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The Waikōloa Biocultural Series brings local experts, practitioners, scientists, and community leaders to the Waikōloa Dry Forest Preserve to share their ‘ike (knowledge) with our community. In an effort to broaden horizons, connect to place and each other, and provide opportunities to engage in the WDFI began this series in 2020. We are so fortunate to have so many dedicated, passionate, and generous leaders, teachers, and kūpuna in our community that are willing to come to Waikōloa Dry Forest, and share their stories and experience with all of us.  Videos of these presentations will also be available for later viewing. Please see the available videos below.

The Waikōloa Biocultural Series is possible with funding provided by Hawai‘i Tourism Authority through the Aloha ‘Āina Program, administered by the Hawai‘i Community Foundation.

November 2022

The Kohala Dryland Agricultural Field System

Our final talk of the series focused on the history of dryland agriculture in Kohala and the experiences of those who steward Ulu Mau Puanui in the Kohala field system. Ulu Mau Puanui is a non-profit formed for research and educational purposes to discover and understand how Hawaiians have sustained rain-fed intensive farming for centuries and how it may inform current efforts to live sustainably.

Peter Vitousek Board Chair of Ulu Mau Puanui and Professor of Earth System Science at Stanford University. He was born and grew up in Hawai‘i and has been on the faculty at Stanford University since 1984.  His research interest in understanding how the interaction of land and culture contributed to the sustainability of Pacific Island societies before European contact has led him to become a leading expert on the Kohala field system. Following his presentation, there will be a question and answer period with Peter as well as others from Ulu Mau Puanui.

Peter Vitousek | November 18th 2022 | 5:00pm

September 2022

Native Hawaiian Agroecology: Where was our agroforestry?

Noa Lincoln will present some of his work uncovering the scope and distribution of agroforestry in Hawai’i. Noa is an Associate Researcher in the Indigenous Cropping Systems Laboratory at the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa which focuses on indigenous agroecosystems, emphasizing the links between knowledge-intensive practices and agricultural production. He will be sharing some of what he and others have learned about the historical distribution of Hawaiian agroforestry, the largest component of traditional agriculture throughout the Pacific.

Noa Lincoln | September 16th 2022 | 5:30pm

August 2022

Ola nā kuaiwi: ʻŌiwi agriculture, from past to future

Natalie Kurashima

Natalie will share an overview of ʻŌiwi (Native Hawaiian) agriculture, research on traditional agricultural footprint, productive capacity, and future potential, as well as share an example of adaptive reuse and restoration in Kona. Natalie was born and raised in Waipiʻo, Oʻahu and now calls Halekiʻi, Kona home. She is the Integrated Resources Manager at Kamehameha Schools, the largest private landowner in Hawaiʻi. Her kuleana focuses on supporting community-based stewardship of natural and cultural resources across the pae ‘āina. She received a PhD in Botany at UH Mānoa, where she investigated the biocultural restoration of ‘Ōiwi agricultural systems.

June 2022

Name Stories!

Ku’ulei Keakealani

Ku’ulei Keakealani shares stories of people and places through an interactive presentation. As Kama’aina of the drylands of North Kona, a daughter, a mother of three girls, cultural educator, historian, poet, rancher, and many, many other things, Ku´ulei has a unique lens of her own and a talent for recognizing and articulating the perspectives of others, past and present, though captivating storytelling; the sharing and perpetuation of oral histories. Her artful presentations challenge us to reflect on our own ideas about the world, provide us an opportunity to open our minds up to the perspectives of others, and to examine the role that we each have, as people on earth, to mālama ´āina.

May 2022

He Wa’a He Moku, He Moku He Wa’a

(The Canoe an Island, and Island a Canoe)

Chadd ‘Onohi Paishon & Maulili Dickson

This first presentation centers around wa´a, or canoe. In many ways, the wa´a is a beginning for Hawai´i and Hawaiians. Not just a way of getting from one place to another, or arriving, but in understanding how to live in Hawai´i and on Earth. He wa´a he moku, he moku he wa´a. Both Chadd and Ma´ulili have dedicated their lives to serving community at every juncture, they have decades of experience as navigators, voyagers, teachers, canoe builders, and ambassadors of Hawaii, of voyaging and of a way of life that deserves to be perpetuated. Mahalo to Chadd and Maulili.

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