Hitting The Ground Running at Haleakala

My main project in Haleakala will be an interpretational mix of a few things consisting of geology, hawaiian culture, and endemic birds and fish to the area!  


I will be presenting a 30 minute educational interpretational talk that will encompass all of the topics listed below.


My  focus of my project will be on geology since that’s the main attraction here at haleakala. The crater, is really actually an erosional valley that has slowly collapsed over time through wind, rain, harsh weather conditions and an ever so slight change in tectonic plates that are pushing up against each other at roughly the rate our fingernails grow. 

The colors that we see in the crater are coming from minerals deposited in the soil/sand. We get the red color from iron oxide that reacts with the oxygen when exposed to air. The green color in some areas that we see in the sand is from the mineral olivine. This is the most rare color in Haleakala and usually requires a father to walk into the crater. 


The crater is created from hot spots in the ocean as opposed to tectonic plates.   A hotspot is a large plume of hot mantle material rising from deep within the Earth. A line of volcanoes develops as a plate moves over a hotspot, much as a line of melted wax forms as a sheet of waxed paper is moved slowly over a burning candle. This is why we can trace all the Hawaiian islands (even if under sea level) towards almost the philippines. 


For birds and fish, I’m still learning a lot of the bulk information but from what I can tell you, many birds here including i’iwi and apa’pane are some of the rarest birds in the world and can only be found here at Haleakala! The I’iwi and apa’pane are distant cousins that evolved over 500 years ago! 


Fish information will be presented to me when I go down to the other district-kipahulu which is located near the coast past Hana. Right now there’s a landslide that caused the shortest route to the road to close down, so now the only way to get to the park is through the road to Hana, which would take roughly 4 hours to get to the Kipahulu district. 

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