Maunakea Stewardship

Community-based Stewardship

Maunakea stewardship requires input and participation from the community regarding daily activities, development of policies and programs, and review of proposed projects. Whether volunteering for weed-pulling or serving as a member of Mauna Kea Management Board, Kahu Kū Mauna council, or the Environment Committee, community involvement is a vital part of Maunakea stewardship.

The Center for Maunakea Stewardship, together with the Mauna Kea Management Board and Kahu Kū Mauna share responsibility for implementing the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan (2000) and the Mauna Kea Comprehensive Management Plan (2019).

Maunakea Management Board

Summit shadow The Maunakea Management Board provides the community with a sustained direct voice for the management of Maunakea. The Board is composed of seven members from the community nominated by the University of Hawaiʻi Hilo (UH Hilo) Chancellor and approved by the UH Board of Regents. The volunteer members represent a cross-section of the community and serve as the community’s voice, providing input on operations and activities, developing policies, and reviewing and providing recommendations for land uses planned for Maunakea. Meeting agendas, materials, and minutes are available for review. Visit the State of Hawaiʻi, Office of Information Practices, Calendar of Events for formal meeting notice and agenda.

Kahu Kū Mauna

KKM-Summit Lele Kahu Kū Mauna (Guardians of the Mountain) is a community-based volunteer council whose members are from the native Hawaiian community. Kahu Kū Mauna advises the Maunakea Management Board (MKMB), the Center for Maunakea Stewardship (CMS), and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo (UH Hilo) Chancellor on Hawaiian cultural matters affecting the UH Management Areas. They review proposed projects and give their input to the Maunakea Management Board, and a member of Kahu Kū Mauna participates in the discussions of the Board during its public meetings.

Environment Committee

The Maunakea Environment Committee (MEC) advises the Maunakea Management Board, the Center for Maunakea Stewardship, and the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Chancellor on environmental issues, protection and enhancement of the natural environment, and resource management practices to advance the stewardship of Maunakea’s natural resources. The MEC members serve as subject matter experts on environmental matters to support evidence-based, holistically evaluated planning, project management, and policy development by the University.

Maunakea Observatories

Maunakea is home to some of the largest optical, infrared, and radio telescopes in the world, including the twin Keck telescopes, Japan’s Subaru telescope, the Gemini North telescope, the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT), the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (UKIRT), NASA’s Infrared Telescope Facility (IRTF), the University of Hawaiʻi 2.2m telescope (UH 88), the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT), the Smithsonian’s Submillimeter Array (SMA), and the westernmost dish of the U. S. National Radio Astronomy Observatory’s Very Long Base Array (VLBA). The University of Hawaiʻi Institute for Astronomy (IfA) coordinates scientific research among the Maunakea Observatories as well as carrying out its own research and education programs using time allocated at each observatory as part of its sublease agreements. The Mauna Kea Astronomy Outreach Committee (MKAOC) coordinates and organizes the collective outreach efforts of Maunakea Observatories and supports related organizations such as the Maunakea Visitor Information Station (VIS).

Community Recognition and Awards

2022 Pūalu Award for Community Education, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

The Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce honored the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Center for Maunakea Stewardship (CMS) with its 2022 Pūalu Award for Community Education on Friday, June 24. The award honors organizations that promote and support education and enrichment programs that develop personal skills and lifelong learning. CMS was commended for its innovative efforts in native plant restoration and invasive species management.

CMS being honored

2017 Pūalu Award for Culture and Heritage, Kona-Kohala Chamber of Commerce

For implementation of a Long-Term Historic Property Monitoring Plan for the University of Hawaiʻi Management Areas on Maunakea. The plan specifically enhances cultural stewardship on Maunakea and preserves our island's cultural heritage; including preservation initiatives and actions along with its collaboration with the community.

People standing around being honored

2017 Preservation Commendation Award, Historic Hawaiʻi Foundation

For the Long-Term Historic Property Monitoring Plan, developed and implemented to systematically monitor the condition of 200 plus significant historic properties located within the lands on Maunakea managed by the University of Hawaiʻi.

Closeup of commendation received

Individuals receiving commendation award

2016 Pualu Award for Environmental Awareness, Kona Kohala Chamber of Commerce

Recipients of the 2016 Pualu Environmental Award

For sensitivity and concern for the environment through innovative environmental practices. The longstanding and ongoing stewardship commitment on Maunakea includes not only environmental initiatives and actions, but also collaboration with the community on volunteer programs and innovative efforts to make substantive changes in behavior by starting to educate young people in elementary schools across the island.

closeup of Pualu Award

2013 Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council (HISC) Community Hero Award

Senator Malama Solomon presented Mary Begier and the Hawaiʻi Island Chamber of Commerce with the 2013 Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council (HISC) Community Hero Award during the first annual Hawaiʻi Invasive Species Council Award ceremony at the State Capitol Auditorium. The Community Hero Award recognizes a community member or community based group that has been a shining example of dedication to prevent or manage invasive species.

Malama Solomon and Mary Begier