September 27, 2017
OMKM Staff: Building Long-Term Conservation Careers

Darcy Yogi's three-year journey at the Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM) is a model for interns and employers.  Her experience also exemplifies implementation of the UH Hilo Strategic Plan--integrating learning experiences; mentorship; collaboration with the community; preserving, protecting and sustaining our natural and cultural resources; and staying rooted in the history of Hawaiʻi. Darcy joined OMKM as a Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES) intern in the summer of 2014.  The internship transitioned into student employment and then continued for two additional years working full-time with OMKM.
The 2011 Kamehameha Schools Kapālama graduate started her college career on the mainland where she quickly yearned for a smaller school environment. Darcy found her perfect fit at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo graduating with a Bachelors of Science degree in Environmental Science. As a UH Hilo PIPES intern Darcy worked on a joint OMKM/Hawaii Ant Lab project and helped develop invasive species monitoring and prevention methods for the Maunakea Invasive Species Management Plan.

Darcy later accepted OMKM's offer of a full-time position as a Natural Resource Management Assistant. Building on her internship experience, Darcy embraced her new responsibilities implementing the invasive species management plan and monitoring native species as called for in the Maunakea Comprehensive Management Plan. Darcy quickly became OMKM's in-house bug and ant expert. She also presented at several Hawaii Conservation Conferences and volunteered at the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Conference.

Her other duties over the years included writing annual monitoring reports on invasive species, wēkiu bug, and other native arthropods. She helped organize and lead community volunteer events and school outreach activities. She also helped create a Maunakea youth activity, coloring and resource book.
The next chapter in Darcy's career is graduate school.  She received a Hau'oli Mau Loa Foundation Graduate Assistantship and is pursuing a Master's degree at UH Mānoa's, Natural Resources & Environmental Management in applied terrestrial ecology beginning this Fall.  
Congratulations Darcy and the best of wishes in your graduate studies!

The Office of Maunakea Management is charged with day-to-day management of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve as prescribed in the Master Plan. The adoption of the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan by the University of Hawaii Board of Regents in June 2000 marked a critical milestone in the management of Maunakea.


Meetings and public hearings spanning a period of nearly two years went into the formulation of the Master Plan, which established management guidelines for the next 20 years. The Master Plan reflected the community's deeply rooted concerns over the use of Maunakea, including respect for Hawaiian cultural beliefs, protection of environmentally sensitive habitat, recreational use of the mountain, and astronomy research.   


It places the focus of responsibility with the University of Hawaii at Hilo (UHH). The UH-Hilo Chancellor established the Office of Maunakea Management and the Board of Regents established the Maunakea Management Board in the fall of 2000. The Maunakea Management Board in turn formed Kahu Ku Mauna, a council comprised of Hawaiian cultural resource persons to serve as advisors.
OMKM Mission

To achieve harmony, balance and trust in the sustainable management and stewardship of Mauna Kea Science Reserve through community involvement and programs that protect, preserve and enhance the natural, cultural and recreational resources of Maunakea while providing a world-class center dedicated to education, research and astronomy.


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