This website provides information for Botany 444: Ethnoecology and Conservation (formerly Ecological Ethnobotany), a class at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa which forms part of the core of the Ethnobotany Track within the Botany Department.

In 2012 this class is being taught as a 9-day intensive, in conjunction with the Conservation Ethnobiology Field School on Kaua‘i, which follows immediately thereafter, but participation in one is not dependent on the other.  Students will be expected to read and comment on a set of scholarly papers in the month before the class.  The course itself will combine field surveys with directed data analysis to explore how ethnoecological theories and methodologies can be applied to contemporary problems.

In this course we will explore the links between traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), traditional/cultural resource management practices (TRM), biodiversity conservation, and health. Students will read and comment on a series of assigned readings before the course starts. The course period (Feb 10-Feb 18th inclusive) will be focused on field experiments aimed at exploring key concepts in the readings, and providing students with hands-on experience in research design, data collection, and data analyses and interpretation. Our research projects will take place in the intertidal zone, forests, farmers markets and community gardens.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to describe the principles and diversities of traditional ecological knowledge and resource management systems (TEK and TRM)
  2. Students will be able to describe some of the links between TEK, TRM and biodiversity conservation and community health
  3. Students will be able to discuss how TEK and TRM can be applied or integrated into contemporary conservation and ecological restoration programs. 
  4. Students will be able to design and carry out basic ethnoecology field experiments, including assessments of species abundance, population structure, and species richness, diversity and composition.


Pages with contributions from members of the Spring 2012 class are now available only to them.