The Hawai‘i Historical and Archaeological Research Project (H2ARP) is a training and research program that provides archaeological field and historic archival experience focused on the cultural and natural resources of North Kohala, Hawai‘i Island. It is sponsored by the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa and the University of New Mexico. The goal of training is to show students how it is possible to integrate information on the historical, archaeological and natural resources of the area. The main goal of the research program has been to describe and reconstruct traditional Hawaiian agricultural practices within the drainages and on the adjacent ridge tops of windward North Kohala. We attempt to understand the geophysical and climatic effects of resource distribution and how Hawaiians took advantage of these to transport water across the landscape and to build irrigated terraces for the cultivation of kalo (taro) throughout this area. Using historical as well as archaeological materials we also reconstruct the social and political dynamics at different scales of time and space as they played out in land use, tenure, and ownership from pre-European contact times to as recently as the mid-20th century. 

In windward Kohala, H2ARP has successfully developed a training program, aimed at both advanced undergraduate and graduate students from of Hawai‘i, New Mexico, and beyond since 2006. We are particularly dedicated to the training of Native Hawaiians so they may take their place among professional archaeologists and cultural resource managers. We accept a diverse array of students from the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, the University of New Mexico and other colleges and institutions so as to introduce them to the culture and history of Hawai‘i. Working with individuals and groups from North Kohala, we involve them in our planning and fieldwork so that their knowledge and histories can be integrated into and reflected in our principles of stewardship and appreciation of these lands and their peoples.

Funding for H2ARP has come from the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Ortiz Center for Intercultural Studies, Kamehameha Schools and the Universities of New Mexico and Hawai‘i.