learning opportunities.

UH West Oʻahu’s Bachelor of Applied Science with a concentration in Sustainable Community Food Systems (BAS-SCFS) prepares students for jobs in the sustainable food and agriculture sector in Hawai‘i and beyond. The BAS-SCFS is a multi-disciplinary, experiential and applied education program about key ecological and social issues in food and agricultural systems. It incorporates problem-based and hands-on learning to develop food system professionals capable of solving real-world problems and transitioning Hawai‘i agriculture toward greater ecological sustainability and social equity. BAS-SCFS courses are offered in person at the UHWO campus.
The grant will help build upon prior program successes by supporting a range of teaching, applied research, professional development, promotional and community engagement activities for the BAS-SCFS.

The SCFS concentration provides a world-class education to the historically underserved Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) population of West Oʻahu. The curriculum emphasizes the principles and practices of ecologically based farming and applied research along with structural analyses of the obstacles and opportunities for greater social equity and natural resource sustainability in agriculture. The BAS-SCFS honors the host culture through the integrative study of traditional land use practices and modern empirical science. The program intends to develop NHPI and West Oʻahu youth leadership for stewarding the agricultural resources of Hawai‘i over the long term.

The SCFS concentration will develop highly skilled, employable, and civic-minded youth prepared to advance the rapidly expanding sustainable and organic food industry through developing new farm businesses, cutting-edge social enterprises, or preparing students for graduate-level training in disciplines such as education, Hawaiian Studies, natural resource and environmental management, political science, or urban and regional planning at UH Mānoa and other institutions.

Image courtesy of Dr. Albie Miles