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Kaloko-Honokohau tests educational curriculum on the water cycle in West Hawaii

May 18, 2012
Andrew Warnock, PH.D., explains the water cycle curriculum 'kit' to park staff. NPS photo by Harrell Baker

On May 7th, Park staff learned experiments in precipitation, evaporation, run-off and other processes related to how the water cycle works and how this can  be employed to more effectively teach these basic concepts to school children.

 This was ‘on the job training’ for staff inorder to teach water education to  school children who visit the park. Teachers will be able to borrow and  use items from a ‘travelling trunk’ to bring to the classroom and teach lessons  about the water cycle.   Increasingly the park is concerned about the development around the park and how this development affects water quality and quantity. 

 Although there is no above ground water  in this dry and barren environment (the park receives less than 10’’ of water a year), the park’s water cycle is unique in that fresh water flows underground and surfaces in anchialine or brackish pools throughout the park. This water source allowed the areas original inhabitants, native Hawaiians, to successfully survive in a lava flow.   These pools are also critical habitat for the animal inhabitants of the park; such as the endangered opae ula (red shrimp) and the orange black damselfly.

 This joint project was developed by Colorado State University and the National Park Service’s Natural Resource Program Center in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Eric Andersen, Chief of Interpretation and Mike Whatley, Chief of Education and Outreach, Natural Resources work with Matt Warnock on a water related activity. NPS photo by Harrell Baker

Kona Jokiel and Superintendent Kathy Billings participate in an activity to determine humidity. NPS photo by Harrell Baker
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