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Astrophysicist Paul Coleman and expert ocean navigator Kalepa Baybayan visited the Exploratorium as advisors to our Polynesian Navigation project—a large-scale Web resource (launching April 2010) that will feature the astounding navigation practices of the Pacific Islanders, who were expertly navigating the Pacific thousands of years before the arrival of Europeans.
Paul Coleman works at the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, where he concentrates on the large-scale structure of the universe. Kalepa Baybayan is an expert navigator who mentors Hawaiian youth in native navigation practices. Both men are native Hawaiians. We spoke with them about traditional navigation practices, the balance between science and spirituality from a native perspective, and the benefits of being grounded in one’s culture.
Greenland, icebergs in the Disko Bay near Ilulissat; shot from the vessel Katak, under the midnight sun. Scenery of Ilulissat from a boat, the Katak. Ice bergs in the Disko Bay outside of Ilulissat. Also shot of boat motoring by icebergs. Greenland, Iceberg shots taken from a boat (in the foreground in 3 shots), in the Disko Bay near Ilulissat, under the midnight sun. Climate researcher Billy D'Andrea and colleagues explore the remote "back lakes" of Greenland.