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Needs Finding


Needs Finding and Needs Assessment are processes and approaches to  finding and addressing needs or gaps. To understand how UH Ecosystems Work can best serve the Hawaiʻi conservation community, we began an effort to identify the areas in which ecosystems workers could use more support. 

Needs finding can be done both formally and informally. Informal approaches include talking story, site visits, work days, and observation and reflection. Formal approaches include interviews, workshops, and surveys.


In addition to ongoing informal conversations, site visits, and field days, our program's formal approaches have been:

  1. Workshops

  2. Interview Results from the Hawaiʻi Forest Restoration Synthesis Project 


At the 2022 Hawaiʻi Conservation Conference (and a related pilot workshop) we conducted a workshop to elicit challenges/needs and ideas to meet them. Participants were asked two main questions:

  • How would you complete this sentence: “I would like more support with…..”?

  • What could support in these areas look like?

The responses were captured via virtual whiteboard sticky notes and summarized in a table.

Interview & Synthesis Results from the Hawaiʻi Forest Restoration Synthesis (HFRS) Project 

The HFRS began as a postdoctoral project sponsored by the Hawaiʻi Cooperative Studies Unit, USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, and UH-Mānoa Water Resources Research Center and led by Dr. Aurora Kagawa-Viviani. The aim is to synthesize "decades of information on Hawaiʻi forest and watershed restoration using both quantitative and qualitative social science research approaches." The HFRS team interviewed over 50 restoration practitioners, managers, and researchers and early results from a portion of those interviews informed the structure and content of the HCC 2022 workshop. Additional HFRS results and analysis will be used by UH Ecosystems Work program to determine any potential next steps for needs-finding.

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