Hawai'i conservation alliance

2010 Distinguished Service Award

Dr. Charles Pe‘ape‘a Makawalu “Doc” Burrows

Docburrows_distinguishedserviceawardeeCharles Pe‘ape‘a Makawalu “Doc” Burrows is an exceptional individual in the field of Hawaiian conservation. His enthusiasm for protecting his island home as a Native Hawaiian compelled him to found ‘Ahahui Mālama I Ka Lōkahi, a Native Hawaiian organization whose mission is:

“To develop, promote and practice a native Hawaiian conservation ethic relevant to our times that is responsible to both Hawaiian culture and science. This ethic is protective of native cultural and natural heritage and is expressed through research, education, and active stewardship.”

His significant accomplishments in his many years of service top the conservation community include:

  • Over three decades as a science teacher for the Kamehameha Schools (KS). Here he was a leader in numerous science and environmental projects for students. He instilled an awareness of Hawai'i's environment and promoted conservation techniques to protect our island home. He was a mentor for students through the Hui Lama Hiking Club and encouraged students to appreciate the environment and the communities they live in. His greatest legacy was inspiring many leaders in conservation today through his class teachings, on his service trips, or hikes. He is a dedicated, committed, thoughtful, passionate, wise, mentor to many.
  • Doc is one of the individuals who led the High School Hikers program, a youth program which influenced many to enter into conservation.
  • He led many cultural exchanges for Kamehameha students abroad, taking them on trips to Rapa Nui (or Easter Island), Aotearoa (or New Zealand), and Alaska.
  • In his retirement he spends many days a week in the field managing habitats, planting native plants, pulling weeds and conserving habitats for Hawai‘i’s plants and animals, especially in and around Kawainui Marsh.
  • He embodies the concept of Aloha‘aina and his enduring stewardship are demonstrated by the care that he provides at Nā Pōhaku o Hauwahine and Ulupō heiau in Kailua.
  • For eight years, Doc served on the Kaho‘olawe Island Reserve Commission for and strongly promoted the Hawaiian conservation ethic in all the restoration efforts on Kanaloa (Kaho‘olawe).
  • Doc currently serves on the Ramsar National Committee, and in 2005 he helped in the Ramsar designation for the Kawainui/Hamakua Marsh complex as “a wetland of international importance”.