Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES)


PIPES Biocultural Projects

PIPES has been working for years to provide student experiences that facilitate connection to place and support the goal of ʻāina momona. In addition to our usual recruitment of host sites, PIPES is working with partners to develop collaborative, hypothesis-driven research projects focused on the restoration of biocultural resources at landscape scales on Hawaiʻi Island.

Our biocultural approach is focused on research efforts that are developed from the needs of community-based management organizations. Collaborating with researchers from the University of Hawaiʻi and other agencies, research projects can be developed that aid the restoration of sites managed by communities. Through these biocultural research partnerships, PIPES interns will be able to gain new perspectives on research and conservation in Hawaiʻi.

If you’re interested in being a part of our discussions for these PIPES projects, please send us an email at

Mentors are an essential part of the PIPES programs’ success. It is through their commitment and excellent mentorship that our interns find the inspiration and guidance needed to continue their academic and career aspirations. Mahalo to all of our past and present mentors!

As a mentor, you are expected to:

  • Commit to mentoring a full-time undergraduate intern for a 10-week period throughout the summer (May 30th to August 4th, 2023), while creating a safe space for learning.
  • Identify a project within the scope of an intern’s interest and assist in the processes. (Note: The PIPES program requires interns to complete a final paper and presentation.)
  • Incorporate the intern into the overall activities of your organization and treat them as one of the team.
  • Develop a supportive mentoring relationship with intern, including regular interaction throughout the summer, guiding the intern’s progress on the project on a regular basis, helping them problem-solve challenges and providing positive feedback and suggestions for improvement.
  • Provide input and assistance regarding the timely completion of the final paper and oral presentation.
  • Facilitate the intern’s participation in PIPES meetings and excursions.
  • Provide necessary support for all aspects of the internship, such as transportation to and from the field (if necessary), work space, equipment, publications related to project, etc.
  • Participate in the PIPES Mentor Orientation (~1 hr; held each spring).
  • Attend intern meeting during orientation
  • Attend the intern's presentation at the end-of-program Student Symposium on (August 2-3, 2023)

This program requires an intern to:

  • Engage fully in all aspects of the program.
  • Be strong representatives of both the host organization and the PIPES program.
  • Write a Personal Internship Development Plan which outlines their personal, academic, and project goals and objectives for the summer.
  • Participate in a mandatory 4-day orientation in Hilo hosted by PIPES program staff.
  • Complete a 10-week internship with designated organization involving completion of the specific intern project and assisting with on-going organization activities equivalent to 40 hours per week.
  • Submit regular progress reports to the PIPES program and participate in weekly meetings with other PIPES participants, PIPES excursions and other discussion sessions highlighting conservation topics in Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.
  • Complete a final paper (Due no later than Aug 4, 2023) and present their project at the end-of-program PIPES Student Symposium held in Hilo.

Covid-19 Considerations

As our communities and families continue to be impacted by COVID-19, our program's top priority is ensuring the health and safety of our participants and mentors.

With this in mind, here are a few questions to consider as you prepare to request an intern:

  • How does your agency/organization envision hosting an intern for the summer (2023)?
  • Are you able to accommodate an in-person internship experience?
  • Will there be any additional clearances or certifications required of an intern to safely work in-person with your agency/organization?
  • What protocols do you have in place to safeguard employees and interns?
  • What additional types of support (training, supplies, other resources) might you need in order to safely host an intern?

If you have any questions or would like to discuss ways to adapt for a remote or hybrid internship, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.

If you have any questions, please contact us at or (808) 932-7984.