May 4 2009 - 2:03pm

Wednesday, April 22th, at 9 a.m , a bilingual meeting ( tahitian/french) « Ethnocode » occurred at the station.

In attendance: Hinano MURPHY, members of Atiti'a association, Papa MAPE, Jerome PETIT and Reo TERAI from BIOCODE project, Neil DAVIES and Tamatoa BAMBRIDGE , an ethnologist from CRIOBE ( EPHE-CNRS).

The meeting began with a presentation of the Biocode project led by the Gump station. Then Hinano MURPHY presented the Ethnocode project, a "brother" project led by the Atiti'a association, whose goal is to do an inventory of all marine and terrestrial species on the island of Moorea with cultural importance.

Then we had discussions with the help of Tamatoa BAMBRIDGE: How to best organize this project? What are our materials and personnel needs?...After that, decisions were made:

1. Perfect a methodology (criteria for the species, use of a card...)

2. Perfect working parties (training, find bilingual people)

3. Help of a computer scientist ( to structure the data)

4. Help of an Ethnologist ( for the methodology)

The calendar will be set up soon.



Apr 24 2009 - 8:56am

On October 15, 2008, we welcomed a class of junior-high students from the LAMENNAIS school in Papeete to the GUMP station for an "Biocode Day." To begin the day, we toured the marine lab, followed by two presentations in the library: one by a UCB student on "Cetaceans and their migrations," and another from Biocode coordinator ,Jerome Petit, on the Moorea Biocode Project. The students, curious and very interested, bombarded the presenters with questions. After the presentations, we had a guided tour of the two laboratories used by Biocode staff: the Biocode lab and the Molecular lab. To finish off the day, the pupils and Biocode staff went to the Atiti'a Botanical Garden to collect insects to have their DNA sequenced and included in the Biocode database.


Lamenais class in the Atitia botanical garden


Insect collect

Apr 23 2009 - 3:40pm

On December 12, 2008, for the second Biocode Day, called "La Fête Des Plantes", we received two classes from the Paopao Primary School at the Gump Station. The program started with an introduction by GK-12 fellow Brad Balukjian, followed by a presentation of the Moorea Biocode Project by Reo Terai. We welcomed our keynote speaker, Dr. Jean-Yves Meyer, a botanist with the Délégation à la Recherche in Tahiti, who gave a talk on the diversity and importance of French Polynesia's native forests. The students then gave oral presentations on the 7 species of plants that they had researched over the course of the past several weeks, providing information on the species' natural history, distribution, and cultural use/significance. A jury consisting of Tahitian scientists evaluated each presentation and awarded the winning team with the grand prize--a globe/book called "La Planète Terre." To wrap up, the students were given tours of the marine, Biocode, and molecular labs at the Gump Station.


Click here to watch a video of this day.



Apr 23 2009 - 2:56pm

Monday, February 2nd , "World Wetlands Day."

The Te Pu Atiti'a Association, together with Biocode staff, Bradley Balukjian from the GK12 program, and local botanist Ravahere Taputurai participated in this event organized by the Commune de Moorea Maiao (local government). It was held at a community site in Vaiare and two classes were invited: CM2 from the primary school, and 6eme from the junior high, both in Afareaitu. The event included four displays from different organizations: Te man o te moana, SPEA, PGEM, and one from the Gump Station (made together with Te Pu Atiti'a, Biocode, and GK12). The mayor of Moorea gave an opening speech to start the progam. The first part of the day was meant to make the students aware of the importance of picking up their trash. In the second part of the day, the children were broken up into four groups to visit the displays. The Gump Station's display was entitled "Biodiversity in the wetlands of Moorea," and included two stations giving different presentations. The first station (lead by the Biocode team) dealt with the importance of the wetlands, the variety of plants you can find there and some definitions and translations of key words in English. The second station (lead by the Atitia association) was comprised of a presentation and demonstration on the traditional uses of specific plants. Upon finishing each station, questions were posed to the students regarding the presentation. At the finale, each group was given a prize.


Rava presenting wetland plants


Atitia workshop

Apr 23 2009 - 2:53pm

Tuesday February 3rd. Together with Biocode Staff and Te Pu Atiti'a, two CM2 classes from Paopao's primary school met at Marae Tetiroa in Opunohu Valley. Hinano Murphy, president of Te Pu Atiti'a, presented the traditional uses of plants found around the site (tumu Mape, tumu ti'airi etc...). The students then divided up into small groups to collect plants in the field, with each student responsible for collecting one species of plant. Brad, Rava, the Biocode staff, CPIA students from Atiti'a, and the teachers accompanied the students on their search, providing guidance and information on the natural history of the plants. The students were eager to collect plants for themselves and very excited by the activity. Once the collecting was finished, the students assembled in the marae parking lot to take pictures of their plants and to put them into a plant press (these specimens will be the vouchers for Biocode). A tissue sample was also collected from each species, which will be used by the Biocode staff for DNA extraction.






Apr 23 2009 - 2:48pm

Fifth edition of "Biocode Day" with CPIA students from Atiti'a.

The day began at 8:30 AM with a presentation of the Moorea Biocode Project.

After that, each of the CPIA students gave a presentation on the plant that they have been studying and cultivating with the Atitia association, in the botanical garden, covering the biology, traditional uses, and legends of their plant. The group then accompanied the students and members of the association Te Pu Atiti'a to the botanical garden where their plants were growing, giving the students an opportunity to elaborate on the uses and biology of their species. While there, Hiro Isidore shared the legend of the Ati or Tamanu tree and the legend of the uru (breadfruit tree).

To finish the day, the students went back to the Gump Station in the Biocode lab to sample their specimens and to enter their data in the database helped by the Biocode team; a DNA-extraction demonstration was conducted in the molecular lab.