As the only U.S. University botany department located in a tropical environment, the Department emphasizes research and teaching concerning both aquatic and terrestrial tropical ecosystems. It is committed to broad-based botanical training that focuses on developing an understanding of Hawaii's unique island development. Research programs focus on ecology, evolution, and conservation of Hawaii's ecosystems and unique endemic flora; the ecology and physiology of marine macroalgae; invasion biology of alien weeds; and the uses of plants by the human cultures of the Pacific Basin. Faculty expertise extends from the molecular to the whole organism in marine and terrestrial environments with an emphasis on evolutionary biology, ecology, ethnobotany, molecular evolution, physiology, structural botany, and systematics.
The Botany Department offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science, and minor degrees in botany at the undergraduate level. At the graduate level, MS and Ph.D. degrees are offered.
Botanical sciences draws heavily on the literature of Chemistry and Biology, especially in the areas of ecology and environment; selection is coordinated with the librarians responsible for these areas. Ethnobotany is particularly interdisciplinary and selection for this specialty overlaps with the fields of Anthropology and Geography.
The Hawaiian Collection and the Pacific Collection are the primary collectors of material originating in Hawaii, and about islands of the Pacific. Duplicate copies may be added to the Hamilton Collection. The Government Documents Collection also includes botanical resources.
Research in the Botany department is also supported by collections in the Bishop Museum Library and the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center (formerly the Hawaiian Sugar Planters' Association) Library. There are no formal collecting arrangements with these libraries. The Department maintains a limited library consisting mostly of contributions of previous faculty.
Date compiled: 7/01 Compiler: Eileen Herring