Articles by Doug Herman

A protestor on Maui

Shutting Down Hawai‘i: A Historical Perspective on Epidemics in the Islands

A museum director looks to the past to explain why 'Aloha' is as necessary as ever

In 2018, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation published its midpoint assessment of the on-going restoration efforts for the country's largest estuary.

Checking In on the Health and Vigor of the Chesapeake Bay

As clean-up milestones are registered by a recent assessment of the nation’s largest estuary, a Smithsonian geographer drops in on the region

The residents and tribal members of Isle de Jean Charles are the first federally-funded community to be moved because of environmental degradation and displacement.

Prospects Are Looking Up for This Gulf Coast Tribe Relocating to Higher Ground

As Louisiana’s Isle de Jean Charles slips away, the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe plans community renewal and a museum for their new home

Members of Chamorro organizations, including the children from the Hurao Cultural Camp, perform a burial ceremony.

A Brief, 500-Year History of Guam

The Chamorro people of this Pacific island have long been buffeted by the crosswinds of foreign nations

Moana

How the Story of "Moana" and Maui Holds Up Against Cultural Truths

A Smithsonian scholar and student of Pacific Island sea voyaging both loves and hates the new Disney film

Indians Poisoned

A Smithsonian Scholar Revisits the Neglected History of the Chesapeake Bay's Native Tribes

Revisiting Indian Nations of the Chesapeake

Dawn at the dock at Piscataway, with the many mast stays outlined by the morning light.

Nine Days of a Sailor-Scholar’s Life Aboard the Canoe Circumnavigating the Globe

A Smithsonian expert learns the hard-knock lessons of when to be quiet and how to take a poop

Enlightened Hawaiian chiefs as far back as the 14th century instituted what is called the moku-ahupua‘a system of management throughout the islands.

Finding Lessons on Culture and Conservation at the End of the Road in Kauai

In the remote, tropical paradise called Ha‘ena, the community is reasserting Native Hawaiian stewardship of the land and sea

As we turn towards Kawaihae, I get another turn at the steering paddle. All of us steered at different times, sometimes two or three at once to handle the paddle in rough seas.

A Firsthand Account of What It Takes to Pilot a Voyaging Canoe Across the Ocean

More than just a desire to learn, a seat aboard the historic vessel Hōkūle`a requires skill, dedication and well, . . .obsession

Pope Francis addresses a joint session of Congress, the first leader of the Catholic Church ever to do so, in Washington, D.C. on September 24, 2015.

Age of Humans

Pope Francis Is Just the Latest to Bridge the Gap Between Religion and Culture

A Smithsonian curator offers a primer to the complex role of the world’s religions in meeting the challenges of global climate change

Obama’s move to rename the U.S.'s highest peak was supported by Native and non-Native Alaskans alike.

Commentary

Denali and America's Long History of Using (or Not Using) Indian Names

In restoring the Athabaskan name to the country’s highest mountain, President Obama is among those who have wrestled with the issue

On October 7, 2014, protestors blocking the road, halted a groundbreaking ceremony for the Thirty Meter Telescope.

The Heart of the Hawaiian Peoples' Arguments Against the Telescope on Mauna Kea

Native Hawaiians are not protesting science, but instead are seeking respect for sacred places, and our planet

A Malaysian boy and girl holding candles during the 60 minute Earth Hour 2012 celebration in Kuala Lumpur, March 31, 2012.

Anthropocene

What Climate Change Will Mean for the People of Oceania

On many maps the ocean is colored a uniform, solid blue. But for those who live off the waters, the sea is places, roads, highways

"We are limited to one vessel, with nowhere else to go."

Anthropocene

A New Way for Stewardship of Mother Earth: Indigeneity

Smithsonian geographer Doug Herman proposes a return to sustainable solutions, based on the path laid by Indigenous peoples for millennia

Master navigator Mau Piailug teaches navigation to his son and grandson with the help of a star compass.

How the Voyage of the Kon-Tiki Misled the World About Navigating the Pacific

Smithsonian geographer Doug Herman explains the traditional science of traversing the ocean seas

Hokule'a departs on 4-year worldwide voyage from Honolulu in May 2014.

For Four Years, This Polynesian Canoe Will Sail Around the World Raising Awareness of Global Climate Change

A Smithsonian curator chronicles the genesis of the project that hearkens back to when ancient navigators traveled the oceans

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