Assistant Researcher in Indigenous Crops and Agricultural Systems

Title: Assistant Researcher in Indigenous Crops and Agricultural Systems
Position Number: 0085405
Hiring Unit: Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, C of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
Location: Manoa Campus
Date Posted: October 22, 2013
Closing Date: Continuous – application review begins January 02, 2014
Monthly Type: 11 Month
Tenure Track: Tenure
Full Time/Part Time: Full Time
Temporary/Permanent: Permanent
Other Conditions:

To begin approximately April 2014, pending position clearance. For best consideration all application materials should be received by December 31, 2013.

Duties and Responsibilities

Position joins a cluster of scholars who focus in cross-disciplinary solutions to natural and cultural resource management, sustainability and food security issues which is helping to guide Hawai‘i towards sustainability informed by Indigenous Hawaiian knowledge and practices.
Position will focus on integrating traditional agricultural knowledge, crop varieties and production practices into modern food production systems which meet community needs through increased production, diversity and access to nutritious foods.
Conduct and support with extramural funds, applied research that leads to publications in peer-refereed journals and which integrates social and natural sciences to evaluate the linkages, interactions, synergies and dynamics between natural environments and human systems for sustainable livelihoods.
Responsible for investigating, preserving and promoting traditional cultivation practices for Hawaiian crops such as taro (kalo), breadfruit (ulu) and sweet potato (uala), and developing culturally appropriate practices for improving soil quality/fertility and protecting crops against pests and diseases. Other Hawaiian crops such as banana (mai’a), sugarcane (ko), ti (ki), and medicinal plants may also be studied as part of agricultural systems. There is tremendous potential for all these crops to be incorporated into commercial agriculture and into home and community garden use through reintroduction of appropriate crop varieties along with production systems which are culturally informed and derived from scientific information.
Study 19th and 20th century Hawaiian language sources and archives for information on land use management strategies and agricultural production systems of Native Hawaiians in traditional, historic, and contemporary times.
Teach undergraduate and graduate courses emphasizing traditional agricultural knowledge and food production systems, support instruction of TPSS core courses and advise undergraduate and graduate students.
Collaborate with the UHM School of Hawaiian Knowledge on interdisciplinary courses and projects related to mutual areas of interest on sustainable food systems.

Minimum Qualifications

Ph.D. from a college or university of recognized standing in agricultural sciences, environmental and resource management, or related fields with an emphasis on traditional Hawaiian and Pacific crops and agricultural production systems. ABD may be considered, but all degree requirements must be completed at the time of hire.
Experience with crop production practices, sustainable agricultural methods and indigenous Hawaiian agricultural systems and crops.
Excellent communication skills with experience working harmoniously and effectively with diverse groups of people, such as students, colleagues, and multidisciplinary teams.

Desirable Qualifications

Demonstrated experience working effectively with Native Hawaiian communities and ability to read Hawaiian language.
Demonstrated knowledge of Hawaiian sources and archives for research into land use management strategies and agricultural production systems of Native Hawaiians in traditional, historic, and contemporary times.
Demonstrated ability as a teacher.
Evidence of scholarly achievement, such as publication in peer-reviewed journals.
Experience integrating relevant STEM skills in teaching and developing malama ‘aina coursework.
Experience developing and teaching distance education courses.
Experience leading or participating in international research, education or development activities.

To Apply:
Send email to with the subject line “Assistant Researcher in Indigenous Crops and Agricultural Systems ,” with the following attachments: letter of application, CV, three (3) names of professional references with contact information (address, phone numbers, and e-mail addresses), licenses/certificates if applicable, college transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate schools attended (official transcripts will be required if invited to interview), and a letter of support from an Indigenous community or organization documenting the nature and extent of his/her work, impact and benefit, and reputation in that community to the address listed below.

Dr. Russell Yost
Department of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences
College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
3190 Maile Way, St. John 102
Honolulu, HI 96822


Dr. Russell Yost; 808-956-8351;