Molokai’s wetland classroom goes high-tech
The Monsanto Fund has awarded $8,000 to Nene O Molokai for its Wildlife Without Walls environmental educational program at the Koheo wetland. The funding will be used to purchase a laptop computer for field work at the wetland, enabling students to conduct onsite GIS (geographic information system) mapping of the on-going wetland restoration, and download water quality data collected with Pasco Probeware donated by the Center for Advanced Communications and Engineering at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Also included in the award is funding for the site’s operation and propagation supplies for the out-planting of native vegetation utilized culturally and agriculturally, and for endangered waterbird habitat enhancement.
“This supports Wildlife Without Walls by providing the capability to utilize science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in a wetland environment. We’ll now be able to visually illustrate while onsite how an agricultural use, such as growing taro, can improve water quality and enhance waterbird habitat,” says director Arleone Dibben-Young.” Nene O Molokai was established in 1994 to raise Nene, the Hawaiian Goose, for a ten-year period, and has since expanded to the conservation of Molokai’s wetlands and protection of endemic waterbirds. Wildlife Without Walls augments curriculum taught in the classroom and provides an outdoor environment for student experimentation and hands-on monitoring of the endangered Hawaiian Stilt which nests at the site.
The Monsanto Fund, the philanthropic arm of the Monsanto Company, is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the farm communities where farmers and Monsanto Company employees live and work. Visit the Monsanto Fund at www.monsantofund.org. Nene O Molokai can be contacted at www.nene.net.