Call for Researchers

Call for Researchers

Researchers surveying wetland birds.

The Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) is interested in partnering with researchers to target studies that guide and improve management. DOFAW has created a database to better communicate the Division’s research needs.

With more information relating to the topics found in this list, DOFAW will be able to more effectively protect species and manage lands within its jurisdiction. DOFAW invites partner organizations to review the list and consider conducting research relating to these vital issues.

For more information on this collaborative program, please contact Emma Yuen with the Division of Forestry and Wildlife at (808) 587-4170 or via email at

DOFAW Research Needs

StatewideStream surveys Water qualityFreshwater StreamGenetic Fecal Indentification sampling for rivers and stream particularly rats
StatewidePopulation genetics, fixation index (FST)Restoration MethodsTerrestrial"Research on FST values for common and rare native plant species-I.e. population genetics (vs
phylogenetic research) will aid greatly in restoration work. Plant work in this area is lagging
far behind all animal and marine work (snails, birds, corals, fish, etc.). "
StatewidePlant mutualisms, native pollinator assessments, pollination interactions Restoration MethodsTerrestrial"General forest pollination interactions between native plants and insects. Thinking of what
components are essential in habitat preservation in the face of climate change. If mesic forests
are in the greatest danger of climate change we should start there. "
StatewideRare species restoration: pollination, propagation, climate boundariesRestoration MethodsTerrestrial"Any rare species restoration research=pollination, propagation, climate boundaries, etc. (rare
species phylogenetic systematics research isn't helpful in conservation unless it splits taxa that
have been lumped with common species). "
StatewideMapping InvasivesUAV and/or LiDARTerrestrialUAV and/or lidar mapping of non-native species and their movement across landscapes
StatewideBiocontrolOahu target listTerrestrialBiocontrol: Angiopteris evecta, Clidemia hirta, Megathyrsus maximus, Rubus argutus, R. rosifolius, Chromoleana odorata, Passiflora suberosa, Montanoa hibiscifolia and others (refer to Oahu target list). Along with research on seed bank longevity for species lacking data
StatewideGermination, native plant seedsMethods to ensure germination rates and survivalTerrestrialDetermine most effective way to ensure highest germination rates and long term survival of scattered common native plant seeds post fire (e.g. scarifying seeds, encasing with fertilizer/moisture holding medium, mulching, seed mats, etc.)
StatewideInvasives control - fountain grassResearch, cost-effectiveness of fountain grass controlTerrestrialTake the following research to the next level, i.e. determine the most long term and cost effective method for controlling fountain grass
StatewideInvasives control - fountain grasseradication methods for fountain grassTerrestrialDetermine best approach to keep fountain grass from dominating a recently burnt dry forest area. (e.g. aerial/drone spraying of herbicide)
StatewideThreat control - rats and mongooseResearch, best approach for rat and mongoose controlTerrestrialDetermine the ecologically safest and most targeted approach for controlling rats and mongoose across all landscape settings, including urban.
StatewideOutplantingOutplanting strategiesTerrestrialWhat is the most effective out-planting strategy for mixing species (ratio/percentage/spacing) in re-covering shrub-lands and forests (in relation to the climate and soils in the micro-habitat involved).
StatewideVisitor disturbance, carrying capacity determination for NAH trailsImpact monitoringTerrestrialVisitor statistics, visitor-use patterns, disturbance effects, carrying capacity determination for the most heavily used NAH trails.
StatewideInvasive AlbiziaHydrologyHydrologyImpacts of Falcateria moluccana on hydrologic functions in Hawaii, specifically looking at aquifer recharge in forests invaded by FALMOL, and stream flow constriction after storm events and heavy rain
OahuThreat control, stream surveys Biological surveyFreshwater StreamPoamoho stream surveys--should get a handle on the small mouth bass distribution and impacts as well as assess potential control measures.
OahuStream surveys Biological surveyFreshwater StreamBaseline stream surveys in Kaluanui
MauiStewardshipSocial network analysis, GIS, interviewsUrban GreenspaceExplore stewardship as a social-ecological system - could be site or topic specific....could have access to a database of stewardship orgs in Western Hawaii Island or Oahu (greater Honolulu)
MauiArchaeologySurveyCultural ResourcesArchaeological research, mapping, site stabilization, site preservation
MauiFish population dynamics and fish biomass Monitoring of population size and population trendsMarineMonitoring long-term of fish-biomass of commercial or recreational valuable species to assess population dynamics in Ahihi Kinau NAR
MauiInvasive Species Ecology: non-native birds, reptiles, fishesMonitoringMarineDiets of non-native fishes in NARS.
MauiPollutionWater qualityMarineWater quality study for effluent, chemical pollutants (sunscreens) in Ahihi Kinau NAR
MauiCoral species diversity, abundance/decline, mapping, mitigation opportunities, climate changeSurvey and monitoring of population size and population trendsMarineDetermine coral species diversity, abundance/decline, mapping of presence, mitigation potentials to address changing-climate effects in Ahihi Kinau NAR
MauiMapping and distribution of anchialine poolsSurveyMarineMap of full extent of anchialine pool complexes
MauiClimate change: assisted migration, sea level rise, anchialine pools Vulnerability assessmentsMarineModeling for changing-climate effects on anchialine pools
MauiVisitor disturbance, carrying capacity determinationsMarine- water qualityResource UseVisitation statistics, visitor-use patterns, disturbance effects, carrying capacity determinations (AKNAR in particular)
MauiHunting, animal controlImpact monitoringResource UsePublic assisted animal control, researcher impact study
MauiInfrastructure, access, road reroutingTraffic planResource UseAccess options into AKNAR (road deterioration, rerouting etc.)
MauiNocturnal activity in NARS, seabirds and batsBiological SurveySeabirdNocturnal use of NARS by seabirds, bats using acoustic monitors and on the ground surveys
MauiInvasive species ecology - non-native birds, reptiles, fishesMonitoringTerrestrialDiets of non-native reptiles in NARS.
MauiLimiting factors - native plants, wild regeneration Population size, population trendsTerrestrialLimiting factors for native plants with no wild regeneration, or that produce viable seed but have no wild regeneration. (Examples: halapepe, holei, alani spp., etc.)
MauiClimate change: assisted migration, plant rangesOutplantingTerrestrialTesting of range extensions suitable for plants to assess climate change effects
MauiMutualisms: non-native host plant adaptationsHost plan interactionsTerrestrialManduca blackburni adaptation to obligatory use of non-native host plants
MauiMutualisms: non-native birds, reptiles, fishesDiet StudyTerrestrialDiets of non-native birds in NARS.
MauiThreat control/ biocontrolBiocontrol researchTerrestrialBiocontrol Bocconia, Clidemia
MauiThreat control: invasive flora, landscape reduction optionsThreat control, invasive plantsTerrestrialNovel landscape reduction options Leucena leucocephala, Acacia mearnsi, Rubus niveu
MauiArchaeologySurveyCultural ResourcesArchaeological research, mapping, site stabilization, trail reconstruction and site preservation of the Hoapili Trail, Maui
KauaiGIS/LiDAR SurveyCultural ResourcesArcheology: LIDAR has played important part for the archeologist to understand the surface. As LIDAR can detect micro topography that is hidden by vegetation which helps archeologist to understand the surface. DEM created from LIDAR is fed into GIS system and it is combined with other layers for analysis and interpretation.
KauaiArchaeologyResearchCultural ResourcesTerrace origin and history Coastal HONP NAR
KauaiStream and marine water qualityWater quality, surveysFreshwater StreamWater quality of streams in protected areas
KauaiBiological organism surveys of coastal and stream areasBiological surveyFreshwater StreamIdentification and abundance of biological organisms (all taxa, native and nonnative), of streams within Kauai NARS
KauaiMigration of native stream speciesBiological surveyFreshwater StreamMigratory habits of native stream species
KauaiWater quality of stream and marinePollution, water qualityMarineWater quality of marine areas downstream of protected areas
KauaiInvasive Species Ecology: non-native birds, reptiles, fishesMonitoringMarineDiets of non-native fishes in NARS.
KauaiHunter dynamicsSocial surveyResource UseHunter Dynamics-Type of Hunter that utilizes Hawaii forests, food, adrenaline, trophy etc
KauaiModelingGIS/LIDARTerrestrialGenerate Watershed and Stream Delineation models with Digital Elevation models (DEM) generated from LIDAR to create watershed coverage and stream line delineation.
KauaiThreat control -invasive ungulates, deer population range, habitsUngulate behaviorTerrestrialDeer population, range and habits of black tail deer
KauaiThreat control, source tracking, ratsSmall Mammal ControlTerrestrialSource tracking--none available for rats
KauaiInvasive species ecology - feral cats, invasive faunaPopulation size, population trendsTerrestrialCat habits, roaming etc.
KauaiInvasive species ecology - non-native birds, reptiles, fishesDiet StudyTerrestrialDiets of non-native reptiles in NARS.
KauaiMutualisms: non-native birds, insects and rare plant reproductionPollinator MonitoringTerrestrialNonnative birds and insect’s role/relationship in the reproduction of rare plants, like the Psychotria hobdyi and Japanese white-eye
KauaiMutualisms: non-native bees and native plantsPollinator MonitoringTerrestrialRole of non-native bees in reproductive cycle of native plants
KauaiLimiting factors - native plants, wild regeneration Population size, population trendsTerrestrialLimiting factors for native plants with no wild regeneration, or that produce viable seed but have no wild regeneration.
KauaiClimate change: assited migration, rare species restoration: pollination, propagation, climate boundariesOutplantingTerrestrialRare species restoration research-pollination, propagation, climate range for planting
KauaiClimate Change: Assisted Migration, species stratification, rare plant regeneration and establishmentOutplantingTerrestrial Coupling- data of the types of plants that support rare plant growth and regeneration, species stratification
KauaiRestoration MethodsGIS/LIDARTerrestrialVertical Structure of trees, shrubs and other plant tells, density, height--this may help to determine the appropriate species for the restoration site, and assist with the range of occurrence for native species.
KauaiRetrieving data. Wait a few seconds and try to cut or copy again.Biological SurveyTerrestrialIdentification and abundance of biological organisms (all taxa, native and nonnative), of coastal areas
KauaiRestoration methodsGIS/LIDARTerrestrialCreate digital elevation map of Kauai NARS data that can be converted to create slope and sunlight exposure area map--this may help to determine a scale for successful restoration and determine the type of efforts needed to maintain areas within the NARS for restoration.
KauaiPlanningGIS/LIDARTerrestrialELC of Ecological & Land Classification. It is done to provide the biological and physical information of the Landscape which helps in the sustainable management. ELC process helps in a range of sectors like land use planning, environmental assessment, forest management, habitat management and many more. During the classification of Land, high resolution LIDAR data helps to understand the nature and type of the land, that will help in the ELC process.
KauaiPlanningGIS/LIDARTerrestrialCellular Network Planning: LIDAR can survey the area with less time compared to other method. The collected surface model can be feed into the GIS system to create the line of sight or view shed map. This outputted map can help cellular engineers to find proposed cellular antenna, Towers can assist with communication, safety and monitoring
KauaiNative invertebratesBiological SurveyTerrestrialNative invertebrate base line inventory
KauaiNonnative invertebratesBiological SurveyTerrestrialNonnative invertebrate base line inventory
KauaiThreat control - ants, ecosystem servicesinvertebratesTerrestrialAnts – none are native but which are useful?
KauaiMutualisms: non-native birds, reptiles, fishesDiet StudyTerrestrialDiets of non-native birds in NARS.
KauaiForest birds, population, home range, habitat, hybridizationPopulation size, population trends, surveyTerrestrialForest bird inventory of all NEPM managed areas, identification of species, range and habitat, Forest bird hybridization.
KauaiThreat control/ biocontrolBiocontrol researchTerrestrialBiocontrol- Clidemia, Black berry, Lantana
HawaiiStream ecosystems, effects of ungulatesWater quality, surveysFreshwater StreamEffects of ungulate removal on relatively intact stream ecosystems
HawaiiClimate change: assisted migration, sea level rise, anchialine pools Vulnerability assessmentsMarine"Potential effects of rising sea level rise on anchialine pools and where can we expect to have
new anchialine pools form? "
HawaiiSeabird monitoringBiological SurveySeabirdSeabird monitoring. Acoustic, visual or radar.
HawaiiForest products, carbon sequestrationResearch carbon valuesTerrestrialResearch establishing the carbon values for 25 of the most common Hawaii species.
HawaiiRare species surveying -- drones Drone surveysTerrestrial"Rare species surveys with Drones. Some areas are difficult to access and it would be nice to get a visual of remote areas for the potential of rare species present.
Kohala in particular."
HawaiiThreat control - small vertebratesPredator control methodsTerrestrialEffectiveness of Good Nature traps.
HawaiiThreat control - small vertebratespredator control methodsTerrestrialPredator control in Puu Makaala. Trap methods, type and effectiveness. Bait trials etc
HawaiiForest birds, population, home rangeForest bird monitoring: population size, population trendsTerrestrial"Forest bird radio-telemetry collaboration. For example, collaborate on the
Akiapola'au population and home range size work we are doing in Kulani. For example, hand track birds to ground truth the radio-towers
or do a nest searching and monitoring project to observe nests - this would help us set up
localized predator control near nest trees."
HawaiiMutualisms: phenology and forest bird movementsPollinator MonitoringTerrestrialOhia phenology. Seasonal availability of lehua to see if that drives forest bird movements.
HawaiiMutualisms: seed dispersalSeed DispersalTerrestrialOmao seed dispersal. Examining their potential as a forest restoration tool.
HawaiiThreat control: Invasive flora control methods, herbicide effectiveness BMPTerrestrial"Testing different herbicide techniques on highly invasive species – Kahili ginger, albizia,
fountain grass, anemone – it would help with cutting down on costs of worker hours and
HawaiiThreat control: invasive flora effectsVegetation MonitoringTerrestrialPotential effect of sphagnum on native ecosystems
HawaiiRestoration methods: ecosystem recovery (post invasive species removal)Vegetation MonitoringTerrestrial"Vegetation recovery after removal of an invasive weed species (for example – ginger in
kahaualea, fountain grass In Manuka, ginger in kohala, etc.) (soil composition, water retention, etc.) "
HawaiiRestoration methods: ROD, native species re-establishment Vegetation MonitoringTerrestrial"What native species are best for restoring areas that have been affected by ROD – in areas
that have ohia as the dominant canopy species, there is a higher chance of invasive moving in
once ROD takes it down. "
HawaiiThreats to endangered birdsPopulation trendsTerrestrialWhat are the major biological factors that are causing the continued population decline of palila? Has adult survival, nesting effort or success, fledgling rates, predation rates, juvenille survival, or any other factors changed since the early 2000's?
HawaiiPredator control methodsPopulation size, population trendsTerrestrialPopulation trends of rats in the high elevation dry forests of Mauna Kea.
HawaiiPredator control methodsPopulation size, population trendsTerrestrialImpacts of predator control on game bird poluations of Mauna Kea.
HawaiiEndangered birdspopulation trends, surveyTerrestrialImpacts of climate change to Palila foraging range.