Become part of Hawaii’s conservation story

TO APPLY: Visit No phone calls, please.

PRIMARY LOCATION: Waimea and Moku o Kohala, Hawai‘i Island

FLSA STATUS: Full time, Exempt

COMPENSATION: $50-57,000 per annum + benefits

REPORTS TO: Director of Kohala papahana

JOB SUMMARY/PURPOSE: The Kohala nānāʻāina data technician is responsible for developing an intimate understanding of the needs of ʻāina from ma uka to ma kai in the moku of Kohala. The nānāʻāina technician is well-experienced with three years of data collection and analysis experience and five years of forest preservation or restoration field work experience in Hawaiʻi. The position is expected to be proficient in Geographic Information System (GIS) and Global Positioning System (GPS) and possesses a working knowledge of conducting vegetation surveys and water quality monitoring in a forest setting. The ideal candidate helps to guide the mālama ʻāina practices of the organization by listening to and advancing the voice of our ʻāina relatives through data collection, management, and analysis drawing on both indigenous and western scientific practices.


Hoʻolauna (outreach and invitation)

  • Works with the Hana Mahi ʻĀina branch of TKC and others to develop and deliver respectful and thorough daily protocols for data collection and management training for all team members. 
  • Works with Ke Kumu ʻĀina and Community Experience branches of TKC to create the conditions for community members to develop and strengthen pilina (relationships) with Kohala and learn from ‘āina, leading to a stronger sense of place, more respectful engagement, and ongoing stewardship of Kohala.
  • Recognizes the sensitivity of data to communities and upholds respectful engagement by seeking permission to share and protecting confidential data as needed.

Kilo (research and development)

  • Connects with, listens to, and kilo kumu of all kinds through water quality, stream flow, vegetation, ungulate, and bird surveys, photo point and weather monitoring; to understand what ‘āina needs in ways that support total well-being of ‘āina and kānaka.
  • Supports the development and examination of driving research questions and data collection and reporting protocols across TKC’s ecosystems.
  • Works with the ʻĀina Accountability branch of TKC to develop and implement plans, policies, and procedures to guide data collection and management that are accountable to ʻāina first. 
  • Identifies, recommends, and establishes data collection software and equipment and data management solutions that fit TKC’s diverse needs.
  • Manages monitoring practices and systems to ensure quality assurance protocols are followed and adjusted as needed.
  • Maintains and updates knowledge and skills in data collection, management, and analysis.
  • Conducts research informed by Hawai‘i’s indigenous culture and language alongside other diverse cultural values and traditions to meet intended outcomes for regenerative, Hawai‘i-based forestry systems.

Hana (daily ‘āina practitionership):

  • Holds kuleana and builds specialized knowledge and experience for preservation and propagation practices in (i) Kohala’s native cloud forests, (ii) Kawaihae mesic and dryland forests, and (iii) Niuliʻi coastal forests as ke kumu ‘āina – a sacred source of spirituality, knowledge, native habitat, and water. Activities may include:
    • Construct, inspect, and maintain ungulate exclusion fences;
    • Manage feral ungulates, predators, and non-native plants using a variety of methods;
    • Collect, propagate, and outplant native seeds and plants;
    • Work with the raw materials of hala, hau, niu, and other native plants utilizing them for items, lei, tools, food, and medicine; 
    • Develop and plan for soil fertility management, seeds, seasons, water, and weather to determine optimal growing conditions and indicators of health for each native species;
    • Support the inventory and maintenance of all vehicles, facilities, equipment, field gear/supplies utilized for Kohala field work. 
  • Supports seed collection and storing, species identification, germination, outplanting, watering, weeding, and monitoring efforts.
  • Supports community food production, seed adaptation, and soil conservation trials at Niuliʻi.
  • Co-creates conditions that ensure the safety and health  of ‘āina and kānaka of Kohala.
  • Designs, develops, and maintains hard copy files of field data sheets and electronic databases for data including GIS.
  • Procures and maintains monitoring equipment and materials.
  • Works with organization information technology staff to ensure data and management system(s) are operational, maintained, and protected.

Moʻolelo (evaluation for continuous learning and knowledge transmission):

  • Designs and produces thematic maps with monitoring and GPS data in GIS.
  • Translates data into easy-to-understand and relatable statistics and stories to be communicated to the public and partners.
  • Assists in developing presentations and learning materials to tell the stories of the data.
  • Provides data for ʻāina and funder accountability reports for internal and external purposes.
  • Assesses for learning the impact of mālama ʻāina/hana mahi on ecosystems, the development of regenerative practices, and conditions and indicators of a state of pono in the context of forested lands.


  • Minimum of three years of experience in collecting, managing, and analyzing quantitative and qualitative data.
  • Minimum of five years of experience (and/or demonstrated understanding) as a mālama ʻāina practitioner or mahi ʻai with Hawai‘ī’s native and canoe crops and/or native forest plants.
  • Working knowledge of Hawaiian biota and threats to forested lands. 
  • Highly organized and able to independently plan and implement monitoring projects.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office, Google applications,  and GIS.
  • Ability to perform physical work in remote rugged landscapes, adverse conditions, and during inclement weather for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to work in and around helicopters; trained in basic helicopter safety and external sling loads.
  • Demonstrated experience with ungulate tracking and control techniques, including strategic hunting with dogs, using firearms, trapping, and snaring.
  • Ability to safely use herbicides for removing non-native invasive plants.
  • Able to perform heavy physical work and safely operate heavy equipment. 
  • Able to lift and carry up to 50 pounds (130 pounds with a partner) over uneven terrain for distances in excess of one mile.
  • Excellent organizational 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.
  • Basic proficiency in ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i, working use of ‘ōlelo Hawai‘i desired.


  • Kohala and/or Hāmākua-based knowledge and relationships.
  • Wilderness First Aid certified.
  • Helicopter safety and sling load training.
  • Hawaiʻi hunting license.


Bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian studies, geography, environmental science, biology, ethnobotany, horticulture, agroecology or agroforestry, agriculture, or related field.


  • Reliable personal transportation required for use in traveling between work sites.
  • Valid Hawaii Driver License (or ability to obtain one) required with a clean driving record.
  • Work is performed outdoors in variable weather conditions, at remote locations, on difficult terrain, and under physically demanding conditions.
  • Extended, overnight camping trips (up to four nights), weekend and evening work, and working four, ten-hour days in one week may be required every four to six weeks.
  • Inter- and intra-island travel on occasion.


  • Manual and automatic 4x4 vehicles, ATVs, UTVs, and riding mower both on and off-road.
  • Conservation and agriculture tools (e.g., rock drill, chainsaw, weed whacker) and machinery (e.g., tractor, tillage implements, power tools).
  • Plant preparation and propagation equipment (e.g. irrigation systems).
  • Two-way radio, compass, and GPS.
  • Computer and standard office equipment.


  • Posted On

    March 13, 2024
  • Closing Date

    April 30, 2024
  • Organization

    The Kohala Center
  • Location

    Waimea and Moku o Kohala
  • 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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