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Astronomy Talk: Manu `Imiloa:—Modern & Ancient Ways of Navigating our Universe – Celeste Ha`o

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A Hilo native born in Keaukaha and raised in Panaʻewa, Celeste “Cesi” Manuia Ha’o is an Education Associate and the Outreach Coordinator of the ‘Imiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi. Ha`o just gave a presentation as part of Keck Observatory's Astronomy Talk series entitled, "Manu `Imiloa: Modern & Ancient Ways of Navigating our Universe".

She is a current student of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo set to graduate this fall with her degree in Culture-Based Astronomy Education, a degree she created to enhance her life and occupational passion and mission of promoting place-based teaching and learning of astronomy and science through a cultural perspective. One of the many things that makes Ha'o so unique and her presentation so compelling is that she is also a member of the ʻOhana Waʻa and an apprentice navigator who recently co-navigated Hawaiʻi's famed voyaging canoe, Hōkūleʻa, as part of the Mālama Honua World Wide Voyage, to the island of Samoa where her family village of Faleapuna is located.

In the 90’s when the clash of culture and science surrounding astronomy atop Maunakea began to rise, Haʻo’s fifth grade desire to be an astronomer caused a deep internal conflict -- either choose to become a world-class scientist or choose to be a pono Hawaiian. It was in the seventh grade that she came to the realization that she could be both. Since then she has set out to be a bridge-builder who connects these two communities.

Join Haʻo as she recounts her personal story of how her determination to find balance and harmony amidst contentious circumstances ultimately set her on a journey that would teach her how to navigate oceans of sea and space using both modern and ancient ways of knowing. This presentation was held at the Kahilu Theater in Waimea, Hawaii and was completely funded by the generosity of Terry and Rob Ryan.