Dr. Mark Merlin, University of Hawai`i at Mānoa professor in the School of Life Sciences, Botany program has taught Pacific island biocultural history across many disciplines: geography, ethnobotany and biology. His fifty years of teaching human relationships to island environments past and present as well as his field research has taken him from Hālawa Valley on Molokai in the 1970s to Pohnpei, Yap, Kosrae islands and everywhere in between. He paints the picture of Pacific Islanders' intimate relationships to sacred, medicinal plants like awa (kava) and how those Pohnpeian and Samoan ceremonies and diverse, native lifeways connect to indigenous movements today.
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