The Overview of SUSI Program
The Study of the United States Institute (SUSI) for Student Leaders on Global Environmental Issues (SUSI) is funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. The Institute is hosted by the East-West Center in collaboration with the University of Hawaii Environmental Center and over fifty other organizations. Participants were competitively selected from Burma, Malaysia, Philippines, and Thailand by U.S. Embassies. The Institute begins May 6, 2012 and ends on June 10, 2012. The first three weeks take place in Hawai‘i, fourth week in Boulder, Colorado, and final week in Washington DC. The vision of the Institute is to develop a vibrant network of young leaders dedicated and equipped to create innovative and positive solutions for 21st Century environmental challenges
SUSI participants learn about the environment through experiential methods and build on their leadership skills through adventure based learning. They interact with the local community to share solutions and ideas on environmental topics. Each SUSI participant also develops a personal action plan to implement on return home (see links under Participants). Their action plan partners are organizations, businesses, or government agencies interested in co-designing a mutually beneficial project for the participants to develop during SUSI. SUSI participants then share solutions learned in the United States with their partners, and link them with environmental leaders and organizations in the US, increasing international collaboration for environmental projects.
Project Team Concept
THE AHUPUA'A : NOW & THEN
Ahupua'a came from the Hawaiian word ahu, meaning "heap" or "cairn", and puaʻa, pig. The boundary markers for ahupuaʻa were traditionally heaps of stones used to put offers to the island chief, which was often a pig. Ahupua'a as defined in Pukui/Elbert Hawaiian Dictionary, means a land division, usually extending from the uplands to the sea (mauka-makai).
Retrospecting at traditional land use and watershed management practices in Hawai‘i has inspired us as we move forward. Enlightened by the wisdom of the past, Water Team will build brighter futures for Mother Earth by creating an interpretation of the contemporary Ahupua'a system. Anchored on the traditions, values, and aspirations of the native Hawaiians to develop a sustainable community, we create a model which celebrates the balance of its environmental, social-political, economic, and cultural resources. Moreover, the model carries an integration of each team member's personal action plans together with the outcome of their various site investigations and class lectures.