Kamole, Kauō (Laysan Island)

Kamole means “ancestral root, foundation, source or cause,” such as a root that runs through the earth and traces one’s ancestry back to the source. Kamole also describes the location of Laysan Island, the first major landfall following French Frigate Shoals moving toward the northwest. Kauō, meaning “egg,” describes both the island’s shape and the abundance of seabirds that nest here. Kauō can be either the yolk or the egg white, its meaning specified with the modifier melemele ʻyellowʻ or keʻokeʻo ʻwhiteʻ.




Kamole is surrounded by a 1,016 acre shallow-water coral reef ecosystem. The island and its surrounding coral reefs were formed approximately 17 million years ago, when the underlying shield volcano and a portion of the associated coral reef bank were lifted above sea level.

Giant Coral near Laysan island

Ulua swimming near Laysan island

Denoting the contents of an egg the name Kauō also signifies the thousands of birds that inhabit the island.


Our Research

Microscope; Illustration: Noun Project

Information on various methods used to research coral health

Interactive Map

Map Marker; Illustration: Noun Project

Explore and compare data between sites, species, or by specific diseases

Coral Health

Waves; Illustration: Noun Project

Information about Coral Health and why it is important