In addition to doing service works such as cleaning pathways and beaches, removing invasive plants, and leaving lei at cemeteries, the students experienced the history of Kalaupapa, feeling the impact of the isolation once felt by leprosy patients, and learning first-hand the historical significance of the area.
There is a movement in Hawaiʻi to increase cultural content in the way science is taught—it honors the place, the host culture, and the people who have lived here for centuries.
The highlight of the trip was the ceremony recognizing Ke Kula ‘O Nāwahīokalani‘ōpu‘u Hawaiian language immersion school as the recipient of the William Demmert Freedom Fighter award, one of the highest awards given by the National Indian Education Association.
The ʻAha Haumāna Native Hawaiian Student Symposium and Conference helped students to better translate their undergraduate experiences and degrees into actual careers.
UH President David Lassner: UH must move beyond its strengths in astronomy and continue to improve protection of Maunakea’s environment and cultural resources.
Crew members gave presentations, canoe tours, and shared wayfinding lore and lessons learned from the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. UH Hilo co-sponsored an educational expo featuring programs that promote “mālama honua” or care for the planet.
Kara Spaulding has demonstrated leadership in sustainability in various ways: advocating for curriculum in sustainability, participating in Earth Day, inspiring classmates.
“Getting to show the Clintons different nebula and galaxies while sitting below one of the darkest skies in the world was an unforgettable experience,” says UH Hilo astronomy student Mitchel Rudisel.
UH Hilo Hawaiian language kumu Larry Kimura and Kanani Māka‘imoku were honored for their leadership in reviving and teaching ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.
The discussion, part of an annual UH conference on sustainability, was led by Hawaiian cultural practitioners, a research scientist, and a land manager.