Bishop Museum

The Tanager Expedition

Photos: Bishop Museum

Bishop Museum has explored and studied the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands since the founding of the Museum in 1889.

One of the first important scientific studies of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands was the Tanager Expedition, a series of five biological surveys of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands conducted in partnership between the Bureau of Biological Survey and the Bishop Museum.

Led by Lieutenant Commander Samuel Wilder King on the minesweeper USS Tanager, and Alexander Whitmore (above right) directing the team of scientists, the expedition studied the plant, animal life, and geology of the central Pacific islands.