Become part of Hawaii’s conservation story


The ‘Āina and Innovation Workforce Hawai’i (A&I) 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 A&I 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 $14.00 an hour, Crew Members participating in this program will gain experiences in `aina based industries, opportunities to receive field relevant certifications, healthcare and college credits.


The Crew Member (CM) role plays a vital part within the team, executing and achieving the Crew Leader and host site’s goals. The CM is an entry-level position that is offered part or full time, and is best suited to individuals interested in exploring environmental and agricultural careers through hands-on experiences. CMs are not required to have previous experience working within the Agriculture or Conservation fields. CMs are selected to serve at a single host site that best matches their interests. The AIWH will provide skills training and certifications necessary to ensure successful performance within this role. CMs must have a desire to learn and a passion for ensuring that Hawaiʻi's unique natural environment is maintained for future generations.

Conservation initiatives and duties vary depending on the host site in which the CM is placed, ranging from native habitat restoration to maintenance. Day to day responsibilities may include, but are not limited to; propagating and outplanting native species, removing invasives, monitoring native and exotic wildlife, herbicide/pesticide application, trail maintenance and many other tasks related to conservation and agriculture based practices.

CMs directly report to the Crew Leader and the Site Supervisor. The position requires long days in the outdoors, working both independently and as a strong team member. CM must be comfortable serving in rugged environments, and have the ability to perform physically demanding duties (see physical and behavioral requirements below*). Each individual CM will be mutually responsible for maintaining the safety of one another while in the field and contributing to a positive team environment. CMs will be expected to adhere to Kupu’s code of conduct in order to ensure a safe and productive work environment.

While work scheduling varies depending on the host site, members are expected to serve an average of 40 hours a week, typically Monday through Friday, in some cases requiring weekends and evenings. Some duties may require extensive camping throughout the program depending on the needs of the host site. CMs are held to a high degree of personal and professional responsibility, and are expected to follow through on all program requirements.


  • Mandatory orientation on 14th of September, 2020 (virtual attendance available)
  • Employment will commence on Sept 14th and end on the 15th December, 2020


  • $14.00 per hour (Paid Bi-weekly)
  • Option to complete a fully paid semester through Kupu’s partnership with Arizona State University.
  • Medical Insurance (Full-time employees only)
  • Opportunity to work in unique and beautiful locations
  • Pre-approved program travel expenses will be reimbursed
  • Valuable hands-on learning opportunities and awareness of environmental issues
  • Opportunities to receive certifications in developing fields including Drone Training, GIS, Fire Suppression, Chainsaw Certification and many others
  • Opportunity to meet supervisors and potential future employers working within resource management and conservation realm
  • 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 college tuition. Program participants have the chance to take advantage of virtual classes offered by Arizona State University and will be fully-compensated by Kupu for both enrollment and purchase their credits on completion of their courses. Participants are automatically eligible to enroll upon their selection into the Kupu AIWH program. No formal application is needed and no minimum GPA requirement. Further information will be provided on this initiative once applicants have been accepted to the program.


• Employment is contingent on satisfying employment eligibility verification requirements of the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986; reference checks of previous employers; and for certain positions, criminal history record checks (upon receiving a conditional job offer).

• 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 a participant to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • 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, drills 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


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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