The Gump Station is committed to community outreach and educational programs. Towards these goals, we are building the Atitia Center in partnership with a local community based organization. Learn more about the Atitia Center.











Atitia Center

Atitia Center

The Gump Station’s “Atitia Center” is located on the southern half of the UCB property. Atitia is the name of the land in Tahitian and the Center is devoted to community outreach and educational activities. The Atitia Center consists of an ethnobotanic garden, fare pote’e (traditional Tahitian meeting house), interpretive center, and the waterfront of a marine reserve.

It is often difficult for scientists to communicate their knowledge to the public, and even more so when there are linguistic and cultural hurdles to overcome. To address this challenge, UCB formed the Atitia Center in partnership with a Tahitian non-profit “association” called Te Pu 'Atiti'a. The Association Te Pu 'Atiti'a is largely made up of local educators (including many school teachers) and traditional experts.

A cooperative agreement was signed by Berkeley's Vice Chancellor of Research Beth Burnside and Te Pu Atitia President Hinano Murphy in the Gump House in 2002 (photo) and renewed in 2008 in Berkeley.  Financial support for infrastructure at the Atitia Center has come from Seacology, the Twanda Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and the Craig Venter Foundation, along with many contributions in time and kind from members of the local community.

Through the Atitia Center, the Gump Station and Te Pu 'Atiti'a pursue common educational and research programs focused on marine and terrestrial biodiversity, traditional knowledge, culture, and the relationship between human societies and natural ecosystems.

The Atitia Center thus provides an excellent opportunity for interaction and exchange, enabling visiting students and researchers to learn from local experts, and vice versa, building on and expanding the knowledge base together through scientific research. Already, this exchange has catalyzed joint research programs. The common goal: to document, promote and preserve Polynesia’s biocultural heritage.

Polynesian Schools Outreach

Schools K-12 Outreach

High Schools

The Gump Station and Atitia center welcomes high schools from Tahiti and Moorea.  For example, undergraduates from the UC Berkeley field course have presented the results of their projects to students from the nearby Opunohu Agriculture High School.  The result is an excellent exchange between American and Polynesian students.  

The learning experience is in both directions - with guidance from UC professors, Opunohu school teachers, community elders and members of the Association Te Pu Atitia.  In addition to the biological topics of common interests, the students get to practice their English, French and Tahitian.