An ocean of knowledge: Pacific seafaring, cultural survival and sustainability

Event date(s):
Wed, 10/18/2017 to Thu, 10/19/2017

What: Workshop and symposium on the searfaring traditions of the Pacific Island cultures

Where: McCormack Film Screening Room and Room 1030 of the Humanities Gateway, UC Irvine, Irvine, CA 92697

When: October 18 and 19

More information:

This interdisciplinary workshop/symposium planned for October 18 and 19, 2017 at UCI focuses on the remarkable – but almost lost –navigation and seafaring traditions of the peoples who traversed and settled one-third of the world. The event will consider the centrality of seafaring for Pacific Island cultures, focusing on the intersections of history, climate science, cultural survival, and Indigenous sustainability.

The event will include a keynote, four thematic sessions, two film nights, two receptions, and a visit to the campus proa (sakman) building project Orthogonal. Keynote speaker, anthropologist Marianne (Mimi) George, has for 25 years worked with the people of the eastern Solomon Islands to help save their navigation and boat building through the Vaka Taumako Project.

  • Mario Borja, CHE’LU (Chamorro Hands in Education Links Unity).
  • Dr Kristen Davis, Assistant Professor, Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine
  • Dr Judy Flores, Research Associate, Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC), the University of Guam
  • Eric Metzgar, founder and director at Triton Films, Ventura, California
  • Angelo O’Connor Villagomez, Pew Bertarelli Ocean Legacy, The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • Pete J. Perez, Executive Director of 500 Sails on Saipan, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands,
  • Dr Larry Raigetal with Waa’gey from Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia.
  • Antonio Piailug + John Castor, leaders of the canoe and navigation program for the Department of of Community and Cutlural Affairs for the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas (CNMI)
  • Dr François Primeau, Professor, Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine 


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