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This page has a summary of all expeditions on this web site, in reverse chronological order.

2007 Expeditions

NWHI Reef Assessment and Monitoring (RAMP) September - October 2007

Maritime archaeology, predator tracking and tagging, and invertebrate studies (August-September 2007)

Coral health, ecosystem connectivity, mapping, deep-sea time-lapse cameras, predator tagging and corraline algae (July 2007)

2006 Expeditions

Census of Marine Life, Census of Coral Reefs Expediton to French Frigate Shoals (October 2006)

NWHI Benthic Habitat Mapping, Maritime Archaeology, and Education Expedition, June-July 2006

NWHI Ecosystem Connectivity, Apex Predator Movement, and Coral Health Assessment Expedition, May-June 2006

2005 Expeditions

NWHI Reef Assessment and Monitoring (RAMP) 2005

From September through October 6th 2005, the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) Ship Hi`ialakai ("embracing the pathways of the sea," pictured to left), will be conducting reef assessment and monitoring in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. The expedition includes multi-beam mapping, reef assessment and monitoring and ecosystem connectivity missions. During the expedition, David Nichols, a biologist with the State of Hawaii, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Co-managed Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, will be sending updates back from the vessel. Updates from the vessel are posted on this expedition site.

NWHI 2005 Education Expedition

NOAA's first-ever dedicated education voyage! From August 12-21st, Hawai`i educators will learn about the natural and human history of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands and the challenges of restoration and resource management, and develop and implement curriculum in their classrooms. Updates from the vessel and post-trip educational resources are being posted on this expedition site.

NWHI Maritime Archaeology, Ecosystem Connectivity, Mapping and Coral Disease Expedition 2005

Join the latest expedition to the NWHI. On May 20th the NOAA Research Vessel Hi'ialakai departed Honolulu for a 24 day research expedition to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. This expedition will focus on maritime archaeology, ecosystem connectivity, coral disease and mapping. Updates from the vessel are posted on this expedition site.

2004 Expeditions

NWHI RAMP 2004 Scientific Expedition

The NOAA ship Hi`ialakai is in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands from September 13, 2003 until October 17, 2004 to evaluate and map shallow water reef habitats. An on-board science education representative is posting daily reports and articles on this expedition site.


Navigating Change: Northwestern Hawaiian Islands

In Spring of 2004 the Polynesian Voyaging Society's double-hulled canoe, Hokule`a will be traveilling up the NWHI chain to Kure Atoll as part of a statewide sail to promote the Navigating Change project. Click here learn more about Navigating Change and how you can get involved!

2002 Expeditions
NOWRAMP 2002 - returned October 7, 2002
HURL 2002 - returned October 4, 2002

Diver with laser for measuring fish size.  Photo by Cal HiraiIn 2002 four research vessels journeyed to the NWHI for the purpose of collecting more scientific information about the area. Rapid Ecological Assesments (REA), oceanographic studies, deep sea studies, maritime archaeology, coral and algal studies, marine mammal population evaluations and many other studies were conducted. Scientific research is not only important for understanding and appreciating the complex ecosystems of this area, but it is critical in providing the information needed to manage this area and learn how to preserve it.

View journal articles and videos from one of the research expeditions that explored this vast marine wilderness:


Click here to join the NOWRAMP Research ExpeditionThe Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Assessment and Monitoring Program (NOWRAMP) began in 2000 with the mission to rapidly evaluate and map the shallow water reef habitats in the NWHI. Utilizing two research vessels Rapture and R/V Townsend Cromwell, researchers spent 30 days at sea visiting each of the ten major slands, atolls and reefs in the remote region of the Hawaiian archipelago. To follow their trip, a combined sail schedule can be found here.

The two-vessel research expedition hosted a number of scientific investigations including:

  • Rapid Ecological Assessments (REA) of a variety of habitats throughout the region
  • Towboard and TOAD (Tethered Optical Assessment Device) Surveys to obtain quick assessments of habitat over large areas
  • Terrestrial Studies (including bird and plant surveys and insect studies)
  • Coral monitoring and hyperspectral imaging
  • Intertidal and shallow water REA surveys
  • Coral disease and bleaching
  • Maritime Archaeology and History
  • Algal Studies
  • Night time sonar measurements to accurately map the seafloor habitats
  • Shallow water and deep ocean CTD surveys
  • Acoustic Habitat Classification Surveys
  • Deployment of mooring, sea surface temperature buoys and Ocean Data Platforms
  • Deployment of satellite tracked surface current drifters
  • Sea greass studies

Education and documentation teams help bring the wonders of this remote ocean region home to people like you who are interested in learning more and helping to care for this special coral reef wilderness.

Both vessels involved in NOWRAMP 2002 departed Honolulu on September 8 and returned on October 7,2002.

Click here to join the expedition.

Click here to see a report from NOWRAMP 2000 (PDF file, 2.6 MB)

HURL 2002

Click here to join the HURL Research ExpeditionThe Hawai‘i Undersea Research Laboratory (HURL) was established by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) National Undersea Research Program (NURP) and the University of Hawai‘i. Its mission is to study deep water marine processes in the Pacific Ocean.

In 2002 HURL performed deep sea dives on several banks and seamounts in the NWHI, including Raita Bank, Brooks Bank, Northampton Bank and St. Rogatien Bank. A schedule of their 2002 dive operations can be found here. The purpose of these dives is to evaluate bottomfish populations in these areas, all of which, except Northampton, have been designated as Reserve Preservation Areas in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve. They also assessed the role of precious coral beds as foraging grounds for Hawaiian monk seals.

This expedition departed from Honolulu, HI September 8, 2002 and returned Octover 4, 2002. Click here to join the expedition.

Click here to see video clips from HURL's previous dives in the NWHI.




The abundance of fish in a healthy coral reef ecosystem 
					are part of what makes the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands so special. Photo: James Watt

Members of the NOAA Maritime Heritage Program will be surveying some of 
the world's most beautiful and untouched submerged cultural resources 
during this expedition. Photo: Robert Schwemmer/NOAA

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