Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES)


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 in science. Mahalo to all of our past and present mentors!

If you are interested in becoming a mentor please read the 2021 PIPES Mentor Information Sheet (PDF) then fill out our 2021 Intern Request Form.

As a mentor, you are expected to:

  • Commit to mentoring a full-time undergraduate intern for a 10-week period throughout the summer (June 1 - August 6), 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 provide 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 (~2-3 hrs; held each spring).
  • Attend the intern's presentation at the end-of-program Student Symposium on (August 4 and 5)

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 5, 2021) and present their project at the end-of-program PIPES Student Symposium held in August in Hilo.


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.

In response to COVID-19, we will be implementing some changes for our 2021 program. Specifically, we have suspended our acceptance of applicants from outside of Hawaiʻi. Only students from Hawaiʻi or currently residing in Hawaiʻi will be eligible to participate in our 2021 summer program. Additionally, we are planning to run a modified program focused on hybrid (remote and in-person) internship opportunities, as allowed by national, state and county orders and University guidelines. It is our hope that all interns can have at least some in-person experience through their internship and/or our cohort activities.

Current University of Hawai'i COVID-19 guidelines can be found here:

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 (2021)?
  • Are you able to accommodate a fully remote or hybrid (remote/in-person) internship experience?
  • Are you able to accommodate a fully remote or hybrid (remote/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.