Become part of Hawaii’s conservation story


The ‘Āina and Innovation Workforce Hawaiʻi (AIWH) program is a new initiative designed by Kupu in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This program provides temporary employment opportunities for individuals who are interested in exploring environmental and sustainability related work. Positions are available at conservation and agriculture-based host sites throughout the islands of Hawai’i. Kupu’s extensive network of partner organizations and agencies are able to offer unique and exciting positions in various fields, including ornithology, botany, natural and aquatic resource management, marine biology, Hawaiian cultural studies, agricultural science and more!

The key objective of the AIWH program is to provide paid, career building employment opportunities for those who are furloughed, unemployed, or underemployed due to COVID-19. In addition to the financial compensation of $18.00 an hour, Crew Leaders participating in this program will gain invaluable experiences in `aina based industries, opportunities to receive field relevant certifications, healthcare and college credits.


Crew Leaders (CL) are responsible for the overall safety and success of projects. CL's organize and execute field projects; safely transport crews and will professionally communicate with host sites, Kupu Coordinators and Crew Members. The CL’s will need to ensure the completion of all project documentation under established deadlines and will be responsible for motivating, developing, and managing each of the members of their team. They will work alongside their members on field projects, and ensure that their crew is prepared for upcoming activities. The CL’s will be responsible for leading various conservation projects, which may include: trail construction & maintenance, exotic & invasive species removal, habitat restoration, fence construction, and distribution of pesticides/herbicides.


The 'Āina and Innovation Workforce Hawai'i program has partnered with many host sites throughout the Hawaiian Islands, and as a result the day to day responsibilities vary from site to site. The ideal CL candidate will possess knowledge in one or more of the following:

  • Hawaiian culture, language, and/or protocols in relation to the land, flora and fauna
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Botany, Nursery, Horticulture
  • WasteWater Management
  • Restricted Use Pesticides/Herbicides
  • Carpentry
  • Fencing


  • On a weekly basis, CLs are required to check in with their program coordinator/manager, keep a record of the team’s progress and work efforts and ensure timesheets and other paperwork are turned in on time.
  • Maintaining risk management protocols and situational awareness to ensure safe, well-supported experiences for members, complete injury/accident report documentation, as required.
  • Maintain accurate program records, including completion of daily attendance rosters, gear checkout logs, and other reporting
  • CLs will participate in program activities with their teams Monday through Friday, generally from 7am-5pm, with the possibility of camping. CLs on the islands of Hawai‘i, Maui, and Kaua‘i may have more extensive camping requirements.
  • The CL position may involve commitments outside of program activities, on the weekends, including communication with team members/Kupu staff, completing program-related paperwork, planning logistics for the upcoming work week.
  • CL’s will adhere to Kupu’s Employee Policies.


  • $18.00 Per hour (Paid Bi-weekly)
  • Option to complete a fully paid semester through Kupu partnership with Arizona State University.
  • Medical Insurance (Full-time employees)
  • Opportunity to work in unique and beautiful locations
  • Approved program travel expenses paid will be reimbursed
  • Valuable hands-on learning opportunities and awareness of environmental issues
  • Opportunities to receive certifications in emerging fields.
  • Opportunity to meet supervisors and potential future employers working within resource management and conservation realm
  • Opportunity to improve mentoring and leadership skills
  • And most of all, an opportunity to protect Hawaii’s natural resources and make a positive impact in your community


Kupu Pathways is a unique opportunity created in partnership between Kupu and Arizona State University offering free virtual college tuition. Program participants have the chance to take advantage of classes offered and will be fully-compensated by Kupu for both enrollment and purchase their credits on completion of their courses.

Participants are not required to have a certain GPA for admission, and do not need to go through a lengthy admissions application. Instead, participants are automatically eligible once selected into the Kupu AIWH program. Further information will be provided on this initiative once applicants have been accepted to the program.


Mandatory orientation on 14th of September, 2020 (virtual attendance will be available)

Employment will commence on Sept 14th and end on the 15th December, 2020.


Age - Must be 21 years of age or older

Employment is contingent on satisfying employment eligibility verification requirements, reference checks of previous employers; and for certain positions, criminal history record checks (upon receiving a conditional job offer).

Previous Experience - Applicants must have previous experience in one or more of the following fields: education, conservation/environmental fieldwork, being a leader/supervisor/mentor.

Driver’s License – Duties for this role involve driving a vehicle to transport a crew in a company-provided van and/or truck. You must at all times hold a valid US driving licence.

Housing/Transportation - Applicants must have their own personal housing and transportation arrangements on-island for non-program time (nights and weekends).

Physical & Behavioral Requirements - Due to the nature of this program, the physical and behavioral demands described here are representative of those that must be met by the employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

  • Able to work extended hours on steep, rugged terrain, and/or under extreme hot and cold weather conditions
  • Able to hike long distances carrying a 20lbs backpack
  • Able to lift 30+ lbs, and operate basic hand & power tools (machetes, shovels, picks, stringers, chainsaw etc.)
  • Able to work and camp in remote locations with minimal facilities e. Able to work closely, interact according to Kupu’s core values and expectations, and camp with a small team for consecutive days and weeks

In addition, to these knowledge areas CL’s should be comfortable with the following:

  • Managing a team of 4-6 crew members
  • 4X4 Off-roading
  • GPS Navigation
  • Operating in rugged and sometimes remote environments, and be able to perform physically demanding work (see physical and behavioral requirements below*)


Complete the Online Application on our website at

Please read ALL instructions and answer questions to the best of your ability. Please provide your resume and contact information for two references.


Applications will remain open until all positions are filled, however we are making our initial selections throughout the month of August and encourage anyone interested to apply as soon as possible as spaces are limited.


We can save lives and stop COVID-19 if each of us does our part. Due to the unprecedented nature of this pandemic, Kupu will remain up to date state and local government recommendations and policies relating to COVID-19. As part of the collective effort to combat this disease, participants will be required to adhere to Kupu’s policies and host sites’ social distancing protocols, and vehicle policies.


  • Posted On

    August 13, 2020
  • Closing Date

    February 9, 2021
  • Organization

  • Location

    All Islands
  • Position Type

    Full Time
For more information about Kupu and this opportunity please visit our website at, contact us at 8087351221 or via email at

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