Kona talk to focus on history, biology of Hawaii’s humpbacks


Humpback whales will star at the Kona Historical Society’s June Hanohano ‘O Kona Lecture from 5:30-7 p.m. Wednesday at the West Hawaii Civic Center. Admission is free.

Marine mammal researcher Susan Rickards will explore the fascinating history of these beautiful and intelligent mammals in Hawaii. She will describe the basic biology of the animals and historical accounts and evidence from ancient times through the commercial era of whaling and beyond.

Biological, archaeological and historical sources will be discussed, including still-unanswered questions.

Rickards is a founder, primary researcher and board member of the Hawaii Marine Mammal Consortium, a nonprofit research and education organization based in Kawaihae.

Rickards was born and raised on Oahu and has lived on Hawaii Island since 1995. She has been involved in field research with marine mammals for more than 25 years. Her research projects have included studies of bottlenose dolphin cognition in Hawaii, the critically endangered Western Pacific gray whales off Far East Russia, spinner dolphins in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and humpback whales and various other cetacean species inhabiting the waters around the Hawaiian Archipelago.

She is also a faculty member at Parker School in Waimea, where she teaches biology, math and Hawaiian studies to middle and high school students.

This is the June portion of a yearlong community lecture series that spotlights local and state speakers on a wide variety of cultural and historical subjects.

It is presented by the Kona Historical Society, in cooperation with the County of Hawaii as a gift from the society to the community that has supported it for so long.

 

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