Journal Features Largest Collection of Scientific Publications by Native Hawaiians

The Takeaway: The He‘eia Research Reserve contributed to field studies and editorial leadership.

Sustainability, a peer-reviewed journal, broke new ground with the largest collection of scientific publications by Native Hawaiians. The issue focuses on biocultural restoration, which considers how people relate to nature in bringing new vitality and adaptability to landscapes and seascapes. The multi-partner effort featured two studies conducted in the He‘eia National Estuarine Research Reserve.

“This collective work shows that Hawai‘i is a global leader in biocultural restoration, with the potential to influence local and international policy,” says lead guest editor Kawika Winter, manager of the He‘eia Research Reserve. “Many of us have spent our lives endeavoring to translate ancestral wisdom for a contemporary global audience—producing and interpreting scientific data is one of the most effective ways to do this.”

The 14 articles explored uses of biocultural restoration in managing streams, forests, nearshore fisheries, traditional food systems, and crop diversity. Two articles involving the He‘eia Research Reserve highlighted restoring a fishpond and producing food that supports the local ecosystem and traditional culture.

More than a third of the authors are of Native Hawaiian ancestry, each paper had at least one Native Hawaiian author, and several papers had a Hawaiian lead author. A majority of authors are women, and two papers were solely authored by women.

The issue was compiled by an interdisciplinary research group that included the He‘eia Research Reserve, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the nonprofit Kua‘aina ‘Ulu Auamo, and several community and cultural organizations. The Hawai‘i Community Foundation supported publication costs. (2019)

Partners: Hawai‘i Community Foundation, He‘eia Research Reserve, University of Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology, Kua‘aina ‘Ulu Auamo, Native Hawaiian communities