Native Hawaiians have an unparalleled investment in caring for Hawai‘i’s land and oceans. Yet, they are severely underrepresented throughout all fields of ocean, earth and environmental science. The mission of the SOEST Maile Mentoring Bridge program is to attract kama‘aina undergraduates into SOEST degree programs and help them thrive through individualized mentoring and peer support. […]

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The SOEST Maile Mentoring Bridge is hosted within the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology (SOEST) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. You can reach us by email using the form above or by emailing directly to (maile@soest.hawaii.edu). Specific inquiries can be directed to: Faculty Advisor: Rosie Alegado, ralegado@hawaii.edu Maile Program Manager: […]

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Housed within the School of Ocean Earth Science and Technology (SOEST), 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.

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.

This program is funded and supported by the SOEST Dean’s Office.