**See below for application instructions**

 October 31 Deadline


The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) and the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) in Galápagos are excited to present an immersive, experiential undergraduate research opportunity that engages both indigenous and western science and culture on island invasion biology in the Galápagos and Hawaiian archipelagoes. This two semester (Spring and Summer 2024) research experience includes: (i) a Spring 4-credit lab and lecture course in Island Invasion Biology, and (ii) an eight week, immersive, all expenses paid summer research experience in Galápagos. Embracing traditional Hawaiian knowledge and Western science, this unique program aligns with UH Mānoa’s strategic goal to becoming a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning (NHPoL), and combines scientific exploration with Hawaiian ways of knowing to weave indigenous and Western knowledge systems to better understand and manage invasive species in Pacific Island ecosystems. This program will enable undergraduate students to engage in international, faculty mentored research via a transformative journey that promotes deeper connections to ʻāina (land/sea) and kānaka (people) communities, and mālama ʻāina (stewardship of places and people).

Spring 2024 Island Invasion Biology Course

This course on Island Invasion Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (UHM) is designed to provide a broad overview of the ecology and management of invasive species in island ecosystems, and will serve as the foundation for your summer research experience with the Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) in Galápagos. Overall, the course and research experience are designed to equip students with essential knowledge and skills to understand the complex challenges posed by invasive species in tropical island ecosystems. Importantly, students will develop a sense of environmental stewardship through the principles of mālama ʻāina to gain an appreciation for Hawai‘i’s people and ecosystems. Learning opportunities will be focused on the principles, theories and practical applications of invasive species, along with their societal, ecological, evolutionary, and environmental impacts and management options, to gain a deep understanding of invasions in island ecosystems. The course aims to provide an understanding of the ethical responsibilities and conservation principles associated with place-based indigenous resource management and pono science. Hawaiʻi and Galápagos provide excellent model systems due to their geographic isolation, diverse ecosystems, and the historical and ongoing challenges posed by invasive species. The course emphasizes the unique cultural and ecological context of Hawaiʻi while connecting it to the broader global context of invasive species research, making it relevant to the local community and promoting a deeper understanding of the importance of preserving native Hawaiian environments in line with UHM’s commitment to becoming a Native Hawaiian Place of Learning (NHPoL).

The laboratory component of this course explores island invasion biology through both a group project and development of individual research proposals to be conducted in the Galápagos and/or Hawaiian Islands. Throughout the semester, you will establish connections with UHM and CDF research mentors that will be instrumental in shaping your research projects, fostering place-based mālama ʻāina principles, and ensuring that your fieldwork aligns with pono science and ongoing research on invasive species. Many of the assignments will be centered around developing your research proposal and completing the group project, including the selection of mentors, creating outlines, and several draft proposals. You will explore the fundamentals of experimental design, data collection, indigenous resource management, statistical analyses, and the ethical and responsible conduct of scientific research. Through the process of working on your group research projects you will develop skills in conducting fieldwork, data analyses, presentation, and writing, which will be foundational in the concurrent development of your individual research proposals. There will be 1-2 required field days on a Saturday during the semester (dates TBD based on student availability).

Summer 2024 Research in Galápagos

In Summer 2024, students will have the opportunity to travel to Galápagos for an immersive, 8-week research experience (costs associated with travel, lodging and a summer stipend will be covered for each student). This is a unique opportunity to conduct field research in one of the world’s most iconic island ecosystems. Over the course of eight weeks, students will work closely with CDF experts and UHM faculty mentors to conduct independent invasion biology research projects while exploring the Galápagos Islands’ unique flora and fauna and gaining invaluable hands-on research experience. The Spring 2024 lab component of this research experience will center around finalizing a proposal and working collaboratively with your CDF mentor so you are ready to conduct your project when you arrive. Students traveling to Galápagos in Summer 2024 are encouraged to continue working with their UHM and CDF mentors after returning to finalize and publish their research projects. 

Target dates for the research experience in Galápagos are June and July of 2024; actual departure and return dates will be confirmed early in the Spring 2024 semester.

Research Project Options

Program Personnel


**To be eligible to apply students must be enrolled as a classified undergraduate student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and graduating no earlier than December 2024 (all majors are invited to apply).**


**This course will also be offered in 2025 and 2026. Students wishing to participate in those years are still encouraged to apply as are students who are unable to commit to travel during the summer months.**

Before starting the submission process, make sure to get a few things ready:

    • Resumé/CV (attachment, optional)
    • Transcript (attachment, downloaded from STAR, required)
    • 3 professional references (Name, email, and phone numbers, required)

References will only be contacted subsequent to an initial screening process.

Priority will be given to Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander students, but all students from all majors at UHM are encouraged to apply. 75% of the spots will go to citizens, nationals, or permanent residents of the United States, and the remaining 25% of the spots are open to any nationality.

There are several short answer prompts in this application, you should plan to spend 30 minutes – 1 hour total. You do not have to complete this in one sitting and can save your progress and return to the application.

A subset of students will be invited to participate in a community workday at Ulupō on Saturday November 11, 2023. More information can be found here.

For any questions please contact Jimmy Fumo (jfumo@hawaii.edu)

Deadline October 31

Back To Top