The native Maile vine, Alyxia stellata, has a subtle and pervasive scent, with bright verdant leaves and beautiful pinwheel-like small flowers of different colors. Traditional use of Maile included leis for ceremonies, hula, medicine, clothing, and inclusion in tools used to catch kōlea and other birds. A long-lived plant, Maile clings tightly to the upward momentum of growth, and is an ecologically and morphologically diverse member of Hawaiian forests.
The SOEST Maile Mentoring Bridge fulfills a broad desire to inspire Native Hawaiians, kama‘āina, and individuals of other underrepresented ethnicities into ocean, earth and environmental science professions. Like the many varieties of Maile, this program creates unique mentoring relationships that offer support, encouragement, and the sharing of knowledge. The program weaves individual student goals with their personal and cultural experiences.
Program funding is provided by Ocean TECH: Technology Expands Career Horizons (NSF/GEO #1160664) and Kamehameha Schools (12662304).