In November, Maui Huliau Foundation and their program partners are again hosting two events where Maui youth can learn hands-on career skills from professionals working to protect Maui’s natural resources and ecosystems from mauka to makai.
The Makai Careers Exploration Day in Māʻalaea on Nov. 5 will focus on careers in marine science fields, and the Mauka Careers Exploration Day in ʻĪao Valley on Nov. 12 will focus on careers in native forest and watershed protection.
Both events will feature four activity stations from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. run by local professionals working in these fields, as well as information on volunteer, internship and employment opportunities in these fields.
Both events are free to Maui County residents ages 13-21 and lunch will be provided. Participants must be able to attend the entire event from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Participation is limited to 48 students, and registration is on a first-come, first-served basis through their website: https://mauihuliaufoundation.org/careers-in-conservation/
Activity stations for the Makai event on Nov. 5 will be run by Maui Ocean Center, Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute, Pacific Whale Foundation, Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources- Department of Aquatic Resources, Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project, and Sharkastics.
Through hands-on activities, students will learn about coral propagation, sea turtle rehabilitation, the Department of Aquatic Resourcesʻ barbless fishing hook project, how to identify and measure seabirds, behind the scenes animal husbandry and public education at Maui Ocean Center, and how drone technology is used to measure and identify whales.
During lunch students will also learn from Sharkastics about the various types of marine debris that are commonly found washed ashore, and how these items threaten the survival of our native wildlife .
“We had a great time last year at the Makai Careers Exploration Day, and we are looking forward to meeting more of Maui’s youth,” said Emily Severson, community outreach liaison for Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project. “Together, we learn to identify native Hawaiian seabirds, and how to take important scientific measurements. The students also enjoy analyzing camera data for seabird and predator behavior. It is inspiring to watch the next generation truly engage in the tools and techniques being used to protect and conserve our unique native species.”
The Mauka event based at the Hawai’i Nature Center campus in ʻĪao Valley on Nov. 12 will feature career activity stations hosted by two of Maui’s watershed partnerships, Maui Invasive Species Committee, Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, and Maui Huliau Foundation staff.
Through the hands-on activities students will learn about the technologies and methodologies used in backcountry fieldwork to protect Maui’s native forests, how to prevent the spread of some of Maui’s most invasive species, technologies used to monitor native bird populations, as well as background on the Hawaiian ahupuaʻa system and the Nā Wai ʻEhā region.
This event will feature an opening by Ke Kula o Piʻilani and a lunchtime presentation by the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College’s Hulihia program. Additional information will also be provided on other opportunities to study and work in this diverse field.
This is the third time that these events are being hosted by Maui Huliau Foundation and their partners, due to the success of past events, which have so far served 71 students from 14 Maui schools.