Recent study of human behavior in nearshore environments subject of free Zoom webinar

Kika Santana (left) surveys Marie Janiszewski (right) as part of a study of reef users on Maui. The survey was conducted to learn about the respondents’ reef-based activities, perceptions of reef health, social-psychological indicators (such as place attachment and self-efficacy), and pro-environmental behavioral intentions.

Maui Nui Marine Resource Council invites the public to a free Zoom webinar at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday to study the social and psychological factors that influence human behavior in Maui’s nearshore environments, based on a recent joint study conducted in West Maui by Polanui Hiu, The Nature Conservancy, and Stanford University.

Attendees will meet Francisca (Kika) Santana, the leader of the study and a fourth year Ph.D. candidate at Stanford’s Emmett Interdisciplinary Program in Environment and Resources. Her team surveyed 300 reef users and learned about their reef-based activities, perceptions of reef health, their social-psychological indicators (such as place attachment and self-efficacy), and pro-environmental behavioral intentions.

Alana Yurkanin, Maui Marine Project Manager at The Nature Conservancy, will also share her insights on the survey results.

During the webinar, viewers will be transported to Polanui, a small, popular beach in Lahaina, protected by an offshore reef. For generations, this reef sustained Hawaiian families with its abundance of fish and edible limu (algae). Sadly, that abundance has vanished and Polanui now has the lowest fish biomass in Hawaii, meaning its fish are smaller and fewer than all other sites surveyed across the state.

Viewers will meet Ekolu Lindsey and the Polanui Hiu, a local community group that he co-founded which works to restore the resources and Hawaiian traditions once practiced along this shore.

The webinar’s guest emcee is Darla Palmer-Ellingson, local radio show host of the public affairs program, Island Environment 360, made possible by H-Hawaii Media.

“Let’s learn together to find ways to be more effective in bringing about positive change for our reefs, both now while tourism is largely absent, and later, when visitors begin to visit Maui again,” says Amy Hodges, programs and operations manager at Maui Nui Marine Resource Council. “This free webinar is offered as part of our Know Your Ocean Speaker Series, offered online due to COVID-19.”

Maui Nui Marine Resource Council thanks the County of Maui Mayor’s Office of Economic Development for helping to make this presentation possible.

To register for the webinar, visit bit.ly/reefcare. After registering, participants will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining this webinar.


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