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.

Maile mentees are Native Hawaiian undergraduates in the UH system who are either current or prospective SOEST students. Each mentee is paired with a mentor who is an underrepresented SOEST graduate student, post-doctoral research associate or recent graduate. Mentor-mentee pairs meet regularly (~1–2x/month) over paid lunch, and all participants attend group meetings (~1–2x/semester) to share experiences, provide a sense of community, and strategize solutions to any problems that they may be experiencing.

Benefits for Undergraduates
  • Exposure to ongoing ocean, earth and environmental science research in Hawai‘i and beyond (including opportunities to participate in research cruises, laboratory work, etc.).
  • Exposure to different possible career pathways in the ocean, earth and environmental sciences, and access to jobs and professional development.
  • Support, advice, skills, and encouragement to achieve success as an undergraduate in SOEST. This includes free tutoring and assistance with preparing applications for paid summer research internships, scholarships, and graduate school.
Benefits for Graduate Students
  • Professional development training on mentoring undergraduate students, with a special focus on Native Hawaiian and other underrepresented groups.
  • Exposure to Native Hawaiian and other underrepresented cultures in Hawai‘i.
  • Be a part of increasing diversity in SOEST, and have the unique and invaluable experience of mentoring young minds.