Four from UH Hilo selected for national parks study

Date: Thursday, March 28, 2024
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 932-7669

For Immediate Release

Four employees of the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo have been selected to participate in the American Association of State Colleges and Universities’ (AASCU) Stewardship of Public Lands program, an initiative of AASCU’s American Democracy Project. The Stewardship of Public Lands program aims to foster innovative regional collaborations, responsible stewardship practices, and experiential learning by bringing a variety of higher education practitioners to Glacier National Park.

Jennifer Stotter, Ph.D., interim director, Institutional Research, Katherine Young, Ph.D., professor and chair, Administration of Justice, Alana Ortiz, Office of Equal Opportunity/Title IX, and Ian Pilago, Center for Maunakea Stewardship, join 18 participants representing 14 institutions from 12 states to apply strategies to spark thoughtful discourse and an appreciation of national parks within curricular and cocurricular opportunities for university students of all backgrounds. The design of the program is to build a diverse community of university faculty, staff, and leaders who can promote access to national parks as grounds for studying sustainability, learning from Indigenous and community members, and building civic skills.

“The Stewardship of Public Lands program enables our cohort to explore multiple perspectives on how to appreciate and understand our natural resources, build bridges that foster collaboration, and share their work and commitment with our AASCU campuses,” said Terry Brown, AASCU’s vice president of Academic Innovation and Transformation. The National Park Foundation’s ParkVentures program supports this work with a $20,000 grant.

Since 2004, more than 170 participants from over 80 AASCU member institutions have benefited from the Stewardship of Public Lands program held at Yellowstone National Park. This year marks the first time AASCU and its cohort will visit Glacier National Park.

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