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RCUH honors Maunakea Rangers

Nahua Guilloz, Tommy Waltjen, Oscar Pouoa, Mark Ellis, Robert Madrigal and Bonnie Irwin stand for photo. Rangers have lei and hold plaque.
From left, Director of Stewardship at the Center for Maunakea Stewardship Nahua Guilloz with Maunakea Rangers Tommy Waltjen, Oscar Pouoa, Mark Ellis, Robert Madrigal and UH Hilo Chancellor Bonnie Irwin. (Courtesy photo/UH System News)

The Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi (RCUH), which services the entire 10-campus UH System, has awarded the Maunakea Rangers first place as an exemplary team for their contributions and impact to research conducted on the mauna. The rangers are Mark Ellis, Robert Madrigal, Oscar Poua, and Tommy Waltjen.

The RCUH awards were presented at a luncheon event on October 24. A selection committee comprised of Peter Adler, Sarah Guay and Taryn Salmon selected the awardees.

RCUH was established by the state in 1965 as a public agency and is attached to UH for administrative purposes. The Maunakea Rangers are part of the Center for Maunakea Stewardship, which reports directly to the Office of the Chancellor at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo.

The awards covered three categories (Team, Project Support Staff, and Researcher/Project Manager) based on the following:

  • Initiative, leadership and resourcefulness in carrying out their achievements.
  • Impact of their achievements on the project, professional field and/or larger community.
  • Other variables such as the significance or quality of their achievements.

Each individual received a certificate and cash award. First-place awardees received $1,000 (shared equally by team members), while second-place awardees received $500 (shared equally by team members).

The rangers received first place in the team category, tied with the Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research, UH Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (Corinne Amir, Jonny Charendoff, Mia Lamirand, Frances Lichowski).

Second Place in Team Category: Ola HAWAII, UH Mānoa John A. Burns School of Medicine (Grace Matsuura, Kimberley Spencer-Tolentino, JoAnn Tsark). Honorable Mention: Applied Research Laboratory, UH Maui (Yvette Gurule, Gerry Smith, Kelly Suzuki Payba, Lynette Yamamoto).

Maunakea Rangers

Shortly after its founding in the fall of 2000, the Center for Maunakea Stewardship established the ranger program to provide daily oversight of activities on UH managed lands to protect the resources and to provide for public safety. A key responsibility is informing visitors about the cultural, natural and scientific significance, as well as the hazards of visiting the mountain. They conduct daily patrols between mid-level (9,200′) facilities and the summit. Patrol reports are submitted daily.

Rangers perform a variety of other duties including providing emergency assistance, assisting stranded motorists, coordinating litter removal, conducting trail maintenance, inspecting the observatories for compliance with their Conservation District Use Permits, and providing visitors with cultural information about Maunakea.

Read full story about the awards at UH System News.

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