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Haleakalā National Park is now accepting applications for Kupukupu 'Āina, an internship program geared for middle school students in grades 6-8, which will take place from March 18-22, 2013. There is no fee to participate in the program.
The week-long internship is designed to introduce local youth to park programs and generate interest in careers related to natural resources management, interpretation, and facilities management. Twelve students will be selected through a competitive process to participate in activities that will afford them opportunities to gain hands-on experience working alongside professional staff such as: Native plant identification; invasive weed control; facilities maintenance; guided hikes; and, outdoor safety education.
National Park Service officials believe that the program will provide critical stepping stones to helping youth develop marketable skills and professional contacts, as well as general knowledge and appreciation for Hawai'i's natural areas and species, some of which are the world's best examples of endemism and adaptive radiation.
This is the second year of the middle school program. Kupukupu 'Āina is one of three internship programs that were created at Haleakalā National Park in 2011. The others include Pōhai Maile, a high school summer program, and 'Imi i ka Lama, an 8-week program also held during the summer months for college-age students.
Interested students must be Hawai'i residents and available full-time between March 18-22, 2013. Program hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., not including travel time to and from the park. Free transportation to the park will be provided from designated sites. Interns are eligible to receive a living allowance of $25 per day to help offset the cost of equipment and supplies they will need for the program.
Haleakalā National Park encompasses two regions: The Summit District on the upper slopes of Haleakalā, which reaches elevations between 7,000-10,000 feet and the Kīpahulu District that stretches along the beautiful coast of East Maui.
Additional details and application packets may be obtained by contacting the park's Internship Coordinator, Kūhea Paracuelles, at (808) 572-4452 or Kuhea_Paracuelles@nps.gov. The deadline to apply is January 31, 2013.