A biosurvey, or biological survey, is a scientific study of organisms to assess the condition of an ecological resource, such as a water body. Biosurveys are used by government agencies responsible for management of public lands, environmental planning and/or environmental regulation to assess ecological resources, such as rivers, streams and wetlands, they involve analysis of animal and/or plant samples which serve as bioindicators. The studies may be conducted by professional scientists or volunteer organizations, they are conducted according to published procedures to ensure consistency in data collection and analysis, to compare findings to established metrics. Biosurveys use metrics such as species composition and richness, ecological factors. Biosurveys may identify pollution problems that are difficult or expensive to detect using chemical testing procedures. A biosurvey may be used to generate an index of biological integrity, a scoring system for an ecological resource. Protocols for conducting biosurveys of water resources have been published by state government agencies and the U.
S. Environmental Protection Agency. Agencies use these protocols to implement the Clean Water Act. Similar protocols have been published by volunteer organizations. Bioassay Biological integrity Biomonitoring Indicator species Water pollution Water quality Biological Assessment of Water Quality – US EPA Guide to Aquatic Invertebrates - WV Save Our Streams Program Online biomonitoring of water quality by a permanent record of bivalve molluscs' behavior and physiology, 24/7, worldwide: the MolluSCAN eye project
Charles Wilkes was an American naval officer, ship's captain, explorer. He led the United States Exploring Expedition, 1838-1842 and commanded the ship in the Trent Affair during the American Civil War, where he attacked a Royal Mail Ship leading to war between the US and the UK, his behavior led to two convictions by court-martial, one stemming from the massacre of 80 Fijians on Malolo in 1840. Wilkes was born in New York City, on April 3, 1798, as the great nephew of the former Lord Mayor of London John Wilkes, his mother was Mary Seton. As a result, Charles was raised by his aunt, Elizabeth Ann Seton, who would convert to Roman Catholicism and become the first American-born woman canonized a saint by the Catholic Church; when Elizabeth was left widowed with five children, Charles was sent to a boarding school, attended Columbia College, the present-day Columbia University. He entered the United States Navy as a midshipman in 1818, became a lieutenant in 1826. In 1833, for his survey of Narragansett Bay, he was placed in charge of the Navy's Department of Charts and Instruments, out of which developed the Naval Observatory and Hydrographic Office.
Wilkes' interdisciplinary expedition set a physical oceanography benchmark for the office's first superintendent Matthew Fontaine Maury. During the 1820s, Wilkes was a member of the prestigious Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences, which counted among its members presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams and many prominent men of the day, including well-known representatives of the military, government service and other professions. In 1838, although not yet a seasoned naval line officer, Wilkes was experienced in nautical survey work, was working with civilian scientists. Upon this background, he was given command of the government exploring expedition "... for the purpose of exploring and surveying the Southern Ocean... as well to determine the existence of all doubtful islands and shoals, as to discover, fix, the position of those which in or near the track of our vessels in that quarter, have escaped the observation of scientific navigators." The US Exploring Squadron was authorized by act of the Congress on May 18, 1836.
The Exploring Expedition known as the "Wilkes Expedition," included naturalists, botanists, a mineralogist, artists and a philologist, it was carried by USS Vincennes and USS Peacock, the brig USS Porpoise, the store-ship USS Relief, two schooners, USS Sea Gull and USS Flying Fish. Departing from Hampton Roads on August 18, 1838, the expedition stopped at the Madeira Islands and Rio de Janeiro. Next the expedition visited the Hawaiian Islands. In Fiji, the expedition kidnapped the chief Ro Veidovi, charging him with the murder of a crew of American whalers. And, in July 1840, two sailors, one of whom was Wilkes' nephew, Midshipman Wilkes Henry, were killed while bartering for food on Fiji's Malolo Island. Wilkes' retribution was severe. According to an old man of Malolo Island, nearly 80 Fijians were killed in the incident. From December 1840 to March 1841, he employed hundreds of native Hawaiian porters and many of his men to haul a pendulum to the summit of Mauna Loa to measure gravity. Instead of using the existing trail, he blazed his own way.
The conditions on the mountain reminded him of Antarctica. Many of his crew suffered snow blindness, altitude sickness and foot injuries from wearing out their shoes, he explored the west coast of North America, including the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, the Columbia River, San Francisco Bay and the Sacramento River, in 1841. He held the first American Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi River in Dupont, Washington on July 5, 1841; the United States Exploring Expedition passed through the Ellice Islands and visited Funafuti and Vaitupu in 1841. The expedition returned by way of the Philippines, the Sulu Archipelago, Singapore and the Cape of Good Hope, reaching New York on June 10, 1842. After having encircled the globe, Wilkes had logged some 87,000 miles and lost two ships and 28 men. Wilkes was court-martialled upon his return for the loss of one of his ships on the Columbia River bar, for the regular mistreatment of his subordinate officers, for excessive punishment of his sailors.
A major witness against him was ship doctor Charles Guillou. He was acquitted on all charges except illegally punishing men in his squadron. For a short time, he was attached to the Coast Survey, but from 1844 to 1861, he was chiefly engaged in preparing the report of the expedition, his Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition was published in 1844. He edited the scientific reports of the expedition and was the author of Vol. XI and Vol. XXIII. Alfred Thomas Agate and illustrator, was the designated portrait and botanical artist of the expedition, his work was used to illustrate the Narrative of the United States Exploring Expedition. The Narrative contains much interesting material concerning the manners, customs and economic conditions in many places little known. Wilkes' 1841 Map of
Donald Ryder Dickey
Donald Ryder Dickey was an American ornithologist and nature photographer. He produced 7,500 photographs and moving images of nature subjects. At his death, his collection of bird and mammal specimens was the largest private collection in the United States. Donald Ryder Dickey was born on March 31, 1887 in Dubuque, the son of Anna Roberts Ryder and Ernest May Dickey. In 1902, Dickey and his mother an avid naturalist, joined a Sierra Club group hiking King's River Cañon and climbing Mount Whitney. Others on this trip included John Muir, C. Hart Merriam, Dr. Henry Gannett, historian Theodore Hittell and landscape artist William Keith. Dickey entered the University of California in 1906, but received his B. A. degree from Yale University in 1910. His collegiate society memberships included Psi Upsilon and Phi Beta Kappa, he was captain of the University Gun Team. During his senior year at Yale, Dickey suffered severe heart failure. Dickey married Florence Van Vechten on June 15, 1921, became active in community and business affairs, serving as a trustee of the Southwest Museum, Los Angeles, President of the Board of Pasadena Hospital, as a director of the Pasadena branch of the Pacific Southwest Trust & Savings Bank.
Upon recovering his health, Dickey began to pursue his interests in natural history by photographing and collecting birds and small mammals. He determined upon a goal of establishing a major research collection on Southern California fauna. Dickey's field investigations included a 1915 expedition to San Clemente Island, seven summers in Canada, the 1923 Smithsonian-sponsored Tanager Expedition to Laysan Island in Hawaii to study the seabird rookeries there, trips to Baja California, northern Michigan, New Brunswick and Newfoundland and El Salvador. Among his field assistants and collaborators were Adriaan Joseph van Rossem, Laurence M. Huey, Ruben Arthur Stirton and George A. Stirton, William Henry Burt, Henry Hargrave Sheldon, John Zoeger. In 1925, he was awarded an honorary M. A. from Occidental College, from 1926, he was Research Associate in Vertebrate Zoology at the California Institute of Technology. His professional memberships included the American Ornithologists' Union, the Cooper Ornithological Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Dickey was posthumously awarded the 1941 William Brewster Memorial Award by the American Ornithologists' Union, sharing the honor with A. J. van Rossem in recognition of their 1938 monograph "Birds of El Salvador."Dickey's research collection of bird and mammal specimens and still photographs and moving images comprised 50,0000 specimens, 10,000 natural history books and papers, 7,500 photographs. In 1926, Caltech provided Throop Hall to house the growing collection. In 1940, Dickey's widow donated the collection to the University of Los Angeles. Dickey died on April 1932 in Pasadena, California. Dickey's nature photography, in both still and motion picture work, was extensive and admired, his photographs are reprinted in The Birds of California by William Leon Dawson and Life Histories of North American Birds by Arthur Cleveland Bent. Branta dickeyi Loye H. Miller, xxvi, September 15, 1924, p. 179. Dichromanassa rufescens dickeyi van Rossem, Condor, XXVIII, September 21, 1926, p. 246. Phalaenoptiius nuttallii dickeyi Grinnell, Condor, XXX, March 15, 1928, p. 153.
Eumomota supercilioea dickeyi Griscom, Proc. New England Zool. Club, XI, October 31, 1929, p. 55. Colinus leucopogon dickeyi Conover, Condor, XXXIV, July 15, 1932, p. 174. Microdipodops megacephalus Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 40, September 26, 1927, p. 115. Urocyon littoralis Linsdale, Proc. Biol. Sot. Wash. 43, September 26, 1930, p. 154. Procyon lotor dickeyi Goldman, Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 44, February 21, 1931, p. 18. Peromyscus dickeyi Burt, Trans. San Diego Soc. Nat. Hist. 7, October 31, 1932, p. 176. Canis latrans Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 45, November 26, 1932, pp. 223–226. Dickey, Donald Ryder. "The nesting of the spotted owl". Condor. XVI: 193–202. Doi:10.2307/1361819. Dickey, Donald Ryder. "After moose with rifle and camera". Outing. LXV: 148–155. Dickey, Donald Ryder. "The cannibal gulls of Los Coronados". Country Life in America. XXVII: 35–39. Dickey, Donald Ryder. "The hummers of a foothill valley". Country Life in America. XXVIII: 35–39. Dickey, Donald Ryder. "The shadow boxing of pipilo". Condor. XVIII: 93–99. Doi:10.2307/1362511.
Dickey, Donald Ryder. "The caribou of the Nipisiguit Barrens". Recreation. LV: 204–206, 227. Dickey, Donald Ryder. "The caribou of the Nipisiguit Barrens. Part II". Recreation. LV: 251–253. Dickey, Donald Ryder. J.. "A winter record of the kern red-wing". Condor. XXIV: 26. Doi:10.2307/1362778. Dickey, Donald Ryder. J.. "An inland occurrence of the common tern". Condor. XXIV: 29. Doi:10.2307/1362778. Dickey, Donald Ryder. J.. "Early nesting of the tri-colored blackbird and mallard". Condor. XXIV: 31. Doi:10.2307/1362778. Dickey, Donald Ryder. J.. "The validity of the Catalina Island quail". Condor. XXIV: 34. Doi:10.2307/1362778. Dickey, Donald Ryder. J.. "S
USS Whippoorwill (AM-35)
USS Whippoorwill was a Lapwing-class minesweeper acquired by the United States Navy for the dangerous task of removing mines from minefields laid in the water to prevent ships from passing. The first Whippoorwill to be so named by the Navy, Minesweeper No. 35 was laid down on 12 December 1917 at Mobile, Alabama, by the Alabama Drydock and Shipbuilding Company. After fitting out, Whippoorwill departed Boston, Massachusetts, on 3 July 1919, bound for Scotland. Operating subsequently from the port of Kirkwall, the minesweeper participated in the clearing of the North Sea Mine Barrage as part of Division 3, Minesweeping Squadron, Atlantic Fleet. Hair-trigger mines and frequent foul weather made sweeping the barrage a difficult and dangerous mission. Returning to the United States in November 1919, Whipporwill was assigned to the U. S. Pacific Fleet. Having been classified as AM-35 on 17 July 1920, the minesweeper arrived at Pearl Harbor, her new home port, on 1 March 1921, she would operate out of that base for the next 20 years, with brief periods spent as station ship at Pago Pago, between 1931 and 1934.
Whippoorwill's prime duty was service to the Fleet. Besides filling the role for which she was designed—sweeping and laying mines—upon occasion she towed targets and plane-guarded. Noteworthy highlights of her Pearl Harbor-based deployment came in the early 1920s, when she participated in surveys of various and sundry Pacific islands. In July 1923, for example, Whippoorwill—together with her sister-ship Tanager —accomplished the first survey of Johnston Island in modern times. During that cruise, she carried members of the Tanager Expedition, a joint expedition sponsored by the U. S. Department of Agriculture and the Bishop Museum of Hawaii, she carried a Douglas DT-2 floatplane on her fantail, hoisting it into the water so that it could take off for aerial survey and mapping flights over Johnston. A little over a year in September 1925, the plane's pilot, Lt. Comdr. John Rodgers, would win fame as a member of the crew of the PN-9 flying boat. Whippoorwill made other cruises, carrying members of ornithological surveys to islands such as Kingman Reef, Christmas Island, Jarvis Island, Howland Island, Baker Island.
The islands would assume importance as transpacific air commerce spread its wings toward the Far East and South Pacific Ocean. However, Whippoorwill's Hawaiian idyll ended. Refitted and modernized, the minesweeper departed Pearl Harbor on 5 May 1941, bound for the Asiatic Fleet, as war clouds gathered over the Pacific and Far East. En route, the minecraft plane-guarded at prearranged stations, serving as a direction-finding station for patrol planes winging their way to the Philippines to reinforce the Asiatic Fleet's air wing—Patrol Wing 10. After touching at Guam, in the Marianas, on 23 May, Whippoorwill reached Manila on the 30th. There, she became part of Mine Squadron 3, Asiatic Fleet. In the ensuing months, Whippoorwill performed a variety of service tasks, she towed targets for the cruisers and destroyers of the Fleet to fire at during battle practices and gunnery shoots, assisted in unmooring and mooring the Fleet's submarine and destroyer tenders from buoys, conducted similar activities.
That spring, Whippoorwill operated with Canopus during maneuvers in the southern Philippines, touching at Zamboanga and steaming in the Sulu Sea, before returning to Cavite and anchoring in Canacao Bay. Soon thereafter, she commenced operations with the Inshore Patrol which carried out a busy slate of operations as the Philippines feverishly prepared for the impending war with Japan. Whippoorwill operated on patrol duties and laid mines—laying the field near Caballo Island, near Corregidor, at the entrance to Manila Bay, she and Tanager laid the mine field at Subic Bay while operating out of the section base at Olongapo. After an overhaul at Cavite and at the Verdadero Dockyard across Canacao Bay from Cavite, Whippoorwill took up patrol duties in the late autumn alternating with the gunboats Asheville and Tulsa; that duty was not without its share of interesting moments. On 22 November, while on patrol station "Cast," she fired four shots across the bow of the sailing vessel Remedio VIII before the vessel hove to.
She prevented the Army tug Harrison from entering the area and warned off other vessels on the 26th and 28th. Relieved by Tulsa on station on 30 November, Whippoorwill returned to Canacao Bay before she got underway on 3 December for sweeping operations out of Cavite. Five days on 8 December 1941, the Japanese unleashed their onslaught against American and Dutch possessions in the Far East and in the Pacific. At 0415 on the 8th, Whippoorwill received the news of the attack on Pearl Harbor. Lt. Comdr. Charles A. Ferriter, the ship's commanding officer, soon called his crew to quarters and announced the news. Now, after months of escalating tension and feverish preparations for war, the blow had fallen. Within hours, Whippoorwill was underway, commencing her first wartime sweeping operations in Manila Bay. On the following day, 9 December, Japanese bombers caught General Douglas MacArthur's Far Eastern Air Force on the ground at its principal fields of Nichols and Clark Fields, destroying it as a viable retaliatory force.
Thus, with little in the way of air cover, Cavite—the small, crowded base of operations for the Asiatic Fleet—lay naked to an attack from the sky. The Japanese did not wait long to ex
Kure Atoll or Ocean Island is an atoll in the Pacific Ocean 48 nautical miles beyond Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at 28°25′N 178°20′W. The only land of significant size is called Green Island and is a habitat for hundreds of thousands of seabirds. A short and unmaintained runway and a portion of one building, both from a former United States Coast Guard LORAN station, are located on the island. Politically it is part of Hawaii, although separated from the rest of the state by Midway, a separate unorganized territory. Green Island, in addition to being the nesting grounds of tens of thousands of seabirds, has recorded several vagrant terrestrial birds including snow bunting, eyebrowed thrush, olive-backed pipit, black kite, Steller's sea eagle and Chinese sparrowhawk; the International Date Line lies 100 miles to the west. Although located to the west of Midway Atoll, Kure Atoll has a timezone +1 hour ahead at UTC−10:00. Kure is the northernmost coral atoll in the world, it consists of a 6-mile wide nearly circular barrier reef surrounding a shallow lagoon and several sand islets.
There is a total land area of 213.097 acres, with Green Island on the southeast side having 191.964 acres of this total. A growing number of Hawaiian monk seals haul out on its beaches. Data chart below has been taken from Midway Atoll due to a lack of any weather stations present on Kure Atoll. Kure Atoll features a tropical savanna climate with high year-round temperatures. Rainfall is evenly distributed throughout the year, with only two months being able to be classified as dry season months; the geological history of Kure is similar to Midway, but Kure lies close to what is called the Darwin Point, the latitude at which reef growth just equals reef destruction by various physical forces. As Kure continues to be carried along to the northwest by the motion of the Pacific Plate, it will move into waters too cool for coral and coralline algae growth to keep up with isostatic subsidence of the mountain, so long as global warming does not interfere; the atoll is warmed by the pools of water at the ends of the warm Kuroshio Current, keeping it in comfortable range in winter.
Barring unforeseen evolution, it will begin to join the other volcanic and reef-topped remnants of the Hawaiian–Emperor seamount chain to the northwest, all of which are now seamounts. In the Hawaiian language the term Mokupāpapa was used for any flat island with reefs; the northwestern islands are associated with Kāne Milohai in Hawaiian mythology. The brother of Pele was left to stand guard for travelers. Before the mid-19th century, Kure Atoll was given new names each time. Sometimes spelled Cure, its English name was for a Russian navigator, it was named Kure Island in 1924 and Kure Atoll in 1987. Many crews were stranded on Kure Atoll after being shipwrecked on the surrounding reefs and had to survive on the local seals and birds; the shipwrecks remain on the reef today, including the USS Saginaw. Because of these incidents, King Kalākaua sent Colonel J. H. Boyd to Kure as his Special Commissioner. On September 20, 1886, he took possession of the island for the Hawaiian government; the King ordered that a crude house be built on the island, with tanks for holding water and provisions for any other unfortunates who might be cast away there.
But the provisions were stolen within a year and the house soon fell into ruins. Neglected for most of its history, during World War II Kure was visited by U. S. Navy patrols from nearby Midway to ensure that the Japanese were not using it to refuel submarines or flying boats from submarine-tankers for attacks elsewhere in the Hawaiian chain. During the Battle of Midway, a Japanese Nakajima B5N "Kate" bomber, operating from aircraft carrier Hiryū, piloted by Lieutenant Kikuchi Rokurō, and, involved in the initial Japanese attack on Midway's US installations, crash-landed near Kure after being damaged by US fighters. Once ashore, Lt. Kikuchi and the two other members of his crew refused capture and were either killed or committed suicide when an American landing party tried to capture them. Kure is located within a major current which washes up debris from the Great Pacific garbage patch, such as fishing nets and large numbers of cigarette lighters, on the island; these pose threats to the local animals birds, whose skeletons are found with plastic in the stomach cavity.
On October 16, 1998, the longline fishing vessel Paradise Queen II ran aground on the eastern edge of Green Island of Kure Atoll, spilling 4,000 gallons of diesel fuel before recovery operations could commence. Debris from that shipwreck continued to pollute the reef and shoreline for many years, endangering wildlife and damaging the coral reef; the long-term impact of this and other wrecks within the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands highlight the dangers to sensitive habitats in the area. To help ensure their protection, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument was designated a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area in 2008 by the International Maritime Organization. In addition to avoiding specific areas, owners must identify when their ship enters and leaves the PSSA's 10 nautical mile wide reporting area so a timely response can be taken should there be a maritime emergency. From 1960 to 1992, a United States Coast Guard LORAN station was located on Green Island. A short coral runway was built on the is
Botany called plant science, plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist; the term "botany" comes from the Ancient Greek word βοτάνη meaning "pasture", "grass", or "fodder". Traditionally, botany has included the study of fungi and algae by mycologists and phycologists with the study of these three groups of organisms remaining within the sphere of interest of the International Botanical Congress. Nowadays, botanists study 410,000 species of land plants of which some 391,000 species are vascular plants, 20,000 are bryophytes. Botany originated in prehistory as herbalism with the efforts of early humans to identify – and cultivate – edible and poisonous plants, making it one of the oldest branches of science. Medieval physic gardens attached to monasteries, contained plants of medical importance, they were forerunners of the first botanical gardens attached to universities, founded from the 1540s onwards.
One of the earliest was the Padua botanical garden. These gardens facilitated the academic study of plants. Efforts to catalogue and describe their collections were the beginnings of plant taxonomy, led in 1753 to the binomial system of Carl Linnaeus that remains in use to this day. In the 19th and 20th centuries, new techniques were developed for the study of plants, including methods of optical microscopy and live cell imaging, electron microscopy, analysis of chromosome number, plant chemistry and the structure and function of enzymes and other proteins. In the last two decades of the 20th century, botanists exploited the techniques of molecular genetic analysis, including genomics and proteomics and DNA sequences to classify plants more accurately. Modern botany is a broad, multidisciplinary subject with inputs from most other areas of science and technology. Research topics include the study of plant structure and differentiation, reproduction and primary metabolism, chemical products, diseases, evolutionary relationships and plant taxonomy.
Dominant themes in 21st century plant science are molecular genetics and epigenetics, which are the mechanisms and control of gene expression during differentiation of plant cells and tissues. Botanical research has diverse applications in providing staple foods, materials such as timber, rubber and drugs, in modern horticulture and forestry, plant propagation and genetic modification, in the synthesis of chemicals and raw materials for construction and energy production, in environmental management, the maintenance of biodiversity. Botany originated as the study and use of plants for their medicinal properties. Many records of the Holocene period date early botanical knowledge as far back as 10,000 years ago; this early unrecorded knowledge of plants was discovered in ancient sites of human occupation within Tennessee, which make up much of the Cherokee land today. The early recorded history of botany includes many ancient writings and plant classifications. Examples of early botanical works have been found in ancient texts from India dating back to before 1100 BC, in archaic Avestan writings, in works from China before it was unified in 221 BC.
Modern botany traces its roots back to Ancient Greece to Theophrastus, a student of Aristotle who invented and described many of its principles and is regarded in the scientific community as the "Father of Botany". His major works, Enquiry into Plants and On the Causes of Plants, constitute the most important contributions to botanical science until the Middle Ages seventeen centuries later. Another work from Ancient Greece that made an early impact on botany is De Materia Medica, a five-volume encyclopedia about herbal medicine written in the middle of the first century by Greek physician and pharmacologist Pedanius Dioscorides. De Materia Medica was read for more than 1,500 years. Important contributions from the medieval Muslim world include Ibn Wahshiyya's Nabatean Agriculture, Abū Ḥanīfa Dīnawarī's the Book of Plants, Ibn Bassal's The Classification of Soils. In the early 13th century, Abu al-Abbas al-Nabati, Ibn al-Baitar wrote on botany in a systematic and scientific manner. In the mid-16th century, "botanical gardens" were founded in a number of Italian universities – the Padua botanical garden in 1545 is considered to be the first, still in its original location.
These gardens continued the practical value of earlier "physic gardens" associated with monasteries, in which plants were cultivated for medical use. They supported the growth of botany as an academic subject. Lectures were given about the plants grown in the gardens and their medical uses demonstrated. Botanical gardens came much to northern Europe. Throughout this period, botany remained subordinate to medicine. German physician Leonhart Fuchs was one of "the three German fathers of botany", along with theologian Otto Brunfels and physician Hieronymus Bock. Fuchs and Brunfels broke away from the tradition of copying earlier works to make original observations of their own. Bock created his own system of plant classification. Physician Valerius Cordus authored a botanically and pharmacologically important herbal Historia Plantarum in 1544 and a pharmacopoeia of lasting importance, the Dispensatorium
The Bernice Pauahi Bishop Museum, designated the Hawaiʻi State Museum of Natural and Cultural History, is a museum of history and science in the historic Kalihi district of Honolulu on the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. Founded in 1889, it is the largest museum in Hawai'i and has the world's largest collection of Polynesian cultural artifacts and natural history specimens. Besides the comprehensive exhibits of Hawaiiana, the museum's total holding of natural history specimens exceeds 24 million, of which the entomological collection alone represents more than 13.5 million specimens. The museum is accessible on public transit: TheBus Routes A, 1, 2, 7, 10; the museum complex is home to the Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center. Charles Reed Bishop, a businessman and philanthropist, co-founder of the First Hawaiian Bank and Kamehameha Schools, built the museum in memory of his late wife, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop. Born into the royal family, she was the last legal heir of the Kamehameha Dynasty, which had ruled the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi between 1810 and 1872.
Bishop had intended the museum to house family heirlooms passed down to him through the royal lineage of his wife. Bishop hired William Tufts Brigham as the first curator of the Museum; the museum was built on the original boys' campus of Kamehameha Schools, an institution created at the bequest of the Princess, to benefit native Hawaiian children. In 1898, Bishop had Hawaiian Hall and Polynesian Hall built on the campus, in the popular Richardsonian Romanesque architectural style; the Pacific Commercial Advertiser newspaper dubbed these two structures as "the noblest buildings of Honolulu". Today both halls are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Hawaiian Hall is home to a complete sperm-whale skeleton, accompanied by a papier-mâché body suspended above the central gallery. Along the walls are prized koa wood display cases. In 1940, Kamehameha Schools moved to its new campus in Kapālama, allowing the museum to expand at the original campus site. Bishop Hall, first built for use by the school, was adapted for museum use.
Most other school structures were razed, new museum facilities were constructed. By the late 1980s, the Bishop Museum had become the largest natural and cultural history institution in Polynesia. In 1988, construction of the Castle Memorial Building was begun. Dedicated on January 13, 1990, Castle Memorial Building houses all the major traveling exhibits that come to the Bishop Museum from institutions around the world; the Richard T. Mamiya Science Adventure Center opened in November 2005; the building is designed as a learning center for children, includes many interactive exhibits focused on marine science and related sciences. The museum library has one of the most extensive collections of books, periodicals and special collections concerned with Hawai'i and the Pacific; the archives hold the results of extensive studies done by museum staff in the Pacific Basin, as well as manuscripts, artwork, oral histories, commercial sound recordings and maps. Many of Hawaiʻi's royalty, including Bernice Pauahi Bishop and Queen Liliʻuokalani, deposited their personal papers at Bishop Museum.
Manuscripts in the collection include scientific papers, genealogical records, memorabilia. The book collection consists of 50,000 volumes with an emphasis on the cultural and natural history of Hawai'i and the Pacific, with subject strengths in anthropology, botany and zoology; the library provides extra access to the collection of published diaries, narratives and other writings relating to 18th and 19th century Hawai'i. On the campus of Bishop Museum is the Jhamandas Watumull Planetarium, an educational and research facility devoted to the astronomical sciences and the oldest planetarium in Polynesia. On the campus is Pauahi Hall, home to the J. Linsley Gressit Center for Research in Entomology, which houses some 14 million prepared specimens of insects and related arthropods, including over 16,500 primary types, it is the third-largest entomology collection in the United States and the eighth-largest in the world. An active research facility, Pauahi Hall is not open to the public. Nearby is Pākī Hall, home to the Hawaiʻi Sports Hall of Fame, a museum library and archives, which are open to the public.
From 1988 until 2009, the Bishop Museum administered the Hawaiʻi Maritime Center in downtown Honolulu. Built on a former private pier of Honolulu Harbor for the royal family, the center was the premier maritime museum in the Pacific Rim with artifacts in relation to the Pacific whaling industry and the Hawaiʻi steamship industry. On the Big Island of Hawai'i, the Bishop Museum administers the Amy B. H. Greenwell Ethnobotanical Garden, specializing in indigenous Hawaiian plant life. Since 1920, the Secretariat of the Pacific Science Association, founded that year as an independent regional, non-governmental, scholarly organization, has been based at Bishop Museum, it seeks to advance science and technology in support of sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific. In 1924, American millionaire, Medford Ross Kellum, outfitted a four masted barkantine for a scientific expedition which the naming of the ship Kaimiloa, was left to the scientific circles of Honolulu; the goal of the expedition was a five-year expedition to many of the inaccessible spots of the Pacific.
Under the auspices of the Bishop Museum, a group of Hawaiian scientists joined the ship: Gerrit P. Wilder, botanist.