Habitat Restoration Technician Coordinator

Expected Dates
January 17, 2022 to January 15, 2023
Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge
Position ID
*Please note that preference will be given to local candidates who already possess housing on Maui and have prior experience working with native Hawaiian plants*

The Habitat Restoration Technician (HRT) will assist with the restoration of 84 acres of tropical dry lowland forest damaged by wildfire at Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has a long-term goal to protect Keālia Pond from future wildfires by establishing a fire-resistant landscape using native Hawaiian plants.  Hawaii’s tropical dry forests are a critically endangered habitat type that has declined by >90% in the last 100 years due to clearing and burning for agriculture and development
. While most of the remaining tropical dry forests on Maui are in montane areas, the Keālia Pond restoration site is located in the low lying coastal areas of Maui’s Central Valley, adjacent to one of the most important wetlands in the state. This internship is a unique opportunity to be involved in a restoration project from the design and planning stages through implementation that will have long lasting impacts on the refuge and across Maui. 

The HRT will be the point person for this restoration project and will help draft the restoration plan which will include a list of the native plants most suited for the site.  The work will include invasive plant control using mechanical techniques and herbicide application and native plant propagation and outplanting.  Much of the work will be independent, but the HRT will also be expected to serve as the main coordinator for teams of volunteers, interns, and student groups in order to carry out restoration tasks. It is important that candidates be comfortable with providing leadership through collaboration and possess basic fieldwork skill-sets such as being able to trouble-shoot small pieces of equipment/machinery. This is an “all-hands-on-deck” internship and therefore candidates should be comfortable pivoting their work-days at times to fit the ever-evolving needs of the refuge. Additionally, it is important that candidates be able to troubleshoot issues with pumps and irrigation and problem solve on their own.

The ideal candidate should be a self-starter willing to perform independent research and outreach to local subject matter experts.  If you are looking for a heavily supported internship with close day-to-day oversight then this position is NOT a good fit for you. It will be vital that the selected candidate is comfortable problem solving situations on their own when needed and appropriate. 

The HRT will also have the opportunity to build partnerships with a local community that is excited to help with this important restoration project.  Other helpful skills and experience include invasive plant control, plant identification, report writing, and vegetation mapping using GIS.

Compensation amounts:
  • $750 - weekly living allowance ($18.75 per hour equivalent at 40 hours per week)
  • On-site housing is available if needed - though it will be a shared living experience and potentially crowded

*All allowances subject to applicable federal, state, and local taxes

*Please note the following: 1) This position does not include a travel allowance 2) This position does not include an AmeriCorps award 

  • Established in 1992, Keālia Pond National Wildlife Refuge encompasses approximately 700 acres and is one of the few natural wetlands remaining in the Hawaiian Islands. Located along the south-central coast of the island of Maui, between the towns of Kīhei and Mā‘alaea, it is a natural basin for a 56-square mile watershed from the West Maui Mountains.
  • The refuge is located in an area close to world renown beaches and some trails. On any given day you’ll have access to watersports such as surfing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and more. There are also ample opportunities for wildlife viewing
  • Local community outreach about restoration projects at the refuge will be conducted
  • Intern will have the opportunity to:
    • Learn and advance technical writing
    • Develop a long-term restoration plan for plots of land on the refuge
    • Improve public outreach efforts in local communities
  • Yes
Main Area of Focus
Natural Resources Mgmt
Education, Training & Skills Expected
degree minor or extensive experience
Ecology & Restoration
degree major or professional experience
Resource Management
some coursework or experience
Data Entry
competent with supervision
Field Research
competent without supervision
competent with supervision
competent without supervision
Hand Tools
competent without supervision