Oct 31, 2019

Regional e-Notes: October Letter from the Director

Aloha & Happy Halloween!

It has been one full year since CTSA moved its main administrative operations to the University of Hawaii (UH). Hawaii Pacific University (HPU) continues to provide fiscal service to CTSA, which will be moved entirely to UH in 2021. As we celebrate our first anniversary on the UH Manoa campus, I would like to extend my sincerest appreciation to the many institutions and individuals that have helped to make our transfer as smooth as possible. Primarily, UH CTAHR and OI of HPU have provided copious hands-on assistance, and USDA NIFA has provided critical advice. While I would like to thank each and every person who has helped and is helping us in this transition, there are too many to name in this letter, so I will simply say a big MAHALO to you all!

In addition to spending much time learning the UH operation procedures, I have been trying my best to meet researchers from various disciplines and introduce them to the CTSA program and mission. I often encourage them to think about how they can utilize their expertise and technologies to participate in our efforts to secure the seafood supply through aquaculture. As Executive Director, it is my responsibility to operate the Center following the established operational procedures, and efficiently manage available research funds to address the issues brought up by our industry stakeholders. While aquaculture researchers are the primary experts to help us achieve this goal, there is also much value in identifying other researchers outside of aquaculture who can apply their field of expertise and unique skills to help solve the challenges facing our industry.

CTSA is currently developing the FY2019 plan of work. I appreciate the many new ideas that we received this year. However, our limited funding restricts the amount of concepts we are able to support. I would like to encourage those pre-proposals that were not funded during this cycle to re-present their idea in the future with a goal of obtaining full support from our stakeholders and CTSA review panel.

During the past year, I have also uncovered a plethora of resources at UH that can help CTSA achieve its mission. I have enjoyed my discussions with many new colleagues, and have learned new techniques through my activities on campus. I am discovering that combining our program resources and knowledge with the wide range of available expertise is creating unique opportunities to bring more sustainable aquaculture grants and funding to our region. It has reaffirmed my motto that we can accomplish more if we can work together, and reconfirmed my steadfast commitment to partnership for sustainable aquaculture development. I am hopeful that CTSA can quickly fit into our new working environment and help advance aquaculture development in our region and ultimately, other regions as well. 

Cheng-Sheng Lee, Ph.D.
Executive Director, CTSA