Diver capturing yellow tangs

When: Monday, December 19, 5 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.
Where: NELHA Gateway Center
Presenters: Michelle Harris & Dr. John Strait, Sam Houston State University

This month's Kona Science Cafe is a Geography double-header featuring a faculty member and undergraduate student from Sam Houston State University. They will share their perspective on Hawaii Island aquarium fisheries management and the Hawaiian influence on mainland blues culture.

"The Sustainability of the Marine Aquarium Fish Industry on the Big Island of Hawaii" is an analysis of the overall sustainability of the marine aquarium industry along the Kona coast. Consideration of government restrictions and regulation, in addition to the influence of Hawaiian culture is incorporated in this analysis.

Michelle Harris is a graduating senior honors student in the Geography department at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. Michelle will be obtaining a B.S. degree in Environmental Geography and has research interests in both GIS and marine geography. Michelle will be attending graduate school in the Fall of 2017.

"The Impact of Aloha on American Music: Hawaiian Influences in the Birthplace of the Blues” will be presented by Dr. Strait as he discusses the role of Hawaiian music within the multiple-layered diffusionary processes responsible for the evolution of American blues music and culture.

Dr. John Strait is a Professor of Geography at Sam Houston State University who specializes in sociocultural, urban and ethnic geography. His main research and teaching interests lie at the intersections of racial and ethnic identity, urban residential dynamics, and the geographic dimensions of social movements and the ways they are expressed via music, visual arts, food and religion. His work in urban geography has focused on the neighborhood-level dynamics of diversity and poverty and their impacts on socioeconomic phenomena, such as health disparities. He has also studied the geographical evolution and diffusion of blues-influenced culture and music, and their relationship to socio-cultural change, including the Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Strait regularly directs field courses and workshops that incorporate these various subject matters, particularly as they pertain to the U.S. South, Hawaii, Spain, Cuba and Brazil.

Dr. Strait and his wife and colleague, Ava Fujimoto-Strait, incorporate place-based learning into their courses, including a field-experience course here on Hawaii Island entitled "The Mixed-Plate: Cultural and Environmental Diversity on the Big Island of Hawaii".

After the presentation, we will have pupus, drinks, and conversation. We are informal and it is potluck, so please bring a pupu and non-alcoholic beverage to share. Reusable plates and cups are encouraged, as is taking home your own trash.


5:00-5:15 p.m. Gather and Networking
5:15-6:15 p.m. Presentation and Q&A
6:15-7:30 p.m. More Networking, pupus

Video taken during the talks is below: