The Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation Fellowships support the next generation of natural resource leaders in Hawaiʻi

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From left to right, Charleton Kūpaʻa Hee, Destiny Apilado and Aaron Wehrman

Three new graduate students from Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Management (NREM) at the University of Hawaii at the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources in Mānoa have been selected to receive Hauʻoli Mau Loa Foundation scholarships for the 2022-24 academic year. The aim of the fellowships is to train the next generation of leaders in natural resource management from and for Hawaii.

The Hawaii students were chosen for their strong academic records as high school and undergraduate students, their deep connections and integration with the local conservation community, their passion for ʻāina (land) and a keen interest in the preservation and protection of natural resources, and commitment to a career that works to preserve and sustain the local environment. The three students enter the master’s degree in environmental management (SAME ) professional graduate program in NREM in August 2022.

In addition to a tuition waiver, students will receive a regular stipend ($22,140/year plus benefits) and $5,000/year in professional development funds for two years.

New Fellows

Charlton Kūpaʻa Hi

Born and raised in Kailua, Oʻahu Hee graduated from Kamehameha Kapālama Schools in 2008 and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree from Santa Clara University, with a double major in Environmental Science and Studio Art. In addition to being an artist and cross-country/track and field coach in high school, Hee is currently the lead field technician for the Forestry and Wildlife Division’s Snail Extinction Prevention Program.

For his SAME synthesis project, Hee considers probability of detection and behavioral studies as they relate to the conservation of native land snails. NREM Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology Melissa Price will serve as his adviser.

“I have the privilege of building a career in malama ʻāinaworking directly with the endangered kāhuli (tree snails) on Oʻahu,” he said. “Accompany me for the next two years, both Hauʻoli Mau Loa scholarship and NREM give me the time and resources to investigate the questions and insights I have accumulated since beginning my career as a wildlife advocate.

Fate Apilado

A graduate of Mililani High School, Apilado received a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from uh Mānoa in 2021. She spent most of her undergraduate time conducting research in molecular biology and tutoring numerous math and science students. Apilado’s objective is to work within Hawaiiagricultural industry to improve food security.

“I have a deep love for everything related to science. For me, the Hauʻoli The Mau Loa Scholarship is a way to give back to Hawaii“, Apilado said. “HML allows me to follow my path leading a life that honors my home and contributes to a healthier future. I believe that fresh, nutrient-dense food is essential to maintaining a healthy community, so it is of the utmost importance that Hawaii has leaders who are passionate about food Hawaii.”

Apilado works with NREM Associate Professor of Soil Ecology Susan Raven, focusing his research on the applicability of lab-developed black biochar (black carbon produced from biomass sources like wood chips) produced from wastewater as a soil amendment for farmers. His project presents the idea of ​​a circular economy in which waste is treated and reused as a useful product for farmers.

Aaron Wehrman

Oʻahu born Wehrman graduated from ʻIolani School. He went to uh Mānoa before moving on to uh Hilo in his freshman year where he eventually earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science.

Whether in the sustainability club or surfing and being outdoors, Wehrman has always felt a connection to the environment and giving back to the Earth. After graduating from undergrad, he knew he wanted to further his education.

“I am extremely lucky to receive the Hauʻoli The Mau Loa scholarship because without it, I would not have been able to afford higher education. In fact, before learning that I had received the scholarship, I was planning to take a year off to work and save money to hopefully reapply for graduate school later,” a- he declared. “Thanks to the scholarship, I will be able to continue my studies and give back to the community that has given me so much throughout my life. I hope to take this opportunity to educate myself, educate others, and conduct research that will improve Hawaiithe environment in every possible way.

Recommended by NREM Forestry teacher Travis’ idolWehrman is currently debating between a few different research projects.


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