Hawai'i conservation alliance

2010 Best Student Poster Presentation

Mapping Nearshore Currents of the Big Island Through Personal Interviews

Noelani Puniwai
University of Hawaii, United States

A significant priority in any data compilation effort is in the access and identification of pertinent data sources. While trying to create a model of near shore oceanographic variables for Hawai‘i Island, I looked at existing ocean current maps, ocean models, and satellite imagery. Yet, no models on current strength and direction exist at the scale of .1 to 10 kilometers near the shores of Hawai‘i Island. These data sources gather more regionally scaled data and lack the necessary and site specific detail needed for near shore locations. Seeing this "data" need, I have attempted to gather the required information through interviewing ocean users and transferring the information into a GIS raster catalog.

Along with addressing a current management data gap, this project is tackling a problem of representation and communication of knowledge and the transfer of this knowledge into a technologically rigorous yet familiar structure. Mapping of recollections, currents, and associated memories is a long and complex process and there are no guidelines on how to accomplish this while ensuring transparency of the source and context in the final raster image. The images presented here are a sample of the on-going process and show different techniques available to represent the information gathered and the different levels of analysis conducted.