Content on this page was last updated in 2006. Some of the content may be out of date. For more information: http://coralreef.noaa.gov/
Marine Field Surveys and Data Collection
The first scientific expeditions to the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands (NWHI) were in the early 1920's. The Tanager Expeditions, which took their name from the First World War minesweeper, the USS Tanager, surveyed the NWHI, and collected archaeological, meteorological, and biological data and specimens. Prominent scientists from the Bishop Museum and the Smithsonian Institution participated in these surveys. In 1984, Bishop Museum scientists discovered additional archeological sites on Nihoa and Necker Islands.
In 2000, the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Reef Assessment and Monitoring
Program (NOWRAMP) multiple-year expedition was launched as
a multi-agency and institutional partnership that brought together the
best field resources (people, equipment, and funding) of both the resources
trustees (state and federal management agencies) and the academic community.
The major goal of NOWAMP is to map and rapidly assess the shallow coral
reefs of the NWHI for their biodiversity, status, health, and management
needs. NOWRAMP involved the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), NOAA's
National Ocean Service (NOS) and National Marine Fisheries
Service (NMFS), Hawai'i Division of Aquatic Resources, Bishop Museum,
Oceanic Institute, and the Universities of Hawai'i and California.
The NOWRAMP expeditions are the most comprehensive coral reef assessments
of the NWHI to date. Most of the information on NWHI coral reefs in this
essay was obtained from the NOWRAMP expedition reports and publications.