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Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).


SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

June 04, 2015

Aloha family and friends!

Kelsey Orr, Furman University

Aloha Aina

Dr Trisha Kehau Watson explains the concept of traditional Hawaiian land division with a stunning example in the background.

I doubt any of us have learned so much in such a short period of time! Our first full day at Hawaii Pacific University was filled with introductions and lectures. After going over class syllabi, we jumped into learning about important ecological concepts and Hawaiian culture. One of the most complicated, yet interesting lectures we received was given by Dr. Kehau Watson on Hawaiian Ecosystems, Ahupua'a, and traditional management systems. The traditional Hawaiian practice of agriculture was exceptionally sustainable and demonstrates a deep respect, understanding and love for the land. The concept that our program is named after, Aloha 'Aina, describes the native Hawaiian's attachment to the land and demonstrates the connection between the people and the land as outside forces that move onto the islands and influence Hawaiian culture. The Hawaiian way of life is far more complex than I had ever imagined. In the afternoon, we continued our introductory lessons with talks about navigation and oceanography. The day was topped off with special training in a traditional chant or "oil" that we will use when visiting important cultural sites.  It is to show respect and acceptance of Hawaiian land and culture before entering a new area.

- Kelsey

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