US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region
Pacific Islands Liaison
How did you find yourself in conservation? Who (or what) is your biggest inspiration in committing to this field?
I have always had an interest in conservation, but really "arrived" when I was selected for my job with the Forest Service 6 years ago.
My inspiration for committing to this field is the continuing privilege to live on a beautiful island in the middle of a sea of blue. Having grown up here, I took all that Hawaiʻi is for granted. It took moving away to make me appreciate the privilege we all have here.
Describe a typical work week or work day.
The US FOREST Service right? You think I would be out in the forest. Instead, I typically work at a desk with a computer and phone. But luckily I get to work with great people, people who have a passion for conservation.
What is your most favorite or valuable memory working in the conservation field?
My biggest recent rush was the IUCN conference. Being involved in the planning and implementation was a lot of work, but so worth it! To be amongst conservation professionals from around the globe, school children and the interested public was a lot to take in. I would go home every evening with my head buzzing will all the information I exchanged that day. And I was happy that the Forest Service supported the event by hosting a booth, speakers, game show, workshop, Bonn Challenge. The conservation community in Hawaiʻi really shined during the conference. We showed the world that in Hawaiʻi conservation is a kākou thing.
What is conservation to you?
There are degrees of conservation and it can take many forms. I think conservation is a personal ethic. You carry it around inside you.
What advice do you have for students or emerging professionals?
Advice? Hah. My kids say I give too much advice. Here are some thoughts. If your personal ethics, your passion, and your profession all align-that's when you are flying. Pure magic. If that alignment happens to occur in the field of conservation then we are all so lucky. If you choose another profession, but still have a conservation ethic and passion, then we are also so fortunate because it is really going to take a cross-sector approach to "do conservation" well.