About the Project
|(Blue site)||(Green site)|
Two “dashboards”, or websites, were developed during the course of this project. These sites regularly update and provide information about climate conditions in the Marshall Islands.
The “Marshall Islands Climate Outlook” (blue dashboard) provides information about water and sky conditions. Recent and forecast conditions are updated monthly for temperature, rainfall, storms, sea level and waves, ocean conditions, and ENSO (El Niño, La Niña) indices. It is an ongoing collaboration between the Asia-Pacific Data Research Center (APDRC) and the NOAA NESDIS National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
The “Agroforestry in the Climate of the Marshall Islands” website (green dashboard) simplifies information from the climate outlook dashboard for the agroforestry sector. It provides agroforestry extension agents and community leaders with information about seasonal and long-term changes in climate, and general suggestions for adapting agroforestry to climate.
The general principles guiding this project are:
- The Republic of the Marshall Islands has an ancient tradition of agroforestry, managing trees and food crops together. Pacific agroforestry extension agents and experienced farmers have a great depth of detailed knowledge. This project respects their “traditional ecological knowledge” and encourages younger generations and newcomers to the islands to learn directly from them.
- Modern science offers farmers a tool: climate predictions for the coming season. Simple predictions for the next few months are shown in dials on the green page and detailed predictions are shown at the Marshall Islands Climate Outlook. (This project does not address short-term weather predictions over the next day or week.)
- Science can also recognize and explain long-term patterns. The general pattern of El Nino and La Nina years has been the cause of extreme droughts and storms in the Marshalls in the past. If people understand the pattern, they are more likely to believe predictions of drought and make preparations.
- Science offers the best available information about long-term climate change. Climate change will have some different effects in the Marshalls than in the rest of the world.
- The project focuses on a “design life” of forty years, which includes the most productive life of a coconut plantation. After forty years, uncertainty about actual conditions increases.
- Traditional Marshallese agroforestry is diverse (includes many crops) and resilient (includes crops that can tolerate harsh environmental conditions of atolls). Diversity and resiliency reduce risk. The project only recommends significant changes to traditional practices if there is a high probability of a change in conditions, such as a drought following El Nino, or sea level rise over time.
- Although the Marshalls currently imports most of its food, probably most of the vitamins and fiber consumed by Marshallese come from local food. It is worth promoting agroforestry to support the health of Marshallese, their children and grandchildren.
The agroforestry dashboard is still in the process of translation. Pages from this website may be downloaded and printed as handouts with no need to request permission. The agroforestry dashboard is intended to be transferred to, expanded and improved by Marshallese agriculture and agroforestry agencies and experts, with permission and acknowledgement. Please contact Maria Haws and Katie Friday with suggestions and requests. The project is an ongoing collaboration between the University of Hawaii, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Marshall Islands Ministry of Resources and Development, the College of the Marshall Islands, and other partners.
Additional “dashboards” for the emergency response sector or health sector could be created to pull information from the climate outlook site, and provide recommendations for those sectors. Please contact Dr. James Potemra for technical advice.
The project that produced this website was supported by the Department of Interior Pacific Islands Climate Science Center under Grant Number G14AP00184 from the United States Geological Survey, entitled “ ‘Vegetative Guide & Dashboard’ relating atoll traditional agroforestry recommendations to predicted climate and sea level conditions in the Marshall Islands.” Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the USGS.
Principal Investigator Maria Haws, Ph.D., Director, Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (firstname.lastname@example.org). UHH is an Equal Opportunity instituion.
Additional partners listed in grant proposal
- Dr. Jonathan Deenik, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources, Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences (TPSS).
- Karl Fellenius, formerly College of the Marshall Islands/Sea Grant.
- Anthony Ingersoll, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Pacific Island Area.
- Rebecca Lorennij, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Ministry of Resources & Development (R&D).
- Dr. John Marra, Regional Climate Services Director, Pacific Region, NOAA NESDIS National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI).
- Dr. James Potemra, Manager, Asia-Pacific Data Research Center, International Pacific Research Center, School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, University of Hawaiʻi Mānoa.
Project staff and contractors
- Dr. Harley Manner, Emeritus Professor of Geography and Micronesian Studies, University of Guam.
- Rufus Lajkit, now State Forester, Ministry of Resources & Development
- Michael Best, Software Developer, University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.
- Kennedy Kaneko, student, College of the Marshall Islands
- Victor Garcia Jr., student, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Additional partners in survey organization, preparation, translation and conduct; workshop and individual review
- Wilbert Alik, Marshallese Studies Coordinator, College of the Marshall Islands
- Don Hess, formerly Vice President, College of the Marshall Islands
- Foster Lanwe, Agriculture Extension Agent, Land Grant, College of the Marshall Islands
- Roger Muller, student, College of the Marshall Islands
- Nancy Vander Velde
- Dr. Mary Spencer, Dean Emerita, College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, University of Guam
- Land Grant Program, College of the Marshall Islands
- Women United in the Marshall Islands (WUTMI)
Specific figures, tables and other content
- Figure by Nancy Hulbirt (University of Hawaii at Manoa), adapted from illustration by Duane Leewai, published in Coastal Change in the Pacific Islands, with permission from Meghan Gombos and John Marra.
- Karness Kusto and Jabukja Aikne. Republic of the Marshall Islands Ministry of Resources & Development. Table adapted from calendar provided to Kathleen Friday, April 2016, with permission from Karness Kusto.
- Lander: Figure adapted from Figure 2 by Mark Lander, published in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Pacific ENSO Update, 1st Quarter, 2016. Vol. 22, No. 1, with permission from Mark Lander.
- Lajkit Rufus: Figure created using data from Sutton.
- Sleeper Sared: Chuuk Department of Agriculture, Federated States of Micronesia. Personal communication with Kathleen Friday, March 2009. Any errors are the responsibility of K. Friday.
- Sutton, J., Luchetti, N., Wright, E., Kruk, M.C., and Marra, J.J. 2015. An El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) Based Precipitation Climatology for the United States Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) using the PERSIANN Climate Data Record (CDR). NASA DEVELOP National Program, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information, 477pp. 51 MB (PDF)
- Brian Vander Velde: Personal communication with Kathleen Friday, April 2015. Any errors are the responsibility of K. Friday.