Become part of Hawaii’s conservation story

Kupu Environmental Education Leader

An online application must be submitted in order to be considered for the position: Visit Kupu’s Website, 

Position Description


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 cultivate 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 Honolulu-based 501(c)3 non-profit, 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 internships and service-learning opportunities which blend vocational training and green leadership development to support more than 100 partner sites across Hawaiʻi and the Pacific region.

Kupu’s Environmental Education Department: We build Natural Resource (NR) career pathways for Hawaiʻi’s youth. We offer students hands-on support that can be in-school, work-based, or project based. We offer educators professional development training. Our emphasis is on work-based learning (WBL) and preparing students to lead as professionals and citizens. We have a range of offerings, from stand-alone programs to system transformation.

Position Summary: Environmental Education Leaders (EELs) serve one-year terms at select intermediate and high schools on Oʻahu. EELs will work directly with educators and community partners to implement environmentally-focused classes, projects, and work-based learning opportunities in the context of career awareness, exploration, and preparation. Potential projects include but are not limited to supporting after-school clubs, leading class discussions and lessons, coordinating field trips and guest speakers, and mentoring student project teams and capstones. EELs will work to integrate Hawaiian culture and ʻāina-based education to inspire and motivate youth to actively participate in mālama ʻāina and other culturally-relevant practices. EELs will also support schools in the development, growth, and promotion of natural resources career pathways and partnerships. During intersession periods, EELs will run Kupu’s Kōkua Camp, a week-long day camp for Hawaiʻi youth ages 11-17 years old.

Position Duties:

The Environmental Education Leader is a full-time, year-long position from July 2022 to July 2023 which includes, but is not limited to, the following duties:

Partnership Development

  • In conjunction with Kupu staff, partner with teachers and administrators to identify school needs and develop and implement school goals

  • Develop relationships with community partners to provide work-based learning opportunities (e.g., guest speakers, field trips, internships, etc.) to students and to facilitate long-term relationships between partners and schools

Direct In-School Support

  • Develop work-based learning and ʻāina-based education opportunities for students at assigned schools. This may include but is not limited to: 1) developing natural resource curriculum, 2) planning field trips and guest speaker events, 3) implementing school projects and clubs, 4) sharing conservation and natural resource conferences, internship, and other opportunities, and 5) mentor student science fair projects and senior capstones

Career Pathway Development

  • Support schools in the development, growth, and promotion of natural resources pathways and partnerships, as needed and appropriate.

Kōkua Camp Coordination and Implementation

  • In coordination with Kupu staff, recruit participants, develop program components, and lead camp

Data and Administrative Tasks

  • Document activities and key events with photographs and/or video

  • Provide timely data reporting 

  • Attend program and department meetings as needed

Other Kupu Program Supports

  • Attend and assist with outreach, recruitment, and special events

  • Mentor Hawaiʻi Youth Sustainability Challenge (HYSC) student teams

  • Participate in and support Kupu’s Natural Resources Professional Development (NRPD) Program for educators

Other duties as assigned

Minimum Requirements:

  • At least 21 years of age

  • Possesses a passion and willingness to engage youth in a group setting 

  • Strong team player who works well with others and on their own

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills

  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to develop and maintain professional relationships 

  • Exceptional multi-tasking and organizational skills 

  • Familiarity with Hawaii’s natural and cultural resources and landscapes

  • Must possess a current, valid driver's license 

  • Must have reliable transportation to and from the school site

  • Must meet minimum driving abstract requirements 

  • Must meet minimum criminal history background check requirements 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's Degree in Education, Hawaiian Studies, Natural Resources and Environmental Management, Environmental Studies/Science, Ecology, Botany, Biology, Zoology, Forestry, Marine Science or a closely related field to the natural sciences

  • Experience working with students in a mentorship or leadership role, especially intermediate and high school age

  • Ability to meaningfully engage, manage and mentor groups of students

  • Experience leading educational activities

  • 1-2 years of work experience in education or conservation

  • Ability to drive large vehicles (15 passenger vans


  • Full-time leaders are eligible to receive healthcare benefits  

  • Training, mentorship, and attendance of conferences and workshops as available 

  • Extensive networking opportunities

  • Certification in First Aid and CPR

 To Apply: Visit Kupu’s Website, to apply.

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

To Apply: Visit Kupu’s Website, to apply.


  • Posted On

    April 14, 2022
  • Closing Date

    April 1, 2024
  • Organization

  • Location

  • Position Type

For more information about Kupu and this opportunity please visit our website at, contact us at 808 735 1221 or via email at

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