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The Ko'Olina Education Center has moved. We are in the process of relocating. Check back for the latest updates.

Marine Mammal Research and Education Center at Ko Olina

The Center is housed in two large modular offices consisting of a research and data laboratory, and an educational area, all conjoined by a deck overlooking Ko Olina’s marina and the ocean.  Docked at the marina are TDI’s two research boats, Kohola I and Kohola II. 

Visitors entering the center first encounter the main room housing displays of marine mammal artifacts--whale bones, krill that whales feed upon, and baleen plates, which whales use to filter food. The main room also houses numerous life size skull replicas of toothed whale species from Hawaii and beyond including the bottlenosed dolphin, short-finned pilot whale, false killer whale, pygmy sperm whale, cuvier’s beaked whale, melon headed whale, rough-toothed dolphin, and amazon and ganges river dolphins.  These skulls are integrated into informative displays on anatomy, adaptation, and evolution. In this main room, visitors may also view special films on marine mammals on our large rear-projection screen that brings the scenes almost to life. Other displays provide the visitor with current information on the behavior and biology of the whales and dolphins that inhabit Hawaii’s waters.

The center features skull replicas of some of Hawaii's toothed whales

To the left of the main display room is a classroom outfitted for multi-media presentations.   The classrooom is used for teaching college courses, for high school internship programs, and for community in-reach programs.

A room to the right of the entrance to the main area is our sound laboratory, where visitors can put on an IPOD and listen to the evolution of humpback whale songs over the years.

A visitor listens to humpback whale song recorded by TDI
researchers off Maui in 2000 and compares themes to 2004

Another room to the far right of the display area houses our learning laboratory. Here, college and high school students as well as community volunteers from across Oahu process the photographic identification data collected by TDI's research teams each winter season during its studies of the assemply of humpback whales in Hawaiian waters.

High school interns from Kapolei High School find matches
for photographs of humpback whale tail flukes

School Education Programs

TDI's mission includes educating students at all levels about whales, dolphins, and other marine mammals. TDI's school education programs are unique, informative, and exciting. In addition to bringing to students and teachers the most up-to-date information on whales and dolphins, these programs showcase many of the ground-breaking research findings by TDI scientists on humpback whale behavior and biology, and dolphin sensory perception, cognition, and communication. TDI offers a variety of programs for students and schools. It's elementary and high school outreach programs bring whale and dolphin scientific information to the classroom and reach over 3,000 students annually. It's high school internship programs provide juniors and seniors with hands-on opportunities to work along TDI scientists in the field studying Hawaii's humpback whales off Maui, and also to learn how to process and analyze real data at TDI's Research and Education Center at Ko Olina on Oahu.
All in all, exciting educational opportunities abound with our School Education Programs! Read on for more information!

Community Education Programs

TDI would like to educate your group about whales and dolphins! TDI offers a variety of lecture presentations and educational programs to community groups on whales and dolphins. We also participate in environmental and marine-themed fairs and events and offer a number of exciting programs at different times during the year. Read on for more information!

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