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Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Sciences (PIPES)

PIPES History

Linking Undergraduates to Environmental Careers:
Mentoring the next generation of scientists, educators and managers for Hawaiʻi and the Pacific

Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES) is an umbrella program for several internship opportunities, located in the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo's Office of Research and Community Partnerships. The Micronesia & American Samoa Student Internship Program (MASSIP) began in 1994, and placed island students going to school in Hawaiʻi and on the mainland in internship opportunities back on their home islands. The University of Hawaiʻi Hawaiian Internship Program (UH-HIP) was developed in 1997 using a similar model in response to the observed lack of local representation within Hawaiʻi’s conservation work force, in particular that of Native Hawaiian community members. Since 2002, the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo has run a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program, which enabled us to further expand our internship opportunities. Today, PIPES offers many undergraduate summer internship opportunities across the islands of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific.

PIPES Visionsun

PIPES offers programs that are designed to connect under-represented undergraduate students, especially those who are Native Hawaiian or kamaʻāina, to internship opportunities with agencies and organizations responsible for research, management, and education relating to environmental issues in Hawaiʻi and throughout the Pacific region. Our vision is that more students, will enter into fields of study and ultimately careers related to the natural resources of this state and region.

PIPES Programs

PIPES coordinates three different internship programs. The programs are:

PIPES Summer Program

Each summer student interns participate in a 10-week internship program focusing on tropical ecology, evolution, natural resources management, and environmental education and outreach. Interns work on mentored research projects with mentors from university, Federal, State, and Counties agencies, as well as non-profit organizations.

During the 10-week internship, a PIPES Intern is expected to complete the following:

  • Write a project pre-proposal
  • Participate in a 4-day pre-internship orientation
  • Work full-time (40 hours/week) for the 10-week duration of the internship with the designated faculty or agency researcher
  • Attend Friday meetings in Hilo (Maui, Oʻahu, and Kauaʻi interns participate via video-conferencing)
  • Submit regular progress reports to PIPES Office
  • Attend the Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference (host agency and/or PIPES program to cover all costs)
  • Complete a written final project report
  • Participate in a final student symposium