A large Ohia tree with ROD
Laupahoehoe Forest Reserve
A large tree growing in a forest on Hawaii island

We offer overnight and single-day, immersive Field Courses to remote, native forest ecosystems for local middle and high school students. An important goal with these trips is to engage and inspire students to become environmental stewards by exposing them to the natural and cultural heritage of Hawaii’s native forest ecosystems, including the rare and endemic plants and birds that inhabit them.

Puʻu Makaʻala with NEON

The Puʻu Makaʻala Field Course is a year-long program launching in Fall 2020 with Advanced Placement Biology & Environmental Science high school seniors/juniors at Hilo High School. During this program, students learn about Puʻu Makaʻala ecology, natural history, and cultural geography. At Puʻu Makaʻala, students are exposed to the methods of data collection and the infrastructure of large-scale ecosystem monitoring. Students are tasked with developing their questions further and collecting in situ data in order to develop their own science questions that will guide research activities for a final project and presentation. Students engage in the Hawaiian practice of kilo (‘careful observation’) to collect phenological data. Participants receive mentorship on how to use NEON data for addressing their own science questions, including how to statistically analyze ecological data. At the end of the academic school year, students present their research to the class.

Grade Level
11th-12th
Student Capacity
Up to 15
Duration
5 Classroom Days, 2 8-Hour Trips Per Year
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Citizen Science for Hawaiian Forest Data

The Citizen Science for Hawaiian Forest Data is a recently developed, innovative program with the goal to empower high school students to engage in citizen science to protect ʻōhiʻa trees (Metrosideros polymorpha) from Rapid ‘Ōhi‘a Death (ROD) on Hawaiʻi Island. This program will be launched in Fall 2020 in collaboration with the Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station and Laupāhoehoe Community Public Charter School (LCPCS). High School students at LCPCS will help the Forest Service screen for resistance to ROD, a disease caused by fungal pathogens affecting one of Hawaii’s most important keystone tree species, ʻōhiʻa. This program was funded in December 2019 by the USDA Forest Service’s Citizen Science Competitive Funding Program.

Grade Level
9th - 12th
Student Capacity
4 High School Science Classes
Duration
1 Year, Multiple Classroom & Field Visits
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