Daniel Erickson points to the hydro electrical turbine station site. Photo courtesy of KCC
Hawaiian Studies faculty member Molly Summers with students Livingston Rowen and Rosie Sanders were immersed in the thick shrub with their cutting tools. Rowen is focusing his studies on sustainability and Plant Bioscience Technology, with a dream to build a sustainability-related business on Kauaʻi.
KCC received a gift from a donor to support the development of alternative renewable energy courses to meet the growing needs of the community. Instructor Daniel Erickson has focused on researching the use of alternative energy, producing methods such as hydroelectric turbines, wind energy, biodiesel and wood chippers, biodiesel reactors, and a perception project. KCC student Sam Scala will assist in conducting and documenting the research.
“We’re excited to demonstrate renewable energy technologies and use Earth Day 2016 to springboard our initiatives especially as it integrates energy production with the production of the taro, kukui nuts, mountain apples, and koa trees being grown on campus by Hawaiian Studies,” Erickson said in a press release.
Carvalho said he is proud of the students and eager to support their aspirations.
“Kauaʻi is our home and we are committed to protecting and nourishing it for now and the future,” Carvalho said. “I am inspired by the plans our students are making to build a healthy Kauaʻi, and the way we are re-purposing water ditches dug, by hand, during the island’s time of the big plantations, and using our rich history as we build a better future for the island.”
Cool water flowed smoothly through the clean ditches and the land was cleared. A potluck lunch was prepared and enjoyed by all after a good day’s work.