Kalaupapa National Historical Park recently replaced Stephen Prokop as the park’s superintendent, according to a June 10 announcement from the National Park Service.
Erika Stein, who has worked in Kaluapapa for more than five years, has transitioned into the position of superintendent since Prokop was selected as superintendent of Redwood National and State Parks.
Stein, 32, originally from Orange County, Calif., has worked as an archeologist and then the cultural resource program manager at Kalaupapa. During her time at Kalaupapa she has been instrumental in growing the park’s cultural resource program, as well as its interpretation and education program.
Among her accomplishments include her work with the Hawaiian legacy effort to perpetuate traditional knowledge and skills, and her involvement with cultural resource education with local student groups. Stein was also part of the planning team for events celebrating the canonization of Saints Damien and Marianne.
“I’m so grateful to Kalaupapa and its community for all the opportunities, support and encouragement that have already been afforded to me,” Stein said in the announcement. “I look forward to guiding this richly diverse park, with all its astounding cultural and natural resources, and will continue to work with the staff and community to preserve this very sacred place.”
Prior to working for the National Park Service Stein was a contract archaeologist in Hawaii and California. She holds a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from the University of California in Santa Barbara, and a master’s degree in maritime archaeology from James Cook University in Townsville, Australia.
As part of her graduate education she participated in a field program in ethnography and marine sciences in the Solomon Islands.
Kalaupapa National Historical Park was designated as a unit of the National Park System on Dec. 22, 1980. The park’s authorized boundaries encompass 8,725 acres of land and 2,000 acres of water, though only a small part of the park – 23 acres – is owned by the National Park Service. The remainder is owned by various other government and private organizations, which work cooperatively with the National Park Service in managing the landscape.
Parts of the park hold designations at both the state and federal level, including status as a state Natural Area Reserve, Forest Reserve, and Hawaii State Seabird Sanctuary, as well as designation as a National Historic Landmark and National Natural Landmark.