Midway Atoll serves as the “window” to Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, but its remoteness makes it difficult to bring educational groups to the atoll. An educator’s workshop is held on Midway annually, with the goal of providing an experience and knowledge teachers and community leaders can disseminate more broadly back at home. Colleges and universities also are encouraged to bring classes in marine ecosystems to Midway; Duke University offered such a course this year.
In keeping with the Monument’s goal of bringing the place to the people rather than the people to the place, we are exploring ways to use telepresence technologies such as real-time video transmission, underwater video cameras, virtual field trips, and website interfaces for educational purposes.
Our visitor program also seeks to foster public awareness of the importance and sensitivity of remote atoll ecosystems. Guided tours interpret both the biological and historic importance of Midway and Papahānaumokuākea, and visitors also learn of the cultural significance of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands for Native Hawaiians.