Become part of Hawaii’s conservation story

Kupu’s Story

Kupu, which means “to sprout” or “to grow” in Hawaiian, has a two-fold mission: to preserve the land while empowering youth. The organization provides hands-on training in conservation, sustainability, and environmental education for young adults, with the goal of fostering our next generation of environmental and cultural stewards. Kupu’s work has been likened to the role of the kupukupu fern, which is one of the first plants to recultivate the land after a lava flow. The fern not only serves as a foundational species for rebuilding a healthy, native ecosystem, but it also symbolizes a place where knowledge can grow.

Established in 2007 as a 501(c)3 non-profit, Kupu empowers future generations to create a more sustainable, pono Hawai‘i.  Kupu accomplishes this by partnering with conservation and sustainability focused agencies throughout the state and pacific in providing hands-on service opportunities which educate and mentor young adults and emerging professionals to become stewards of our communities and environment.  Since 2007, Kupu has risen to meet the increasing demands of the green job sector by engaging over 3,000 youth in the areas of conservation, sustainability, and environmental education. Kupu affirms the Hawaiian notion of “ma ka hana ka ʻike” or “in working one learns.”  This approach has led to the creation of hundreds of service-learning opportunities which assists in the development of Hawai’i’s emerging professionals in the green job sector while supporting over 150 conservation and sustainability organizations across Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region.

Kupu’s Mission

“To empower youth to serve their communities through character-building, service-learning, and environmental stewardship opportunities that encourage integrity (pono) with Ke Akua, self, and others”

Kupu’s CHOSEN Values

C         Character

H         Humility

O        ‘Ohana

S          Service

E          Excellence

N         Nobility

Position Overview

The work of Kupu’s Environmental Education Department (EED) is innovative, exciting, and fast-paced, with many new and changing projects. This position plays a critical role in ensuring the successful execution of these programs and initiatives. This position will focus on Kupu’s work with the Kākoʻo Connections program. The position will (1) oversee all aspects of the Kākoʻo Connections program; (2) provide assistance to operations of other EED programs; (3) improve, refine, and develop social capital strategies across EED programs; (4) help develop and improve internal department systems, communications, and tools; (5) assist in the development and management of grants, contracts, reports, and budgets; and (6) support the EED’s role as an intermediary in building relationships and connections between educators and NR Sector industry partners in Hawaiʻi.

Program Goals

Kupuʻs Environmental Education Department (EED) works to prepare and inspire Hawaiʻi youth to pursue postsecondary and career opportunities in natural resources. To support these efforts, we convene a Natural Resources Sector Partnership (NRSP); work in intermediate and high schools to provide work-based and ‘āina-based learning directly to students; provide out-of-school opportunities for 6th-12th graders; offer professional development to educators; and work in partnership to provide strategic support at the school, district, and Department of Education-level. We have the long-term goal of helping to build a homegrown natural resources workforce in Hawaii.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities
  • Conduct oneself with aloha and drive Kupu’s culture.
  • Conduct oneself with integrity, credibility, professionalism, and unwavering commitment to Kupu’s mission.
  • Serves as a role model for Kupu’s culture, mission, and CHOSEN Values.

Program Management and Implementation

  • Oversee, implement, manage, and evaluate Kāko’o Connections Program
    • o Implement and evaluate program needs, goals, delivery systems, and outcomes.
    • o Develop new policies, procedures, and program elements, as needed.
    • o Ensure timely completion and submission of all programʻs administrative requirements (including reports, surveys, paperwork, etc.)
    • o Develop and refine college and career readiness curriculum for program participants.
  • Assist with planning, management, coordination, and evaluation of additional EED programs.
  • Manage the incorporation of social capital strategies into all EED programs, as appropriate.
  • Develop new and refine existing social capital strategies and practices.

Program Alignment and Support

  • Work with EED staff to develop and improve internal department systems, communications, and tools to improve efficiency and alignment across programs.
  • Collaborate with EED staff on strategic planning efforts, including planning for successful department growth.

Program Development

  • Research, write, and prepare proposals, grants, and other funding opportunities.
  • Assist in the management of grants awarded to EED including but not limited to budgets, compliance, and reporting.
  • Assist in the management and implementation of contracts, agreements, procurement, budgets, and other administrative matters.
  • Assist in the development and management of the EED budget.

Partnership Development and Maintenance

  • Develop and maintain strong, lasting relationships with a range of educational and community partners.

Administrative Support

  • Support administrative duties and functions as needed (e.g., expense reporting, financial processing, etc.)

Other duties as assigned.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree OR 2 years of equivalent experience in Education, Hawaiian Studies, Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Environmental Studies/Science, Ecology, Botany, Biology, Zoology, Forestry, Marine Science or a closely related field in natural resources or education.
  • 3 years of experience in the field of natural resources, aloha ʻāina and/or education.
  • Experience with project or program planning and management.
  • Experience in evaluating programs and projects.
  • Experience with report writing and data organization and presentation.
  • Experience managing and directing high-school aged youth.
  • Exceptional administrative and organizational skills, with high attention to detail.
  • Ability to problem-solve, be flexible, and show good judgment in a fast-paced, multi-faceted environment.
  • Strong team player with a collaborative mindset.
  • Self-driven individual, able to establish priorities, operate with multiple projects, and meet deadlines.
  • Willingness to learn and to develop new skills independently.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to work authentically with people from different backgrounds.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Relevant experience building and maintaining relationships with multiple stakeholders.
  • Excellent computer proficiency (MS Office, Google Suites, and other web-based programs).

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience and/or commitment to Hawaiʻi's natural resource management, mālama ʻāina, and sustainability field.
  • Experience and/or commitment to Hawaiian culture and ʻāina-based concepts.
  • Experience working in or with the Hawaii Department of Education or with teachers, school administrators, and other educational institutions.
  • Experience in strategic communications, web design, marketing, and public relations.
  • Experience with event planning and facilitation.
  • Experience in social capital and network building.

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Pay commensurate with experience.
  • Employer Paid Health Benefits
  • PTO
  • 401(k) plan with up to 4% match (eligible after one year and 1,000 hours of service)
  • Other lifestyle benefits (travel, entertainment, gym reimbursement)

Physical Requirements:

Due to the nature of Kupu’s programs, the physical demands described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform essential functions of this position.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Available full-time Monday through Friday, as well as for possible weekends, evenings, and periodic neighbor island trips.
  • Possess a valid driver’s license.
  • Ability to lift 35lbs.
  • May be required to work in outdoor settings with wind, rain and sun exposure.

*In accordance with Federal Law, Kupu is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability

Employment Type: Full Time

Remote Type: Work From Home Flexibility


  • Posted On

    December 28, 2023
  • Closing Date

    May 3, 2024
  • Organization

  • Location

  • Position Type

    Full Time
For more information about Kupu and this opportunity please visit our website at, contact us at 808-7351033 or via email at

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