Coastal biocultural restoration as a nexus for innovation

Amplifying Biocultural Restoration of Coasts and Waterways

An NSF Convergence Accelerator Workshop

May 13 Opening
2:30-4PM HST

May 14, 15, 17, 2021


In the face of unprecedented challenges, we need Indigenous ecological knowledge to restore the biocultural systems of coasts and waterways.

Practitioner-driven biocultural restoration in Hawaiʻi and around the world offers opportunities to innovate in resilience, data-driven natural resource management, regenerative economies, and inclusive STEM education.

This workshop brings together Indigenous and local communities, scientists, nonprofits, corporations, government, and more to develop project ideas and define priorities for use-inspired research and application centered around the process and practice of biocultural restoration.

National Science Foundation (NSF) Logo
Purple Maiʻa Foundation Logo

If coastal biocultural restoration is the ʻaha (cord / collective vision) of this convergence workshop, the workshop will be composed of four interrelated aho (string / core element) tracks, which will themselves draw in participation from individual aʻa (fiber / collaborators) with domain expertise.



Aho 1: Coastal Biocultural Restoration for Resilience: Food & Flooding

Under climate change and ecological crisis, coastal areas are at risk of flooding and other disasters. At the same time coasts encompass boundary zones that contain biodiversity and can be highly productive of ecosystem services and food for humans. This track explores the twin challenge and potential of coastal biocultural restoration for resilience, highlighting the potential of Indigenous knowledge contributions to hydrology, geomorphology, as well as stewardship of freshwater, brackish, and saltwater ecosystems.

Aho 2: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge of Place with Computational & Network Systems

Indigenous ecological knowledge is the result of living in long-standing relationships with place--relationships characterized by close observation, communication protocols, and reciprocity that have produced well-tested practices. This track explores how Indigenous, observation-based stewardship can inform innovations in areas like sensor system networks, computer vision, and emerging computational innovations such as machine learning, data integration, information management, quantitative analytics, data visualization, and IoT technologies.

Aho 3: Sustainable Development and Coastal Biocultural Restoration

Breaking out of limited frameworks of “preservation,” Indigenous biocultural restoration seeks to achieve positive social and environmental impact through sustainable development and social entrepreneurship. This track considers the economic and social potentials for biocultural interactions between humans and environments that (re)generate circular and/or sustainable economic value for local and regional communities.

Aho 4: Indigenous People in STEM & Resource Management

STEM and resource management fields face severe challenges in diversity, equity, and inclusion of Indigenous peoples. This track considers effective models and opportunities for engaging, retaining, and accelerating Indigenous peoples in STEM and resource management education, training, and innovation through place-based, culturally responsive, and other relevant pedagogies.

Workshop Goals

  • What could we achieve in 1-3 years to amplify coastal biocultural restoration projects via technology, use-inspired research, and application?
  • What scientific disciplines and stakeholders need to be involved for projects to be a success?
  • What are the concerns that need to be addressed for projects to be pono (ex. data sovereignty, IP, ethical/respectful practices, etc.)?

Workshop Format

Day 1 is a 1.5 hour opening session--please attend live if you can.

Days 2, 3, and 4 center on Aho meetings (1.5-3 hours each) where your participation will be active and engaged. Facilitators will guide us in collective sharing, brainstorming, and visioning the future.

How does the workshop work?

This is not your average conference full of passive presentations and panels. We ask that you come prepared to listen, contribute, and connect. Learn About the workshop, and check out the Format, Schedule, and Dependent Care options.




View the final report

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