The US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), offers a Summer Fellowship Program for university faculty members willing to increase conservation career awareness on their campus through projects or enrichment of the STEM curricula. Dr. Healani Chang received a 6-week Faculty Fellowship to work with her host Lorena “Tap” Wada, Field Biologist, at the Pearl Harbor National Wildlife Refuge, Kalaeloa Unit. Tap envision a project that would engage a diverse high school student population in West Oahu and who may get inspired by our conservation and restoration activities to choose future employment and/or study in natural resource management. This project was designed to highlight the numerous green workforce options and educational tracks available in conservation and resource management. For our summer project we incorporated 'Hana Kūpono' (Hawaiian etiquette) into the restoration and wildlife management efforts in a dry native coastal ecosystem at the Kalaeloa Unit.
There are a number of people who contributed to her valuable learning experiences at the Kalaeloa Unit including Tap, her FWS colleagues and student interns, the community members of Moku O 'Ewa, the student groups of Kapolei and the Waianae Coast, UH students and programs, the ‘Ilima SACNAS Chapter at UH, and all the student mentors who contributed to this overall summer project.
Healani highly recommends the FWS sponsored summer fellowship to future university faculty to work with and learn of the extension restoration and management efforts of the FWS, and to continue to build the community support and involvement at the Kalaeloa Unit.
Dr. Chang is happy to share one of her final products in the 5-minute YouTube video below.