Student Thrives through PIPES Internship with OMKM

May 5, 2018, 9:00 AM HST
* Updated May 3, 4:34 PM
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PIPES alumnus Ku‘upua Kiyuna worked with OMKM during the summer of 2016 to review their draft administrative rules against state law. Courtesy photo.

Native Hawaiian college students studying science have a unique opportunity to participate in project-based learning at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo. The Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES) connects underserved undergraduate students, particularly Native Hawaiians, with work opportunities with agencies doing research, management and addressing environmental issues in Hawai‘i.

PIPES is an 11-week program challenging candidates to develop a written project proposal, attend a pre-internship orientation and commit to 10 weeks of full-time employment. In addition, participating students submit progress reports including a final written project report, attend conferences and participate in a student symposium.

Ku‘upua Kiyuna, a PIPES alumnus student who accepted an internship with OMKM during the summer of 2016, worked on biological monitoring, research projects and community outreach events for her work. She also helped review OMKM’s draft administrative rules for consistency with the Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources’ (DLNR) Forest Reserve and Natural Area Reserve administrative rules. Kiyuna’s work supported the efforts of OMKM, Kahu Ku Mauna and the Maunakea Management Board (MKMB) to review the draft administrative rules. As a result, MKMB recommended to the UH Board of Regents that it approve the draft rules and forward them to the Governor requesting authority to conduct public hearings.

After interning with PIPES, Kiyuna was admitted at the University of Hawai’i William S. Richardson School of Law in the fall of 2016. where she also worked as a Law Library Assistant. After completing her first year, Kiyuna served as a 2017 summer Law Clerk for U.S. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono in Washington, D.C. This past fall, Kiyuna returned to Hawai‘i for another year of law school.

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