Hawai'i State News

Environmental group Kupu raises living stipend for conservation leaders

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Participants of the Kupu Leadership Development Program in 2022 work with the state Department of Forestry and Wildlife at Polihale State Park on Kauaʻi. Photo: Kupu

Hawai‘i’s leading conservation and environmental education nonprofit, Kupu, today announced that applications are open for the Conservation Leadership Development Program 11-month term and the monthly living stipend will be raised to $2,560 for Hawai‘i residents and $2,320 for US Pacific residents.

The raise in living stipend, in addition to health insurance and education and career benefits, means Conservation Leadership Development Program participants will earn a compensation package valued up to $36,000—while addressing urgent conservation needs and jump-starting a career path:

  • Living stipend ($2,560 per month) = $29,440
  • Education Award for the year-long term= $6,895
  • Professional Development Reimbursement Program = $200-$500
    • Total compensation package valued at over $36,000 plus health insurance

Recent high school graduates, college graduates and young professionals looking to establish a career in conservation are strongly encouraged to apply. The application deadline is June 30.


The Conservation Leadership Development Program focuses on developing the next generation of environmental stewards. This 11-month term runs from October 2023 through September 2024. Participants will be matched with a conservation host site where they will learn and serve alongside conservation experts.

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

Upon completion of the service term, participants will receive a $6,895 education award and have access to the Kupu Pathways program, which offers college courses through Arizona State University.


Jonah Kumupono Kim served on Oʻahu with Hiʻipaka LCC at Waimea Valley. “I learned a lot about growing and caring for plants, made lifelong connections with the people and places I worked with, and worked super hard to mālama our ʻāina,” Kim said. “I was able to learn and grow in so many ways. I built very strong relationships with the people and places I worked.”

For questions, contact [email protected] or call 808-735-1221, extension 2002. In accordance with Federal Law, Kupu is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.

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