About the trip

This field course puts into practice the principles learned in ENVIRON 976 (Restoration Principles and Practice), a graduate course taught in the Duke Environmental Leadership Program. We will spend a week on the North Shore of the island of Kaua’i, learning from local leaders and getting our hands dirty.

We are drawn to this particular place because it is a showcase for thinking about restoration in innovative ways. While the threat of extinction of rare birds and plants looms large, small organization have used a suite of tools to restore both habitat and culture. We will explore the restoration of tropical forests and taro fields, coral reefs and fish ponds. We will learn how the native Hawaiian principle of malama ‘aina (care and respect for the land) informs these restoration projects and explore the ongoing challenges of managing land for both people and nature in the face of climate change.

Rebecca Vidra will lead this field course (and a new Duke Engage program this summer) with 10 graduate and undergraduate students. Here we will showcase our field work, lessons learned on leadership, and our expanding perspectives on restoration across this incredibly diverse and beautiful island.