HWF Interns

Ready to Spend a Week, or a Month, Doing Hands-on Field Work?


Our rich internship program allows people of all ages to immerse themselves in island life and culture while making a positive change in the natural world. Tailored for the needs of the intern, internships extend from one week to more than a month and include scholastic credit or community service options. Every year interns from across the globe work with us on projects that protect native wildlife, remove marine debris from beaches and restore native habitat.

Hawai‘i Island

Select college and graduate-level internship opportunities are also available on Hawai‘i Island based on current resources, team capacity and project needs. These opportunities are generally focused on more directed studies related to marine debris (removal, accumulation, prevention), anchialine ecosystems, dry-forest plant communities, and other research projects related to our fieldwork in Ka‘ū.  For example, HWF has hosted graduate interns through the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo’s Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science master’s program for the past several years.  Please contact us for more info.

Students can also earn credit for high school, college and community service programs while volunteering with HWF.

Care to join us?

Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund is always looking for driven individuals to join us. However, we must offer you the disclaimer that travel to Hawaiʻi is still complicated and has become more expensive (lodging and car rentals and food) as we come out of our second year of COVID-19 management regime. We suggest you carefully evaluate the travel logistics before you commit to our programs and let the travel issues guide your decision whether to come here or not. Here is one site with some insights that may help: Hawaiʻi Tourism Authority

We have year-round opportunities to participate in our programs. They include sea turtle projects and the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Discovery Center on Maui, and marine debris cleanups on the Big Island of Hawai’i. On our website you can find links to the various projects our volunteers and interns help out with. Although we work closely with our native species, our approach is to observe, educate and conserve as opposed to handling and interacting.

Please do NOT apply until you research travel & housing options on the island you would like to intern on! Currently travel and housing is expensive/difficult in Hawai‘i. Apply only if travel and housing costs are feasible for you. 

Maui Intern Opportunities

Native Wildlife Recovery

  • Honu Watch
  • Green Sea Turtle Basking Project
  • Honu Identification Green Sea Turtles (TBA)
  • Hawksbill Turtle Dawn & Night Patrols Hawksbill Nest Watch

Habitat Restoration

  • ʻAhupuaʻa Restoration Taro & Fish Farming
  • Turtle Fence Repair & Dune Restoration
  • Marine Debris & Education

Beach Marine Debris Recovery

  • Highway & Special Coastal Cleanups (TBA)
  • Underwater Cleanups (TBA)

Hawai‘i  Wildlife Discovery Center

Hawai‘i (Big Island) Intern Opportunities

Native Wildlife Recovery

  • Remote hike-in sea turtle nest watch monitoring (Apr – Dec only)
  • Injured sea turtle response efforts
  • Stranded large cetacean response efforts

Habitat Restoration

  • Kaʻū Community-based Coastal Cleanups (Marine Debris Recovery)
  • Biweekly Net (Recovery) Patrols – for existing volunteers only
  • Underwater Cleanups (TBA)
  • Coastal strand restoration (invasive species removal and native seed collection)
  • Native plant nursery and outplanting (coming soon in 2022!)
  • Anchialine pool and estuary restoration workdays (primarily in Kaʻū)

Environmental Education

  • Hawaiian Coastal Ecosystems Unit (G6-8) – virtual and in-classroom lessons / activities available
  • Marine Debris Keiki Education & Outreach (G3-5) – virtual and in-classroom lessons / activities available
  • Internship opportunities available for local HS and college-students on a case-by-case basis, please inquire for more info

For more information, please look under OUR WORK in the menu for the conservation and education work that Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund does.

If after investigating travel and housing options you would still like to apply for an internship,
click on the button below.


Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund Internship Program