Hawaiian voyaging canoe Hokulea sailing into the sunset off the coast of Hawaiʻi

Our Hawaiʻi portfolio

Hōkūleʻa in Auke Bay, Juneau, Alaska

In June 2023, ASU was invited to participate in the Global Launch of the Polynesian Voyaging Society's Moananuiākea Voyage. The week-long event, held in Juneau on the traditional lands of the A’akw Kwaan, honored the 31-year relationship between PVS and the native peoples of Southeast Alaska. For more information, see the Hana Hou! article linked below.

ASU hosts PVS in San Diego

Guests at ASUʻs event in San Diego

On November 13th, ASU and the ASU Foundation hosted local alumni, friends, and donors at reception to welcome the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) to San Diego at the Intercontinental Hotel. This event celebrated the completion of the first section of PVS' Moananuiākea voyage, which started in June 2023 in Juneau Alaska, and will eventually circumnavigate the Pacific Ocean. The voyaging canoe Hōkūle‘a will be returning to Hawaiʻi from San Deigo.

Hawaiʻi Community College & MyPath2ASU

Hawaiʻi Community College and Arizona State University have established a Universal Articulation agreement. This partnership reaffirms the commitment of both institutions to supporting academic preparedness and growing an ecosystem of transfer student success. Through this collaboration, students can expect a seamless transition to the university and receive the support essential for student success. The Hawaiʻi Community College MyPath2ASU® transfer experience is available to both students and the staff that supports them. MyPath2ASU® ensures that the courses a student completes at Hawaiʻi community college align with ASU's requirements. The transfer planning tool identifies the courses that directly apply to ASU majors, saving students and money by ensuring a smooth credit transfer process and minimizing loss of credit between institutions.

Voyaging-based education with the Polynesian Voyaging Society

Traditional Hawaiian Voyaging canoe Hokulea off the coast of Hawaiʻi

ASU is a major education partner of the Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS). In collaboration with Kamehameha Schools, the Bishop Museum, and other Native Hawaiian organizations, ASU supports PVS' mission to educate 10 million navigators and encourage people around the world to “Malama Honua” - to care for our earth.

Energy and Sustainability Collaboration

ASU LightWorks

ASU LightWorks® and UH Mānoa Institute of Sustainability and Resilience are working together to explore the transformation of energy systems, including engineering, economics and governance. Collaboration includes intellectual and academic exchange as well as practical project applications.

Energy Advice, County of Hawaiʻi

Kristen Mayes

Since 2014, ASU Professors Kris Mayes, Nathan Johnson and staff member Maren Mahoney have provided technical and policy advice and assistance to the County of Hawaiʻi -- the government of the Big Island of Hawaiʻi -- on energy issues. In particular, ASU has assisted County of Hawaiʻi in preparing briefs, comments, testimony and other official filings before the Hawaiʻi Public Utility Commission on matters ranging from the proposed merger between Nextera and the Hawaiʻi Electric Companies (HECO); integrated grid planning; performance based regulation; and the electrification of transportation. Professors Mayes and Johnson have also presented at several high profile Hawaiʻi energy conferences, including the Maui Energy Conference, and Verge.

Kamehameha Schools/ASU Student Scholarships

ASU student graduating

Kamehameha Schools (KS) and ASU have partnered to provide student scholarship opportunities to Hawai’i residents who enroll full time at ASU’s Tempe Campus, with priority focus on sustainability majors.

Kamehameha Schools interactive Virtual Field Trips


The Interactive Virtual Field Trip (iVFT) is an adaptive learning experience that invites the learner to interact with the environment through technology. This iVFT features two heiaus (Hawaiian site of worship) on the Kona coast of Hawai’i. The iVFT focuses on the cultural importance of the heiaus and incorporates STEM activities that invite the learner to interact with the environment and learn more about the science of their ancestors.

Sustainability Leaders Speaker series

Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability sign and partners standing in front of the sign

The ASU Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability partners with the East-West Center in Honolulu to promote a regular Sustainability Leaders speaker series, hosted at the East-West Center, to educate both students and the broader community on key sustainability issues. Past speakers include former Governor of Colorado Bill Ritter on renewable energy, Millenial financial activist Katie Hoffman on the trillion dollar opportunity to solve climate change, SoftBank Energy Chair Manoj Kohli on the future of energy systems and the Secretary General of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Martin Chungong on the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Indigenous art

A presenter on a stage talking to young students

A partnership between the Office of American Indian Initiatives and the School of Art to bring in well-known Kanaka artist and muralist Meleanna Meyer to work with ASU students in creating a series of murals. The goal is to continue to assert the importance of place as it relates to ASU and our work with and for Indigenous communities. This is hopefully the first Indigenous Artist in Residence as part of a broader global program being developed.

Cultural Exchange: Dance - Hawaiian hula

Hawaiian hula dancers

Halau O Kekuhi, in partnership with the Edith Kanaka’ole Foundation is a halau lula classical dance company that is the center of cultural knowledge for EKF. EKF is anchored and radiates from this halau that draws from eight generations of kumu hula status. Halau O Kekuhi visited ASU in April 2018 & September 1999. At ASU Gammage Halau O Kekuhi taught aihaa style of hula dance and oli style of chant in workshops with ASU students, Pacific Islander and non- Pacific Islander community members. Over 250 people, some traveling from around the country took part in the community workshop. This was the Halau’s second time here with ASU Gammage after their groundbreaking production of Kamehameha, supported by the National Endowment for the Arts was presented at ASU Gammage in September 1999.

Cultural Exchange: Music, hula and chant

Keali’i Reichel playing a guitar

Kealiʻi Reichel is one of the most recognized and popular musicians in Hawaiʻi. He is also a Kumu Hula and founded his own hula school, Halau Ke’alaokamaile, along with being the founding director of Punana Leo O Maui, the Hawaiian language immersion school. Keali‘i retains his initial goal of presenting new songs in the Hawaiian language for hula students, and works to educated non-Hawaiian natives about the culture and what it has to offer. During his ASU Gammage hosted Arizona visit, Kealiʻi partnered with the Arizona Aloha Festival to provide our community with impactful learning about the traditional practices of hula and chant. Pacific Islander community members from as far as Chicago, Oklahoma and Washington State came to participate in Mr. Reichel’s workshops.

Bridging cultural divides through dance


During his ASU Gammage engagement in March 2010 Keo reached out to multiple youth and family communities, including middle school students and refugees from Myanmar utilizing hula and hip hop hula to bridge cultural divide, explore cultural commonalities and understanding. Dance traditions from both Myanmar and Hawai’i were also explored which created a special connection communication between Mr. Woolford and the students. Keo’s dance and spoken word one-man production, I Land presented at ASU Gammage, about finding one’s culture and identity in an unfamiliar place was a powerful statement on embracing cultural origins. It allowed each audience member to experience the production on their own terms in a very moving fashion.

Hawaiian Mele and preservation of indigenous language and literacy

Raiatea Helm

Remarkable vocal artist originally from Moloka’i, Raiatea Helm performed at ASU Kerr Cultural Center and met with local Hawaiian leaders and ASU Gammage/Kerr donors in April 2013. Her focus on preserving Hawaiian culture was a core theme of the evening which served as important piece of cultural education for much of the audience and a point of pride for the native Hawaiians in attendance. Raiatea’s cultural contribution besides her accomplished performing career and interpretations of older Hawaiian songs often in leo ki‘eki‘e style, is her advocacy on behalf of literacy and preservation of Hawaiian languages in schools and communities throughout the Islands.

Social responsibility in the seafood sector

Conservation International logo

ASU and Conservation International (CI) are collaborating to improve social responsibility in the seafood sector, working with businesses, governments, and other stakeholders to develop social assurance systems that protect workers rights, ensure equity, and improve food and livelihood security. Examples include natural capital valuation and ecology to ensure a comprehensive framework to improve both the social and ecological sustainability of seafood. Dr. John N. ("Jack") Kittinger is the senior director of the Global Fisheries and Aquaculture Program in Conservation International's Center for Oceans and a Professor of Practice in Arizona State University’s Center for Biodiversity Outcomes, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability.

Pacific Ridge to Reef Program

An island meeting the ocean

PRRP’s mission is to generate knowledge on socio-ecological processes that affect the long-term sustainability of terrestrial and reef ecosystems at watershed to island scales. A combination of multi-temporal satellite, high-resolution aerial, and tactical field measurements are used to generate geospatial models of current ecosystem composition, as well as forecasted conditions, to inform conservation, management and policy decision-makers.

ASU Design Studios

Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts logo

ASU design studios on three sites on the Big Island of Hawai'i. The three sites include: Kamehameha Schools (Hilo area site to study the biokinetics of the rainforest), Waimea native homestead community cultural and community center to align with circular economy goals and The Kohala Institute

Hawai'i Model Ecosystem Program

Satellite photo of the island of Hawaii

The Big Island of Hawai'i harbors 25 of the world’s 35 bioclimatic zones, and more than 250 distinct soil types. These climate and geological extremes, coupled with enormous variation in societal settings, provides a unique opportunity to explore human-environment interactions in a fixed 2.5 million acre island environment. The Hawaii Model Ecosystem Program has facilitated numerous discoveries ranging from the fundamentals of ecosystem functioning to the generalizable impacts of humans on the environment.

Spectranomics Program

Spectranomics database graph

Mapping the biodiversity and functioning of forests and coral reefs is critical to understanding how best to conserve and manage them in a changing world. Advanced airborne and satellite mapping technology has reached performance levels required for operational monitoring of forest and reef biodiversity. However, spectral-chemical libraries are needed to further advance our understanding and to make maximum use of the technology. The approach called Spectranomics integrates canopy chemical and spectral properties in a phylogenetic (tree-of-life) context that advances current and future mapping techniques. The Spectranomics team has developed the world’s first Spectranomics Database, which is a critical step required to support regional and global biodiversity mapping efforts in the coming decades.

Reefscape Program

Scuba diver underwater at a reef

The Reefscape Project explores coral reefs at new biogeographic scales for science, conservation, management, and resource policy. The project is a multifaceted initiative combining extensive field work, high-tech remote sensing from aircraft and satellites, plus science communication and community outreach. Current missions are focused on coral reef assessment for the State of Hawaii and developing a global coral reef monitoring system using the world’s largest constellation of Earth-orbiting satellites.

Ala Wai Watershed Collaboration

Artists drawing of Ala Wai Watershed Collaboration (AWWC)

The Ala Wai Watershed Collaboration (AWWC) is a diverse network of stakeholders coordinated by local sustainability hub Hawaiʻi Green Growth aiming to reduce risks of catastrophic natural disasters and climate change impacts, and improve community livability and opportunities for cultural connections throughout the Ala Wai watershed. The AWWC is an example of a comprehensive ridge-to-reef approach to implement Hawaiʻi’s Aloha+ Challenge goals and develop scalable resilience models that advance the UN SDGs and Paris Agreement. Hawai‘i Green Growth is partnering with the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability and Design School on integrated watershed-wide designs and community-based green infrastructure projects that support the collaborative AWWC vision. The ASU Design School is currently working with the UH Office of Sustainability, UH Mānoa Institute of Sustainability and Resilience, and the UH Mānoa School of Architecture’s Community Design Center to partner with appropriate local people and programs working on issues in the Ala Wai Watershed.

Zócalo Public Square and Daniel K. Inouye Institute “Pau Hana” Partnership

Four people on a stage during a presentation

Founded in Los Angeles in 2003, Zócalo Public Square is an ASU Knowledge Enterprise. We syndicate our journalism to 290 media outlets worldwide and have hosted more than 500 events in 23 cities in the U.S and beyond, including New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Houston, San Francisco, Shanghai, Guadalajara, London, and Berlin. We are a non-profit organization that frequently partners with educational, cultural, and philanthropic institutions, as well as public agencies. The Pau Hana Partnership is an ongoing journalism and live event series in Honolulu exploring Hawai‘i's past, present, and future. Past event topics include Hawai‘i's voter participation rates, the U.S. mainland's fascination with Hawai‘i's food, and Hawai‘i's fight against climate change.

Skysong Innovation and University of Hawaiʻi partnership

Skysong Innovations University of Hawai'i logo

Skysong Innovations is the exclusive intellectual property management and technology transfer organization for Arizona State University. The organization includes experts in all areas of technology commercialization, from IP identification, protection and marketing to startup formation and funding. Skysong Innovations has partnered with the University of Hawaiʻi to use those same commercialization resources to promote technologies developed at the island system’s 10 diverse campuses. Activities undertaken in partnership include: - Invention Disclosure assessment - Intellectual Property management - Technology marketing - License negotiations - Startup acceleration, including participation in the ASU and SoCal Startup Mills

Hawai‘i Green Growth Local2030 Hub

Hawai'i Green Growth logo

Hawai‘i Green Growth is the first UN SDG Local2030 island hub and the first in the Asia-Pacific. This is an innovative network that brings together the UN system, local actors, and national governments to collaboratively develop and scale local solutions to global challenges and achieve the SDGs. As a Local2030 Hub, Hawai‘i Green Growth develops local solutions to global sustainability challenges, building on island culture and values, and indigenous knowledge. With the Global Island Partnership, this hub highlights islands as laboratories for innovation that catalyze and scale integrated ridge-to-reef projects, cutting across the energy, water, food, and urban nexus. The Hawai‘i Green Growth Local-Global Working Group is co-chaired by Board Members Amanda Ellis of ASU Global Institute of Sustainability and Kaeo Duarte of Kamehameha Schools to support strategic local-global partnerships and engagement for the Hawai‘i Green Growth Local2030 Hub.