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Weaving Technology and Tradition: Mapping Key Sections of He’eia Ahupua’a to Inform Mālama ʻĀina

In partnership with Paepae O Heʻeia, Papahana Kuaola, Kakoʻo ʻOiwi, The Pacific Islands Climate Science Center, The Nature Conservancy, NOAA and HCA, a group of scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey came to Heʻeia last October to collect coastal topographic and bathymetric data to assist with the understanding and management of the ahupuaʻa.  Heʻeia was recently designated as a site in the U.S. Federal Resilient Lands and Waters Initiative, making this location an important collaborative opportunity between DOI, EPA, NOAA, and local Hawaii partners for conservation and restoration to make coastal landscapes more resilient to climate change. 

The data was acquired using high accuracy elevation surveys using RTK (realtime kinematic)-GPS, Total Station, a terrestrial ground-based LIDAR (light detection and ranging) scanner, and a new surveying technique called “Structure From Motion” which is a low-cost photogrammetry technique that uses many photographs of an area taken at multiple angles to create 3D images.  These extremely precise mapping methods characterized the varied landscapes across the Heʻeia watershed, resulting in some amazing imagery of the fishpond walls and mangroves.  Sites surveyed were at Kakoʻo ʻOiwi, Paepae O Heʻeia, and Papahana Kuaola.  These sites were surveyed to properly develop methods to monitor geomorphic change within stream valleys and coastal areas.  Come join us to hear what was learned in Heʻeia and how the data collected can help local organizations better manage our lands and how this field experience in Hawaiʻi has informed the USGSʻs survey work in other US-associated Pacific Islands