The Northern Mariana Islands Program is an initiative that fosters educational and research activities that advance progressive species and habitat conservation strategies for the Northern Mariana Islands, an archipelago that encompasses 14 islands in the western Pacific Ocean. The program is a joint effort between the U.S. Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as the islands are officially known, and Northern Arizona University. NAU’s Field Experience in Conservation Biology offers students the chance to travel to the islands to participate in hands-on courses and conduct research under the supervision of professionals. The conservation and restoration of such systems requires understanding of and sensitivity toward not only ecological conditions, but also the social, cultural, historic, economic, legal, and political realities that have shaped, and continue to influence, the system. Local knowledge, scientifically-based decision making, and constituency-centered approaches are emphasized.