Education Keynote

Haunani Kane

Keynote Speaker

Navigating the Future: Finding Comfort in the Unknown

Thursday, March 21, 2024

He poʻi na kai uli, kai koʻo, ʻaʻohe hina pūkoʻa: though the sea be deep and rough, the coral rock remains standing (Mary Kawena Pukui, ʻŌlelo Noʻeau No. 95). Inspired by this ʻōlelo noʻeau (traditional proverbs), Haunani Kane, a scientist, surfer, and voyager from Kailua, O’ahu will provide examples of resilience through traditional Hawaiian voyaging and climate research, drawing parallels between the initial voyages and navigators, and how these ancestral practices continue to be used today by modern islanders.

Haunani will guide us, embarking on a voyage to Hawaiʻi from Tahiti, and later to ancestral islands of Papahānaumokuākea. We will learn how to navigate without the use of a GPS or sextant and instead rely upon the heavens, swells, winds, and birds. Along the way we will be challenged by Haunani’s unforeseen circumstances, but as we persevere, we will begin to find comfort in the unknown and confidence in ourselves as both individuals and as a collective.

Haunani Kane is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and one of the project leaders of the MEGA Lab, a non-profit that is redefining tradition, culture, and science. Haunani’s life is guided by the values and storied history of her kūpuna (ancestors). Her research combines classically trained skills in coastal geology and the perspectives of a native islander to investigate how islands, reefs, and island people are impacted by changes in climate. Haunani has been mentored since her youth in traditional Hawaiian wayfinding and navigation by the Polynesian Voyaging Society. She has spent nearly 200 days at sea aboard both sailing and modern research vessels. As a voyager and climate scientist, Haunani's research and teaching rely upon reestablishing ancestral relationships. She hopes that through this process she may provide a more inclusive understanding of the impacts of environmental stressors and ensure that the best available climate science data is reflective of all stories of place and their people.

Be sure to join us in Honolulu, to be a part of Haunani Kane's keynote address kicking off the 18th Annual Pre-Award Research Administration Conference, Thursday, March 21, 2024.

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