Led by Stevenson professor Dr. Keith Johnson, 18 Stevenson students are preparing to embark on a study away trip to Hawaii on Jan. 5, 2017.
The program focuses on environmental field studies, while visiting different major cities over the course of the trip. The group’s first destination is set for the island of Oahu. Students will be staying in the capital city, Honolulu, right by Waikiki beach.
During their stay in Oahu, students can look forward to experiencing educational destinations including Pearl Harbor, the Polynesian Cultural Center and the Sea Life Park. Students will also get to visit different landform attraction areas of the island. They will be mountain biking up Diamond Head Volcano to study lava flow, and they will also visit famous North Beach, to witness its 25- to 30-foot waves.
One of the main focuses of the trip is to study both land and marine animals that inhibit the island of Hawaii. Students will pair with the government organization, NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in order to discuss sea turtles, fish, and the effects of tuna boat fishing.
PLANS FOR EXCITING EXCURSIONS
On one excursion, students plan to snorkel in both spear and non-spearfishing areas to study the different fish that live there. During a kayak adventure, students will study spinner dolphins in their sleeping cycles and paddle to an island where they can study the mongoose there.
Later, the group will shift its focus to the different forms of vegetation and crops the island produces. Students will get to visit a Kona Coffee Plantation and also study the harvesting of pineapples.
The group also plans to work with conservation agencies on the island by donating their time to help plant seeds in damaged areas of the island’s rainforests, to regrow some of the plants and vegetation. The group will also get to study different green, black, and white sand beaches.
Student will also be encouraged to try the different food the area has to offer Some local foods include pokai, which is fresh tuna seasoned with herbs, and poi, which is a purple starch paste that’s known for being a famous island dish.
“I would like to get the students to be able to see Hawaiian culture, try Hawaiian food, and experience all these adventures, but I also want them to appreciate the diversity of cultures that live there and go to different places that we can compare and contrast novel species while also helping and giving back to the area,” said Johnson.