Council Member Profiles
Reserve Advisory Council member profile
2001 – present
"This protected place is one of the things humanity, the US, and Hawaiians can be so thankful for. "
– Gail Grabowsky, Education
Q: What drew you to participate in the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council?
A: I had done research that helped mitigate seabird mortalities in Hawaii's longline fishing industry in 1997-1999 and that introduced me to the amazing place that is Papahanaumokuakea! I have not, however, been up there - I am the embodiment of “loving it from afar” and “bringing the place to the people and not the people to the place.”
Q: What are your personal thoughts on the place and why it deserves such dedicated protection?
A: Amazing place! Sacred, remote-but-connect-to-us, unique in the world, healthy and inspiring.
Q: What do you see as the Reserve Advisory Council’s greatest achievement during the time you have been directly involved?
A: The initial Management Plan and the uber successful collective discussions and decisions we have made over the years with all voices being valued.
Q: As a member of the council, what is one of your most memorable experiences?
A: The general deep commitment of all the members to this place. It has been a winding road with a clear destination!
Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the council and/or monument today?
A: Climate change and valuing money more than what really matters: healthy nature!
Q: Why should people care about protecting the monument?
A: For so many reasons! Sacred Hawaiian history, near-pristine marine ecosystems, lessons-learned from extraordinary protection and alien-species eradication efforts on land, collaboration towards a common goal, co-management that is working, extraordinary educational efforts and documentaries that share it with the world.
Q: Anything else you would like to say about being a member of the council?
A: We have all been on it so long we are ʻohana representing our ʻohana writ large: educators, scientists, Hawaiians, conservationists, and the public. I have learned so very much on the council on many levels and only hope I have been of help myself to this place of indescribable importance.
Gail Grabowsky is Professor and Director of Environmental Programs, and Interim Dean of the School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Chaminade University.