Plants of Kaho‘olawe: A Bi-lingual Digital Resource
Katie L. Kamelamela, Michael B. Thomas, and Tom Ranker
University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, Botany Department, Honolulu, HI
Native Hawaiian culture is heavily dependent upon biological resources, primarily plant resources. Much of the contemporary biological knowledge about Kaho‘olawe is available only in English and not presented in Hawaiian, an official language of the State of Hawai‘i. A new biological plant database and digital collection of plants of Kaho‘olawe was developed to increase general access to herbarium specimens and related digital plant photographs. Through utilizing historically published literature, the online Hawaii Ecosystem at Risk (HEAR) project, and consultation with the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission, 242 vascular plant species (61 families) were identified. Species names were updated utilizing the International Taxonomic Integrated System and HEAR digital photographs were connected to the database when available. In the Joseph F. Rock Herbarium an internal search for herbarium specimens was conducted producing 73% of the total plants of Kaho‘olawe list. Digital images were created of each representative specimen. A database model was developed for dissemination of the plants of Kaho‘olawe online interface including presentation of taxonomic plant information, descriptions, digital photographs and images of herbarium specimens. The English web site interface terms were translated to complete the development of a Hawaiian language interface. Resulting from this project is a functional bi-lingual digital library, evaluation data, a standard methodology for compiling previously documented biological data and increased awareness and use of the library reference collection. This bi-lingual model supports institutions that prioritize empowering native speakers.
2011 Poster presentation at the Hawaii Conservation Conference, August 2-4th