THIS COURSE TAKES PLACE IN HAWAII.
Islands play a special role in a variety of scientific disciplines, both as privileged sites of experimentation and as unique objects of study. Islands are places where we can see into Earth's interior, into the depths of the ocean, and into the distant past. They have also been key locations for understanding human societies and building empires in the formerly unreachable. Hawai'i has a number of unusual natural and cultural features that make it a particularly fruitful location for this kind of pursuit. Its marine animals, such as dolphins, can help us understand not only the aquatic environment but also the nature of consciousness and communication. Its indigenous culture still retains a robust presence, providing a way to study how cultures develop in isolation and how they change with outside exposure. This interdisciplinary science course will explore the Hawaiian islands through the perspective of various scientific disciplines such as geology, oceanography, marine biology, geography, ecology, and astronomy, as well as anthropology, evolution, exploration, and climate change.