Hawaiian ‘Uala Varieties – Online Research Presentation

Date:July 10, 2021
To register:
email info@mnbg.org or call 808-249-2798
Suggested Donation:$10

Hawaiian ‘Uala (Sweet Potato) varieties have not been extensively characterized since E.S. Handy’s archipelago-wide collections from Hawaiian farmers in the early 20th century, and the conservation status of what was likely well over 100 Hawaiian cultivars remains unclear today.

A recent study titled Characterizing the Diversity of Hawai‘i Sweet Potatoes published in the Journal of Economic Botany attempts to understand, through molecular tools, the relatedness and genetic diversity of old Hawaiian cultivars of ‘uala relative to other varieties in local cultivation.

In this live online presentation, Aurora K. Kagawa-Viviani will share the findings of her research to better understand Hawaiian ‘uala varieties using information on plant genetics and characteristics. Following the presentation, we invite audience members to join an open discussion to reflect on what this tells us about Hawaiian agricultural and cultural history and to suggest ideas to support future increased local cultivation of a diversity of ‘uala for home and commercial production.

About Aurora
Aurora K. Kagawa-Viviani is an ecohydrology researcher on a joint project of the UH-Hilo Hawai‘i Cooperative Studies Unit, USGS- Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, and the UH Mānoa Water Resources Research Center.

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