About EPSCoR and ‘Ike Wai


The National Science Foundation’s Office of Integrated Activities created EPSCoR (the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research) to “enhance research competitiveness of targeted jurisdictions (states, territories, commonwealth) by strengthening STEM capacity and capability.”
The official goals of the program are to:

  • Catalyze research capability across and among jurisdictions;
  • Establish STEM professional development pathways;
  • Broaden participation of diverse groups/institutions in STEM;
  • Effect engagement in STEM at national and global levels; and
  • Impact jurisdictional economic development.

Hawaiʻi EPSCoR

The current Hawaiʻi EPSCoR Track 1 project is named ʻIke Wai, from the Hawaiian words for “knowledge” and “water,” respectively. The project mission is to ensure Hawaiʻi’s future water security through an integrated program of research, education, community engagement, and decision support. Its vision is to promote water resource management in Hawaiʻi that is sustainable, responsible, and data driven. Scientific, cultural, and social dimensions to the problem of water security are integrated in a transparent, stakeholder-driven, and rigorous water research enterprise with the following goals:

  1. Collect new hydrological and geophysical data at two study
    sites, on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi Island, to address data gaps in
    understanding of subsurface structure and flow.
  2. Develop a new data and modeling platform for Hawaiʻi
    volcanic hydro-geology, economic modeling, and decision support.
  3. Establish an integrated set of pathways to train and develop a
    diverse cohort of students, post-doctoral, and faculty researchers
    at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and the University of Hawaiʻi
    at Mānoa to address Hawaiʻi’s water challenges.