University of Hawaii to Establish Indigenous Data Hub

University of Hawaii to Establish Indigenous Data Hub

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The university plans to launch a program to support up to 10 community-based innovation pilot projects which will draw from traditional indigenous knowledge and practices to preserve local ecosystems.

The University of Hawaii is planning to build an indigenous data science hub with a “living laboratory” to advance ecological preservation efforts by community members, a recent university announcement said.

According to UH Office of Indigenous Innovation Director Kamuela Enos, the new hub will be located on a UH campus that has yet to be decided, at a research center and living scientific laboratory on Hawaii Island that brings together academic experts, community leaders, indigenous practitioners, students and government officials to develop sustainability solutions rooted in ancestral knowledge and indigenous practices. He said it will try to supplement preservation efforts with data visualization and technology-driven research, focusing on energy security, food security and place-based learning.

“Native Hawaiians especially were able to be self-sufficient on the most remote set of islands on the face of the Earth, and the systems that were created and our practices are still alive in our communities,” he said. “The key point we want to make is, indigenous practice is data science. Their whole ability to survive meant that they had to read data points in their living environment and calibrate their whole society toward living in the carrying capacity of an ecosystem, and that if kids fish and hunt, they’re data scientists.”

Enos said the hub will be designed in partnership with Create X, described on its own website as a laboratory at the University of Hawaii at West O’ahu for students to showcase their work “at the intersection of media, computation, culture, art and science.” He added that the hub aims to show that “indigenous practice is intrinsic.”

“Rural kids often feel marginalized in STEM spaces. We want to meet them where they’re at and position their cultural identity and practices as sciences that were refined over millenniums that allowed them to not deplete all their resources,” he said.


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  1. Indigenous empirical knowledge is a key to designing and implementing impact full conservation projects , The local circumstances and forest evolution dynamics such as how long to takes for certain trees to grows to maturity total forest transition from degraded farm land to secondary forest strobes to dense primary forests,, The indigenous people understand the transition and the forest changing process which varies from location to locations based on climatic differences

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