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Photo caption L-R: Courtney Kajikawa, Vice President and Personal Trust Manager, First Hawaiian Bank; Jean Creadick, Vice President, Philanthropic Services, First Hawaiian Bank; UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney, Dr. Bruce Mathews, Interim Dean, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, UH Hilo; Mariko Miho, Executive Director of Development, UH Hilo, UH Foundation

HILO, Hawai‘i—The W. T. Yoshimoto Foundation Charitable Trust has donated $275,000 to establish and support the W.T. Yoshimoto Foundation Charitable Trust Endowed Scholarship Fund for the Conservation and Preservation of Wildlife Habitats and Large Land Mammals at UH Hilo.

This undergraduate scholarship provides multi-year support to students pursuing studies in terrestrial mammalian habitat conservation and/or the conservation of large land mammals. The gift will also support the initial offering of a synthesis course in wildlife science at the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo, College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management.

“On behalf of the trustees of the W.T. Yoshimoto Foundation Charitable Trust, we are very pleased to enter into this partnership with UH Hilo,” said Jean Creadick, Vice President of Philanthropic Services at First Hawaiian Bank. She continued, “We look forward to working with Chancellor Straney, Dean Mathews and UH Hilo to support undergraduate students as they build the foundation of their careers in wildlife science and terrestrial mammal habitat conservation.”

UH Hilo Chancellor Donald Straney said, “UH Hilo is positioned to offer students an opportunity to immerse themselves in applied research. With our unique natural living laboratories, and transdisciplinary programs that address pressing global concerns, we offer students from around the world an opportunity to learn how to make the world a better place.” Straney continued, “The synthesis course in wildlife science is an example of one of these transdisciplinary programs. We are most grateful to the W. T. Yoshimoto Foundation Charitable Trust for this very generous investment in students on track to address crucial land management challenges facing our world.”

“As the human population grows, so too do the demands on land for food, feedstock and fiber,” said Bruce Mathews, Interim Dean, College of Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management, UH Hilo. “More and more, people are encroaching on wildlife habitat, with tragic results for animals and the environment. In order to have a sustainable balance between that which we extract from the ecosphere and that which needs to be replenished, we need to think beyond the designation of specific conservation areas and national parks.”

Large terrestrial mammals are in particular peril due to loss of habitat and poor game management practices. Understanding the complex role of these animals in the ecosystem processes is essential for effective terrestrial management of wild areas and rural multiple use areas where agriculture and forestry play an extensive role.

Straney concluded, “There is a strong impetus for integrating terrestrial mammal habitat conservation efforts into lands used for agriculture and commercial forestry.” Straney continued, “UH Hilo is working to help address this need by educating people who have a sound understanding of terrestrial mammal habitat, and are also able to strike a balance among conservation efforts, more sustainable agricultural and forestry production systems, and rural socio-economic issues.”

If you would like to learn how you can support UH Hilo programs and students, please contact Mariko Miho at mariko.miho@uhfoundation.org or 808-932-7692.

You can also make a gift online:

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The University of Hawaiʻi Foundation, a nonprofit organization, raises private funds to support the University of Hawaiʻi System. The mission of the University of Hawaiʻi Foundation is to unite donors' passions with the University of Hawaiʻi’s aspirations by raising philanthropic support and managing private investments to benefit UH, the people of Hawaiʻi and our future generations www.uhfoundation.org.

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