Careers in Conservation

This page contains information on our Careers in Conservation resources for Maui County high school and college students. Below you will find recording of past presentations and events, as well as links to outside resources. We plan to host more events like these in the 2022-23 school year.

Career Exploration Days

As part of our ongoing Careers in Conservation series, Maui Huliau Foundation and our program partners invited Maui high school and college students to participate in two in-person events where students learned hands-on career skills from professionals working to protect Maui’s natural resources and ecosystems from mauka to makai. The Makai Careers Exploration Day in Maʻalaea focused on careers in marine science fields, and the Mauka Careers Exploration Day in ʻĪao Valley focused on careers in freshwater, watershed, and native forest protection. Both events featured four activity stations run by local professionals working in these fields, as well as information tables featuring volunteer, internship, and employment opportunities in these fields. Over 35 students participated in each event and we hope to host similar events next year!

Conservation Career Resources

Below are internships, jobs, scholarships, career exploration resources, and volunteer opportunities for youth interested in environmental career fields. Resources will be added and updated periodically.

College & University Programs

The University of Hawaiʻi Maui College is a public accredited college in Kahului, Maui. It is one of ten branches of the University of Hawaiʻi system offering a variety of bachelor and associate degrees. 

The UH System includes 10 campuses including 3 universities and 7 community colleges throughout the state of Hawaiʻi. Visit the UH System website to learn more about the different campuses and programs offered. Below is a list of resources for different campuses. 

Here is a list of private colleges in Hawaiʻi and resources to explore. 

 

 

 

Upcoming Opportunities

Below are upcoming internship, volunteer, and job opportunities. Visit the link under each opportunity to learn more.

Blue Planet's Climate Crew

The Climate Crew is compromised of motivated high school students who are learning the latest in climate science and data-driven advocacy tools to lead climate change solutions in their communities. 15 Maui County High school students will be selected to join this cohort, which runs from September 17th- December 9th, 2022. 


Application DeadlineSeptember 2nd, 2022

 

Job Training, Internships & Fellowships

Kupu Hawaiʻi

Kupu Hawaiʻi offers a variety of hands-on opportunities for those interested in establishing a career within Conservation. Applications are open for the Conservation Leadership Development Program. Visit Kupu Hawaiʻi to learn more about this program and other opportunities.

Nā Hua Hoʻohuli i Ka Pono

Nā Hua Hoʻohuli i Ka Pono is an internship program based on the island of Maui to develop high-quality candidates for exiting conservation jobs and cultivate the leaders of tomorrow. Check the Conservation Connections site for upcoming opportunities for this program. 

Conservation Compass Internships and Fellowships

Conservation Career Compass lists internships, fellowships, and volunteer opportunities in the different environmental science fields in Hawaiʻi.

 

MOC Marine Institute

Maui Ocean Center Marine Institute is a nonprofit organization based in Maui working on ensuring the survival of coral reefs and sea turtles in Hawaiʻi. MOCMI offers internships every semester, volunteer opportunities for students 16 years of age and up, and field experience for high school juniors and seniors in Maui County. Visit MOCMI’s website below to learn more about the program and upcoming deadlines to apply.

  • Internships: program designed for students interested in pursuing a career in marine science.
  • Volunteer: for students at least sixteen years of age, hands-on experience in ocean conservation and gain real-life work experience
  • Keiki o ke kai: hands-on opportunities to work alongside biologists and educators and participate in fieldwork.

 

 

Pai Ka Mana site shares a list of local scholarships for college-level students.

The Conservation Compass site provides a list of scholarships available to students.

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs lists scholarships available for Native Hawaiian students at any of the University of Hawaiʻi’s 10 campuses.

The Hawaiʻi Community Foundation provides a wealth of financial support to qualified students. Visit HCF’s website to learn more about scholarship opportunities.

Maui Huliau Foundation is offering (2) $2,500 scholarships. The scholarship is open to high school seniors graduating in the 2021-2022 academic year, including those who have not participated in any Huliau programs.

Careers in Conservation Series

These professionals participated in this year’s Careers in Conservation events: Marine Science, Watershed & Ecosystem Protection, and Environmental Educators & ʻĀina Stewards. In each presentation, they share about their career path, relevant past positions and experiences, formal/informal education, and advice for students interested in this field. You can also watch these presentations on our Careers in Conservation YouTube playlist.

 

Conservation Career Profiles

Below are the bios of the conservation professionals who have participated in past events.

Mahalo to all our amazing partners for making our Careers in Conservation events possible!

Kimberly Thayer

Kimberly Thayer

Program Associate, Mauna Kāhālawai Watershed Partnership

Read Kim's bio

Kim loves trees.  Raised in rural Haʻikū, she developed a deep love for Maui’s native forests and natural resources.  She attended James Cook University in Australia to earn an Honors degree in Anthropology. After returning home in 2007, she worked in land use planning before joining MKWP in 2012.  She loves her work here, helping to protect Mauna Kahālāwai’s forests and watersheds through public outreach and education, office management, and backcountry fieldwork. Kim also serves on the board of Ke Kula ʻo Piʻilani, leads hikes for The Nature Conservancy, and enjoys dancing hula and playing outdoors with her husband and two young keiki.
Mark Deakos

Mark Deakos

Chief Sustainability Officer, 3-P Consulting

Read Mark's bio

In addition to 3-P Consulting, Mark has also been the Executive Director of the Hawaii Association for Marine Education and Research (HAMER) since 2004. He moved to Hawaiʻi in 1996 where he completed his master’s degree at UH studying humpback whale behavior and then completed his doctoral degree with a focus on manta ray ecology. He has since worked alongside top researchers worldwide, gaining familiarity with over 20 species of marine mammals. Mark is an Ambassador for the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) and recently founded 3-P Consulting, which applies successful, regenerative-design solutions to meet our needs here in Hawaiʻi and create a Living Future for everyone.

Gerry Ross

Gerry Ross

Co-owner, Kupaʻa Farms

Read Gerry's bio

Gerry is co-owner and operator of Kupa’a Farms in Kula, which is dedicated to growing great food for our community in a sustainable manner that improves soil quality, reduces erosion, and diverts waste towards fertility. He has taught classes in sustainable agriculture for over 10 years on Maui. The farm currently grows vegetables, coffee, cacao, and tropical fruit on 4 acres in lower Kula.
Sam Aruch

Sam Aruch

Founder, Natural Resource Data Solutions Inc

Read Sam's bio

Sam is the founder of Natural Resource Data Solutions Inc a place based project management software platform. The mobile and web apps are currently used to help manage over 2 million acres. Sam has a BS in Biology and Master of Geographic Information Systems  (MGIS). He has over 20 years of experience as a field biologist and Natural Resource Manager. He started NRDS over 10 years ago to help farmers, communities, resource managers and scientists collect, manage, and share their data.

Larissa Treese

Larissa Treese

Maui Program Coordinator, Coral Reef Alliance

Read Larissa's bio

Larissa has nearly 20 years of animal husbandry and conservation experience. Larissa previously worked with Whale Trust as their Communications and Outreach Coordinator and also worked at Maui Ocean Center for more than 12 years. Larissa was born on Kauaʻi and has called Maui home for over 15 years after moving from Southern California. She appreciates the culture, diversity, and aloha spirit the island of Maui offers to those who live and visit here.
Cheryl King

Cheryl King

Sharkastics

Read Cherly's bio

Cheryl is a marine biologist who has specialized in Hawaiian endangered species research, rescue and management for the last 21 years. Under the Hawai‘i Association for Marine Education and Research she runs the statewide photo-ID catalog for Hawaiian hawksbill sea turtles and her SHARKastics marine debris research and cleanup projects. She also works part time for the Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project and the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawai‘i . With Ocean Associates, she provides emergency support for NOAA Fisheries’ Marine Mammal Health and Stranding Response Program and volunteers for NOAA’s Large Whale Entanglement Response Network.
Jill Wirt

Jill Wirt

Maui Nui Marine Resource Council

Jill Wirt's bio

Jill is the newest member of the Maui Nui Marine Resource Council team where she fills the role of Project and Research Coordinator. Originally from California, she moved to Maui after completing her BS in Environmental Sciences, where she spent three and a half years working in eco-tourism leading snorkeling and whale watching tours, managing social media accounts, volunteering at beach cleanups, and advocating for marine conservation. From 2018 to 2020, Jill completed her Master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management with a specialization in coastal and marine resource management. Jill recently completed a year-long internship with The Nature Conservancy and their marine program on Maui, where she utilized her skills in science communication, social media outreach, and project management. As she begins her career with MNMRC, she will be leading the Pesticide Education Project to reduce harmful pollutants from entering the marine environment. In her free time, she enjoys surfing, snorkeling, running, and paddling. Watch Jill’s presentations from our Marine Science Careers in Conservation event in October.

Jen Vander Veur

Jen Vander Veur

Senior Program Manager, CORAL

Read Jen's Bio

Jennifer has enjoyed a passion for nature and the ocean her entire life. Jennifer followed her dream and attended the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, receiving two Bachelor’s degrees in Marine Science and Conservation Biology. Upon graduation, she gained a position with the state of Hawaiʻi to establish the Aquatic Invasive Species Program on the island of Hawaiʻi.  Jennifer later completed a Master’s of Science in Marine Biology from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. For the past 10 years she worked for the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) managing the marine resources around the island of Kahoʻolawe. Her work included fisheries management, protected species management, integrating traditional cultural resource management with modern scientific methods and community engagement. She believes that encouraging others to participate in ocean conservation is what will change the tide in restoring our world, and believes in practicing a holistic approach to conservation to ensure the future of communities and marine ecosystems. Watch Jen’s presentation from our Marine Science Careers in Conservation event in October.

Chanel Browne

Chanel Browne

Sea Turtle Program Coordinator, MOC Marine Institute

Read Chanel's Bio

Chanel was born and raised on the island of Maui and has always had a passion for marine life. After graduating from Kamehameha Schools Maui in 2015, she spent the next 4 years in Northern California working towards her Bachelor’s in Biology. After obtaining a degree, she moved home with hopes of inspiring and educating others on the importance of marine conservation. As the Sea Turtle Program Coordinator at MOCMI, she is finally able to give back to the place that she loves most. Watch Chanel’s presentation from the marine Sceince event in October.  

Allison Cleghorn

Office of Climate Change, Resiliency, and Sustainability for the County of Maui

 

Read Allison's Bio

Allison is the newest member of the Office of Climate Change, Resiliency, and Sustainability for the County of Maui where she manages grants for Environmental Protection serves as a county environmental representative, and helps develop critical action plans to strengthen Maui County in the face of Climate Change. Born and raised in Kula, Maui, Allison graduated from Seabury Hall in 2011 and received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Colorado with a focus in energy in 2015. Prior to joining the county, Allison worked in local agriculture, forestry, energy efficiency, utility management, solar power, invasive species control, and marine conservation. In her free time, she enjoys free-diving, spending time on Haleakala Ranch, spending time in family orchards, and traveling. Watch Allison’s presentation here from the Sustainable Infrastruture, Policy and Planning virtual event on March 22nd, 2022. 

Jessica Colla

Jessica Colla

Education Director, Maui Ocean Center

Read Jessica's bio

Jessica directs a team of professional Marine Naturalists, who provide guests with educational opportunities meant to inspire wonder, understanding, and respect for Hawai’i’s marine life. Jessica has a Bachelor’s degree in both Environmental Sciences and Ecotourism from Ferrum College in Virginia and a Master’s degree in Marine Sciences and Management from the University of Sydney in Australia. Prior to working at Maui Ocean Center, she worked for several snorkeling and whale watching excursions in Maui, Australia, and Fiji. Jessica is also a scuba diving instructor and divemaster who loves to advocate for ocean conservation!

 

Patty Miller

Patty Miller

Education Coordinator, NOAA's HIHWNMS

Read Patty's bio

 Patty Miller is the education coordinator for NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary.  The sanctuary is located in Kihei, Maui and features a visitor center and provides programs for adults and students.  Patty oversees the programs and large group of volunteers that work there.  The sanctuary also conducts research on the humpback whales and serves as the lead for disentangling whales stranded in the Hawaiian waters.

Denby Freeland

Denby Freeland

Waiheʻe Educator, Hawaiʻi Land Trust

Read Denby's bio

Denby grew up stomping through mud puddles and hiking valley trails on Oʻahu and Maui.  She has worked in the Environmental Education field for over 20 years.  Denby earned a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Master’s of Education. Designing new lesson plans and spending time outside with others is what makes it all worthwhile.
Rachel Kingsley

Rachel Kingsley

ʻAlalā Restoration, Education, and Outreach Associate

Read Rachel's bio

Rachel grew up in the northern part of Minnesota and earned her BS in Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. After graduating, she worked at the Keauhou Bird Conservation Center in Volcano for 10 years, while also earning her masterʻs in Zoology from Miami University. In 2017 she joined The ʻAlalā Project and this year she will be joining the Maui Forest Bird Restoration Project team to help share the message of Maui forest birds.
Kaimana Bingham

Kaimana Bingham

Aloha + Dashboard and Partnerships Manager, Hawai’i Green Growth

Read Kaimana's bio

Before joining Hawai’i Green Growth, Kaimana worked for the State of Hawai’i Enterprise Technology Services branch where she implemented the first State Executive Branch IT Roadmap and Dashboard. Kaimana also participated as a stakeholder for the State of Hawai’i IT Strategic Plan. She recently served as a panelist for the Hawai’i Virtual Digital Government Summit and as a sponsor for the ETS 2020 HACC program.

Margaret Pulver

Margaret Pulver

Public Information Specialist, Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission

Read Maggie's bio

Maggie has lived, learned, and taught in Hawaiʻi for the last 16 years. She first became involved with Kaho’olawe in 2012 as a volunteer and is excited to have landed her dream job. Prior to being the KIRC Public Information Specialist, Maggie spent more than 10 years as a teacher and community educator, developing an adaptable and integrated service learning curriculum rooted in Hawaiian culture and place, and interwoven with community.

Scott Crawford

Scott Crawford

Executive Director, Kīpahulu ʻOhana

Read Scott's bio

Scott has worked with Kīpahulu ʻOhana for the last 20 years, supporting traditional Hawaiian agriculture, shoreline, and forest management. He is the Chair for Ke Ao Haliʻi since 2018, and the Secretary for Nā Mamo O Mūʻolea since 2005, helping to manage precious conservation lands in East Maui for traditional subsistence lifestyle, from mauka to makai. He has been a part of the Maui Nui Makai Network, serving as poʻo/chair in 2015, helping connect communities across Maui Nui to care for and restore healthy ecosystems on which Hawaiʻi’s people depend.
Jay Penniman

Jay Penniman

Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project

 

Read Jay's Bio

Jay Penniman earned a B.S. at Portland State University (Oregon) in 1977. He has worked as an independent contractor doing forestry, wildlife and vegetation surveys, management and assessment. At the Point Reyes Bird Observatory, he was employed as a biologist on South East Farallon Island, 26 miles west of San Francisco. There he was a member of the team of biologists who ran the remote research station monitoring 13 breeding bird species and 4 marine mammal species. He also performed at-sea surveys for seabirds and marine mammals in the near and offshore waters of the northwest coast of North America. Since 2006 he has worked for the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit of the University of Hawaii managing the Maui Nui Seabird Recovery Project. When not recovering and rescuing seabirds Jay enjoys bird watching, reading, gardening, cooking and walking. Watch Jay’s presentation from the Watershed and Ecosystem Protection event in December. 

Taylor Fujimoto

Taylor Fujimoto

Hawaiʻi Nature Center

Read Taylor's Bio

Taylor Fujimoto is the Education Program Manager for the Hawaii Nature Center. Taylor’s job involves creating environmental lesson plans for students grades pre k through 5th. These lessons are designed to increase awareness, appreciation, and understanding of Hawai‘i’s natural habitats. In addition to developing science-based lessons, Taylor gets to take students directly into Hawai‘i’s nature, where he provides hands-on learning experiences from the mesic forests to our beaches!

Taylor received a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from the University of San Francisco and has been working in the education and non-profit sector for the past eight years. If you can’t find him out hiking and camping, he is probably out surfing with friends and family! Watch Taylor’s presentation from the Environmental Educators & ʻĀina Stewards event.

Laʻakea Low

Laʻakea Low

Recycling Specialist, County of Maui

 

Read Laʻakea's Bio

Laʻakea is a Recycling Specialist with the County of Maui Department of Environmental Management, Environmental Protection & Sustainability Division. Born on Maui and raised in the moku of Hamakuapoko – ahupuaʻa of Makawao – Laʻakea graduated from King Kekaulike H.S., earned a Bachelor of Sustainable Science Management degree with a Forestry focus from University of Hawaiʻi Maui College, and attained a Master of Natural Resources degree with an Urban Forestry emphasis from Oregon State University. His current work with the EP&S Division related to sustainable infrastructure, policy, and planning includes the implementation of Ordinance No. 5084, regulating and limiting the use of plastic disposable foodware. Interests include mālama ʻāina initiatives, empowering Maui Nui communities, and amplifying the voices of Lāhui Hawaiʻi.​

Dav Yuan

Dav Yuan

Education Coordinator, Alakaʻina Maui Digital Bus

Read Dav's bio

 Dav was born in Maryland, raised in Belgium, and has lived in Hawai’i since 2010. He is the Education Coordinator for the Alakaʻina Maui Digital Bus, whose goal is to engage students in hands on science and cultural projects throughout Maui Nui. He has a BA in tropical biology and an MS in biology (with a focus on conservation education). As much as he loves the research and hands on work in the field of conservation, he found his passion is sharing his fascination and knowledge with students. Throughout his career, he has been a research scientist, high school science teacher, boat crew, and rock climbing guide. 

Tara Owens

Tara Owens

Extension Faculty, University of Hawaiʻi Sea Grant College Program

Read Tara's bio

Tara Owens specializes in coastal processes and coastal hazards.Partnered with the County of Maui Planning Department, Tara’s role is to “bridge the gap” between science and planning for improved conservation of coastal resources and community resilience. Tara earned aBachelor of Science degree in marine science from Coastal Carolina University, and a Master of Science degree in coastal geology from the University of Hawaii. While coastal issues are more challenging than ever in the face of sea level rise, Tara loves working on real-world, community issues that are always interesting and keep her “on her toes”. Watch Tara’s presentation here from the Sustainable Infrastruture, Policy and Planning virtual event on March 22nd, 2022.
Don Shearer

Don Shearer

President of Windward Aviation

Read Don's bio

Don started flying as a senior in high school. He later became a flight instructor in both airplanes & helicopters & worked as an FAA production test pilot. After working for various operators, Don started Windward Aviation, Inc in 1990. He has since had the opportunity to work on extraordinary projects, including searching for ordinances, movie productions, & saving lives through his work with police & fire departments. Don has been instrumental in the creation of Herbicide Ballistic Technology, which targets alien plant species that harm Hawaiʻi’s native ecosystem. Passionate about environmental conservation, Don has worked with local & national agencies in some of the most remote areas to assist in the eradication of invasive species.  
Tamara Farnsworth

Tamara Farnsworth

Manager, County of Maui Environmental Protection & Sustainability Division

Read Tamara's bio

Tamara oversees waste reduction and recycling programs in Maui County. She began her Zero Waste career with the City & County of Honolulu in 2009, moving to Maui County in 2013, becoming certified in Zero Waste Principles and Practices in 2019. She is passionate about working with the community to shift mindsets and behaviors while working with the county to implement and enforce sustainability policies.
Tamara Sherrill

Tamara Sherrill

Executive Director, Maui Nui Botanical Gardens

Read Tamara's bio

Tamara was the MNBG’s Nursery Manager and Curator from 2002-2005 and helped collect and establish the Gardens’ current collection of plants. She was active with the Native Plant Society during this time, the organization that assisted Rene Sylva in the creation of the Garden in the late 1980’s. Since 2009, she has prioritized building and verifying the Gardens’ collection of pre-European contact Hawaiian varieties of kō, kalo, mai‘a, ‘uala, and ‘awa. In 2015, she began working to improve MNBG’s seed storage capacity to assist natural area managers in Maui County.
Eden Zang

Eden Zang

Research Specialist, Lynker LLC

Read Eden's bio

Eden has worked in Hawaiʻi for over ten years with private, state and federal organizations. Her professional experience includes expertise in passive acoustic monitoring, marine mammal research, scientific diving, animal husbandry, logistics coordination, and protected species management. In her current role as Research Specialist at the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary (contractor), she leads many field operations, including vessel transect efforts to estimate humpback whale densities.
Adam Wong

Adam Wong

DLNR Department of Aquatics

Read Adam's Bio

Adam K. Wong, was born and raised in Kula, Maui.  He was raised in a Paniolo lifestyle learning the importance of caring for all of our resources. A proud honors graduate from the Hawaii public school system, he then went away to Oregon State University in Corvallis to study his passion in natural resource management.  Adam finished his NREM degree infusing Hawaiian Studies and Ahupuaʻa management at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in 2004.  Adam has been a very active member in the Maui community.  He was formerly the Director of Campus Outreach for Kamehameha Schools Maui, and is now employed with the State of Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources, Aquatic Resources Division.   He is a part-time rancher, fisherman, and in his free time he enjoys teaching his children sustainability through the traditions of mauka to makai living.  Watch Adam’s presentation from the Marine Science Careers in Conservation event in October. 

Alana Yurkanin

Alana Yurkanin

Maui Marine Project Manager, The Nature Conservancy

Read Alana's bio

Born and raised in Waikapū, Maui, Alana graduated from Baldwin High School in 2005, received her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Colorado College in 2009, and her master’s degree in Environmental Science and Management from UC Santa Barbara’s Bren School in 2014. She now works as The Nature Conservancy’s Maui Marine Project Manager where she collaborates with community and agency partners to advance initiatives such as marine area planning and designations, community-based learning networks, and monitoring of ‘opihi, fish, and coral. She lives in Kula with her family and a multitude of adorable farm animals. Watch Alana’s presentation from our Marine Science Careers in Conservation event.

Lance D Collins, PhD

Lance D Collins, PhD

Law Office of Lance D Collins

 

Read Lance's Bio

Lance D. Collins is an attorney in private practice focusing on good government law and Hawaiian and environmental rights. He also has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. His research interests focus on the comparative legal histories of Hawai’i and the Philippines before and during the American colonial period. He serves on the Board of Directors of Kāhuli Leo Leʻa, the Board of Trustees of the international Philippine Studies Association, the Executive Board of the Kamehameha V Judiciary History Center, and the State Advisory Board for Common Cause Hawai’i. Watch Lance’s presentation here from the Sustainable Infrastruture, Policy and Planning virtual event on March 22nd, 2022.

Olena Alec

Olena Alec

Executive Director, Haleakalā Conservancy

Read Olena's bio

Olena oversees the philanthropic efforts to provide funding for projects of critical importance to Haleakalā National Park and its unique and endangered resourcesOlena comes to the Conservancy most recently from The Climate Reality Project, where she served as the director of engagement, guiding the support, engagement, and strategy of tens of thousands of climate activists for seven years. She served in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua and holds an MPA in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Environmental Studies from USC. Olena is born and raised here in Maui and lives in Iao Valley with her husband and daughter.

 

Kapua Chang

Kapua Chang

Maui Program Manager, Hawaiʻi Nature Center.

Read Kapua's bio

Kapua has been working in the education field for 15 years and has a deep passion for environmental and conservation education specifically. Mālama ‘Āina is a value she was raised with, and with that comes the kuleana of protecting Hawaii’s unique ecosystems and natural resources.

Hōkūao Pellegrino

Hōkūao Pellegrino

Kamehameha Schools, Maui & Nohoʻana Farm

Read Hōkūao's bio

Hōkūao is the ‘Āina & Sustainability Learning Designer & Facilitator at Kamehameha Schools Maui Campus where he teaches ‘āina-based sustainability programs and works to implement campus sustainability measures. He also leads ‘āina-based community education programs at Noho’ana Farm, his ‘ohana’s taro farm in Waikapū, and is actively involved in multiple community groups.

Kailie Aina

Kailie Aina

Outreach Coordinator and Cultural Programs Liaison, Leeward Haleakalā Watershed Restoration Partnership

Read Kailie's bio

 Kailie was born and raised in Maui and has been working in conservation since completing her senior project with Auwahi Forest Restoration Project in 2014. Her interest in protecting our native ecosystems led her to pursue an education focusing on Hawaiian language, culture, and anthropology to deepen her understanding of, and relationship with, the ʻāina. Her current work involves educating others about the importance of our watersheds, and the connection between culture and conservation.
Serena Fukushima

Serena Fukushima

Public Relations and Education Specialist, Maui Invasive Species Committee

Read Serena's bio

Serena is from Kāneʻohe and has lived in Kula for the last nine years. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Studies and a Masters Degree in Education. Before working at MISC, her former positions were as Program Manager for the Nā Hua Hoʻohuli i ka Pono Conservation Leadership Program, and Program Assistant for the Kū No Ka Pono O Haleakalā Internship Programs at Haleakalā National Park. Serena believes that to protect Hawaiʻi’s unique environment, we must cultivate the next generation of conservation leaders through direct mentorship, professional development, field experiences, and community outreach.

Jeff Bagshaw

Jeff Bagshaw

Communications & Outreach Specialist (Maui Nui), Hawai'i Division of Forestry & Wildlife.

Read Jeff's bio

Jeff came to Hawai’i for a field studies program with The Evergreen State College in 1988 where he fell in love with the forests, reefs, and culture. He decided to stay as a volunteer at Haleakalā National Park monitoring seabirds and building fences and also worked at the Hawaiʻi Nature Center. He then became the park’s environmental education coordinator, lead interpreter and equal opportunity counselor where he worked with over 9,000 students during field trips, developed an interpretive citizen science program, and worked with Maui kupuna in developing the first bilingual brochure for a National Park. Since 2014, he’s enjoyed working with DOFAW’s diverse divisions and partners, helping educate about protecting rainforests to reefs.
Keahi Bustamente

Keahi Bustamente

DLNR's Hawaiʻi Invertebrate Program and the Snail Extinction Prevention Program

Read Keahi's Bio

Keahi Bustamente is a native of Maui Nui. Originally from the ahupua’a of Nāiwa, Moloka’i, near its North shore cliffs, he then moved to the ahupua’a of Waikapū on Maui when he was eight years old. As a child he spent much of his time exploring the steep slopes Waikapū valley and venturing to places where no others would go. Little did he know that he was preparing for a career in searching for rare native species and protecting them from extinction. In 2005, after service in the US Air Force he returned to Maui and shifted into a career in native forest restoration. Currently, Keahi manages DLNR’s, Hawai’i Invertebrate Program and the Snail Extinction Prevention Program for the islands of Maui Nui. He has been instrumental in the rediscovery and protection of numerous species of rare Hawaiian land snails, insects, as well as plants on Maui Nui with the goal of preventing extinction. Watch Keahi’s presentation as part of the Watershed and Native Species Protection session of Maui Huliau Foundation’s Careers in Conservation series hosted via Zoom on December. 

Joylynn Paman

Joylynn Paman

Executive Director of 'Ao’ao O Nā Loko I’a O Maui

Read Joylynn's Bio

Born and raised in Maui, Joylynn Paman has a Bachelor in Marine Science with an emphasis in Hawaiian Language and Hawaiian Studies. Since 2008, she’s served as the Executive Director of ‘Ao’ao O Nā Loko I’a O Maui, a non-profit organization that is revitalizing a Native Hawaiian Fishpond in South Maui. She has also served in environmental education leadership roles at Maui Nui Botanical Gardens, Maui Invasive Species Committee, and NOAA’s Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. Throughout her work and volunteerism, she offers a well-rounded cultural perspective to the Kimokeo Foundation and has a Hawaiian family history on Maui that lasts for generations. For over 25 years, she has been fluent in the Hawaiian language and she and her husband are currently raising their three children in Hawaiian immersion schools.  Watch Joylynn’s presentation as part of the Marine Science event in October.

Austin Van Heusen

Austin Van Heusen

Energy Efficiency Specialist, Green Building Hawaiʻi

 

Read Austin's Bio

Austin is the Energy Efficiency Specialist for Green Building Hawaii, a division of EnergyLogic, and a graduate of the University of Hawaiʻi-Maui College (UHMC) Liberal Arts program. He is one of two Certified Building Commissioning Professionals (CBCP) in the state and a RESNET® certified HERS Rater. Both certifications are through the well-respected Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). Austin has LEED AP accreditation and is the only Certified Energy Auditor (CEA) in the County of Maui.

When attending UHMC, Austin also had the opportunity to work with the HTDC/Innovate Program via SLIM as an instructor and coordinator for the manufacturing energy auditing internship program. He taught students to audit manufacturing companies and develop recommendations to reduce energy and resource use in the local manufacturing business.