Report from the urc 2002 Table of Contents



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Report from the URC

2002




Table of Contents



Introduction

Administration of Research at USP

Schools

Agriculture

Humanities


Law

Pure and Applied Sciences

Biology

Chemistry

Engineering

Food and Textiles

Mathematics and Computing Science

Physics

Earth Science

Social and Economic Development

Accounting and Financial Management

Economics

Geography

History/Politics

Land Management and Development

Management and Public Administration Marine Affairs Programme

Population Studies Programme

Sociology

Tourism Studies Programme
URC Financial Report
Introduction
This report is extracted from the annual reports of the Schools and other university units, including the sections on research (and related consultancies).


Administration of Research at USP
Introduction. This section discusses the basic strategy for administration of research at USP. The details can be found in the procedures documents.

Requirements. The action plan of any organization must take into account the characteristics of that organization and try to optimize for those characteristics. In the case of USP, the University is relatively small and isolated, has a high staff turn-over, and has restricted financial resources. Thus an operational plan must:


  • Use a minimum of staff and financial resources

  • Obtain the maximum benefit at minimum cost of staff and financial resources

  • Be designed for ease of continuing operations with changing staff

In order to achieve these aims, the administrative system should rely on existing administrative procedures as much as possible, decentralize tasks to avoid additional bureaucracy (and associated costs), and have clear, simple procedures that can be maintained over time.


Division of Responsibility. There are several units at USP that need to be considered in the administration of research. Two of these, the Planning and Development Office (PDO) and USPSolutions manage relations with external organizations. Another two, the University Research Committee (URC) and the Institutes (principally the Institute of Applied Sciences (IAS)) manages and carries out research.


  • The University Research Committee (URC) will fund research by staff (and some students) at USP. URC projects will be primarily concerned with advancing knowledge and understanding rather than commercial applications. Since most of the projects will have a regional focus, the understanding they provide may serve as a basis for economic and social development.

The Schools, Institutes, and University Extension consider projects before they reach the URC. The Schools can give final approval to projects requiring only a small amount of funds.



  • The Institutes of the University will respond to requests for consultancies, short course training, research and other projects needed in the region.
  • USPSolutions is the commercial arm of USP. It specializes in the design and delivery of research, consultancy, training and project management services.


  • The Planning and Development Office (PDO) will manage international aid projects, and can bring research opportunities or funding to the attention of the University Research Committee. The PDO also maintains the USP Directory of Expertise, which provides private and public sector organizations with a listing of available expertise within the University.

Thus the Planning and Development Office and USPSolutions will laise between USP and external organizations, seeking out research opportunities. The Institutes, especially the Institute of Applied Sciences, will carry out externally funded research consultancies, while the University Research Committee manages general research.



School of Agriculture




Research Summary
The SOA continued to make admirable progress in the area of research despite a dearth of research equipment and materials. The research efforts are summarized below:
The Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Education focussed its research activities on Farmer Participation in Agricultural Production and Productivity, Socio-economics of Production, and some aspects of Agricultural Extension and Education.
In addition to its on-going research on pig, poultry, beef and dairy cattle, sheep and goat, the Animal Science Department commenced research on 'Integrated Duck-Fish-Chicken Production System' that could be adopted by the grass roots. Furthermore, the Department participated in an international, inter-disciplinary submission to Wellcome Trust of a multi-million bid for a grant to conduct a collaborative research on ''Evidence-Based Evaluation of Herbal Medicine in the South Pacific Region'.

The Crop Science Department concentrated on Mixed Cropping, Varietal Trials with Tomato, Plant Pathology, and Nursery Management. In addition, the Department commenced preliminary, interdisciplinary research into 'The Effect of Environmental Factors on Kavalactone Content by Ava (Kava) in Samoa'.

In the Department of Soil Science and Agricultural Engineering, research centred on the 'Development of Integrated Approaches for Sustainable Crop Production in Environmentally Constrained Systems in the South Pacific Region" - an EU-funded Project with the acronym 'CROPPRO'. In addition to this, the Department conducted research on 'Operation, Safety and Maintenance of Agricultural Tractors'.


The above research activities were in addition to the numerous undergraduate and postgraduate students' research project supervised by the staff of the School of Agriculture.
Major Research Achievements
Taro Leaf Blight Disease practically neutralised
For the first time in more than a decade, Samoa was able to export taro overseas during 2002, while this crop resumed its role as a major staple in this country. This resulted from continued research on the Taro Leaf Blight diseased and generation of new, improved and acceptable taro varieties by the School of Agriculture/Alafua Campus, in collaboration with the Samoa Ministry of Agriculture, Forests, Fisheries and Meteorology (MAFFM).
Innovative results from research on taro bacilliform virus (TaBV)
Research, conducted in Samoa by a postgraduate student of the School of Agriculture, demonstrated, for the first time, that the taro bacilliform virus (TaBV) is seed-borne, and can be transmitted by taro seeds, as well as by mealybugs. For the first time also, the research showed that this virus has at least one alternative host.

The significance of TaBV being seed-transmissible is far-reaching. Seeds represent the easiest method of moving taro from one country to another. TaBV can therefore be introduced through seeds into countries where it did not exist previously. Consequently, every effort must be made to move only TaBV-free taro seeds,

particularly to countries where colocasia bobone disease virus (CBDV) already occurs. This is extremely important because, dual infection of taro by CBDV and TaBV is thought to cause the lethal 'alomae' disease of taro, which is currently restricted to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

Farming Systems Development
Research on mixed cropping systems, focussed on carrot-dwarf bean and cassava yam bean systems, produced positive results that indicated that these systems had a yield advantage over mono-cropping.
CROPPRO Project
The EU-funded research on 'Sustainable Crop Production in Environmentally Constrained Systems in the South Pacific (CROPPRO)' took off during the later part of 2002. In this regard, a flume was constructed at a selected outlet in the Papaseea watershed in Samoa, and various types of research equipment delivered and installed. The collection of the first set of data commenced towards the end of the year.
The CROPPRO Project addresses the relation between agricultural activities and the surrounding environment, and focuses on the development of tailor-made farming approaches for major crop-soil units, and aims at maximising agricultural production while minimising environmental deterioration.
School of Humanities

Major Research Achievements






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