Become part of Hawaii’s conservation story

JOB SUMMARY/PURPOSE: The ‘Āina-based Agricultural and Climate-Smart Practices Project Manager is responsible for the coordination and provision of technical assistance to producers and practitioners implementing ‘āina-based and climate-smart practices across agricultural, pastoral, and forested lands on Hawai'i Island with a focus on the moku of Kohala and Hāmākua. This is a grant-funded position for five years under the USDA grant award entitled Hawaiʻi Climate-Smart Commodities: A Portfolio Approach to Equitably Scaling the Agriculture Sector. This position will co-manage the awarded project including budgets, project activities, timeline and data collection, management and reporting. Field work includes responsibility for monitoring and assessment of ‘āina-based practices guided by TKC’s ‘āina accountability framework and climate benefits and ecosystem services provision of climate-smart practices including measurements of carbon sequestration, soil health indicators, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This position will support the intersections of food (agriculture) and forest (conservation) internally by working across TKC’s project teams and externally with ‘āina accountability partners, as well as via the preservation and propagation of kūpuna plants at ʻāina stewarded by TKC in Kohala and Hāmākua.


Community Resource and Relations

  • Provides technical guidance, recommendations, and support to producers and practitioners developing and/or implementing agricultural practices that aim to increase soil carbon and reduce GHG emissions.

  • Supports the development and delivery of methods for community members to build a stronger foundation in Hawaiian cultural principles, identity, histories, and practices through technical assistance and community experience opportunities (e.g., site visits, huaka‘i, hoa‘āina days, etc.).

Ecosystem Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting

  • Collects regular soil and greenhouse gas samples from ‘āina-based and climate-smart practices at islandwide partner sites across agricultural, pastoral, and forested lands according to Measurement, Monitoring, Reporting, and Verification Plans (MMRVs) and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).

  • Researches and collects qualitative and quantitative data with and from multiple sources, including ‘ike Hawai‘i, to determine most appropriate and pono approaches to achieve desired outcomes for more ‘āina-based food and forestry systems.

  • Manages producer and practitioner data using the Natural Resource Data Solutions software, ArcGIS, and GPS.

  • Provides monthly reports to the director of  applied ‘āina-based agriculture that include the status of ‘āina-based and climate-smart practice implementation for each partner site, status of sampling, work to be done within the next month, and a cost report of the practice implementation.

‘Āina Accountability

  • Works with TKC’s ‘Āina Accountability branch to ensure project development and implementation is accountable to ‘āina; captures mo‘olelo of learnings, experiences, and impacts; reflects reciprocity and pilina; and can be respectfully shared with our communities.

  • Engages respectfully with ‘Āina Accountability partners to nurture existing and invite new relationships, networks, alliances, and systems-level change across Hawai‘i pae ‘āina.

Equity and Development

  • Support the development and implementation of an equity framework in partnership with the University of Hawaiʻi’s Office of Indigenous Innovation to address the needs and ensure inclusion of historically underserved producers and practitioners.

  • Participates in continuous professional development and learning opportunities around soil science and data management, and indigenous (agri-)cultural practices.


  • Bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences or environmental sciences or related fields.

  • Experience in tropical/subtropical agricultural and natural systems, especially island ecosystems, with deep understanding of the carbon cycle and climate-smart agriculture concepts.

  • Relevant experience working with agricultural producers and practitioners.

  • Experience in using GPS, ArcGIS, database software, and Microsoft Office.

  • Experience in managing and/or executing federal programs in agriculture and/or conservation.

  • Possess a valid and current Hawai‘i driver license and clean driving record.

  • Possess current motor vehicle insurance that meets or exceeds State of Hawai‘i requirements, as the employee is required to use their personal vehicle and must be willing to travel to various locations to perform the aforementioned duties.


  • Knowledge of terrestrial ecosystem ecology and soil science.

  • Readiness to carry out regular visits to project sites and travel as required.

  • Capacity to conduct field work and soil and GHG sampling under field conditions (including ability to lift equipment up to 30 pounds).

  • Beginning-level proficiency in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i alongside understanding of  ‘āina constructs (such as a Hawaiian worldview on ecosystem relationships and ways of feeding)

  • Flexibility and adaptability to peak workloads with tight deadlines.

  • Excellent project and time management and cross-cultural skills.

  • Interpersonal and communication skills and experience working with a diverse range of individuals at high levels in government, private sector, and civil society.

  • Commitment to responsible scientific conduct. Please refer to these key practices as reference:


  • Knowledge of Kohala including relationships, conditions, traditions, and agricultural stewardship practices that feed ‘āina.

  • Knowledge of kūpuna plants such as ‘Ohi‘ohikūpua, Hāloa, ‘ōhi‘a, and other native plants.

  • Experience in conservation fields including, but not limited to, invasive species control and management, mapping, biocultural restoration of agricultural systems, and/or reforestation of native ecosystems.


  • This position requires mobility as well as occasional evening and weekend work hours.

  • Work is performed in outdoor environments with varying conditions, a shared office space, home office, and community settings.

  • Out-of-area travel is required for professional development, client technical assistance, teaching and other purposes, including to locations on Hawaiʿi Island, neighboring islands, and periodic out-of-state travel.


  • Computer and standard office equipment.

  • Soil and GHG measurement equipment (training provided through the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa and the director of applied ‘āina-based agriculture).

  • GPS, NRDS database, ArcGIS, Microsoft Office, soil web survey.


Visit our Career Center at to submit your resume and letter of interest. You may save your work and return to complete your application, if necessary. If you experience technical difficulties, please email Liam Kernell at lkernell@kohalacenter.orgNo phone calls, please.


  • Posted On

    September 26, 2023
  • Closing Date

    November 4, 2023
  • Organization

    The Kohala Center
  • Location

  • Position Type

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

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