Teaching Change

Who We Work With

We are proud to partner with a diverse group of individuals, organizations, and alumni who share our vision of inspiring local youth to be environmental stewards. These key partners and organizational collaborations play a vital role in the success of our programs, providing valuable expertise, resources, and support. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all our collaborators for their contributions in fostering a deeper connection between Hawaiʻi's youth and the environment.

Key Partners

Program Collaborators

  • Kainana Francisco, MSc, Natural Resource Specialist, U.S. Forest Service
  • Mike Long, National Ecological Observation Network
  • Ming Wei Koh, PhD, Ecoliteracy Specialist, Center for Getting Things Started
  • Steve Kendall, MSc, Biologist, Hakalau Forest NWR, Fish & Wildlife Service
native hawaiian plants
kohala coast landscape



Several programs and organizations in the community share the common goal with Teaching Change of inspiring local youth to be environmental stewards. We are honored to share resources and work in tandem with:

  • Cheyenne Hiapo Perry, MSc, Mauna Kea Watershed Alliance, Coordinator
  • Eben Paxton, PhD, United States Geological Survey, Research Ecologist
  • Elliott Parsons PhD, Division of Forestry & Wildlife, Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Land Manager
  • Emily Leuchut, Division of Forestry & Wildlife, ʻImi Pono no Ka ʻAina, Education Associate
  • Erika Ho'oululahui Perry, University of Hawaiʻi Hilo, PIPES Program Coordinator
  • JB Friday, PhD, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Extension Forester
  • Kathy Kawakami, Division of Forestry & Wildlife, Puʻu Waʻawaʻa Horticulturists
  • Lahela Camara, Division of Forestry & Wildlife, ʻImi Pono no Ka ʻAina Program Coordinator

stewards of hawaiʻi

Alumni Staff

Since 2012, many people have helped shape the program to be the success it is today. A very honorable mahalo to:

  • Lauren Dement, Program Co-Coordinator, 2018-2019
  • Catherine (Cat) Spina, Program Coordinator, 2015-2018
  • Makalani (Maka) Pina, Program Assistant, 2017
  • Rebecca Delimont, Program Assistant, 2017
  • Anthony Novella, Program Assistant, 2016
  • Aleysia Kaha, Program Assistant, 2015-2016
  • Scott Laursen, Co-founder & Program Coordinator, 2012-2015
  • Colin Phifer, Co-founder 2012

koa and Maunakea with snow
small hawaiian plant

University of Hawaiʻi

Graduate Students & Partners

The Teaching Change Program has partnered with the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo's Tropical Conservation Biology & Environmental Science graduate program, for students to earn course credit while gaining experience in environmental education.

  • Clifford (CJ) Kow, Jr, 2017-2018
  • Gina McGuire, 2017-2018
  • Keolohilani (Keo) Lopes, Jr, 2017
  • Eben Paxton's USGS bird banding researchers at Hakalau Forest NWR
  • The Earth Day Fair committee (UH Hilo's Dept. of Geography, UH Hilo's PIPES program, Hawaii Community Foundation, and many more).
  • The many teachers & chaperones who have provided formative feedback

Mahalo to Our Funders

Teaching Change would not be possible without contributions from our funders.

hawaii community foundationUS Forest ServiceBattelleGear UpOak Ridge InstituteNOAA