Become part of Hawaii’s conservation story

Description of Opportunity

Position Title: Mālama ʻĀina Alakaʻi Internship

Employment Status: Part Time

Department: Teaching Change

FLSA Status: Non-Exempt

Compensation: $12.50/hour for 90 hours

Benefits: N/A

Other: College credits at UH Hilo available for Spring 2021.

Purpose of the Position

The Mālama ʻĀina Alakaʻi Intern will fulfill a broad range of responsibilities to support the Teaching Change educational partnership’s biocultural, outdoor/virtual, immersive youth education programs. 


About Teaching Change

Teaching Change is an educational partnership between the Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests, the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and the United States Forest Service. Teaching Change was initiated in 2012 with Field Courses based at the Hakalau Forest National Wildlife Refuge. Over the past eight years, Teaching Change has expanded to offer outdoor education opportunities to students and teachers from across the state. Teaching Change offers day and overnight Field Courses for 4th-12th grade students, and Teacher Training Workshops for local middle- and high-school teachers focused on how to develop and implement curricula that emphasizes outdoor, biocultural-focused, career-connected, place-based learning. 


The Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests is seeking applications for two Mālama ʻĀina Alakaʻi Interns to support the Teaching Change Professional Development and Pathways Program (PDPP) which is meant to provide professional development opportunities to Hawaii’s youth. The Mālama ʻĀina Alakaʻi Interns will be responsible for supporting High School level interns complete their PDPP with Teaching Change. Responsibilities include but are not limited to assisting in planning and directing the activities and services of the Teaching Change PDPP, including: Assists with organizing and running single day and overnight experiential, place-based field courses for local High School students on native forest ecology, climate change, phenology, biocultural resource management and career connected learning. Assists with virtual presentations and programs. Assists with organizing logistics and schedules for the PDPP Teaching Change staff and Keaʻau Highschool. We are seeking candidates who have a strong background and/or familiarity with Hawaiian culture and lifeways, including familiarity with aloha ‘āina, mālama ʻāina and ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi. 

The positions will entail a combination of office work held at the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry at 60 Nowelo St Hilo Hawaiʻi 96720, and field work and classroom visits occurring across Hawaiʻi Island. This internship runs for a total of 90 hours between October 2020 and May 2021. Hours will vary from 0-24 hours per week depending on availability, scheduling and possibility of conducting work in persons vs. virtually. Virtual classes typically run for one hour during the week and we may have up to three classes per day on a given week. Field Courses run overnight at 12 hours per day. College credits are available for the Spring semester of 2021.

*Remote option is available and encouraged when necessary during COVID-19 pandemic. This would include working from home on a personal laptop, or a company provided laptop. The employee would need access to high speed internet, a safe place to work, and the ability to telecommunicate.

Primary Qualifications Education / Training

Currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo in Hawaiian Studies, Natural Resource Management, Biology, Botany, Ecology, Environmental Science, or a related field. Demonstrated interest in biocultural education and/or experience in the development and implementation of outdoor, experiential education opportunities, particularly for youth (K-12). Demonstrated interest and/or experience with biocultural resource management and/or Hawaiian lifeways and mālama ‘āina practices.

Abilities / Knowledge / Skills

Interest in forest ecology in Hawai‘i, including basic ecological concepts and identification of native and nonnative plants, and with mālama ‘āina practices and protocol. Demonstrated organizational skills. Demonstrated ability to understand oral and written documentation and communicate effectively in a variety of formats and situations. Working knowledge of computer software including Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Word for data management, spreadsheet development, and report writing. Must possess a valid driver’s license with a clean driver’s abstract (and if use of a personal vehicle on the job is required, must also have valid personal driver’s insurance equivalent to Hawai‘i’s No-Fault Driver’s Insurance) and maintain throughout the duration of employment.


Post Offer/Employment Condition: Must be able to pass a post offer criminal background check. Must possess a valid driver's license and a clean abstract. 


Physical / Medical Requirements Ability to work in adverse field conditions (hot and dry and/or cold and wet) and hike over rough terrain. Ability to lift and carry up to forty (40) pounds unassisted. POLICY AND/OR REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS: As a condition of employment, employees will be subject to all applicable Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests policies and procedures. Violation of Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forest policies and/or procedures or applicable State or Federal laws and/or regulations may lead to disciplinary action (including, but not limited to possible termination of employment, personal fines, civil and/or criminal penalties, etc.).


To Apply submit the following to

  1. One page cover letter describing your interest in the position and how you meet the qualifications described above.

  2. Resume 

  3. List of three references


If you have any questions please contact Blaire J. Langston at 201-704-2020 or



For more information about Akaka Foundation for Tropical Forests and this opportunity please visit our website at, contact us at 2017042020 or via email at

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