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Noelani Puniwai

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Hawaiian shorelines and near-shore waters have long been used for cultural activities, food gathering and fishing, and recreation. As seascapes are physically altered by changing climate, the ways in which people experience these environments will likely change as well. Local perspectives of how seascapes are changing over time can help managers better understand and manage these areas for both natural persistence and human use. For this project, researchers conducted interviews and surveys of surfers and other ocean users to gather observations and perceptions of change over time at Hilo Bay, Hawaiʻi. They combined these results with historical data on public beach use and biophysical data from monitoring buoys...
Complex socio-ecological issues, such as climate change have historically been addressed through technical problem solving methods. Yet today, climate science approaches are increasingly accounting for the roles of diverse social perceptions, experiences, cultural norms, and worldviews. In support of this shift, we developed a research program on Hawaiʻi Island that utilizes knowledge coproduction to integrate the diverse worldviews of natural and cultural resource managers, policy professionals, and researchers within actionable science products. Through their work, local field managers regularly experience discrete land and waterscapes. Additionally, in highly interconnected rural communities, such as Hawaiʻi...
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The purpose of this study was to record nearshore current patterns as witnessed and experienced by ocean users living in the greater Hilo area of Hawai'i Island, Hawai'i. This study relied on ocean-expert knowledge gained from place-based first-hand work and lifestyle experience. The ocean-experts were categorized as fisher, paddler, sailor, surfers, or others. The interviews were collected during 2014-2015, with prototype interviews collected in 2009. During the interview the ocean-expert was asked to select the appropriate map scale for their area of expertise (1:5000, 1:20,000, 1:40,000, or 1:100,000) and to describe and draw the nearshore currents. Sixteen of the interviewees visually documented on hard copy...
Abstract (from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10745-016-9822-0): Complex systems, such as ocean currents, occur at multiple temporal and physical scales require simultaneous analysis across a range of geographic scales. Presently, there are few available nearshore current maps or models accessible to managers or the public in Hawai'i despite the fact that predicting nearshore currents and processes is important for understanding many other social-ecological interactions. Maps of coastal ocean currents are difficult to create because of constant change and the limited availability of nearshore data. Maps are symbols of our collective knowledge frameworks, representing various geographic areas and features...
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