1st and 2nd Week on the Island

My first day at the office. I remember waking up early, excited and eager to be at the office. I had a shirt, dress pants and a tie on, looking all professional and then i headed out to search for the office. Upon my arrival, i called Kristen (my boss) because i wasn’t really sure where the office was, so she came out of the office and i was able to locate the office. I went up the stairs and we said our hellos and the first thing she told me was i was too dressed up. In my mind i was like this is a first. I guess the Island is a little bit lax on “official dress code”. We went to the office and she introduced me to the Executive Director Todd Cullison, he welcomed me and i told them both how happy i was to be apart of their organization. A couple of hours later, Kristen and I headed out. She drove me to a couple of their work cites around town and showed me what they did.

At the office
At the office
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Me at the office. I had my shorts and running shoes on. #amazing #islandofficelife

The non-profit organization i work with is called Hui o ko’olaupoko and their main mission is “to protect ocean health by restoring the aina(land): mauka to makai (inland to the sea)”. Some of the services they provide are Watershed Planning and  Management, Rain gardens and Low Impact Development and Technical Consultation & Training. They were awarded a grant some years back to build rain gardens around the community to reduce storm water runoff. So far they have built about a dozen within the community. For my first week, Kristen and I were mostly out in the field doing maintenance on the rain gardens they built, weeding out weeds, trimming plants and planting new ones.

Rain garden infiltration test.
Rain garden infiltration test.
Rain garden maintenance. Thats Chad, my fellow intern.
Rain garden maintenance.
Thats Chad, my fellow intern.
Rain garden maintenance
Rain garden maintenance
Rain garden at Hawaii Pacific University
Rain garden at Hawaii Pacific University
Rain garden maintenance
Rain garden maintenance

I must say going out and working on this rain gardens has helped my out in identifying and knowing more about native plants.

Another project the organization is working on is the He’eia Estuary Restoration. The purpose of this project is to enhance water quality and increase the habitat for native aquatic animal species by removing invasive plants and replanting native Hawaiian species along the portion of the He’eia Stream estuary. This project was one of the reasons i chose the organization because it is related to what my research is going to be on. The He’eia Estuary Restoration Project is located at He’eia State park. Its an estimated four acre land that is covered with mangroves and hau bush, where both species have invaded the stream and is trying to make it in accessible. Planting native plants would help in the control erosion, purify storm water runoff and also provide habitat for native species. Also organic materials would go to a compost site and the rest would be used to suppress weed and add nutrients to the soil.

Project site. Along the banks are mangroves growing out.
Project site.
Along the banks are mangroves growing out.
Me pulling out mangroves
Me pulling out mangroves
Volunteers getting down and dirty
Volunteers getting down and dirty
Site prior to mangroves removal
Site prior to mangroves removal
Tools
Tools
Kaneohe Bay, where the stream empties into
Kaneohe Bay, where the stream empties into
Partially cleared area
Partially cleared area
Even after pulling out most of the baby mangroves, there was still a lot of work to be done.
Even after pulling out most of the baby mangroves, there was still a lot of work to be done.
The mangroves practically makes it difficult to move around
The mangroves practically makes it difficult to move around

Out and About

Me around town

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Out on Manoa, checking out invasive plants. 99% of all the plants in the forest are invasive.
Out on Manoa, checking out invasive plants. 99% of all the plants in the forest are invasive.
I was lost in the forest for about 15 mins. You can't tell but i was a bit worried. It would rain for a minute and then the sun would shine for about 5mins. it kept on going like that through out my 3 hours in the mountains.
I was lost in the forest for about 15 mins. You can’t tell but i was a bit worried.
It would rain for a minute and then the sun would shine for about 5mins. it kept on going like that through out my 3 hours in the mountains.

2 Comments

  1. Hello Mubarak,

    Really enjoying your photos and your adventures. Thank you so much for sharing. I have the same question about do we need to dress up for the office work, especially at the first day. Please smile when you selfie next time 🙂

    Finally see clearly about the mangroves in your photos, cause I heard a lot from the Coastal community class whole semester.

    Please be careful when you work in outsides.

    Hope your internship goes well !!!

  2. Mubarak! Hello. I know you’re internship is over but you left so early in the semester I barely had time to follow you. It looks like it went well! You look fabulous in Hawaii. A total shocker though: Our precious mangroves are invasive over there? Wow, that’s surreal. Love that you got so much field time, the picture of the tools is awesome! Talk to you soon xoxo

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