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Mushrooms Used for Sustainable Research in Hawaii

Stephanie Goldberg-Ayala |


On a small Hawaiian island, a dedicated group of individuals are taking a stand against the rapid changes that threaten their way of life. Invasive plants are encroaching on the native flora, poverty is a pressing issue, and the uncertain future looms large. But amidst these challenges, the community is coming together to protect their paradise, and they are using mushrooms to do it!

Seth Durham from the Sustainable Research Technology Center at the University of the Nations, Kona said:

 "We are starting a new initiative to explore the potential of mushroom cultivation in alleviating extreme poverty in developing nations. Most of our research revolves around asset-based community development. We are trying to learn how to cultivate mushrooms ourselves then eventually attempt using low-tech and no-tech methods of cultivation. If we can be successful with those methods, we may attempt to propose mushroom cultivation for communities experiencing extreme poverty."

This innovative project at University of the Nations, Kona is spearheaded by Seth Durham and Delaney Wakefield. They have been leading a team of trained specialists in growing mushrooms on harvested invasive bio matter. The greater team consists of about a half dozen full-time staff and another half dozen part-time staff. The Life Empowering Technology and Science department is filled with experts who are passionate about pushing the boundaries, and their dedication to this project is truly inspiring. They understand that using mushrooms to support sustainability is not just about helping Hawaii, it's about supporting a larger vision for a more sustainable future everywhere. The impact of their work extends far beyond the confines of their research center.


What are the Impacts of Invasive Species?

Invasive species of trees can wreak havoc on the environment by outcompeting native species, disrupting ecosystems, and causing irreversible damage. By conducting research to remove these invasive species, scientists are working towards restoring the natural balance and biodiversity of the area effected.

Research is currently underway to address the issue of invasive species of trees, combat hunger stemming from poverty, and pave the way for a brighter future. This groundbreaking research not only provides valuable learning opportunities for students through various laboratory processes but also initiates a new era of research aimed at restoring the Hawaiian island's ecosystem and improving the lives of its inhabitants.

How Does Research Alleviate Hunger?

Poverty often leads to food insecurity and hunger, especially in regions where resources are scarce (Like island chains.) Through innovative research initiatives, experts are developing sustainable solutions to address hunger, improve agricultural practices, and enhance food security for the island's population.

What Does the Future Hold?

The ongoing research not only benefits the environment and addresses social issues but also sets the stage for a promising future. By engaging in cutting-edge research, students are equipped with the knowledge and skills needed to drive positive change and create a more sustainable and prosperous tomorrow for the island, its people, and beyond. Join us in raising up in support of Seth and Delaney and their incredible team. Together, we can help cultivate a brighter future for all.

Follow their successes on social media: Instagram

Find out about ways to get involved or donate: Support here



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