UHMC Aquaponics


Aquaponics business, entrepreneurship and introduction to commercial aquaponics science courses begin Jan. 17, 2017.
Contact Susan Miller, 808-295-0659,

Course Information

Aquaponics business,entrepreneurship and introduction to commercial aquaponics science courses begin Jan. 17, 2017 for backyard, small-scale and commercial entrepreneurs ready to enhance their understanding learn more about the applications of business and aquaponics science side of growing food in a soilless aquatic environment with fish.

Both courses, which will be available for UH CC system wide students are part of an proposed aquaponics technician certification the commercial aquaponics industry in need of technically trained workers.

The courses also aim to meet the needs of new aquaponics business owners who need training themselves to meet required industry aligned methods and food safety and sanitation requirements. Business topics will include business planning principles and, marketing, energy conservation of sustainable soil-less food production.

Leo Kaniela Caires, a sustainable energy expert, entrepreneur and Maui High School graduate, will instruct the course. Leo holds a bachelor’s of science from the University of Wyoming College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. He holds an MBA with emphasis in business entrepreneurship and is completing his doctorate in leadership and management.

“Entrepreneurial thinking is being able to simplify complicated concepts, and create great experiences and opportunities for customers and the marketplace,” Caires said.

“The new greenhouse controlled environment will be a creative incubator for new aquaponics food production ventures — large and backyard scale on Maui,” he said. “I’m excited to be involved in this emerging food production methodology on Maui.”

Caires added that soilless food production is emerging much like sustainable energy made its way into mainstream energy thinking. Caires added aquaponics has a place in agribusiness diversity and the state’s changing food production landscape.

Sustainable Science Management applied topics as they related to aquaponics include scientific method; water chemistry and water quality testing; animal and plant selection for aquaponics systems aquaponics ecology, standard operating procedures and food security methods; and design and maintenance of aquaponics systems.

Registration is open until Jan. 13 and students may audit or sign up to earn credit toward an aquaponics technician certification. For students with day jobs, the course is offered online and in the evenings to include both weekly lectures and lab.

The hands-on lab opportunity will be conducted in the brand new commercial-scale aquaponics controlled-environment greenhouse situated on the UH Maui College UHMC Kahului campus.

Classes will support offer beginning entrepreneurs the opportunity to increase their understanding fundamental concepts and applications in business start-ups and early-stage agribusiness to be applied in a real world environment.

Maui high school students with aquaponics background are encourages to sign up in this “program of study” in Natural Resources Production, a Universal Design in Learning (UDL) partnership with the Hawaii Department of Education and the UH-Manoa College of Education.

Topics will include the entrepreneurship will go right into the heart of creating design models to monetize and create value, and the role it plays in Hawaii’s island economy and its relevance to which can be applied aquaponics food production.

Important basic aspects of managing and marketing a business are covered, including financial planning, operations, personnel, record keeping, budgeting, problem solving and more.

Students will work in cohorts to explore small-scale production using applied aquaponics startup systems and operation of UHMC’s commercial greenhouse systems.

The courses are being offer online for rural Maui and Neighbor Island students.


Bus 190V Aquaponics Entrepreneurship
Online Registration:
Late Registration: Jan. 9-13, 2017
First Day of Instruction: Jan. 9, 2017
Bus 190V Aquaponics: begins Jan. 17, 2017


SSM 190V Introduction to Aquaponics Science
Online Registration:
Late Registration: Jan. 9-13, 2017
First Day of Instruction: Jan. 9, 2017
SSM 190V Introduction to Aquaponics Science: begins Jan. 17, 2017


Susan Miller