Reserve Advisory Council Members
William Aila Jr. (Former Chair)State of Hawaiʻi Representative
2017 - 2022
Tim Johns (Former Chair)State of Hawai‘i Representative
2001 - 2018
"We really are only on this earth for a short time and so the work that you do should be important work. Of all the things I have done in my career, helping to protect the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands will stand out. I know we have left a legacy for future generations. "
Timothy Johns is very active in environmental, educational, and social issues in Hawaiʻi. In addition to being Chair of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council, he was appointed by President Obama to the post of United States Commissioner, Commission for the Conservation and Management of Highly Migratory Fish Stocks in the Western and Central Pacific Ocean. His memberships have included: United States Senate Curatorial Advisory Board; Rotary Club of Honolulu; Parker Ranch Foundation Trust; Hawaiian Electric Company, Inc.; Grove Farm Company, Inc.; YMCA of Honolulu; Hawaiʻi Nature Center; St. Andrew’s Priory School; Diamond Head Theatre; Bishop Museum, PBS Hawaiʻi; Hawaiʻi Historic Foundation; Kualoa Ranch; Trust for Public Land; Catholic Charities Hawaiʻi, and Mental Health America of Hawaiʻi.
Timothy is currently Senior Vice President at HMSA, and was President, Director, and Chief Executive Officer of the Bishop Museum from 2007 - 2011. Previously he served as Chief Operating Officer for the Estate of Samuel Mills Damon, Chair of the State Department of Land and Natural Resources, Vice President and General Counsel for AMFAC Property Development Corporation, lecturer in business law at the University of Hawai‘i and Windward Community College, and Director of Land Protection with the Nature Conservancy of Hawai‘i.
Timothy holds a Bachelor’s degree with honors in history and business economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Master’s degree in economics and Juris Doctor from the University of Southern California.
Kem Lowry, Ph.D.Citizen-At-Large Representative
2003 - Present
"The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve is one of the most important initiatives in large marine ecosystem management in the world. It is a privilege to be involved in this extraordinary experiment in marine resource management. "
Kem Lowry is a professor at the University of Hawaiʻi and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the East-West Center. He previously served as Chair of UH's Department of Urban and Regional Planning and Director of the Conflict Resolution Program. Kem has been a visiting scholar at the Institute for International Relations and Development in Asia at Sophia University in Tokyo, a visiting faculty at the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of North Carolina, and a Pew Fellow at the Marine Policy Program of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.
In addition to being Secretary of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council, his memberships include the Advisory Board of the Center on Alternative Dispute Resolution, Hawaiʻi State Judiciary, and the Advisory Council of the Queen Liliʻuokalani Children's Center. Kem has also served on the editorial boards of the American Planning Association Journal and the Journal of Ocean and Coastal Management.
Kem has served as a consultant to state agencies and nonprofit organizations in Hawaiʻi, the United Nations Development Program, the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Congress Office of Technology Assessment, the Packard Foundation, UNICEF-China, the Asia Foundation, and the Partnership for the Management of the Seas of Asia. He has published numerous articles on planning and environmental management, coastal management and evaluation in various journals.
Kem was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia, and has a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Hawaiʻi. He has designed and participated in training programs and workshops on coastal management, evaluation and environmental mediation in Indonesia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, China, the Philippines, Thailand, and elsewhere.
Bill GilmartinResearch Representative
2001 - Present
"The Northwestern Hawaiian Islands includes some of the outstanding wild places left on the planet and has special meaning to me having spent much of my career using the plight of the monk seal to bring attention to protections needed. I consider it a great honor to be a member of the Advisory Council and contribute with this group to the restoration, preservation and management of this incredible place for the enjoyment of future generations, even if from a distance. "
Bill Gilmartin is a long-time advocate for marine and environmental protection in Hawaiʻi. A biologist with the federal government for nearly 30 years, Bill studied many marine mammal species and spent 16 years managing the Research and Recovery Program for the endangered Hawaiian monk seal.
In addition to serving on the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council, his other memberships include the Society for Marine Mammology, the IUCN Seal Specialist Group, and the Kure Atoll Conservancy.
Bill began studying Hawaiian monk seals in 1978, investigating die-offs on Laysan Island in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands. He worked with the National Marine Fisheries Service from 1980 until his retirement in 1995, and was part of the Monk Seal Recovery Team, of which he is still a member. In 1994, Gilmartin and his team relocated 21 adult males to the main Hawaiian Islands to prevent aggressive "mobbing" behavior during breeding season that sometimes injures or kills breeding females.
Following his retirement from NMFS, Bill co-rounded the Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund in 1996, primarily to address gaps in recovery efforts for endangered hawksbill turtles and monk seals. As co-founder and Director of Research of Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund, Bill conducts research and recovery projects for Hawaiʻi's endangered hawksbill turtle, organizes community shoreline marine debris cleanup events on Hawaiʻi Island's southeast Kaʻu coast, and manages an anchialine pool (cenote) restoration project. He believes that partnership with the community is key.
Geoffrey WalkerCommercial Fishing Representative
2017 - Present
Geoffrey (Geoff) Walker is a US Navy veteran and served until 1968. He attended Shoreline Community College in North Seattle for 5 quarters, before he took up commercial fishing. Geoff fished between Alaska and Central California before moving to Hawaiʻi in 1981. Since that time, he has been engaged in the commercial handline fishery in Hawaiʻi participating from 1981 until 1993.
In 1993, Geoff built a 40’ boat in Washington State and brought it to Kona. Geoff trolled for ono, mahi mahi and ahi, Ika Shibi fished for ahi and swordfish and palu ahi fished for ahi at Buoy 1. Between September 1993 and 2001, Geoff deep-sea handline fished for the deep seven bottomfish, white ulua and uku from Middle bank to Necker Island in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.
When in Washington, Geoff was a member of Washington Trollers Association, Seafood Producers Coop and Western Fishing Vessels Owners Association. In Hawaiʻi he was a past member of Hawaiʻi Handline Association, and a member of the Pelagic Advisory panel in the late 80s/early 90s for Western Pacific Fisheries Management Council (WesPac). Geoff is currently a member of WesPac advisory panel. He holds a 100-ton Near Costal U.S. Coast Guard License, Better Process and Control and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP) Seafood Certifications.
Geoff has participated in various tagging studies including: Hawaiʻi tuna in the 1990’s, National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) satellite tagging study of albacore, Research Corporation of the University of Hawaiʻi (RCUH) thresher shark satellite tagging study, the Hawaiʻi State bottom fish tagging study and Hawaiʻi ulua tagging study and the volunteer tuna tagging study.
Geoff is grateful to be appointed as the commercial fishing representative. He hopes his experience and input will be of value to this panel in managing this vast resource.
Tammy HarpNative Hawaiian Representative
2001 - Present
"The endangered Hawaiian monk seal and the threatened honu have been in existence since time immemorial, the initial inhabitants of the Hawaiian Islands Archipelago. We humans are the alien species; we are the future ancestors and how we behave presently will determine the outcome for those we leave behind. "
A native Hawaiian, Tammy Harp has worked tirelessly to preserve and promote Native Hawaiian culture. Tammy is a life-long shoreline gatherer, having learned from her mother and her grandparents' generation while growing up in Lāhaina and through her father's stories about the past.
Tammy served on the Native and Indigenous Rights Advisory Council of WESTPAC. She got involved with the Monument because of her concern for monk seal and lobster fishery management in the late 1990s. Holding a great aloha for the monk seals, which she feels deserve a chance at survival, Tammy hopes to dispel the bulk of misinformation and exaggeration about monk seals by engaging in honest dialogue with marine resource users.
In addition to her role on the NWHICRER Advisory Council, Tammy's other memberships include Makani Hou o Kaloko-Honokohau, Na Kupuna Moku o Keawe, Hui of Hawaiians, Na Kupuna O Maui (The Elders of Maui), Mala Wharf Fishing and Recreational Association, Focus Maui Nui. Past memberships include Lahaina Open Space Society and Maui Hawaiian Agencies and Organizations. She has attended various conferences, sat on numerous panels and participated in many public hearings pertaining to marine resource and Hawaiian culture preservation.
Although Tammy has never been to the NWHI, she feels she can aloha them from a distance, believing that it is important to have a purpose to access this special place. She prefers to practice mālama ʻāina of the NWHI from home, which also needs caring for. Tammy also seeks to spread knowledge that Hawaiʻi is all the islands from the Big Island in the south to Kure in the far north.
Carol WilcoxConservation Representative
2001 - Present
Jessica WooleyConservation Representative
2001 - Present
"I wanted to do what I could to protect and better manage our ocean resources, and I was privileged and lucky enough to volunteer and be selected to help. "
Jessica Wooley has been a Representative in the Hawaiʻi State House of Representatives since 2008. She was the State Convention Delegate for the Hawaiʻi Democratic Party in 2008. She previously served as Deputy Attorney General for the State of Hawaiʻi Department of the Attorney General, Attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaiʻi, and a Research Associate with the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa.
Jessica holds a Juris Doctor from Boalt Hall School of Law, University of California at Berkeley, and a Master's degree in Agricultural and Resource Economics from the University of California at Berkeley.
In addition to being a member of the Reserve Advisory Council for the Northwest Hawaiian Islands since 2001, her memberships have included O'ahu Land Trust, Hawaiʻi Bicycling League, One Voice for Livable Islands, and AARP.
Gail GrabowskyEducation Representative
2001 - Present
"Papahānaumokuākea is such a unique and magnificent place of thriving ecosystems and Hawaiian cultural meaning. The other Council members are wise and prudent and the place so important that it has been a joy serving and helping advise Monument Staff. Every effort made to educate people about the public trust that is Papahānaumokuākea increases their awareness of what a precious place it is and ensures its future protection. "
Gail Grabowsky is an Associate Professor and Director of the Environmental Studies program at Chaminade University. Her special interests include developmental and evolutionary biology, invertebrate zoology, ecology, biomechanics, and environmental science.
Gail has studied albatross mating behavior and worked to decrease the incidental catch of albatrosses in longline fishing gear. She has also conducted terrestrial restoration ecology work with her students for The Nature Conservancy and the Ala Wai Mauka Watershed Restoration Project. Gail has investigated whether certain species of sea urchin will eat some of Hawaiʻi's invasive alien algae species and researches box jellyfish strandings on Oʻahu's shores. She is interested in conducting salt-water aquarium fish aquaculture research with the aim to help protect wild reef fish.
In addition to serving on the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council, her other affiliations include the State Environmental Council, the Pacific Symposium for Science and Sustainability, the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council, and the Hawaiʻi Academy of Science.
Gail holds a Ph.D. from Duke University and has won awards for her teaching, research and community service. She is also competitive paddler and champion rough-water swimmer. Gail continues to inspire people to take action to help the environment; on Earth Day April 2007 her book "50 Simple Things You Can Do to Save Hawaiʻi" was published.
Cindy HunterResearch Representative
2001 - Present
"I have been involved as a voice in education and research on the RAC since 2000. I've made just one journey to what is now Papahanaumokuakea MNM, with the "Boatload of Educators" in 2005. As an advocate for conservation of this exceptional pu'u honua, I strongly believe in bringing the place to the people. "
Cindy Hunter is Director, Marine Option Program and Assistant Professor of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaiʻi. The Marine Option Program is an educational program within the University of Hawaiʻi that offers a unique opportunity for students in any field of study who have an interest in the ocean, and provides a clearinghouse for marine-oriented education and employment opportunities and a chance for students to network with professionals who are involved with the marine field.
Cindy's areas of research interest include conservation biology, coral reef ecology, biology and ecology of marine invertebrates and fishes (reproduction, genetics, population structure), physiology and molecular biology of cnidarian-algal symbioses, evolutionary genetics, invertebrate systematics, community processes and dynamics, and Hawaiian natural history. Her projects include ecology of alien algae on coral reefs, shifting the competitive advantage back to native species on Hawaiʻi's reefs, and growth and morphology of corals.
Cindy has a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Hawaiʻi. In addition to her seat on the NWHICRER Advisory Council, she is a member of Aquaculture Hub, where her interests are in herbivores that can help to control alien seaweeds.