A Dedication to Maura E. O’Connor
A Lifetime of Work Devoted to ‘Ohana, Students, Teachers, and Environmental Education
The Pacific American Foundation recognizes Maura O’Connor for her leadership, aloha, and special contributions as the curriculum team leader and teacher trainer during a 15-year tenure with PAF. She was an enthusiastic supporter and coach for teachers. She provided encouragement to adopt cultural place-based curriculums strategies. Her boundless energy and deep Aloha for people and students highlighted our understanding of the importance of culture and place-based strategies to boost student success.
Maura’s love of the ‘Āina of Hawai‘i and its people inspired her to become one of Hawai‘i’s most prolific writers of curriculum utilizing Hawai‘i’s unique physical and cultural way of life. Her lessons have inspired thousands of teachers, students and their families throughout Hawai‘i by integrating core subjects including math, science, social studies and language arts through a cultural lens and aligned to state and national standards.
Born in Chicago, Maura received her Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin in 1981, and her Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Natural Resources Management from the Department of Forestry and Wildlife Management at the University of Massachusetts in 1976.
Bibliography of Maura O’Connor’s Publications and Productions
- Curriculum Materials and Publications for the General Public
Hawai’i Tsunami Education Curriculum Program, Senior Curriculum Writer
Tsunamis Volume (grades 4 & 9) and Climate Change – Sea Rise Volume (grades 6 & 8). Pacific American Foundation for the Pacific Tsunami Museum, 2013.
Project ‘Āina Hanau, adaption of the Aloha Aina curricula, Senior Curriculum Writer
(grades 3-8) for the ahupua‘a in Hilo, Kona, Kaua‘i, Wai‘anae (Ka‘ānani‘au), Moloka‘i, Maui: Kihei/Waihe‘e and Hana (Grade 9). Pacific American Foundation, 2012.
Pua Lililehua Program Curriculum, Senior Curriculum Writer
for grades K-6 focused on Pālolo and Waikīkī; Pacific American Foundation with Chaminade University of Honolulu, 2011.
Aloha ‘Āina: A Teacher’s Guide to the Ahupua’a – Senior Curriculum Writer
Standards-based and Hawaiian culture-based teacher’s guide for gr. 3-12 that integrates science, social studies, math and language arts. Pacific American Foundation in Cooperation with Hawai’i State Department of Education. 2007.
Navigating Change Teacher’s Guide, Curriculum Consultant/Writer
Standards-based educational materials for grades 4-5 integrating science and social studies with the theme of caring for our marine environment, Navigating Change Partnership (Bishop Museum, Polynesian Voyaging Society, NOAA, Department of Land and Natural Resources) 2006.
Waikalua Loko Docent Training Manual. Co-Author
Manual for docents teaching science and social studies at Waikalua Loko fishpond. Pacific American Foundation and Waikalua Loko Fishpond Preservation Society. 2005.
Project Kamalama Alaka‘i Handbook. Co-Author
Guide for mentors working with Hawaiian youth. Pacific American Foundation. 2005.
E Ola Pono: A Native Hawaiian Health Curriculum for Middle School Students. Co-author of standards-based curriculum materials for grades 6-8; Kamehameha Schools Extension Education Division. 2005.
Exploring America Teacher’s Guide. Author
Standards-based unit correlating to distance learning series with social studies emphasis for grade 5. Hawai’i State Department of Education. 2004.
Kāhea Loko: The Call of the Pond, Senior Curriculum Consultant/Writer
Standards-based curriculum materials for grades 4-12; Pacific American Foundation. 2003.
Investigating Limu, Author
Teacher’s Guide to standards-based high school curriculum for the study of native and invasive seaweeds on Hawaiian coral reefs. Waikīkī Aquarium. 2003.
Let’s Go Voyaging, Curriculum Consultant, Writer
Curriculum supplement for grades 4-7; Moanalua Gardens Foundation. Honolulu, Hawai’i. 2000.
The Silent Invasion, Author
Curriculum supplement for grades 4-12; Moanalua Gardens Foundation.1997.
`Ōhi`a Project, Principal Writer and Editor of three volumes
Curriculum guidebooks for grades K-3, 4-6 and 7-8, Bishop Museum and Moanalua Gardens Foundation.1989, 1990 and 1992.
`Ōhi`a Project Workshop Manual, Author
Manual for workshop leaders, Bishop Museum and Moanalua Gardens Foundation.1992.
Exploring The Islands, Project Director and Editor
Series interprets 15 field sites on 5 islands for the general public, teachers and students in grades 4-6, Moanalua Gardens Foundation and Hawai’i State Department of Education. 1992, 1993.
Environmental Education Instructional Guide: Ho`omaluhia Botanic Garden and Kahana Beach Park,
Contributing Author. A Guide to field sites for grades K-6 teachers, Hawaii Department of Education, Office of Instructional Services. 1991.
A Walk Into the Past, Author
A self-guided trail booklet for Kamananui Valley of Moanalua, Moanalua Gardens Foundation, 1987.
A Teacher’s Guide to Endangered Birds of Hawai`i, Author
Instructional activities for students in grades 3-7, Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 1986.
Living Lightly on the Planet, Volumes I and II, Author
Curriculum guidebooks for grades 7-8 and 9-12, Schlitz Audubon Center of the National Audubon Society, 1985 and 1986.
Living Lightly in the City, Volumes I and II, Principal Author and Author
Curriculum guidebooks for grades K-3 and 4-6, Schlitz Audubon Center of the National Audubon Society, 1982 and 1983; second edition 1992.
Shoots `N Roots Goes to School, Author
Supplementary nutrition and plant science curriculum materials for grades K-6, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 1981.
- Children’s Books
Flowing to the Sea, Author
Children’s book about stream and wetland environments in the Hawaiian Islands, Moanalua Gardens Foundation.1994.
Call of Kōlea, Author
Children’s book about diversity of ecosystems in the Hawaiian Islands, Moanalua Gardens Foundation.1992.
Growing Together, Author
Children’s book about gardening in the city, University of Wisconsin-Extension, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.1981.
- Educational Technology
Aloha ‘Āina. Co-producer, Video Editor
30-minute DVD focusing on Hawaiian values and stories that emphasize positive and caring relationships with the land and sea. Pacific American Foundation, 2007
Fossil Finders & Fossil Fixers. Co-Producer, Video Editor
15-minute DVD following children on an adventure of finding fossils and preparing them for display. Laguna Hills Community Center. Laguna Hills, California. 2006
Exploring America, Producer, Writer, Video Editor
Distance learning television series of 7 programs for 5th grade students focusing on natural resource use and civic responsibility. Hawai’i DOE Teleschool Branch, 2004
Kāhea Loko: The Call of the Pond, Co-producer, Writer, Video Editor
30-minute video production on fishponds in the Hawaiian Islands. Pacific American Foundation and the Hawai’i State Department of Education, 2003.
Exploring the Islands, Producer, Writer, Video Editor
Distance learning television series of 13 programs for elementary students that focuses on the Hawaiian environment and culture. Programs taped on location with students and edited for telecast on Hawaiÿi Public Television and local cable access channels weekly during the school year. Moanalua Gardens Foundation and Hawai’i State Department of Education, 1994 – 2002.
Forest Treasures, Project Director
An interactive CD-ROM program for upper elementary and high school students that focuses on native Hawaiian forests and providing students and teachers with the tools, images, sounds and videos to create their own multimedia presentations. Moanalua Gardens Foundation, 2001.
Sea Search: Exploring Tropical Marine Environments, Project Supervisor and Educational Consultant
An interactive CD-ROM program for upper elementary and high school students that incorporates inquiry-based learning using animation, slide and video images, animal sounds and a database of Pacific marine organisms. Moanalua Gardens Foundation, 1995.
Flowing to the Sea, Writer and Executive Producer
Educational videotape about Hawaiian streams, highlighting children discovering native stream life and ways that people can keep streams healthy. Moanalua Gardens Foundation, 23 minutes, 1992.
In the Middle of the Sea, Writer and Executive Producer
Educational videotape about native Hawaiian plants and animals, Moanalua Gardens Foundation,18 minutes,1992.
We All Need the Forest, Writer and Associate Producer
Educational videotape about Hawaiian forests produced for the `Ōhi`a Project, Bishop Museum and Moanalua Gardens Foundation, 20 minutes, 1990.
Hawai`i`s Birds: A Vanishing Treasure, Writer
Program for the general public produced for the Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Forestry and Wildlife, 25 minutes, 1987.
- Environmental Education Excellence Award, Hawai`i Environmental Education Association, 1995.
- Special Judges Award, National Marine Educator’s Conference, for In the Middle of the Sea.1992.
- Honorable Mention, American Film and Video Festival, for In the Middle of the Sea, 1992.
- Silver `Ike Pono Award, International Television Association’s Hawai`i Competition, for We All Need the Forest.1990.
- Finalist, American Film and Video Festival, for We All Need the Forest, 1990.
- Model Program, SourceBook II, Learning By Design, The American Institute of Architects, for Living Lightly in the City, 1988.