Imi Wai Ola


Imi Wai Ola –Seeking the Waters of Life

May 4, 2018 
NOAA Inouye Regional Center

Sponsored by NOAA B-WET, NOAA Education, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The U.S. Department of Education, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation.

Environmental Science
Marine Science
Bioinformatics and Genomic Data Science
Engineering and Development of Data Collection Devices
Environmental Data Analytics
Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Modern Science


In 2017, students came to the NOAA Inouye Regional Center for Plenary sessions at which students present on stage, poster sessions  with “Science Fair” style displays, and breakout sessions where small groups interact with scientists about careers and aspirations.  Projects included these!


In 2016, students came to the NOAA Inouye Regional Center for Plenary sessions at which students present on stage, poster sessions  with “Science Fair” style displays, and breakout sessions where small groups interact with scientists about careers and aspirations.

Lanikai School School Organic Pesticide for Basil Plants Emma McDonald Heather Dinman Ella Gimon
ʻIolani School School What are you really eating? Genetic identification of tuna species uncovers mislabeling rates in Hawaii Cecily Choy
NALU Studies Studies Comparing hydroponics, aquaponics , and traditional lo’i productivity of Kalo and anuenue lettuce in black cinder or potted soil media Jaychelle Vannatta
Mid-Pacific Institute ROV in Kawa Stream Korbin Au Jonah “Kui” Gilliland Hayden Lambeth Sage Driscoll
Ka Waihona o Ka Naʻauao Effects to our Ahupu’a’a/Watershed Riley Jose Shadee Jacobe Emma Lui-Kwan Liko Abrigo
WIRED Kawa Stream and Hakipuu Stream Chloe Aquino Ajia Hurt
SEEQS How do the chemicals in sunscreen affect the coral? What are the alternatives to using sunscreen? Gabriella-Anne Owen-Mendonca
King Intermediate Not Dead Yet ! Coral Bleaching Recovery Kaneohe Bay Mariko Quinn
Kulia Marine Biology Club
3D Mapping Dorian Verdugo Chase Sawyer Kaiehu Kaupu-Hanks
Research Experiences in Marine Science The Effects of Light Deprivation on the Upside Down Jellyfish, Cassiopea Andromeda Jennifer Chinen Shelby Cruz Jewels Oliquiaro Dani Horner
Pacific Center for Environmental Studies Fertilization rates of Tripneustes gratilla at different pH levels- mimicing the predicted ocean acidification Tejas Jhaveri
ʻIolani School An Investigation of Native Hawaiian Plants Sesuvium portulacastrum and Bacopa monnieri and their Tolerance of Varying Salinities Narissa Barling
SEEQS Is there a relationship between Kuliouou Stream and Paiko Lagoon? Dublin Gingerich Kai Holbrook Mark Entilla-Mika Ethyn Yeung
Pacific Center for
Environmental Studies
The Effect of Salinty on Brine Shirip (Aremia Salina) Camryn Kunioka
Ka Waihona o Ka Naʻauao Micro-organisms/Native Species Charles Naone Dylan Panui Tim Wiley Justin Wiley
ʻIolani School Biodiversity of Manoa Stream Taylor Maruno
King Intermediate CO2 Levels in Ala Wai and Kaneohe Bay Carlee Kasadate
Mid-Pacific Institute Exploring Water Quailty with ROVs Conan Rogers Kayla Branco Lilia Egan Jarren Matsumoto
Mid-Pacific Institute Exploring Water Quailty with ROVs Nicole Wong
ʻIolani School Determining the Abundance of V. vulnificus at Different Depths Sarah Domai
SEEQS Is Paiko Awa a sufficient environment and ecosystem for Hawaii’s marine wildlife? Carter Harai Maurice Crabbe Victor Wong Reece Kosaki
King Intermediate Opheodesoma Spectabalis:More Than Meets The Eye Baron Arquero Aisha Yamamoto
Pacific Center for Environmental Studies Water Quaility In Ka’ohao Kalaʻe Lopes
Lanikai School Kawainui Marsh and El Niño Lilly Bachl Tiana Alfsen Jasmine Cadotte
ʻIolani School Dengue and Zika Vector Mosquitoes: Determing the Population Density and Distribution of Aedes albopictus Anna Freitas
Lanikai School Restoring the Flow in Kawainui Marsh Henry Cullison Kaʻimi Victor
Kulia Marine Biology Club Aspects of Marine Biological Experiences Madeline DeZee Andrea Moliga
Na Alak’i Opi’o Is the Water Safe? Camron Somlak Kaʻimi Phillips
Ka Waihona o Ka Naʻauao Effects to our Ahupua’a Makenzie Lau Noelani Hidalgo Kyan Machado Halaʻi Napuelua
Mid-Pacific Institute Exploring Water Quailty with ROVs Kailee Cortez Maia D’Amato Kai Kinvig Brenden Peters
Mid-Pacific Institute Exploring Water Quailty with ROVs Kyra Suzawa-Tajimi
SEEQS How does Kanewai spring influence Paiko Lagoon? Ella Gibson Aiko Harada-Collier
Na Alak’i Opi’o Is the Water Safe Luke Henderson Logan Henderson Connor Gehrke
King Intermediate Poisoned Fish Kai Oda
Mid-Pacific Institute ROV in Kawa Stream Melissa Brown Ethan Chang Gabriela Kadzielawa Lauren Ikeda
Mid-Pacific Institute ROV in Kawa Stream Sasha Krstic Kerrin Lee Katelyn Pabila Justin Li

Geo Arch Ag Program


This program is available at no cost to students, underwritten by generous grant funding.
Lunch is included, sponsored by the Kulia grant and the Castle High School Cafeteria Federal Summer Lunch

Students may earn 1 elective credit, ‘Work-Study Course’ and $330 stipend for work experience for
improving the farm laboratories at Castle HS

Student Responsibilities:
• Complete 120 instruction hours
• Complete 30 paid work hours
• Complete learning assessments to earn credit
• Complete evaluation surveys.
• Involve your ‘ohana in family events
• Ho‘iho‘i: volunteer to give back at community
work days

You will engage in these activities and develops skills in:
• Hawaiian History & Cultural Studies
• Archaeology: GPS mapping, documenting
• Agronomy / Horticulture
• Sustainable farming
• Geology, rock structures and types
• Botany/ Ethno-Botany, and Plant Ecology
• Student Symposium, Presentations
• Design & build aquaculture and aquaponic
laboratories, lo’i terraces
• Water quality testing and characteristics
• Water engineering streams, springs

NALU Studies


Kauai – Apply Now
Oahu – Apply Now!

Exploring our islands…

Welcome to the adventure of Nature Activities for Learning and Understanding (NALU) Studies, where students participate in hands-on outdoor and laboratory activities in environmental science.  Our mission is to design and implement scientific and ecological learning experiences that have helped transform the lives and families of at-risk youth in our community.

Using our surrounding environment of land and sea along with our cultural history and knowledge, NALU Studies cultivates students’ curiosity and interest through enriched science education opportunities in marine science, biology, and ecology.  Beyond academic learning, NALU Studies strives to transform and empower the lives of youth by building trusting relationships and providing guidance and mentoring with an opportunity to experience personal achievement.

We are proud that since 2009, Nature Activities for Learning and Understanding (NALU) Studies has provided outdoor and environmental science education opportunities for youth. 

Manning Taite III
Executive Director, NALU Studies
Fiscal Sponsor:  Pacific American Foundation

NALU Studies offers two sequential courses and a mentorship program.  Students study a traditional Hawaiian ahupuaʻa (watershed) and engage in a curriculum aligned with the Hawaii Department of Education Content and Performance Standards in science, career and life skills, and educational technology.  Students can earn high school and/or college credit from Windward Community College for each course towards their academic goals.  Students are between the ages of 13 to 17 years old and are in a cohort of up to twenty.

Each course is 150 hours long, with a combination of hands-on learning experiences through field expeditions and academic learning.  Courses start with nature activities that include hiking, canoe paddling, and snorkeling to build trust and relationships.  This is an opportunity for students and staff to get to know each other better and develop a bond as a team.

Nature activities lead into a two-week intensive academic program, where students work in the laboratory, conducting college-level scientific experiments, collaborating in groups and working alongside professionals and experts.  Students present their research at the culminating event, a formal scientific symposium attended by scientists, community leaders, and families.

Waikalua Loko Fishpond
The Pali
Haiku Valley
Kako`o`iwi Lo’i
Kawainui Marsh
HIMB Coconut Island
Windward Community College…
Reef exploration
Hawaiian Cultural practices
Water sampling
Community service
DNA extraction
Leadership and Teamwork

Oli No Ka Papa NALU

Eia na mamo, na lehua o Ko’olau
Here are the yellow flowers, the lehua blossoms of Ko’olau
We are the descendants, the cherished ones of Ko ‘olau

Mohala mai i ke kawelu holu o Lanihuli
Blooming in the ‘swaying grass winds’ of Lanihuli
Flourishing even in the face of challenges

Huli ke alo i ke kai, i Moananuiakea
Turn the face seaward, to the vast and ancient Pacific ocean
We look toward the abundant wisdom of the ancients

E kamau i ka hoe a pae i ke kula
And the paddle is continually dipped until reaching the shore
And we are nourished until full by this ancestral knowledge

‘Ale ka holopali o Paliku
Gusting is the ‘cliff running wind’ of Kualoa
Strong are the traditions of our heritage

‘Ale’ale ke kai paki o Maunalua
Rising is the spraying sea of Maunalua
Growing in influence and knowledge

Lua ‘ole na ao loa o Konahuanui
Incomparable are the long clouds on Konahuanui, the highest point of Ko’olau
We [ourselves and our ancestors] are unique, of the highest order

Ku kilakila i ka la’i e
Standing proudly in the calm
Grateful that our ancestors have provided us peace and safety



Welcome to WIRED, The Watershed Investigations, Research, Education, and Design Project, a project of the Pacific American Foundation funded through grants from NOAA B-WET and EPA Environmental Education. 

WIRED brings together 6th-12th grade students and their teachers with University researchers, graduate students, undergraduate students, and private and public sector entities such as the Department of Land and Natural Resources in actual current environmental research projects.  WIRED is the lab and field science component of PAF’s Kulia Natural Resource Stewardship Program. Students collect valid scientific research data, creating meaningful outdoor experience.

The WIRED Program’s overarching goal is to improve science education in Hawai`i by increasing the interest of Hawai`i’s youth in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines through the use of current technology, culturally-relevant curriculum, and meaningful outdoor watershed educational experiences. The focus is on influencing student interest and preparation for secondary and postsecondary STEM courses and pathways by introducing them to principles and practice of the collection, analysis, and display of field ta impacting water quality and monitoring the impacts from both anthropogenic and natural sources.

The WIRED Program will connect students to current, ongoing, leading edge science investigations in the bays, streams, wetlands, ponds, and ocean of their school’s ahupua`a. Teachers will gain experience in leading water quality, bio-assessment, and ecological investigations where students gain appreciation for the scientific inquiry process and research level data sampling methods, as well as the design of sampling devices and habitat restoration tools. WIRED will also work with the teachers’ curriculum and pacing guides to implement innovative and best-practice teaching strategies that bridge in-and out-of-school activities. This will additionally increase the teachers’ comfort and knowledge of providing and developing higher level inquiry driven and hands on lessons. The nature of the Program will develop sustainable partnerships between scientists, educators, and community stakeholders to improve STEM instruction in Hawai`i schools.

Each school will be supported to study the environment of the local ahupua`a, pose questions about their observations, identify both anthropogenic and natural challenges posed to the watershed, with particular attention to the impact of climate change, including sedimentation, elevated temperatures leading to bleaching of coral populations, acidification, high nutrients from non-point source pollutants, and marine debris. Each school’s ahupua‘a and watershed provides a challenge for students to investigate the issues and assess the threats to a sustainable ecosystem. Students and teachers will gain connections to current research efforts in their school’s wetlands that provide the opportunity to conduct service learning project and enable students to give back.

 Video by Kelsey Yap, a senior at Waianae High School made as part of WIRED and the SI/HIMB UAS program.

AIM Hawaii


13 young leaders assembled from around the state launched the AIM for Youth Project, a new statewide youth leadership program addressing racial inequality and engaging youth in public civic opportunities, at the Hawaii Capitol on Dec. 17, 2013.

AIM for Youth is funded by a grant supporting Racial Equity, from the Kellogg Foundation, administered by PAF.  We collaborate with partners, including The Council for Native Hawaiian Advancement and the Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs, public and private schools, local and national colleges, Halau Ku Mana Public Charter School and Hawaiian Community Assets.

“This project seeks to establish a statewide network and provide resources and mentorship opportunities for young leaders, ages 16 to 25,” — Richard Medeiros of the Pacific American Foundation, project coordinator.

Kamalama Program


If you are 18-24 years old, Windward, Oahu (from Kahuku to Waimanalo) and an emerging leader (or want to be one!) you are invited to apply to Kamalama!

Why be part of a fantastic team of young leaders?

  • Strengthen yourself in culture & community
  • Discover your top 5 career pathways
  • Discover your top leadership strengths and create a personal leadership development plan
  • Grow your network of community collaborators and partners
  • Further your career potential through paid internship/apprenticeship
  • Learn financial literacy and writing skills for applications for scholarships and college writing