Date of Graduation

Spring 5-16-2014

Document Access

Project/Capstone - Global access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)


Environmental Management

First Advisor

Kathleen Jennings


Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) is a fairly new area of research that can supplement science research and modern day ecosystem management practices. Indigenous cultures and local communities have been using and passing on TEK in forestry, agricultural, and aquaculture/marine ecosystem management. Through a review of literature, TEK in Hawaiʻi was compared to TEK in other countries. TEK was also compared to modern day ecosystem management practices to determine if TEK could be integrated. In Hawaiʻi an ahupuaʻa, a land transect that cuts the islands in sections from mountain to sea, was an integrated watershed based management system. TEK in ahupuaʻa management systems has been passed down and being revived in Heʻeia, Oʻahu and Puanui, Hawaiʻi. Differing beliefs, goals, a lack of enforcement, and a lack of communication are some of the challenges of integrating TEK into modern day ecosystem management practices. It is possible to integrate TEK, but research, education, and collaboration between communities, researchers, and government agencies are needed in order to perpetuate and integrate TEK in modern day ecosystem management and restoration practices.