Molokaʻi Land Trust

Mentor: Josiah Ching

About the Organization:

The mission of the Molokaʻi Land Trust is to protect and restore the land, natural and cultural resources of Moloka’i, and to perpetuate the unique Native Hawaiian traditions and character of the islands for the benefit of the future generations of all Moloka’i, particularly Native Hawaiians.

They consider it a “full spectrum” restoration which includes removing non-native species such as kiawe (mesquite) and outplanting with native species that would have historically been growing in that area. They are also working to rehabilitate endangered native bird and insect species that are endemic to this region. The MLT occupies two separate properties, with the primary project located on 1,769 acres at the Mokio Preserve on the remote northwestern coast of the island.

Meet Our Internship Mentor: Josiah Ching

Born and raised on the island of Molokaʻi, Josiah graduated from Molokaʻi High School and served in the US Army for six years as a Scout. He comes from a family that is very connected to the land through hunting, fishing and camping. So when he found himself back on the island searching for ways to reconnect to the land and his culture, his volunteering and seeking eventually led him to MLT where he can work to perpetuate both his culture and the native ecosystem. 

He handles a multitude of responsibilities for MLT including scheduling events, coordinating activities and tours, educational outreach, equipment and supply maintenance, data collection, and invasive species removal and outplanting. With so many native plants and wildlife endangered by development and invasion, he feels that now is a critical moment to turn the tide and allow them to flourish once again. His goal is to not only actively participate in the physical labor involved, but also to educate the future generations so that the positive changes can continue.

Examples of What Students Will Do at This Internship:

A primary responsibility of students working at MLT will involve manual weeding out of invasive species and outplanting native plants. This task also involves learning to identify native and non-native plants.  There will also be projects to protect the existing native plant and animal colonies such as fence repair to keep out deer and feral cats. All field work involved will be mapped, so there will be tasks learning and utilizing GPS and ArcGIS mapping tools as well.

Students who select this internship should be comfortable with the following:

  • Working on a team
  • Communicating with others
  • Willing to come to work with an open mind
  • Working outside in a rocky environment
  • Working in hot and dry weather
  • Getting dirty
  • Working with your hands

Tentative Summer Internship Schedule:

This internship will occur during the first 2 weeks in June (20 hours per week).

Schedule is subject to change