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Saving Hawaii From Alien Plants


IGERT trainee Joshua Atwood from the University of Rhode Island talks about his IGERT internship experience in Hawaii, where he surveyed non-native plant species and analyzed environmental policies.

Article excerpt:
“On the island of O’ahu, cutting-edge research on non-native plants involves a flashing traffic light, magnetic signage, and pretzels. A plethora of pretzels.

The flashing yellow light affixes to the top of a slow-moving, white pickup truck that the signage identifies as a botanical survey vehicle. Inside, scientists from the O’ahu Early Detection Project (OED) identify and record the GPS coordinates of over 100 weed species, slowly mapping their distributions across the entire island. Sustained by the salty pretzel sticks, these scientists are providing information that may help slow the spread of non-native plant species in Hawai’i, where the number of non-native plant species is roughly equal to the number of native species."