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Green Growth

The state's natural resource management sector is growing and offers promising future job opportunities for Hawai‘i’s youth

Natural resources are a key component of Hawai‘i’s culture and economy. It is difficult, therefore, to make informed policy decisions without first quantifying trends in the natural resource management (NRM) sector. To that end, UHERO, in cooperation with The Nature Conservancy and Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation, conducted an analysis of Hawai‘i’s NRM sector in 2011-2012. Information on basic economic indicators was collected from agencies identified as being part of the NRM sector. The survey was distributed again in 2014-2015, and the responses were collected and analyzed. NRM jobs grew between 2-3% annually from 2012-2015, and NRM expenditures increased by over 15%, totaling nearly $550 million in 2015. Most desirable college majors (indicated by employers) for NRM careers included natural resource management, biology, environmental studies, ecology, and botany. Data on current employee characteristics also indicated that higher levels of education, particularly post-baccalaureate degrees, are becoming desirable for all NRM job types. In aggregate, these results highlight an opportunity to strengthen the state’s economy by developing or expanding local training and education programs to match anticipated job growth in the NRM sector.

Supported by: Hau‘oli Mau Loa Foundation and The Nature Conservancy


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