I am a scientist, conservationist, and venturer, originally from the Bay Area of California and currently residing in Honolulu, Hawai‘i. I’ve had a lifelong interest in protecting the oceans and wilderness spaces. My academic background is strongly rooted in science, with a bachelor’s degree in astrophysics from University of California–Berkeley and a master’s in marine biodiversity and conservation from Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California. I am currently an advanced doctoral candidate in marine biogeochemistry at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa studying coral reefs in Hawai‘i, French Polynesia, and the Florida Keys.
Throughout college I spent much of my free time working to protect old-growth redwood forests in Northern California. Between undergraduate and graduate school, I worked at renewable tech startup Imergy, formerly Deeya, on sustainable energy storage, perhaps the most critical component of becoming a planet no longer reliant on fossil fuels.
Concurrently, I began my decade-long grassroots tenure with Surfrider Foundation, first as a volunteer at beach cleanups, then performing weekly water-quality testing for local beaches, and eventually serving on the Executive Committees of Surfrider Foundation San Diego and O‘ahu. In that role, I found my voice reaching the community through writing for local newspapers, magazines, and online platforms like Surfline.com, and through speaking in classrooms and at community events. Through this community platform, I was able to be a key player in one of the accomplishments I am most proud of: helping Hawai‘i to become the first state to ban plastic bags.
For the past four years I have also been on the Executive Committee of Sierra Club O‘ahu, where I’ve perfected the art of working with local policymakers. I’ve written bills, convinced politicians why they should or should not support bills, and attended the signing of bills into law.
Between my academic and business background, grassroots background, and my policy background, I feel I’ve found a trifecta of tools to help make significant strides in sustainability. One of the most recent successes was leading the effort to make the University of Hawai‘i divest their endowment from fossil fuels, a critical gesture in the effort to mitigate climate change.
Using this momentum, I also helped with the bid to bring the IUCN World Conservation Congress to Honolulu. For the Conservation Congress, I led a Knowledge Café, participated in the Emerging Leadership and Digital Media Campus, organized Sierra Club–led hikes, and hosted a beach cleanup (see details here).
Spending an ample amount of time in nature provides all of the energy and desire I need to continue this work. I can be found deep in a hike, covered in mud and without cell reception, on one day, and polished and discussing policy with state and national lawmakers the next. I have great optimism that we can continue to make positive change!
Please feel free to contact me. I am always happy to share ideas or answer any questions you have!