Makani Gregg

Makani Gregg

Keaholoa STEM Program
Student Assistant, Intern
High School Attended
Kailua High School, Kailua, Hawaiʻi
College Attended
Windward Community College; UH Hilo

Job Description:

A full time student in the Marine Science major. I am a intern with Keaholoa STEM program under Dr. Misaki Takabayashi monitoring coral health in and out of the Wai’opae Marine Life Conservation District in Kapoho. I have been apart of Keaholoa for almost three years and I have worked on two different projects pertaining to Hawaiian culture and value along with the Hawaiian community. I also volunteer when I can.

Interest in Field:

It began with Polynesian Voyaging, coral biology, oceanography courses at WWC and volunteer work in Moloka’i (mapping and dating lo’i in Wailau Valley for Wendy McElroy). UH Hilo’s diving program QUEST.

How did you get there?

Studying and reading material covered in class. Then going out to see what I have learned in class and apply it to the real world. Making friends with people who share the same passion for the ocean, meeting professors and faulty in research and learning what they do.

Necessary Qualifications:

Commitment, patience, reliable, responsible, the want to learn hands on experience, full time student in the sciences with a 2.0 gpa to the least and Hawaiian. Lots of hands on experience, volunteering, meeting faulty and other students, and asking lots of questions during class.

Rewards of Work:

Lots of hands on experience, opportunities to travel either out of state or out of the country. Hear about paid internships or workshops. Meeting people from all over world and seeing their perspective on conservation.

Relevant Work Experience:

My first job was working with kids during a afterschool program. Then I started doing kayak tours in Kailua, Oahu which got me into life guarding at a pool. And from there, I kept working by the ocean. When moved here to Hilo in 2005, I have been apart of the Keaholoa STEM Program as a paid intern. My first project was Water Quality in Estuary Ponds in Keaukaha under Dr. Misaki Takabayashi. During the summer I worked at Mokupapapa, starting a WetLab and summer program for students K-12. I got hired as a staff diver for the Marine Science summer intensive dive course QUEST. And I am now still continuing my internship with Keaholoa.

Typical Day:

Wake up early, study a little before class. Classes in the morning, studying and completing homework till about 3 or 4. Surf in the evening if possible. And wake up early again.

Words of Wisdom :

You wish you knew...:

I’m still an undergrad, and the best advice I have is networking. Met people who are graduates and ask them questions. Ask professors, get on a email list about jobs. Volunteer.blockquote>

You wish you were told...:

Just try to get into an internship program!

Final Comments / Advice:

Even if your not much of science based person especially in chemistry or physics, just recognize your passion and strength in conservation and the environment. Just take your time. Its better to understand the material and to get experience before rushing through your undergraduate work.