Visitor Center

Partnerships with local education organizations provide the refuge with interpretive and hands-on opportunities for students by way of a Special Use Permit. These programs have quality wetlands curricula covering the ecology and biology of the refuge and are popular with the local teachers.

Arrangements can be made directly with the organizations: 

Hawai‘i Nature Center
875 Iao Valley Road
Wailuku, HI 96793
(808) 244-6500  

Maui Digital Bus
1305 North Holopono St., Suite 3
Kihei, HI 96753
(808) 442-7152 

The Maui National Wildlife Refuge Complex office participates in the Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science (PIPES) based at the University of Hawai‘i Hilo campus. As a mentoring agency, we support the program’s mission: “linking undergraduates to environmental careers; mentoring the next generation of scientists, educators and managers for Hawai‘i’s and the Pacific’s future”. The 10-week program (June-August) provides students an opportunity to work at the refuge and obtain the experience and knowledge necessary for careers in the field of natural resources.

Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Science
University of Hawai‘i Hilo
200 W. Kawili St.
Hilo, HI 96720
(808) 933-0705 

A Teachers’ Workshop hosted by Maui Community College and the State Division of Aquatic Resources. The course is designed to orient teachers with the variety of resources they can tap into for their class curriculum and excursions. Site visits and activities at cooperating agencies and organizations are scheduled and include: Keālia Pond NWR, Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary, Maui Ocean Center, and others. Teacher credits are received for participating in the summer program. This course is not regularly scheduled. For additional information contact Russell Sparks, Department of Land and Natural Resources, Division of Aquatic Resources, (808) 243-5294.

Other educational and interpretive opportunities are available on an individual group basis, dependent upon on the size of the group and staff availability. Topics and activities for each group are personally designed with teachers and group leaders to supplement their interests and incorporate their visit into the curriculum. In this way, teachers can use the refuge as an “outdoor classroom” to enhance the students’ learning experiences.

Potential themes that can be provided are: wetland ecology, watersheds, endangered species, native versus invasive species (flora and fauna), bird biology and ecology, invertebrates, management, and careers (not inclusive). Most of the programs include hands-on activities from sampling water and identifying invertebrates to helping with wetland restoration efforts. Teachers and group leaders can contact the refuge directly, (808) 875-1582.

A program for 11-12th graders in Kihei Charter School’s Outdoor Science class provides hands-on opportunities for students to be “biologists”. Given a problem, they work through the process of designing a study -identifying the sampling techniques, collecting data, analyzing their data, reporting on their results, and making recommendations for the refuge.