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SEA Currents: SSV Corwith Cramer

June 03, 2015

S260 Aloha ‘Aina: People & Nature of the Hawaiian Islands begins

Aloha ‘Aina faculty

Some of the Aloha ‘Aina faculty with a spectacular view of the Ko’olau Mountains on Oahu. From left to right, Dr Carrie Jones (HPU), Zane de la Cruz (HPU), Captain Sean Bercaw (SEA Semester), Dr Trisha Kehaulani Watson (Honua Consulting), Dr Brenda Jensen (HPU), Dr Jeffrey Schell (SEA Semester).

Hello and Aloha from the island of Oahu and the beautiful windward campus of Hawaii Pacific University.  After months of preparation, countless emails, numerous Skype conferences, last minute syllabus changes, and a fair bit of coffee, the faculty of this years Aloha ‘Aina program can finally send our material to the printers and await the arrival of our students.  We are beyond excited to share the Hawaiian concept of Aloha ‘Aina – love of the land and sea with the students.

Over the next 5 weeks these students will do more than simply read about the historical origins and environmental insights of traditional Hawaiian cultural practices, but they will actively participate in the process as they work side by side in the taro fields, in the fishponds, on the reefs as we explore the islands of Oahu, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii.  Guiding and teaching the students will be the knowledgeable faculty from SEA and HPU as well as several Hawaiian cultural practitioners, members of state and federal regulatory agencies (e.g. NOAA Marine Sanctuary staff), and related NGOs (e.g. Ocean Conservancy).

What our students learn among the islands they will carry with them as valuable experience when they step onboard the SSV Robert C. Seamans and continue their explorations into the offshore marine environment of the Hawaiian Islands.  It plans to be a truly extraordinary academic adventure for the students.

As I complete this brief introduction to the Aloha ‘Aina program I have ben informed that all students have safely arrived on Oahu and are settling into their comfortable rooms on the HPU campus.

There will be much more to follow in the coming days and weeks, so please check in again with the Aloha ‘Aina blog so you can learn alongside the students as they ‘talk story ‘of their experience.  

The Aloha ‘Aina faculty

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