SCI 210L: Polynesian Voyaging: Seamanship and Stewardship Lab

Credits 1 Lab Hours 3

Laboratory/field trip course designed to acquire seamanship skills and apply knowledge of astronomy, geology, oceanography, meteorology, marine biology, ethnobotany and archaeology through sailing and environmental exploring activities. Laboratory/field trip course is also designed to apply knowledge of Polynesian skills and modern science to the impact on the environment due to human settlement, especially in Hawai‘i. 


1. Minimum water skills and survival requirements Student must demonstrate an: -Ability to swim a minimum of 500 yards in the open ocean using any strokes, except backstroke. -Ability to tread water for 30 minutes in the open ocean. (Note: Accredited water skill and survival tests passed within the past year are acceptable upon instructor approval. The swim test must be completed by the date of the first sailing lab.)

2. Health Clearance: from a licensed physician must be provided. (Note: Health clearance submitted within the past year is acceptable upon instructor approval. Health clearance must be submitted by the date of the first sailing lab.)

Course Outcomes
  • Apply both traditional Polynesian skills and modern scientific methods when engaged in sailing and environmental exploring activities.
  • Apply basic sailing and navigational skills to prepare and carry out a sailing plan.
  • Apply water safety skills.
  • Conduct basic canoe operations, including rigging, sailing and maintenance.
  • Identify Polynesian-introduced plants and native plants that are valuable for voyaging and discuss their value as food source, medicine, building material, and cordage.
  • Identify common marine organisms found in Hawaii and know what to do when stung or bitten, and know which marine organisms is suitable as a food source.
  • Respond to navigational and environmental problems using knowledge of constellations, wayfinding, geology, oceanography, weather forecasting, and ecology.