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Makena Coffman on the Hawaii Hall lanai

Makena Coffman
Director

Makena Coffman serves in a dual capacity as the Director for the Institute for Sustainability and Resilience and a Professor in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning. Her research interests are in climate change policy, including greenhouse gas mitigation, alternative transportation strategies, and climate adaptation. She specializes in regional economy-environment modeling with applications to energy policy and climate change mitigation. Professor Coffman is a Research Fellow with the University of Hawaiʻi Economic Research Organization, holds a BA in International Relations from Stanford University (2002) and a PhD in Economics from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (2007). She currently serves on the City and County of Honolulu Climate Change Commission. To contact Professor Coffman, please email makena.coffman@hawaii.edu.

Rachael Han, standing at the edge of a lake with golden aspen and snow-covered mountains in the background

Rachael Han
Climate Impacts Research Specialist

Rachael is passionate about the inclusion of community in infrastructure-related decisions to increase the resiliency of vulnerable populations against climate change impacts. In her ISR research role, she is working on identifying and detailing managed retreat and adaptation options for sea level rise in Hawaiʻi. Rachael received her MS in Civil Engineering with an emphasis in Coastal Engineering from UH Mānoa in May 2022. Prior to studying at UH, she majored in Civil Engineering with a minor in Environmental Studies at Santa Clara University (2020), where she completed a fellowship in India with the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship. While conducting interviews in India, Rachael was exposed to the consequences of poor resource management and infrastructure maintenance. After this experience, she realized her vocation is to contribute to the intersection of climate policy and civil engineering through civic engagement and research. This led to Rachael’s MS thesis, where she conducted a stakeholder analysis for Maui County coastal roads for the Coastal Hydraulics Engineering (CHER) Lab’s Coastal Road Erosion Susceptibility Index (CRESI). Rachael also enjoys surfing, singing, and pottery in her free time! To contact Rachael, please email rxhan@hawaii.edu.

Conrad Newfield on a mountain top with panoramic views of hills and the sea

Conrad Newfield
Graduate Assistant

Conrad is a master’s student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning with interests in climate change mitigation and adaptation. As a Graduate Assistant within ISR, he supports and conducts research surrounding responses to sea level rise and coastal erosion in Hawaiʻi. He also runs a small rare fruit farm and nursery on the North Shore of Oʻahu. Conrad received his BS in Applied Mathematics and Engineering Physics at the University of Colorado Boulder (2020). To contact Conrad, please email conrad4@hawaii.edu.

Ryan Ringuette harvesting ti leaves

Ryan Ringuette
Research Assistant Healy Foundation Climate Change Fellow

Ryan is a master’s student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning with interests in climate change planning, land use, and agriculture. Ryan’s position is supported by the Healy Foundation. As a Research Assistant, he conducts research and provides other support activities for the City and County of Honolulu Climate Change Commission. He is also the president of a small farm on the windward side of Oʻahu, growing ti and cacao. From 2015 to 2018, Ryan served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Uganda where he worked with local NGOs, small holder farmers, and youth. Ryan received his BS in Biological Engineering and minor in Economics from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (2015). To contact Ryan, please email ryanr8@hawaii.edu.

Alice Terry hiking in a valley

Alice Terry
Graduate Assistant

Alice is a master’s student in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning with interests in climate change resilience and coastal land use planning. In her role as Graduate Assistant, Alice supports coordination of sustainability and resiliency curriculum, research and outreach across campus. Before returning to UH for her masters, Alice worked in the field of conservation on the north shore of Oʻahu, a position which helped her better understand the impact of human societies on the natural environment and the complex process of community-based land use planning. She is also the co-owner of a small nursery in Waialua specializing in non-invasive bamboo. Alice received her BA in Anthropology from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (2011). To contact Alice, please email alicelt@hawaii.edu.

The ISR Curriculum Committee

  • Malia Akutagawa, Associate Professor, Representing Hawaiʻinuiākea School of Hawaiian Knowledge
  • Marguerite Butler, Associate Professor, Representing the College of Natural Sciences
  • Christopher Cannon, Assistant Professor, Representing Shidler College of Business
  • Pauline Chinn, Professor, Representing College of Education
  • Jaimey Hamilton Faris, Associate Professor, Representing the College of Arts, Languages, and Letters
  • Michael Guidry, Specialist, Representing the School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology
  • Mikey Kantar, Assistant Professor, Representing the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources
  • Jonathan Padwe, Associate Professor, Representing the College of Social Sciences
  • Guohui Zhang, Associate Professor, Representing the College of Engineering
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