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Mo`omomi Meandering

By Maluhia Mendes-Medeiros, with Kealakai Alcon
From a series by O Hina I Ka Malama (Molokai High School Hawaiian immersion students) which focuses on place-based scientific inquiry.

Welina mai me ke aloha e na makamaka ‘o Molokai nei. ‘O Maluhia Mendes-Medeiros ko’u inoa. A ‘o Kealakai Alcon ko’u hoa pakana. I keia makahiki pili ko maua pahana ‘epekema I ka ‘aina ‘o Mo`omomi.

Aloha, my name is Maluhia Mendes-Medeiros. With my partner Kealakai Alcon, we focused our project this year on Mo`omomi.

First quarter we did a project, based upon the limu of Mo`omomi. We were required to create a booklet, model, and power point. We had the privilege of taking a field trip to Mo’omomi to gather specimens for our research.

On our field trip we learned that there are many different species of limu all over our island. We observed how we are losing some native limu and gaining invasives.

We have to keep in mind that we should only take what we need, and preserve for our future generations. The removal of invasive limu is an advantage, because it creates a less stressful environment allowing native limu to re-generate and re-populate.

Limu is one of the main food sources for our native fish. Without limu the life cycle of the oceans ecosystem diminish, and native species as well as many others would die off. It is very important to preserve our limu of Hawaii.

Our second quarter project focused on invertebrates of Mo`omomi. On a return visit we observed invertebrates found along the shoreline and collected specimens such as Sea Cucumbers, Wana, and ‘Opihi. In school we dissected them to observe and study their body parts. Overall this quarter we learned about invertebrate diets, habitats, purposes, and uses.

On a third trip to Mo`omomi we studied fish, so we went diving and saw them in their own habitat. We also observed tide pool fish and gathered some of them to bring back to our classroom aquarium.

We enjoy place-based learning because it allows us to be better involved and engaged in the task at hand. Place based learning allows for hands-on activities providing a more fun learning environment for students, and we learn about our culture and develop Hawaiian skills that our kupuna use. Throughout these trips we learned skills that can help us in our future.

We would like to say mahalo to Mac Poepoe, Mervin Dudoit, and The Hui Malama O Mo’omomi for the transportation and access to the facilities.

Mahalo nui loa no ka ho’olohe ana mai. I na he ninau kau, mai hilahila e noe aku. Mai na Haumana ame na Kumu ‘o ‘O Hina I Ka Malama.

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