Kahu Ku Mauna (Guardians of the Mountain) is a nine-member council named by the Mauna Kea Management Board (MKMB). The council advises the MKMB, Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) and UH Hilo Chancellor in Hawaiian cultural matters affecting the Mauna Kea Science Reserve. Members of Kahu Ku Mauna are selected on the basis of their awareness of Hawaiian cultural practices, traditions and significant landforms as applied to traditional and customary use of Mauna Kea and their sensitivity to the sacredness of Mauna Kea.
Chad Kalepa Baybayan is one of the few individuals capable of navigating open ocean voyages using only traditional Polynesian methods. Baybayan is a graduate of UH Hilo’s Ka Haka ‘Ula o Ke‘elikolani College of Hawaiian Language, and holds a Masters degree in Education from Heritage College. He also serves as project director for ‘Aha Punana Leo’s He Lani Ko Luna Community Based Learning Center and its voyaging canoe, Hokualaka‘i Voyaging Program.
Arthur Hoke is a former member and chair of the Mauna Kea Management Board. He also played an important role in the process of developing the Mauna Kea Science Reserve Master Plan as a member of Aha Hui Ku Mauna. A 29-year veteran of the Hawai‘i County Police Department, he retired as District Commander of the Laupahoehoe District.
Tiffnie Kakalia is the West Hawai‘i Program Coordinator for Na Pua No‘eau, Center for Gifted and Talented Native Hawaiian Children, UH Hilo. Kakalia plans and coordinates cultural and educational enrichment opportunities for youth and families in West Hawai‘i. Prior to her current position, Kakalia served as Na Lei Na‘au Program Coordinator for Kanu o ka ‘Aina Learning Ohana, Inc.
Larry Kimura is a professor of Hawaiian language and culture at the University of Hawai`i at Hilo. He co-chaired the Mauna Kea Advisory Committee 1996 to 1999, and served as a Hawaiian content advisor to ‘Imiloa: Astronomy Center of Hawai‘i.
Antoinette Keahiolalo Mallow currently serves as East Hawai‘i Program Coordinator for Na Pua No‘eau, Center for Gifted and Talented Native Hawaiian Children, UH Hilo. In her position, Mallow plans and implements enrichment programs for students grades 6-12 and their families in East Hawai‘i. Her interests include alternative medicine, the Hawaiian Civic Club of Laupahoehoe and Hilo Hawaiian Civic Club, Ahahui Kiwila Hawai‘i o Sand Diego, Nale O Na Ali‘i Benevolent Society, and the Native Hawaiian Education Association, amongst others.
Sean P. Naleimaile recently graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in anthropology from UH Hilo and is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in archaeology from UH Manoa. Naleimaile works as a media specialist at Hawai‘i Community College’s I Ola Haloa program, a Title III Native Hawaiian program, developing media-based curriculum materials for use in the Hawaiian Lifestyles Program.
Leilehua Omphroy is a respected kupuna who teaches young people about the significance of the Hawaiian culture and the importance of preserving the wahi pana (sacred places) of these islands. Omphroy holds Masters degrees in Education from Cal State University. She has shared her expertise with the state Dept. of Education, Alu Like, Lyman House Museum, World Indigenous Peoples Conference on Education, Kamehameha Schools, and the state Kupuna Hawaiian Studies programs, amongst others.
Hannah Kihalani Springer, former OHA Trustee from the island of Hawai`i, is a member of various organizations, including the Daughters of Hawai`i, Kaloko-Honokohau Advisory Council, Ka`upulehu Marine Resources Advisory Group, and West Hawai`i Fisheries Management Council, amongst others.
Ed Stevens, as a former game hunter and hiker, has acquired a vast knowledge of place names and landforms surrounding the upper regions of Mauna Kea. He maintains a deep level of personal interaction with various aspects of the mountain, and can often be seen visiting sites that are most significant to him. He is also Vice President of ‘Oiwi Lokahi O Ka Mokupuni O Keawe, a Hawaiian organization working closely with the Department of Hawaiian Home Lands in developing land use plans for the Humu‘ula/Upper Pi‘ihonua parcels on the South Eastern slopes of Mauna Kea, along the Mana Road.
UHH Chancellor Rose Tseng established the Office of Mauna Kea Management (OMKM) and Mauna Kea Management Board (MKMB) in the fall of 2000. The Board in turn formed the Kahu Ku Mauna, a council made up of Hawaiian cultural resource persons who will serve as advisors to the Board’s deliberations.