MCC Loko iʻa project Voice of the Sea feature

This University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant episode of Voice of the Sea, called “Adapting Culture to Climate Change,” aired in July, 2018 and highlighted three PI-CASC-funded research projects involved in community-based management. One of those projects, led by UH Hilo graduate students Kamala Anthony and Cherie Kauahi with their advisor Dr. Steven Colbert, supports the restoration and management of three loko iʻa (traditional Hawaiian fishponds) in Keaukaha, Hawaiʻi. For more details, visit the related project pages, below.

Staff from the PI-CASC’s Manager Climate Corps were also interviewed in this episode to shed light on the program’s overall vision, which helped develop the research project. Kamala, Cherie, and Steve’s collaborative research project works closely with kiaʻi loko (fishpond managers) to examine the impacts of climate change on loko iʻa conditions by examining salinity effects on algae growth and nutrient variability through groundwater influx.

Beyond their research project, Kamala and Cherie are a part of a larger effort that manages and restores multiple loko iʻa in Keaukaha and involves hundreds of other kiaʻi loko, owners, workers, supporters, and stakeholders in a statewide hui (network) called, Hui Mālama Loko I‘a. Much of the Voice of the Sea episode takes place at Waiuli (Richardsons Beach Park) and Honokea Loko Iʻa, which is managed by Hui Hoʻoleimaluō. Such community-based efforts strengthen experience of place and connections across diverse communities and worldviews, thereby building adaptive capacity through times of change.

The episode won a Bronze Telly Award in May of 2019 for excellence in telling stories of scientific and cultural work in the Pacific which motivate the local community toward engagement with environmental and societal issues. The Telly Awards honor creative and distinguished local, regional, and cable television programming. Also check out this PI-CASC news item on Kanesa Seraphin Duncan’s Eos article highlighting the power of the TV medium for science communication.

UH Sea Grant Kanesa Duncan Seraphin talking with Kamala Anthony and Cherie Kauahi in front of Waiuli fishpond.
Kanesa Seraphin, host of Voice of the Sea, interviews UH Hilo graduate students Kamala Anthony and Cherie Kauahi at Honokea Loko Iʻa. Photo Credit: Voice of the Sea.




Kamala Anthony
Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science, UH Hilo
Cherie Kauahi
Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science, UH Hilo
Steven Colbert
Assistant Professor of Marine Science, UH Hilo