Graduate Stories

Chiemi in the Limahuli Preserve

Chiemi Nagle

Predator Control Coordinator

Limahuli Garden and Preserve, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Kauaʻi

I graduated in 2011 with a B.A. in Geography. My studies taught me the importance of the relationships between people and the environment. I especially appreciated the experience and knowledge I gained from participating in the amazing field trips offered in most of the Geography classes.

I work in the upper Limahuli Preserve, a 400 acre hanging valley on the north shore of Kauaʻi, controlling invasive animals and plants to protect the species such as Hawaiian petrel and Newell’s shearwater, and to restore the ecosystem. Access to the Preserve is by helicopter only, where we stay in the field for five days at a time. My schedule is one week in the field, the next week in the office, alternating all year.

Return to top

Jessica checks arthropods on Maunakea

Jessica Kirkpatrick

Resource Management Assistant

Office of Maunakea Management, Hawaiʻi

I graduated in May 2012 with a B.S. in Environmental Science. The one thing I loved the most was how amazingly knowledgeable, enthusiastic, helpful, and fun the Geography professors are. The Geography and Environmental Science Club was also one of my highlights of the program. We participated in service projects all over the island, such as planting and giving away over 200 koa trees at the UH Hilo Earth Day Fair.

After I graduated, I interned with the Pacific Internship Programs for Exploring Sciences (PIPES), working with Dr. Jesse Eiben and the Office of Maunakea Management (OMKM). I have been working at OMKM for almost 3 years now, helping to manage University of Hawaiʻi lands on Maunakea including Halepōhaku facilities, the road corridor, the Maunakea Science Reserve, and the Astronomy precinct at the summit. Most of my work deals with invasive species; including prevention, monitoring, and control with a particular focus on arthropods. Even though I am in a position that I love, I plan to start the UH Hilo TCBES Masters program in Fall 2015 to continue my passion for conservation and arthropods.

Return to top

Jesse records a musician on the beach in San Francisco.

Jesse Browning

Production Designer

San Francisco, California

I graduated in 2010 with a B.S. in Environmental Science. When I decided to study Environmental Science and Biology, I figured there must be no better place to do so than on an island referred to as “the world’s greatest natural laboratory.” Studying at UH Hilo is more than an education; it is an adventure. My education and experience there allowed me to not only land my dream job, but a series of them.

The extensive ecology, biology, and conservation education I received allowed me to work with endangered nene geese as a biological monitor on Kauaʻi right out of school. Later, I was able to parlay the lessons I had learned studying aesthetics and art as electives into working with artists and musicians on a range of projects. In my current role as a production designer, I use the elements and principles of design that I learned studying GIS in order to build interesting scenes for talented directors and photographers in and around San Francisco.

I knew going into my education that I didn’t want to be “pigeon-holed.” What I didn’t realize was just how well rounded of an education I would receive within the Geography Department, and how many doors would open as a result. I can’t thank my peers and professors at UH Hilo enough for truly pushing me to examine the possibilities.

Return to top

Danielle helps children learn about science and the environment.

Danielle Stickman

Youth-track Coordinator

Alaska Forum on the Environment, Anchorage, Alaska

I graduated in 2011 with a B.S. in Environmental Science. My professors and advisors in the Geography and Environmental Science Department pushed me to be the best student I could be, and without their help and encouragement, I may not have succeeded in graduating college. This program prepared me well for the professional field of environmental science.

I recently transitioned from living in Bristol Bay, Alaska, working as a regional subsistence fisheries scientist, to the youth track coordinator for the Alaska Forum on the Environment (AFE). AFE is an annual environmental conference that is held in Anchorage every February. I develop and execute activities to facilitate the students’ interacting with AFE exhibitors, presenters, and other participants to gather information they can apply to projects they want to develop in their communities. This fall (2015), I plan to pursue my Masters in Outdoor Education at Alaska Pacific University.

Return to top