Colleen Cole is the Program Manager of the Three Mountain Alliance watershed partnership, the largest watershed partnership in Hawai‛i. She started her career in conservation as a field biologist studying forest birds and seabirds in Alaska, California, Hawai‛i, and Chile. She has worked in Hawai‛i for over 20 years on a variety of conservation and resource management projects for both State and Federal agencies. She holds a Bachelor‛s degree in wildlife biology and a Master‛s in conservation biology.
J.B. Friday is the extension forester with the University of Hawai’i Cooperative Extension Service. He conducts educational programs in forest management for landowners and natural resources professionals across the state. A 30-year Hawai’i resident, he has also worked in Guam, the Marianas, Micronesia, American Samoa, East Timor, and the Philippines.
Chuck Chimera is the Weed Risk Assessment Specialist for the Hawai‛i Invasive Species Council. He was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and received an undergraduate degree in biology with an emphasis on pre-med. His plans to attend medical school were derailed after a 4-month volunteer position at Haleakala National Park in 1991 awakened a previously unknown love of botany and resulted in an extended stay and conservation career in the Hawaiian Islands. Over the past 3 decades, he has worked for the National Park Service, the USGS, and received a master’s degree in botany from the University of Hawai‛i at Mānoa. He now lives in Honoka‛a with his wife and son and is continually inspired by the diversity and beauty of the Big Island’s native biota and ecosystems, and by the dedication of colleagues working to preserve and protect them. Three decades of island life have not diminished his love of snow or his elusive dreams of a Buffalo Bills Superbowl win.
Eileen O’Hara serves as the Executive Director of Malama O Puna, a nonprofit environmental education and community capacity building organization that was founded in 2000. She is active in many community organizations and has held elected office in the County government. With a master’s and doctorate in environmental and natural resource economics, she teaches at the college level both locally and for online universities.
Aileen Yeh is a nursery expert specializing in native plants and forestry trees. For much of her career, she researched the potential for cultivating various crops here in the islands in place of importing them. She is passionate about sharing her nursery knowledge and replacing imported plants with locally grown ones. Aileen holds a degree in Horticulture, Nursery Management, and Research.