North Shore Community Land Trust

Mentor: Kumu Kawela

STEM Fields: Environmental Science, Restoration Ecology, Sustainable Agriculture

Internship Research Goal: Help preserve the natural habitats of endangered species, improve water quality, and also help provide a sustainable food source for the local community.


North Shore Community Land Trust with tan graphic of landscapeAbout North Shore Community Land Trust (NSCLT)

The mission of the North Shore Community Land Trust (NSCLT) is to protect, steward, and enhance the natural landscapes, cultural heritage, and rural character of ahupua‘a from Kahuku Point to Ka‘ena on the North Shore of Oʻahu. 

The three main areas of their focus include land conservation through 1) legal and developmental advisement (counsel), 2) land stewardship through restoration and maintenance, and 3) active community engagement through various partnerships and initiatives. 

Not only does the organization focus on restoration and preservation of native plants and wildlife, it also is working to develop areas for Native Hawaiian agricultural practices as well. These projects help preserve the natural habitats of endangered species, improve water quality, and also help provide a sustainable food source for the local community.

Headshot of person smilingMeet Our Internship Mentor: Kumu Kawela

Kumu Kawela is the Project Coordinator for NSCLT, and he is actively involved in helping to lead the numerous projects that they take on. Currently he is primarily focused on a new community development and restoration project at the former 130-acre University of Hawaiʻi Livestock Experiment Station at Waialeʻe. His duties are split between active field work at various project sites and managing coordination, scheduling, and grants from the office. 

Kumu Kawela was raised in Sunset Beach on Oʻahu. Growing up in a rural, oceanfront community surrounded by nature gave him an early connection to the land and an appreciation for its beauty. Gradually as a student at Kamehameha Schools he became more aware of the importance of preserving natural resources and maintaining habitats for endangered species, which led him to volunteering then eventually working with NSCLT while pursuing his graduate degree in Natural Resources and Environmental Management at University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Internship duties and responsibilities:

Students will have a balanced experience that might include physical work (planting and weeding), data collection (water sampling, monitoring native birds, and measuring plant growth), and researching historical records of the area. There will also be opportunities for community engagement with local families and cultural experts to ensure that all projects properly address community needs and concerns while accomplishing the overall goals.

Interns should be comfortable and able to:

  • Working on a team
  • Communicating with others
  • Getting dirty
  • Working with your hands

2023 Internship Schedule:

  • Spring 2023: Saturday, March 18th, 8am – 4pm
  • Summer 2023: 
    • Saturday, June 10th, 8am – 4pm
    • Saturday, June 17th, 8am – 4pm
    • Saturday, July 1st, 8am – 4pm
    • Saturday, July 8th, 8am – 4pm
    • Saturday, July 15th, 8am – 4pm

Internship Meeting Locations: 

North Shore Community Land Trust
58-207 Kamehameha Hwy (in Waialee)