Nurturing the Next Generation for College Success

"The PaCES-HIMB program prepared me for opportunities that high school couldn't provide. The final project was demanding and required me to prepare, problem solve, and dedicate myself to work.

Later that year, I excelled in WCC's Certified Nurse's Aide training. I couldn't have done it without the previous experiences I had through this program.

Above all, it was fun! I enjoyed learning in and out of the classroom. The teachers and mentors were knowledgeable, yet approachable for any student who had difficulties grasping concepts.

I always recommend this summer program to any student interested in biology or to anyone who would like to be more aware of the environment."

Julia Gomes, PaCES-HIMB 2009/10

Conducting a coral reef survey on Moku o Loʻe

Conducting a bioassessment of Kamoʻoaliʻi Stream in Kaneʻohe
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Windward Community College's Pacific Center for Environmental Studies (PaCES) has teamed up with UH Mānoa's Hawaiʻi Institute of Marine Biology (HIMB) to create a fun learning experience for high school students. The goal is to introduce students to exciting outdoor experiences and hands-on college level laboratory work so that students' motivation to attend college grows. 

Who are PaCES-HIMB Summer Program students?

Each summer, 20-24 Windward Oʻahu high school students are accepted into the 6-week summer environmental science education and research program. Some come from as far away as Waiʻanae. Although a high GPA is not a requirement, enthusiasm and interest in the environment is.

The students who are accepted into the program are very motivated to learn and grateful for the opportunity. Some get up at 4 a.m., ride several buses and arrive on campus at 8 a.m., and then stay until 5 p.m. or later each day to do field study or work in the lab.
Thanks to their involvement in the summer program, students who may not have considered college an option, realize that higher education is within their reach.

Learning about Ocean, Earth and Sky

Students participate in laboratory exercises, outdoor field and ocean research, and more - all with a focus on the environment:

  • Soil and aquatic sediment analyses
  • Ocean current mapping
  • Aquatic microbiology
  • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) research on living organisms
  • Coral reef habitat mapping, disease identification and assessment
  • Molecular approaches to environmental research
  • Use of global positioning systems (GPS)
  • Geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing (RS)
  • Stream dynamics
  • Stream flora, fauna and water analyses
  • Beach profiling: measuring/data sampling of backshore, foreshore, high and low tide, erosion
  • Service projects: Hawaiian fishpond restoration, native habitat restoration, mangrove clearing, alien seaweed eradication
  • Water safety, first aid, and CPR

Per student cost each summer: $4,250

Partner with us and help

  • Nurture young adults with the desire and confidence to go to college
  • Prepare future employees who will embrace a positive work ethic
  • Educate environmental stewards to become role models for the next generation

To learn more please contact:

KC Collins, CFRE
Director of Development, Regional and Community Colleges
Phone: (808) 956-3458


PaCES was accepted for funding in 2012 by the Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation for outstanding performance in the STEM fields for underrepresented minority students - a powerful testament to its impact!