Kupu seeking Big Island applicants for conservation leadership program

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  • Participant of the Kupu Leadership Development Program in 2021 at Hawaiʻi Volcanoes National Park. Photo: Kupu
  • Participant of the Kupu Leadership Development Program in 2022 with nonprofit Ulu Mau Puanui. Photo: Kupu
  • Participant of the Kupu Leadership Development Program in 2022 at Hakalau National Wildlife Refuge. Photo: Kupu

Nonprofit Kupu is seeking applicants from the Big Island for its Conservation Leadership Development Program, which focuses on developing the next generation of environmental stewards.

The program is for recent high school graduates, college graduates and young professionals who are looking to establish a career in conservation. The deadline to apply for the 6- and 11-month programs is April 7, 2023. 

The next half-term cohort begins in June 2023 and runs until December 2023. The next full-term cohort begins in September 2023 and ends in October 2024. Participants will be matched with a single conservation host site for the duration of the program, where they will learn and serve alongside conservation experts.  


Host sites are available on Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, Hawaiʻi Island, Moloka‘i, American Samoa, Guam, CNMI Islands, Rota and Saipan. This extensive network of partner sites offers exposure to a variety of fields, including ornithology, botany, natural and aquatic resource management, biology, marine biology and Hawaiian cultural studies.  

GlenAllen Beavers served on Hawaiʻi Island with the Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project.

“I gained friendships that I will cherish for the rest of my life,” Beavers said. “Working in conservation has allowed me to meet many like-minded people. There is so much knowledge out there if you stay receptive to it. Nature has been a great teacher for me.” 


In addition to gaining valuable insight in the conservation field and protecting natural ecosystems throughout the Pacific, participants will receive a monthly living allowance. Hawai‘i participants will receive up to $2,000 per month.

Upon completion of their service term, participants will also receive an education award of $6,495 for the 11-month term and $3,427.50 for the 6-month term. Participants will also have access to the Kupu Pathways program, which offers college through Arizona State University. 

Click here to read the full quotes from Kupuʻs 2021-2022 CLDP Members


Click here for more details and to apply online. 

For questions, contact or call 808-735-1221, ext. 2002.

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