I am so excited to be starting this fellowship with my co-fellows Kirsten and Kalani. I am so grateful to The Nature conservancy, NOAA’s Pacific Service Center, Atherton Family Foundation, Hau’oli Mau Loa Foundation and The office of Hawaiian Affairs. These organizations have come together to create an amazing program that I feel very blessed to be a part of the 4th cohort of Marine Fellows. I graduated with a degree in Oceanography from Hawaii Pacific University in 2009. Following that I joined the Division of Aquatic Recourses Aquatic Invasive Species team as their Kupu yearlong intern. Upon the completion of my internship I joined the AIS team as a technician.
I have been passionate about the ocean my entire life, this passion has only grown stronger as I grow older. Jacques-Yves Cousteau, considered a pioneer in marine conservation once said, “For most of history, man has had to fight nature to survive; in this century he is beginning to realize that, in order to survive, he must protect it.” This statement wrings especially true here in Hawai’i, being the most isolated chain of islands in the world natural resources are limited and should be protected for generations to come. During the course of my fellowship I hope to expand my knowledge while being exposed to new things that are both educational and challenging. I hope to obtain a multi-disciplined approach to marine conservation by combining cultural practices, community based management, modern science and technology. The experiences gained from the fellowship will assist me in finding how my skill set and strengths can be applied so I can contribute my best work towards marine conservation. I am ready to embark on my fellowship and you are welcome to follow along!