A&B Foundation and Matson Navigation Company support future ocean explorers

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications, University of Hawaii Foundation
Posted: Jul 13, 2011

Photo courtesy of ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center
Photo courtesy of ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center
HILO – University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i received a $7,500 gift from the Alexander & Baldwin Foundation and its subsidiary Matson Navigation Company in support of the navigation and wayfinding skills workshop at ‘Imiloa focused on training crew members of Hawai’i’s voyaging community.
The fourth annual crew training workshops, named ‘Imi Na‘auao, focused its primary activities at ‘Imiloa and moved to oceanside venues for observation and coastal sailing. Chad “Kalepa” Baybayan, master wayfinder and ‘Imiloa navigator-in-residence, served as the program’s lead instructor and was joined by senior members from the ‘Ohana Wa‘a voyaging community. ‘Imi Na‘auao is a collaborative effort of the statewide voyaging community and provided an opportunity to engage the broader community in the culture, history and legacy of Hawai‘i’s mariner ancestors. The donation funded program necessities such as resource books, food and transportation for aspiring navigators and crew.
The seven-day workshop was launched in March 2007 to guide high school and college students in developing navigation and seamanship skills while exploring relevant connections to science and culture. Teachers, community educators, environmental proponents and active members for the voyaging community came together and mentored the workshop participants.
The Alexander & Baldwin Foundation’s initial gift of $7,500 in 2008 helped establish the much-needed framework for this initiative. ‘Imi Na‘auao’s success over the past four years continue to inspire and educate future navigators and the community.
“Since the inception of the modern day revival of voyaging in the mid 1970s, the voyaging community has experienced phenomenal growth with new voyaging organizations established across communities in Hawai‘i and parts of Polynesia,” said Baybayan. “The growth of voyaging organizations is a direct result of today's communities demanding programs that engage multi-aged learners in an experience that is challenging, nurturing, impactful, and conducted in a dynamic and relevant environment. On a voyaging canoe, where values, language, and critical thinking skills all come together in hands-on way, programs like ‘Imi Na‘auao are helping to inspire and engage people in science, technology, engineering and math in ways we never imagined. We appreciate Alexander & Baldwin and Matson’s commitment to this important mission and are proud to continue the voyage.”
For more information on how you can support the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center, please call Nico Verissimo at (808) 969-9732 or nverissimo@imiloahawaii.org.
Photo Caption (left to right): Kaimana Barcarse, Aha Punana Leo Honuakai; Russell Chin, Matson Navigation Company; Chad Kalepa Baybayan, associate director & navigator-in-residence, ‘Imiloa; Ka‘iu Kimura, executive director, ‘Imiloa; Chad ‘Onoihi Paishon, ‘Ohana Wa‘a; Kawika Eskaran, ‘Ohana Wa‘a; Kamoa‘e Walk, ‘Ohana Wa‘a
The University of Hawai‘i Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawai‘i System. Our mission is to unite our donors’ passions with the University of Hawai‘i's aspirations to benefit the people of Hawai‘i and beyond. We do this by raising private philanthropic support, managing private investments and nurturing donor and alumni relationships. www.uhfoundation.org
The University of Hawai‘i at Hilo is a comprehensive university with five degree-granting colleges, six master’s programs and two doctoral programs. UH Hilo strives to integrate culture and science, offer hands-on learning opportunities to its students and use the Island of Hawai‘i as a natural learning laboratory. Enrollment has doubled since 1980 to nearly 4,000 students coming from all fifty states and more than 40 countries. Please visit www.uhh.hawaii.edu.
‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i is a world-class informal science education center located on the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo campus. ‘Imiloa is a place of life-long learning where the power of Hawai‘i’s cultural traditions, its legacy of exploration and the wonders of astronomy come together to provide inspiration and hope for generations. The Center’s interactive exhibits, 3D full dome planetarium, native landscape, and programs and events engage children, families and the local community in the wonders of science and technology found in Hawai‘i. It is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). For more information, visit the website at www.imiloahawaii.org or call (808) 969-9703.