UH Hilo alumna Darcy Yogi builds a conservation career

Moving from undergraduate studies to intern to student employment to bachelor degree and then to full-time work at the Office of Maunakea Management, the budding ecologist is on her way to graduate school.

Darcy Yogi
Darcy Yogi in the field, Maunakea.

University of Hawai‘i at Hilo alumna Darcy Yogi is on her way to graduate school at UH Mānoa this fall where she will be studying terrestrial ecology. Her journey to grad school is a model for interns and employers—as an undergraduate majoring in environmental science, she interned at the Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES) in the summer of 2014, which prepared her for three years at the Office of Maunakea Management where she became a resource management assistant specializing in invasive species.

Yogi’s academic and professional development exemplifies implementation of the UH Hilo Strategic Plan that calls for integrating learning experiences; mentorship; collaboration with the community; protecting natural and cultural resources; and staying rooted in the history of Hawaiʻi.

Building a conservation career

Yogi joined the Office of Maunakea Management as an intern with PIPES, then transitioned into student employment, and then continued for two additional years working full-time at the office.

The 2011 Kamehameha Schools Kapālama graduate started her college career on the mainland where she quickly yearned for a smaller school environment. She found her perfect fit at UH Hilo, graduating with a bachelor of science in environmental science. When an intern with PIPES, Yogi worked on a joint project with the Office of Maunakea Management and the Hawai‘i Ant Lab and helped develop invasive species monitoring and prevention methods for the Maunakea Invasive Species Management Plan.

Darcy with children looking at informational book for youth.
Darcy Yogi, at left, shares the Maunakea resource and coloring book she helped create.

Yogi later accepted the offer of a full-time position as a natural resource management assistant at the Office of Maunakea Management. Building on her internship experience, she implemented the invasive species management plan and monitored native species as called for in the Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan. She quickly became the in-house bug and ant expert and presented at several Hawai‘i conservation conferences and volunteered at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Conference.

Yogi has also written annual monitoring reports on invasive species, the wēkiu bug, and other native arthropods on Maunakea. She helped organize and lead community volunteer events and school outreach activities. She also helped create a Maunakea resource and coloring book for children.

The next chapter in Yogi’s career is graduate school. She is the recipient of a Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation Graduate Assistantship and is pursuing a master of science in natural resources and environmental management with a focus on applied terrestrial ecology beginning this fall at UH Mānoa.


-Adapted from Office of Maunakea e-newsletter, Sept. 27, 2017.