02 Dec Haleakalā Interpretation and Environmental Stewardship Intern
Website Haleakalā National Park Interpretation
This internship will support interpretation and visitor services operations for the Summit District of Haleakalā while spending time within the coastal Kīpahulu District during the summer season. The intern will work 40 hours per week. Two of the 11 weeks will consist of training to learn about interpretation, specific resource information, teamwork, indigenous environmental stewardship, and the mission of the NPS. The main duties of the internship will be to present formal interpretation through birding hikes, develop and facilitate audience-centered “pop-up” programs around the topics of birds and fish, roving trails to provide informal interpretation, spread key resource messaging, and to assist at visitor centers throughout the week. The intern will have shadowing opportunities to learn from other divisions that specialize in forest birds and aquatic ecology. The intern will also work with external park conservation partners to support outreach events and collaborations in-park.
The intern’s primary project will enhance interpretation opportunities featuring Hawaiʻi’s endemic birds, including critically endangered forest birds and nocturnal seabirds. These interpretive products will provide a much-needed consistency for local visitors seeking to engage with the park’s recreational opportunities. Using provided outlines and resources, the intern will have a chance to craft a formal 1-hour nature walk focusing on the history, significance, and preservation of forest birds. The intern will also create two activity-based informal pop-up programs focusing on nocturnal seabirds and sustainable Native Hawaiian fishing stewardship practices. Both pop-up programs will provide the intern the opportunity to interpret park resources in unique settings, including during sunset/night sky shifts and on day trips to the coastal district of the park. All three programs will also address climate change and share the park’s responses to climate change impacts as well as the role visitors can play in environmental stewardship. The intern will lead nature walks 1-2 times per week and facilitate the pop-ups 2 times per week. The intern will also contribute to digital media through social media and help to write copy for web pages featuring these park resources. Throughout their term, the intern will work on a daily basis with a diverse team of park guides, leads, and supervisors who will provide mentorship and support for this project. At least once during their season, the intern will also get to interact with Maui bird conservation partners, either by representing the park at an outreach event, or by collaborating with these partners to provide a special event in-park.
This project will support one of Haleakalā’s top priorities, which is to prevent the imminent extinction of forest bird species in the park, and to help save other rare and threatened birds often killed in motor vehicle collisions. They will learn to communicate the importance of preserving the ʻāina (land) connection of mauka (mountain) to makai (ocean side). While communicating with visitors from across the world, the intern will greatly improve Haleakalā’s stewardship efforts to build awareness for endemic species, climate change challenges, and the need for action. The interpretive products created will remain in the menu of programming for the Interpretation Division after the internship ends, making a lasting contribution to the park’s materials for communicating these topics. The internship will also support Haleakalā’s relevance to both local communities and out-of-state visitors. With a more diverse workforce, the park improves its ability to connect with historically underserved communities, and it gains more ideas and perspectives for how to best share, protect, and engage with Haleakalā’s rare and sacred resources.