About the Commission

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Rosanna ‘Anolani Alegado, Ph.D.

A kanaka ʻōiwi scholar working directly with grass-roots communities to integrate conventional and indigenous perspectives on science. 

Dr. Alegado’s lab investigates the role of microbes across spatial and temporal scales. By bringing together microbial ecologists, biogeochemists her group examines the influence of microbial communities on coastal ocean processes, especially in light of a changing climate. A recent project in her lab involves using indigenous historical records to reconstruct Hawaiian regional climate beyond conventional instrument records in collaboration with the International Pacific Research Center and Puakea Nogelmeier at the Kawaihuelani Center for Hawaiian Language.

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Makena Coffman, PH.D.

Leading Hawai‘i authority on greenhouse gas and energy policy.

Dr. Coffman is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa. Her research interests include greenhouse gas mitigation, energy policy and alternative transportation strategies. Dr. Coffman is a Research Fellow with UHERO and has worked extensively with state and county governments on issues of greenhouse gas policy and climate action planning.

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Charles (Chip) Fletcher, Ph.D.

Proponent of climate change education, environmental conservation, and community resilience

Dr. Fletcher is Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the University of Hawaiʻi, Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and Professor of Geology and Geophysics. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses emphasizing Earth Science, and Climate Change on Pacific Islands. Over 30 graduate and undergraduate students have received degrees in his research group. Dr. Fletcher engages in community service and is recipient of several awards:

  1. UHM Chancellor’s Citation for Meritorious Teaching (twice);
  2. US EPA Environmental Achievement Award in Climate Change Science;
  3. Hung Wo and Elizabeth Lau Ching Foundation Award for Faculty Service to the Community; and the
  4. Robert W. Clopton Award for Distinguished Community Service.

Dr. Fletcher is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America. Dr. Fletcher has over 100 scientific publications, including 3 books: 

  • Living on the Shores of Hawai‘i : Natural Hazards, the Environment, and Our Communities, (2011, University of Hawai’i Press); 
  • Physical Geology: The Science of Earth (3nd Ed., 2017, J. Wiley& Sons); 
  • Climate Change: What the Science Tells Us (2nd Ed., 2018, J. Wiley& Sons).
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Victoria Keener, Ph.D.

Interdisciplinary scientist working with island communities to transform climate research into resource management.

Dr. Keener is a Research Fellow at the East-West Center and is also the Lead Principal Investigator of the Pacific Regional Integrated Sciences & Assessments (Pacific RISA) program, and earned a PhD in Agricultural & Biological Engineering from the University of Florida, specializing in hydro-climatological research dealing with the effects of climate variability. Dr. Keener coordinates an interdisciplinary team of social and physical scientists that aims to reduce Pacific Island communities vulnerability to climate change by translating academic research into actionable knowledge for a variety of stakeholders at the local, state, and regional level—especially regarding the management of fresh water resources. She is the Lead Editor and a Chapter Author for the 2012 Pacific Islands Regional Climate Assessment (PIRCA) report and the lead author of the Pacific Islands Chapter of the forthcoming 4th US National Climate Assessment.

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Bettina Mehnert, FAIA, LEED AP O+M

Green building design leader and community-driven business leader. 

A sustainability-focused community business leader, Ms. Mehnert, president and CEO of AHL, has multiple leadership roles nationally with the Urban Land Institute and locally with Hawaiʻi Green Growth, the Sustainable Business Forum, and the Aloha+ Challenge. Under her leadership, AHL has been recognized as a top firm nationally and locally, including inclusion in the top 100 Green firms. She was also instrumental in launching AHL's 1% Pro Bono Program where nonprofits receive pro bono architectural services that result in significant advancement of programs such as the Rain Forest Pavilion for the Hawai‘i Nature Center and the Rooftop Food and Job Training Garden for the Institute of Human Services.