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Application now available for environmental internship opportunities

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Date: Friday, January 11, 2008
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

University of Hawaii at Hilo Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES) is currently recruiting undergraduate students of Native Hawaiian ancestry, other kama‘aina students, under-represented minorities, and first-generation college students for paid environmental internships for Summer 2008. The application deadline is February 15, 2008.

“Spawning from a single program more than a decade ago, PIPES has grown dramatically to encompass several programs and a broader target audience,” noted Sharon Ziegler-Chong, PIPES director. The programs—the University of Hawai`i Hawaiian Internship Program (UH-HIP), the UH Hilo Research Experience for Undergraduates Program (REU), and the Micronesia and American Samoan Student Internship Program (MASSIP)—can be accessed under a single, unified application. PIPES facilitates the unified organization of UH-HIP, REU, and MASSIP during the summer to maximize the experience for the students. The internships are structured into a ten-week program consisting of a four-day orientation and constant mentoring during the internship to enhance the projects undertaken by the interns.

“Native Hawaiians and our local population are poorly represented in environmental agencies that make decisions about the use and protection of Hawai`i’s resources,” said Ziegler-Chong. “We are seeking Native Hawaiian and kama‘aina undergraduate students dedicated to Hawai`i’s environment and culture to participate in these programs in hopes to connect more of them to careers related to the conservation of our Pacific region’s resources.”

PIPES is founded on partnerships and is supported through funding and program efforts of the USGS Biological Resources Division Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center (PIERC), Kamehameha Schools ‘Aina Ulu Program, USDA Forest Service Institute for Pacific Islands Forestry (IPIF), the UH Hilo Pacific Aquaculture and Coastal Resources Center, EPSCoR Hawai`i, Alu Like, Inc., Hawai`i Community College’s Forest Team, the National Science Foundation and the agencies and researchers that host and support interns each year, which include PIERC, IPIF and TNC, as well as groups like the Hanauma Bay Education Program, the Northwest Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve, the Waipa Foundation on Kaua`i, Maui Coastal Land Trust and the State Division of Forestry and Wildlife.

Of the former MASSIP participants who have graduated, half are working in their home islands and of those, 70% are working in a science or development-related field. After 11 years of connecting undergraduates with Hawai`i’s researchers and resource managers, over 70% of the UH-HIP interns who have finished their baccalaureate degrees are either in graduate school or working in Hawai`i in the environmental science field.

Application instructions are available online at, or by contacting the PIPES Office via email ( or telephone in Hilo (808-933-0705).

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