Harold K.L. Castle Foundation supports Windward Community College's high school environmental science program

Student participants are committed to malama i ka honua (caring for the world)

Windward Community College
Margot Schrire, (808) 956-6774
Director of Communications
Posted: May 29, 2008

"The PaCES summer environmental science high school program is the finest such program I have ever seen. It sparks a love of science with these young students, gives them an outstanding college experience of field and lab work and is creating the future stewards of Hawaiʻi." - Terry Robert George, Vice President and Executive Director, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation

HONOLULU - Windward Community College (WCC) professor David Krupp is convinced that the future of our island state depends on teaching the next generation about sustainability, environmental stewardship and care of our ʻāina. In 2004, he and fellow WCC professor Floyd McCoy launched a unique intensive summer program to offer high school juniors and seniors an exceptional opportunity for education and research in environmental science.

Last month, Harold K.L. Castle Foundation Vice President and Executive Director Terry George announced a generous grant of $85,000 to support the program over the next five years.

Students in the summer program are offered the opportunity to participate in an integrated mix of conventional lectures, hands-on laboratory exercises, outdoor field exercises, field trips, research projects and stewardship activities. The program broadens their understanding of watersheds and coral reef ecosystems, introduces them to pioneering scientific research and adds to their knowledge of current scientific methodology and research techniques. Embracing the theme that human beings are part of the ecosystem, not separate from it, the students learn these concepts and methods in the context of traditional and modern resource management practices.

The program is offered through the WCC Department of Natural Resources Pacific Center for Environmental Studies (PaCES), which promotes environmental science education, research and stewardship. The program is a partnership between PaCES and the Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB), a world-renowned research institute situated on Coconut Island in Kāneʻohe Bay. Surrounded by 64 acres of coral reef and designated by the state of Hawaiʻi as the Hawaiʻi Marine Laboratory Refuge, CoconutIsland provides excellent opportunities for research. The island covers approximately 29 acres, with six acres enclosed in lagoons that are used for keeping organisms in captivity for study.

Each year, 24 students are chosen, primarily from Windward Oʻahu schools. Six of these have participated in the previous year‘s program. These six students mentor the other 18 selected for the program. Mentoring involves helping the students complete programactivities and assignments. In addition, the mentors facilitate student research groups.

The Castle Foundation's gift will allow the program to continue creating the next generation of science educators, researchers and stewards for years to come.

"We are extremely pleased with the continued support we receive from the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation," said Krupp. "The nationally-recognized PaCES-HIMB partnership has permitted the blossoming of a unique program that enhances environmental science literacy, motivates interest in science in general, and promotes environmental stewardship among Hawaiʻi‘s high school students.

University of Hawaiʻi Foundation President Donna Vuchinich also acknowledged the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation. "Since the early 1900s, the Harold K.L. Castle Foundation has been the leader in providing support for Windward Oʻahu," she said. "Their generosity in support of our university has provided countless opportunities for our students to learn, grow and prosper."

Initial funding for the program came from two sources: a Harold K.L. Castle Foundation grant to PaCES and a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Bay Watershed Education and Training (B-WET) grant to HIMB.

Founded in 1972, Windward Community College is primarily a liberal arts transfer institution and is the youngest community college in the University of Hawaiʻi system. Windward offers the associate in arts degree and certificate programs in art, business, agricultural technology, biotechnology, Hawaiian studies, psycho-social development and marine options. The college is also home to the state's Employment Training Center,where students develop the academic and technical skills necessary for entry-level employment. Creative programs at the Hawaiʻi Music Institute, Palikū Theatre, Hokulani Imaginarium and Gallery ʻIolani attract thousands of spectators to the campus every year. For more information, visit www.windward.hawaii.edu.

The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is an independent, university-related, nonprofit organization whose purpose is to raise private funds according to priorities determined by the academic leadership of the University of Hawaiʻi and approved by the Board of Regents. Founded in 1955, the Foundation provides a full range of fund raising and alumni relations services for all 10 UH campuses. For more information, visit www.uhf.hawaii.edu.

The Centennial Campaign is an historic private fundraising initiative to raise $250 million to support the University of Hawaiʻi‘s commitment to our students, our community and our world. For more information about the Centennial Campaign, pleasevisit www.uhf.hawaii.edu.

For more information, visit: http://www.uhf.hawaii.edu