I began my project with the intention of studying climate patterns by examining Parker Ranch's extensive environmental data dating from approximately 1902-1973. I chose this study because I'm interested in environmental science and after commuting to Waimea for four years, fell in love with the less-than-predictable weather here. But while I was sifting through and archiving decades of data from Carter's daily diaries (which can be accessed here: http://energylab.hpa.edu/public/college/arianna_datta/)
, I began to learn more about the history of the ranch and became fascinated with it's impact on Waimea and the culture of ranching. Archiving the diaries was a large source of my challenges as his handwriting, albeit beautiful cursive, proved difficult for me to read and I was uncertain of the best method of documenting his data and how to properly preserve it. I transitioned from high quality photo scans which took too long to iphone photos and from folders on my hpa google docs which I quickly realized would disappear after my HPA career to folders on the energy lab server. Because I had the freedom and flexibility to create my own curriculum (thank you Dr. Bill!), I was able to bend my focus to the grass-fed beef program at Parker Ranch and hypothesizing what the future face of local ranching may look like. I've been interested in local food for a few years now as evidenced by my previous independent, a case study on food miles in Waimea. I began by familiarizing myself with the history. I read Bergin's Loyal To The Land
and Brennan's The Parker Ranch of Hawaii: A Saga of a Ranch and Dynasty. For the intended purpose of a paper and to get a deeper understanding of the
history of Parker Ranch's feed program both past and present I interviewed Jimmy Greenwell, Dutch Kupyer, and Jason Von Tassel all of whom had very different but optimistic perspectives. My intended goal at this point was to write a research paper (outline found here: http://physics.hpa.edu/users/datta_ariana/weblog/ee7c9/21rst_Century_Ranching_Draft_3.html
) but quickly realized that should have been categorized as a dream rather than a goal as I was well into the second semester of my senior year. I managed to collect a fair amount of research on the recent history of the ranch and hope future Elab rats will take my scraps and turn it into something worth reading. All of my research, links to articles, data, documents, archives, etc. can either be found on this weblog or links to their hosts. This project leaves a foundation from which others may work from. My project was intended to preserve Waimea's past and conceptualize what Waimea's future may hold. I want there to be a easily accessible and engaging written document on Parker Ranch's importance to Waimea and it's current history. Sydney Bonham, a rising senior will take over this project in the upcoming fall as part of her digital journalism independent study and Laney Von Tassel will take over the research aspect (pending).