PCSU’s mission of protecting and restoring Hawai‘i's native species, ecosystems, and cultural resources fits within the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa's mission as a land, sea, and space grant university. With a staff of over 300, PCSU has a 45-year history of working to protect cultural and natural biodiversity in the Pacific while encouraging a sustainable economy. PCSU was originally founded in 1973 by Dr. Clifford Smith to support research in U.S. National Parks in Hawai‘i and expanded by Dr. David Duffy to include private, county, state and federal land organizations, such as Maui County, Hawai‘i Department of Land and Natural Resources, US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Department of Defense. PCSU is led by new Director Dr. Shaya Honarvar and Deputy Director Dr. Cliff Morden. Projects range from finding ways to eradicate Miconia and other alien invasive species, managing watersheds, restoring Hawai‘i's endangered plant species, studying endangered bird species to marine and freshwater natural resource projects. Studies on cultural resources are also conducted, particularly where they interact with natural resource management. 

PCSU and other units within CNS look forward to working closely together in the future to expand collaborations in both research and instruction.