Mentor: Kealiʻi Thoene
STEM Fields: Agriculture; Biocultural Restoration; Environmental Conservation; Forestry; Horticulture; Process Control
Research Goal: Address climate change through native ecosystem restoration that includes forestry, product development, nursery management or biocultural restoration.
Terraformation aims to comprehensively solve climate change through native ecosystem restoration. We scale natural carbon capture by solving the biggest bottlenecks to forest restoration, accelerating global progress toward this climate solution. We test these solutions here on the Island of Hawaiʻi and deploy them globally. The climate emergency is quickly approaching a point where irreversible damage will occur if drastic solutions are not implemented. Thousands of years of traditional ecological knowledge led our wayfinding ancestors to the paradise that is our pae ʻāina millenia ago. This same knowledge is needed as our collective global waʻa sails into an uncertain future. Our native youth have a chance to be an example to our global community of how Indigenous wisdom implemented in tandem with Western science can lead us to paradise once more.
Meet Our Internship Mentor: Kealiʻi Thoene
As the Community Program Manager, my kuleana is to ensure that the restoration of our biological communities at Terraformation includes the restoration of our human communities, recognizing that the success of both is inextricably linked. While focusing on our students, the island community at large, and our visitors, my goal is to listen to needs and respond appropriately. A crisis as large as climate change will only be solved by utilizing laulima, the many hands, and the diversity of skill sets that our island earth most certainly contains.
Born in Kealakekua, Kealiʻi grew up between Hawaiʻi Island and Maui. After attending Kamehameha Schools, Kapālama, his curiosity led him away from the pae ʻāina for a decade, but his heritage and his heart tugged him back in 2015. Since then, all roads have led him deeper into the native forest ecosystem. Most recently, through KUPU, Kealiʻi interned with the Forest Bird Recovery Program at Division of Forestry and Wildlife (DOFAW) before pivoting to the private sector with Terraformation at the end of 2021. Among many things, he is a published author, a naturalist, and a surfer.
Internship duties and responsibilities:
Terraformation has a multifaceted approach to climate solutions. Our mentor, Kealiʻi, will work with the Hōkūlani intern to determine the intern’s area of interest and connect the intern with the appropriate Terraformation team member. A successful intern will be a critical thinker and a self starter, with a passion for solving real-world problems. A successful intern will be able to ideate and execute their own project with ample support from Terraformation. The internship tracks are:
- Forestry Restoration Technician — Prepping restoration sites for planting, performing the planting, and taking care of planted trees.
- Product Development — Developing hardware and software.
- Nursery Management — Collecting, germinating, planting, and sprouting seeds as well as nurturing and protecting seedlings.
- Biocultural Restoration — Identifying areas where we may be able to incorporate Native Hawaiian wisdom and practices into Terraformation’s restoration on Hawaiʻi Island.
Interns should be comfortable with and able to:
- Work outdoors in any weather conditions.
- Be comfortable in getting dirty and working with your hands.
- Possess some computer skills (product development)
- Have a desire to learn about forestry and nursery management
Tentative Summer Internship Schedule:
2023 Summer Internship Schedule*
- 2023 Spring: Two 4-hour days (dates to be determined)
- 2023 Summer: Early July. Either one week of 8-hour days or two weeks of 4-hour days.
*Schedules are tentative and are subject to change. Interns will be required to work 40 hours in the Summer 2023.
Internship Meeting Locations:
73-4485 Kahilihili Street
Kailua-Kona, HI 96740