Endowed scholarship for wildlife habitat and large land mammal preservation established at UH Hilo

The undergraduate scholarship provides support to students pursuing studies in terrestrial mammalian habitat conservation or the conservation of large land mammals.

Group standing with over sized check.
(l-r) Courtney Kajikawa, vice president and personal trust manager, First Hawaiian Bank; Jean Creadick, vice president, Philanthropic Services, First Hawaiian Bank; Donald Straney, chancellor, UH Hilo; Bruce Mathews, interim dean, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, UH Hilo; Mariko Miho, executive director of development at UH Hilo, UH Foundation. Courtesy photo.

The W. T. Yoshimoto Foundation Charitable Trust has donated $275,000 to establish and support the W.T. Yoshimoto Foundation Charitable Trust Endowed Scholarship Fund for the Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife Habitats and Large Land Mammals at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo.

The undergraduate scholarship provides multi-year support to students pursuing studies in terrestrial mammalian habitat conservation or the conservation of large land mammals. The gift also will support the initial offering of a synthesis course in wildlife science at UH Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management.

“UH Hilo is positioned to offer students an opportunity to immerse themselves in applied research,” says Don Straney, UH Hilo chancellor. “With our unique natural living laboratories, and transdisciplinary programs that address pressing global concerns, we offer students from around the world an opportunity to learn how to make the world a better place.”

Large terrestrial mammals are in particular peril due to loss of habitat and poor game management practices. Understanding the complex role of these animals in the ecosystem processes is essential for effective terrestrial management of wild areas and rural multiple use areas where agriculture and forestry play an extensive role.

There is a strong impetus for integrating terrestrial mammal habitat conservation efforts into lands used for agriculture and commercial forestry.

“As the human population grows, so too do the demands on land for food, feedstock and fiber,” says Bruce Mathews, interim dean of UH Hilo College of Agriculture. “More and more, people are encroaching on wildlife habitat, with tragic results for animals and the environment… we need to think beyond the designation of specific conservation areas and national parks.”

“UH Hilo is positioned to offer students an opportunity to immerse themselves in applied research,” says Don Straney, UH Hilo chancellor. “With our unique natural living laboratories, and transdisciplinary programs that address pressing global concerns, we offer students from around the world an opportunity to learn how to make the world a better place.”