Kūlana Noi‘i

University of Hawaii Sea Grant & Kua‘āina Ulu ‘Auamo
Posted on: 3/18/2021 - Updated on: 11/15/2022

Posted by

Kathryn Braddock



Kūlana Noiʻi version 2.0, a collaboration involving the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program, includes an enhanced introduction with guidance on using the publication as a starting point to spark deeper conversations. It also includes updates to each of the kūlana (posture and carriage) to reflect lessons learned in previous/ongoing partnerships.

Hundreds of University of Hawai‘i (UH) faculty and students conduct research projects focused on the natural resources of Hawai‘i’s upland, coastal, and marine ecosystems each year. However, the consistency with which community perspectives and cultural practices are integrated into research efforts and decision-making processes that impact Hawaiʻi’s resources and ecosystems is highly variable. In particular, these natural resources are integral to the livelihoods, cultural practices, and religious traditions of Native Hawaiians who in some cases have not had a voice in decision-making processes involving natural resource management.

With support from the University of Hawai‘i SEED Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, and Success Program (IDEAS), the He‘eia National Estuarine Research Reserve, the University of Hawai‘i Sea Grant College Program, and Kuaʻāina Ulu ʻAuamo (KUA) established a partnership with a goal of promoting more collaborative and mutually-beneficial partnerships between UH faculty and students conducting research and the local communities who care for and utilize natural resources. The Kūlana Noi‘i (Research Standards) are the result of these efforts and other past and current community-researcher engagement activities.

The Kūlana Noi‘i provide guidance for building and sustaining not just working partnerships but long-term relationships between communities and researchers. These kūlana (standards) are intended to be flexible enough to apply to a range of different communities and to reflect on the perspectives and responsibilities of both communities and researchers.


Kūlana Noiʻi Working Group. 2021. Kūlana Noiʻi v. 2. University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program, Honolulu, Hawaiʻi.

Affiliated Organizations

Founded in 1968, the University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program (UH Sea Grant) is part of a national network of 32 programs that promote better understanding, conservation, and use of coastal resources. UH Sea Grant works in partnership with the University of Hawaiʻi’s prestigious School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to identify Hawaiʻi’s critical resource management issues and guide cutting-edge scientific research to address these challenges.

KUA is an innovative, community-based initiative for protecting, restoring, and caring for Hawaiʻi. Our unique native species, ecosystems, and island way of life in Hawaiʻi are deeply interconnected, and are at the heart of what makes these islands “home.”

KUA means back, or backbone. Together, we are building a “backbone organization” that supports creative and collective community-based solutions to problems stemming from environmental degradation in Hawai’i.