Climate change is impacting the Pacific Islands first and most drastically, yet few native islanders are trained to recognize, analyze, or mitigate the impacts in these islands. To understand the reasons why low numbers of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders enter colleges, enroll in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, or undertake life sciences/STEM careers, 25 representatives from colleges and schools in seven U.S.-affiliated states and countries across the Pacific participated in a 2-day workshop. Fourteen were indigenous peoples of their islands. Participants revealed that: 1) cultural barriers, including strong family obligations and traditional and/or religious restrictions, work against students leaving home or entering STEM careers; 2) geographic barriers confront isolated small island communities without secondary schools, requiring students to relocate to a distant island for high school; 3) in many areas, teachers are undertrained in STEM, school science facilities are lacking, and most island colleges lack STEM majors and modern labs; and 4) financial barriers arise, because many islanders must relocate from their home islands to attend high school and college, especially, the costs for moving to Guam, Hawai'i, or the U.S. mainland. Most solutions depend on financial input, but mechanisms to increase awareness of the value of STEM training are also important.