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(Kula) Haleakalā National Park is now accepting applications for Kupukupu ‘Āina, an internship program designed for Hawai‘i middle school students in grades 6-8. There is no fee to participate in the program, which will take place from March 17-21, 2014.
The week long internship is designed to introduce local youth to park programs and generate interest in careers related to natural resources management, visitor outreach and education, and facilities management. Through a competitive process, 12 students will be selected to participate in activities in which they will gain hands-on experience working alongside professional staff in: native plant identification; invasive weed control; facilities maintenance; leading guided hikes; and, outdoor safety education.
The program will provide the critical stepping stones to help local youth develop vital job 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 marks the third 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 17-21, 2014. Program hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., not including travel time to and from the park. Housing in the park is not included; however, 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 the equipment and supplies they will need for the program.
A key partner in this program is the Hawai‘i Pacific Parks Association, and the Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation, a Honolulu-based environmental stewardship foundation.
Application instructions and forms may be obtained by contacting the park’s Internship Coordinator, Kūhea Paracuelles, at (808) 572-4452 or Kuhea_Paracuelles@nps.gov. The program’s Facebook page will provide further announcements and details at “Kū No Ka Pono O Haleakalā”. The deadline to apply for the Kupukupu Āina Internship Program is January 15, 2014.