SCI 260B : Polynesian Voyaging and Stewardship

This course focuses on the fundamentals of voyaging and the impact of human activity on the environment of Hawai’i, with emphasis on Kāne‘ohe Bay and the Windward coast. An interdisciplinary approach is used in blending the traditions of Polynesian culture, history and skills with modern science and technology. Topics covered include Hawaiian studies, astronomy, geology, oceanography, meteorology, marine biology, ethnobotany and archaeology of Polynesia and Hawai’i.


Credit for SCI 160A or SCI 160B or consent of instructor


SCI 260L

Course Outcomes

  • Identify the remaining two of the four recognized star lines used for navigation.
  • Contrast and compare wayfinding, celestial navigation and GPS.
  • Discuss and explain the lunar phases and the causes and effects of tides.
  • Explain and apply the physics of sailing, as related to Bernoulli’s principle and Newtonian physics.
  • Discuss the settlement of Hawai‘i with emphasis on the Kāne‘ohe Bay area, including place names and voyaging chiefs.
  • Apply the basic concepts in oceanography and meteorology, especially of the Pacific area.
  • Apply basic sailing and navigational skills to prepare and carry out a sail plan.

Course Details