Become part of Hawaii’s conservation story

JOB SUMMARY/PURPOSE: The ʻĀina-Based Education Specialist is responsible for providing immersive experiences to learn from ‘āina for improved ecological, cultural, economic and social well-being. Based in Kohala, this position focuses on The Kohala Center’s ‘āina-based and HĀ strategic initiatives to increase application of knowledge from Hawai‘i and to create conditions for engaging respectfully with Hawai‘i. Our current focus is on the district of Kohala and West Hawai‘i. The position provides ‘āina-based learning progressions and classroom instructional support drawing on indigenous, western, and other cultural worldviews for learners of all ages.


Research and Development

  • Support the Manger of Culture-based Educaiton (M-CBE) in the research and collection of qualitative and quantitative data for educational programs and processes to meet intended outcomes.
  • Support the M-CBE in the development of curriculum, action plans, budgets, and grants to successfully deliver educational  programs as part of The Kohala Center’s strategic Ke Kumu ‘Āina Pathway.
  • Support the M-CBE in the research and development of ‘āina based and HĀ learning environments including lands stewarded by The Kohala Center (TKC).

Outreach and Invitation

  • Identify and execute optimal strategies for year-round recruitment of learners into pathways that lead to Nā Hopena A‘o outcomes (BREATH.)
  • Nurture existing and create new relationships, networks, and alliances to increase the use of ‘ike Hawai‘i alongside western knowledge to learn and respectfully conduct field investigations in various wahi pana of West Hawai‘i.

Orientation and Training

  • Create the conditions (e.g. hosted site visits, huaka‘i, hoa‘āina days) that include, welcome, and orient diverse community members to ‘āina, gardens, forests, wahi pana and The Kohala Center.
  • Assist the M-CBE and other program staff to steward TKC lands that serve as ‘āina-based, outdoor teaching, demonstration, and production classroom.
  • Provide specialized training in in HĀ, ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, ‘ike Hawai‘i, field research and investigations and other releveant content for students, teachers, family and community members learning from ‘āina.

Educational Programming

  • Develop and deliver methods for all learners to build a stronger foundation in Hawaiian cultural principles, identity, and practices through the lens of ‘āina, ‘ohana, and lāhui, for example.
  • Develop deliver field program curricula for a variety of teachers, students and volunteers from K-12 to post-doctoral learners, arranging local scientific and cultural instructors as necessary.
  • Develop tools and resources to support TKC’s Ke Kumu ‘Āina work.
  • Support the integration of community-based and HIDOE educational strategies and the sharing of knowledge, tools and resources across other TKC fields.
  • Actively search for and write proposals for place- and/or culture-based education funding.

Evaluation and Continuous Learning

  • Assist the M-CBE with record keeping, outcomes and indicators reporting, story catching and other forms of evaluation in ways that appreciate, energize and strengthen community investments and impact
  • Provide sufficient back-up information to justify invoices, contracts, and receipts from the various university or other partners.
  • Prepare required activity reports, grant reports to funders and, with the controller, financial reports for the various partners and funders.
  • Support the development of processes, pathways, guides and tools to support an assessment for learning process and the generational sharing of knowledge to a broad range of communities.


  • Bachelors Degree in Hawaiian studies and/or education.
  • Must have reliable personal transportation for use in traveling between work sites.
  • Possess valid and current State of Hawai‘i driver’s license and clean driving record.
  • Life-guard and CPR certification required (can be after hiring)
  • Minimum of two years working with youth and creating educational curricula at the K-12 level.
  • Minimum of five years of experience as a successful teacher in traditional classroom and ‘āina-based learning environments.
  • Minimum of five years of experience studying under Native Hawaiian cultural practitioners.


  • Proven ability to interact positively with a wide variety of people in groups and in one-on-one personal communication, to lead classes and lectures, and to represent the Kohala Center in professional gatherings.
  • Effective writing, curriculum development and presentation skills that build credibility and trust with a wide variety of constituencies.
  • Good judgment and the ability to effectively manage students at different proficiency levels in diverse learning environments.
  • Demonstrated understanding of seasons, soil, water, weather,  plants, māla (gardens), moon phases, and other environmental conditions in a localized context and in relationship to the resources native to the area.
  • Strong knowledge of Hawaiian and Western constructs found in deeper learning and inquiry-based models,  field science education, culturally-responsive curriculum and assessments, and ‘āina, for example.
  • Good organizational, project management, and time management skills.
  • Ability to work positively in a fast-paced, demanding, and collaborative organization.
  • Ability to maintain composure, breath, sensitivity, and flexibility during peak periods and challenging situations.
  • Beginning-level proficiency in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i.
  • Ability to apply knowledge of Hawaiian and Pacific Island cultures and historical perspectives; alternatively an international/global perspective along with a background in cultural diversity is of benefit.


  • Master’s degree.
  • Wilderness first aid training.


  • Work is performed in an outdoor environment with tropical climate temperatures, occasional use of shared office space, and in a variety of settings in the community.
  • Field activities may take place in steep and rocky terrain, with unstable substrates and in or near the ocean environment.  Excellent physical condition and swimming skills are a must. Position may include transporting children and inter-island travel.
  • Out of area travel is required from time to time – generally to neighboring islands, with potential out-of-state travel.
  • This position requires mobility; the employee must provide his or her own reliable transportation.


  • Computer and standard office equipment.
  • iPads and camera for field work.
  • Hand tools for planting native species and removal of invasive species.

TO APPLY: Please view and apply for positions at our Employment Portal - ( 



  • Posted On

    August 1, 2019
  • Closing Date

    August 30, 2019
  • Organization

    The Kohala Center
  • Location

    Waimea, Hawaiʻi Island
  • Position Type

    Full Time
For more information about The Kohala Center and this opportunity please visit our website at Website, contact us at Contact Phone or via email at Contact Email.

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