Lyon Arboretum Hawaiʻi rare plant expert retires after 35 years of service

An expert who has dedicated her life’s work to research and saving hundreds of native plants from extinction is retiring on May 31, after a 35-year career at the University of Hawaiʻi

Nellie Sugii managed the Hawaiian Rare Plant Program (HRRP) at UH Mānoa’s Lyon Arboretum for 25 years, and most recently served as Lyon’s interim director for the past two years.

“Working at Lyon Arboretum, that’s a dream job for me, having this creative freedom to develop a program and working with committed and talented partners,” Sugii said. “You cannot do everything by yourself. You have to have the support of others to be successful and I was lucky to have that.”

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