University of Vermont (Biology)
University of Hawaii (PhD)
University of Hawaii (Master's)
Soon after arriving in Hawaii in 2005 with a BS in biology from the University of Vermont, I began to work with a local non-profit to restore a Hawaiian fishpond located on Mokauea Island. With the knowledge gained while studying in the MS marine botany program at UH Manoa and the help of thousands of students and community members, I was able to eradicate invasive plants (mangroves and algae) from the pond while implementing an educational curriculum that I developed for the project. I have assisted with educational outreach for communities all over Oahu by introducing students to topics ranging from reef ecology to knots and voyaging techniques.
As a graduate student at the University of Hawaii, my broad interest in life sciences pushed me to take upper level courses from departments such as Zoology, Geology and Geophysics, Molecular Biosciences and Bioengineering, and Hawaiian Studies in addition to my core classes in the Botany Department. With financial support from a US Environmental Protection Agency STAR Fellowship, I was able to apply concepts and skillsets from these diverse disciplines in my dissertation research. In addition to providing a unique perspective on the impact of land use and groundwater quality on nearshore reef ecology, this work developed novel methods to track changes in algal morphology and advanced the use of algal bioassays in the discrimination of terrestrial nutrient sources and relative loading in coastal waters. During semesters when I was not supported on grants or fellowships, I began to realize that my role as teaching assistant was equally if not more enjoyable than long days in the field. Whether I was a professor’s assistant in botany classes or lead instructor for multiple biology lab sections, I was able to connect with my students on a level where they could share my passion for the natural world without leaving campus. I would love the chance to continue to build bridges between government, academia, and Pacific Islander communities. I am currently a project leader for a "ridge to reef" assessment of watershed health in American Samoa. From the fishpond to the lecture hall, my interdisciplinary background combined with my knowledge of biology and culture allows me to effectively communicate with community members and students of any age in any setting.
Although I am a botanist on paper, I have an interdisciplinary skill set that allow me to gain a unique perspective on scientific issues. As an undergraduate, I majored in biology and minored in chemistry. As a PhD student, I was awarded the prestigious US Environmental Protection Agencies STAR Graduate Research Fellowship that supported my work for over three years in Hawaii.
I make science fun and I guarantee to inspire you or your children to become active learners and explore the natural world. Give me a try! Soon after arriving in Hawaii in 2005 with a BS in biology from the University of Vermont, I began to work with a local non-profit to restore a Hawaiian fishpond located on Mokauea Island. With the knowledge gained while studying in the MS marine botany program at UH Manoa and the help of thousands of students and community members, I was able to
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I have a PhD in Botany.