Honors Projects for Geography

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    Building Aloha ʻĀina: (Re)connecting to Culture, Place, and Community through Biocultural Volunteering
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2021) Grandinetti, Jocelyn ; Suryanata, Krisna ; Geography
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    The Cultural and Natural History of Kanepu'u, Lana'i and its Potenital for a Natural Area Preserve
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-09-26) Ziegler, Marjorie ; Geography
    HAWAI'I'S NATURAL HISTORY - The Hawaiian Archipelago extends from approximately 18 54' to 28 15' north latitude and 154 40' to 178 15' west longitude. Located in the northern tropics of the Pacific Ocean, the chain of mid-oceanic volcanoes trends northwest to southeast and spans approximately 1,523 mi (2,452 km). The entire archipelago comprises 132 islands, reefs, and shoals. Hawai'i is one of the most isolated land masses in the world. The Marquesas Islands, the nearest tropical high islands, are located 2,400 mi (3,865 km) to the south. It is approximately the same distance to North America, and nearly 5,000 mi (8,052 km) to Asia. Hawai'i's isolation and the availability of many and diverse ecological niches to original colonizing plant and animal species have resulted in high percentages of endemism within the native biota. St. John (1973:4-6) gives a total of 2,734 (apparently an error for 2,744) native flowering plant species and infraspecific taxa, of which 97.5 percent are endemic. In a reclassification of the Hawaiian flora in progress (Wagner et al. in prep.), these figures will differ as many of the current taxa are not recognized by the project. Nevertheless, endemism among Hawaiian plants remains notably high.
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    The Study of an Urban Soil-Loss Equation- Its Use in Predicting Soil Erosion From Urban Construction Sites in Hawaii
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-09-26) Wong, Darryll ; Geography
    How much erosion would occur if the soil at a particular construction site were exposed by extreme bulldozing? How will changes in cover and management affect the rate of erosion? Answers to these questions and others like them are important in planning for the prevention of sediment damage. According to Wischmeier, Johnson, and Cross in 1971 (16), the Universal Soil-Loss Equation now widely used in the continental United States as a guide to sound conservation planning on cropland, can be equally useful in sediment control planning on urban and suburban construction sites with appropriate evaluation of its basic parameters. Up until now the Universal Soil-Loss Equation could not be used on Oahu. This is because the differences in climate and soils here have made the values worked out for the agricultural areas in the continental United States invalid for use on Oahu. With the increasing amount of construction over the years sediment control has become very important. Thus the urban usage of the soil-loss equation here on Oahu would be a great asset in helping planners control sediment damage to coastal waters and lowland areas as well as erosion damage to the uplands.
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    Disaster in the Sahel- Could it Have Been Avoided?
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-09-26) White, Cheryl ; Geography
    Who is responsible for the Sahel disaster? How could such a severe famine occur in the Twentieth Century during this age of modern medicine, the Green Revolution and space technology? The answer, I believe, lies in unchanging human nature. Procrastination, failure to take responsibility, lack of a holistic point of view, greed and indecisiveness are just a few of the human failings that caused a drought to somersault into a famine. While only 'a few people or organizations actually possess the power to aid countries in trouble, must the rest of us be forced to idly stand by while thousands starve? Is there not a way to make those in power see the need for swift action, or are human failings never to be overcome? Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary describes drought as a prolonged period of dryness or a chronic shortage or lack of something. In the case of the Sahel drought from approximately 1967 to 1976 in sub-Saharan Africa, not only was there a lack of rain, but also a chronic shortage of relief planning and aid. There are a myriad of reasons for this oversight many of which will be looked at shortly. First, however, it is important to know exactly what drought is and to realize that there is more than one cause of decreased precipitation. Only by attempting to understand how man's actions have affected weather and how his actions may cause future disturbances such as drought can people make a concerted effort to avoid actions that may cause disasters. It may be too late to avert some phenomenae, in which case, some sort of realistic plan should be implemented to deal with them. In coping with any disaster, it is important to know if it is just a freak occurrence or if it is cyclic in nature. In any planning, the future must be taken into account and planning for drought-stricken areas is no exception.
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    Developing a Large Geographic Information System: A View from the Trenches
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-09-26) Vogt, Susan ; Geography
    This paper explores some of the problems that face the personnel working to develop the State of Hawaii's geographic information system (GIS). It focuses on the role GIS technicians play in the GIS implementation. After exploring some of the problems the GIS staff face on a daily basis, the paper presents several documentation forms that have been developed to help solve these problems.
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    The Effects of Tourism on American Samoa
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-09-26) Swanton, Mary ; Pirie, Peter ; Geography
    American Samoa continues to exist as a potent political reminder to the American people of the consequences attendant upon the formation of entangling alliances. The American-Samoa Treaty of 1878 remains as a legacy of the first evidence of imperialistic purpose behind the public policy of the United states, a public policy which culminated in the acquisition of Hawaii, the Philippines and Guam in the year 1898. Samoa today presents the classic picture of imperial neglect; a carelessly acquired protectorate which is only now beginning to show progress after 67 years of U.S. Navy and U.S. Department of Interior administration. The American government has sought a solution to the economic needs of the Samoan population since 1900. It is the intent of this paper to make a brief study of the most recent attempt to solve those needs-the introduction of a tourist industry. A study in depth may seem premature at this stage, inasmuch as this industry is a relatively new economic way of life for the people of American Samoa, but it is unusual to encounter an opportunity at an early stage to analyze an industry so closely related to western acculturation, yet seemingly so uniquely adapted to the potential of the Samoan people. The process of compiling statistics from the beginning of the industry of tourism and then analyzing the results of this compilation as the summary of this research should be of value to the future serious student of the Samoan’s cultural adaptation to outside influence.
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    Evolving Attitudes toward Water Use on Oahu
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-09-26) Magnier, Mary ; Geography
    The Hawaiian Islands lie in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. For at least the past century, they have been thought of as an oasis of lushness and tropical greenery. However, the lushness that is so important to tourists and residents alike is a fairly new feature of the islands. Except for some windward locations and high areas which routinely experience orographic rainfall, the Hawaiian climate is somewhat dry. In fact, if it were not for the mountain rains, and winter (Kona) storms, the climate would be almost desertlike. In the light of this naturally dry climate, I wondered how water as a resource is perceived by the people that use it, and how it has been viewed over the years by the residents of Oahu. This paper, then, will seek to trace the attitudes of the people living on Oahu, toward water use. Through historical discussions and present day survey methods, it will try to identify the changes in attitude that may have occurred in the past two hundred years. The island of Oahu has been chosen for study for two reasons. First, it is most accessible to the author, and second, it is the most heavily populated of the Hawaiian Islands.
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    Study of Long-Term Climate Change and Plant and Ecosystem Processes in Hawai‘i Using Copper Oxide Chemistry of Organic Sediments
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-09-26) Hsu, Karl ; Beilman, David ; Geography
    Native plant litter from the Pēpē‘ōpae Bog (Moloka‘i) was collected, as well as organic soil cores from Ka‘ala mountain (O‘ahu) and Pēpē‘ōpae, as these sensitive environments are relatively pristine and where organic matter and plant lignin are preserved. The objective of this study was to examine whether plants differ in their lignin chemistry and identify any changes in plant-derived lignin compounds in two contrasting peat profiles. Plant lignin compounds in plant litter and soil profiles were isolated using copper oxide (CuO) extraction to investigate lignin types and the stages of lignin degradation. Studying long-term plant inputs and organic matter decomposition using lignin chemistry was successful; plant lignin concentrations ranged from 421-92,700 μg/ g C, and plants from 660-14,00 μg/ g C. A Principal Components Analysis (PCA) of lignin concentrations results showed diverse and distinct lignin chemistry between plant litter types and soil depths. Lower plants – Dicranopteris and Lycopodiella – consisted of greater p-Hydroxyacetophenone concentrations than other species – Styphelia, Machaerina, Vaccinium, and Metrosideros – which consisted more of S-compounds. Down-core results revealed that these peat-forming ecosystems formed 12,000 (Ka‘ala) and 9500 (Pēpē‘ōpae) years ago, and lignin chemistry suggest woody and vascular plants dominated first, and lower plants dominated later in the Holocene. The drier site at Ka‘ala may also be showing a more sensitive climate response, as its C:N and total lignin concentrations had greater variability compared to the wetter Pēpē‘ōpae site. Further work will be done on these sites for more detailed lignin data and radio-carbon dates.
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    Toward an Optimal Method of Site Selection Encompassing Non-Quantifiable Factors in Housing
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-09-26) Evans, Roger ; Geography
    The Hawaiian people enjoy a great many benefits not available elsewhere in the country. These benefits seem to be the attraction to our shores of a great many visitors each year. Due to their influx of increasingly greater numbers annually, the various State agencies have made an attempt to see their needs are met. One such instance is in the area of housing. While the tourist generally finds an abundance of housing from which to choose during his stay, the permanent resident does not. Housing for the resident is scarce, and partly due to this scarcity, expensive as well. This suggests an inability on the part of the private sector to satisfy the needs of the resident, not only in raw numbers but, in adequacy as well.
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    The Dynamic Representation of Precipitation Data Through the Use of Computer Animation
    (University of Hawaii at Manoa, 2014-09-26) Clendenen, Gordon ; Bridges, K.W. ; Geography
    Hawaii's diverse topography creates a variety of climatic zones within a small physical area (Blumenstock, 1961). There are many descriptions (Krajina, 1963) of these zones, resulting from the existence of an extensive record of climatic and biological measurements. Climate data are particularly well represented. Long-term records are available so that temporal processes can be analyzed. However, the usual climate reports are in a form that averages the temporal data, such as maps of long-term averages (Figure 1). The goal of this project was to make a data display that would show some of the temporal changes in the climate data, with particular emphasis on having a form that is readily interpretable. Today, through the use of computers, it is possible to produce animations of machine-displayed images. The animation expands the data presentation possibilities by allowing the use of sequences of images. In the case of the climate data, this allows the reintroduction of the temporal dynamics. It was hoped that it would reveal patterns that were previously undetected. These new patterns, in turn, might offer greater insight into Hawaii's ecological processes.