Maui Huliau Foundation and their program partners are again inviting Maui youth ages 13-21 to participate in two in-person events where students can learn hands-on career skills from professionals working to protect Maui’s natural resources and ecosystems from mauka to makai.
- The Makai event in Māʻalaea on Nov. 6 will focus on careers in marine science fields.
- The Mauka event in ʻĪao Valley on Nov. 13 will focus on careers in freshwater, watershed, and native forest protection.
Both events are free and will feature activity stations run by local professionals working in these fields, as well as information tables featuring volunteer, internship, and employment opportunities.
“We first hosted these events last spring as a way for students to be exposed to the diverse array of careers in conservation that exist on Maui,” said Malia Cahill, Executive Director at Maui Huliau Foundation. “The events were such a success that we decided to host them every school year to inspire more local students to enter these career fields and lead efforts to protect our mauka to makai ecosystems.”
Both events are free to Maui County residents ages 13-21 and lunch will be provided. To participate, you must be able to attend the entire event from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participation is limited to just 48 students, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis through their website: https://mauihuliaufoundation.org/careers-in-conservation/
Hands-on career activity stations for the Makai event on Sunday, Nov. 6 include Maui Ocean Center, Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute, Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project, Sharkastics, and Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s Hui o Ka Wai Ola water quality testing program.
Through the hands-on activity stations students will learn about coral propagation, sea turtle rehabilitation, marine debris research, nearshore water quality testing, how to identify and measure sea birds, as well as behind the scenes animal husbandry and public education at Maui Ocean Center.
During lunch, students will also learn about the work being done by other community-based marine resource management organizations and about opportunities to study and work in the exciting field of marine science.
“Maui Ocean Center is excited to participate in the Makai Careers Exploration Day again this year,” said Jessica Colla, Education Director at MOC, “Marine conservation is a big, exciting field with so many opportunities. It is our kuleana to support the next generation of ocean advocates through immersive experiences like this.”
The Mauka event based at the Hawai’i Nature Center campus in ʻĪao Valley on Sunday, Nov. 13 will feature hands-on career activity stations hosted by two of Maui’s watershed partnerships, Maui Invasive Species Committee, Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, the Department of Forestry & Wildlife, and retired aquatic biologist, Skippy Hau.
Through the hands-on activity stations, students will learn about the technologies and methodologies used in backcountry fieldwork to protect Maui’s native forests, how to spot some of Maui’s common invasive species, technologies used to monitor native bird populations, which native species are found in Maui’s streams, and the importance of various protected habitats.
This event will feature an opening by Ke Kula o Piʻilani and a lunch time presentation by Hui o Nā Wai ʻEhā on the importance of the Nā Wai ʻEhā region and its freshwater resources. During lunch, a representative from Kupu will be present to share information on their programs and internship opportunities. Additional information will also be provided on other organizations working to protect our watersheds and native species, and on other opportunities to study and work in this diverse field.
“Working in conservation is a fun innovative field of study that is often overlooked,” said Allison Borell, Community Outreach & Education Liaison for East Maui Watershed Partnership. “We loved the opportunity last year to connect with students and provide them with a glimpse into real scenarios we do while on the job. We are excited to offer it again!”
Maui Huliau Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to promoting environmental literacy and leadership among Maui’s youth. In addition to information on these events, their Careers in Conservation page features information on educational opportunities for youth interested in careers in conservation and sustainability fields, as well as recorded presentations by 24 professionals discussing their career paths and advice for youth.