Reserve Advisory Council member profile

Donald Schug

Donald Schug
2001 – present

"My 40-year career in marine fisheries management has provided opportunities to engage in my favorite activities of traveling to far-flung places and exploring watery worlds. "
– Donald Schug, Research

Q: What drew you to participate in the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve Advisory Council?
A: I became aware of the exceptional ecological and cultural qualities of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands in the mid-1990s while working for the Western Pacific Regional Fishery Management Council.

Q: What are your personal thoughts on the place and why it deserves such dedicated protection?
A: Few coral reef ecosystems remain as pristine as that in the NWHI. To preserve it for future generations we must act now.

Q: What do you see as the Reserve Advisory Council’s greatest achievement during the time you have been directly involved?
A: Its role in the development of a management plan, first for the NWHI Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve and then for the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument.

Q: As a member of the council, what is one of your most memorable experiences?
A: I remember most the personal relationships developed with NOAA staff and fellow RAC members. There has always been a strong sense of ʻohana among us.

Q: What do you see as the biggest challenges facing the council and/or monument today?
A: Due to global warming we are experiencing unprecedented environmental change. Coping with the complex and unforeseen consequences will be a constant challenge.

Q: Why should people care about protecting the monument?
A: Henry David Thoreau said it best: “In wildness is the preservation of the world.”

Q: Anything else you would like to say about being a member of the council?
A: It has been a real privilege to be part of the RAC all these years. Undoubtedly, one of my most rewarding and valued experiences.

Past and present council member profiles