This project seeks to transform marine biology from a “field-based science” that positions researchers as separate from the ecosystems they study to a “community-embedded science” that recognizes the fundamental connections between marine life and human communities and cultures. This innovative project will train early career scientists in establishing and maintaining reciprocal relationships with local communities throughout their professional careers. Additionally, improving communication between the scientific workforce and the public increases trust around science-related policies.
Using place-based methodologies in Hawaiʻi, students will be immersed in a community-based research partnership at the Heʻeia National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR). An intensive two-week period immediately prior to the students’ first fall semester incorporates several interrelated components.
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