Kupu, Hawai‘i’s leading conservation and education nonprofit, is looking for individuals to take part in the upcoming Conservation Leadership Development Program. This 11-month paid opportunity, helps develop individuals looking for an intensive entry-level experience in preparation for a career in conservation.

This year, Kupu has partnered with over 100 different sites throughout the State of Hawai‘i and the wider Pacific. The sites include environmentally-orientated local non-profit organizations and federal and state agencies. Participants are matched with a single host site for the duration of the program, during which they will serve alongside conservation professionals to preserve Hawai‘i’s unique natural environment to ensure that it is maintained and enjoyed by future generations.

This year’s cohort will be provided with a wide range of opportunities in many different disciplines relating to conservation. Our extensive network of partner sites offer exposure to the fields of ornithology, botany, natural resource management, aquatic resource management, biology, marine biology, Hawaiian cultural studies, zoology, agricultural science and more.


Participants will gain invaluable field experience, and have the opportunity to build close relationships and network with conservation experts. While simultaneously, developing their own personal skills in the areas of leadership, organization, and decision-making. Participants will have the unique chance to serve in some of the world’s most stunning natural locations leaving a positive lasting impact on them.


Oahu: Sept 28, 2020  Aug 21, 2021

Hawai‘i Island, Maui, Kaua‘i, Molokai: Oct 12, 2020 – Sept 4, 2021


While tasks vary from site to site, participants can expect to serve one-on-one with a mentor/supervisor to gain a more in-depth understanding of their partner organization. Day to day operations may include fieldwork, lab work, research projects, presentations, outreach and leading volunteer groups.

Selected applicants can expect to begin immediately after the program start date from Monday through Friday, with the possibility of occasional weekends and evenings (site dependent). Due to the individual nature of the Conservation Leadership Development Program and the length of the service term, members are held to a high degree of personal responsibility.


  • Up to $1,600 monthly Living Allowance
  • A $6,195 AmeriCorp Education Award to applied to higher education
  • First Aid/CPR Certification, in the field qualifications
  • Child-care, Health-care, and Student Loan Deferment
  • All-inclusive week-long Service Trip. Previous service week locations have included: Midway Atoll,  Kaho’olawe, the Nāpali Coast of Kaua’i and more.
  • Opportunity to participate in Kupu’s Earned Admission initiative. Which offers heavily subsidized virtual learning and college credits through a partnership with Arizona State University.
  • Opportunity to serve side-by-side and learn from potential future employers and to expand your professional network.

To learn more, including examples of past partner sites and responsibilities, email conservation@kupuhawaii.org or call 808.735.1221. If you would like to read further about Kupu participants that are currently in the field you can follow their efforts on Facebook or Instagram.