Photo essay: Meeting held at UH Hilo to discuss integration of Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage into UH curriculum

The University of Hawaiʻi is the higher education partner in the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, with over 50 people from all 10 campuses directly involved.

Story by Susan Enright. Photos by Bob Douglas.

Group photo.
Participants in the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, along with UH administrators, students and staff, met at UH Hilo Feb 12 to discuss the integration of experience and knowledge gained on the voyage into UH curriculum. Double click photos to enlarge.

Sailing from Hawaiʻi to South Africa and multiple ports and countries in between, University of Hawaiʻi students, faculty, and staff have been an integral part of the voyaging canoe Hōkūleʻa’s worldwide voyage, also known as Mālama Honua, or “to care for our earth.” UH is the higher education partner in the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage, with over 50 people from all 10 campuses directly involved.

David Lassner and Nainoa Thompson.
David Lassner and Nainoa Thompson at the UH Hilo gathering.

Some of these participants and others from UH—about 55 total—gathered at UH Hilo on Feb. 12 to discuss integrating the knowledge and experience gained on the voyage into UH curriculum. Also attending was UH President David Lassner and the UH campus chancellors, including UH Hilo Chancellor Don Straney.

“It is through this type of collaborative work, learning from each other, that UH can fulfill our responsibilities to the people of Hawai‘i,” says Straney.

Kalepa Chad Baybayan
Chad Kalepa Babayan. Photo courtesy Polynesian Voyaging Society.

Chad Kālepa Baybayan, a master navigator on the voyage, navigator-in-residence at UH Hilo’s ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, and a member of the faculty at Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language says that although UH is probably the lead institution of the voyage, most heavily engaged in providing active participation, providing the manpower and resources to execute the voyage, a lot of people don’t know the extent of UH’s involvement in Mālama Honua.

At the meeting held last week Friday at Haleʻōlelo on the UH Hilo campus, participants acknowledged the importance of the UH System’s understanding and respect for ʻike Hawaiʻi (Hawaiian knowledge) in teaching, research, and service, and shared ways in which the connection between the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage and UH initiatives can strengthen work in STEM, sustainability, and Native Hawaiian language and culture.

Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa
Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa

“Mālama Honua caring for our island earth is a vision for which Hawaiʻi can serve as a model through sustainability efforts of its language, culture, land, water and natural resources,” says Keiki Kawaiʻaeʻa, director of the Hawaiian language college. “Discussion (at the meeting) focused on the many venues across academic disciplines and community outreach projects that are contributing to a larger sustainability effort of the university.”

The meeting’s agenda included welcome ceremonies, presentations, small group discussions, and sharing of those discussions with the larger group.

Linda Furuto
Linda Furuto

“With mālama honua as our vision and aloha ‘āina as the foundation, the gathering is part of our commitment to past, present, and future generations of students,” says Linda Furuto, an associate professor of mathematics education at UH Mānoa who specializes in ethnomathematics and has served as crew on the Worldwide Voyage. “Our University of Hawai‘i System efforts, values, and worldviews come from an assets-based approach to relationships with the land, genealogy, resiliency, strength, and compassion. Similar to navigating, we need to know where we’ve come from, to understand where we are, and only then can we voyage into the future and truly fulfill our kuleana to care for island Earth.”

The day concluded with an optional field trip to ʻImiloa Astronomy Center.

Kaʻiu Kimura
Kaʻiu Kimura

“Mālama Honua is about ʻimi ʻike (quest/search/exploration for knowledge), expanding and deepening cross-discipline collaborations for students, faculty, research, and community to generate new knowledge and opportunities for Hawaiʻi’s future and the world,” says Kaʻiu Kimura, director of ʻImiloa, which has contributed much, including resources and personnel, to the Worldwide Voyage.

The meeting was a continuation of discussions started at a gathering held last December at UH Mānoa.

Click photos to enlarge.

Welcome Ceremonies

Jason Cabral and Nainoa Thompson
UH Hilo Associate Professor Jason “Iota” Cabral welcomes Master Navigator Nainoa Thompson during welcome ceremonies at UH Hilo.

Introductions and Opening Remarks

Nainoa Thompson speaks to group in auditorium.
Nainoa Thompson delivers his remarks.

Small Group Discussions

Celeste “Cesi” Manuia Haʻo
Celeste “Cesi” Manuia Haʻo, an education program assistant at ʻImiloa Astronomy Center who navigated the Hōkūleʻa from Aitutaki, Cook Islands, to the islands of Sāmoa in Aug. 2014, gives a talk and demonstration on navigation.

The Venue: Haleʻōlelo

Aerial of Haleʻōlelo.
Haleʻōlelo, home of UH Hilo Ka Haka ʻUla O Keʻelikōlani College of Hawaiian Language, opened in 2014. Part of the complex is a domed auditorium, where large gatherings are held. File photo courtesy University Relations.

About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.

About the photographer: Bob Douglas is a local artist, photographer, and sometimes part-time student who volunteers his photography skills to the Office of the Chancellor and UH Hilo Stories.