The KISC Staff and Crew
Tiffani Keanini, Project Manager: Tiffani began working for KISC in 2009, helping raise awareness to the Kauai community on the importance of invasive species prevention and control. In 2017, Tiffani became the new manager of KISC. Tiffani will continue to strengthen KISC as a project and a partner in the Kauai conservation community. email@example.com
Ray Kahaunaele, Field Operations Supervisor: Ray grew up in Anahola on the east side of Kauai and has seen the slow but steady displacement of native species by invasive plants and animals. Working at KISC has given him the opportunity to learn more about invasive species, their impacts on our island, and new technology to aid us in control and/or eradication of invasive species. Ray oversees all planning and logistics for field work and organizes partnership projects. firstname.lastname@example.org
Larry “Mugs” Kaneholani, Field Supervisor: Mugs has been with KISC since 2007. As the field supervisor, he enjoys working outdoors and helping keep Kauai true to its beauty. He supervises all field activities, working daily with the crew and interacting with the public and landowners.
Kelsey Brock, Early Detection Botanist: Kelsey joined KISC in April 2015 as the Early Detection Botanist and is tasked with identifying new plants that are constantly arriving on Kauai. She has a BSc. in Conservation Biology and a MSc. in Botany from the University of Alberta and has worked in the academic, non-profit and private sectors doing botanical inventories, rare and invasive plant surveys as well as designing experiments and analyzing data. She is grateful to be working with KISC because the Hawaiian Islands are incredibly unique (particularly from a botanists’ perspective) and are in great need of protective action. Although plants are too interesting to know where work ends and fun begins, you can also find her snorkeling, hiking, or making attempts to play the viola. email@example.com
Joe Aguon-Kona, Crew Leader: Joe has been with KISC since 2004 and knows every inch of this island, including the back-country. When he is not at work, he enjoys fishing, hunting, and spending time with his ohana. Joe helps lead the crew with fieldwork activities.
Cleve Javier, Data Technician: Cleve Javier started working at KISC Since 2009 as a field natural resource technician. In 2013 he became the data technician in charge of KISC’s GIS and database. It’s a fancy way to say he makes reportable maps and does data entry. Cleve’s background is he worked as an Agricultural Technician for USDA APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) branch for 6 years, before making the move to KISC. When Cleve is not working at KISC, he is a Coach at Aura’I Fitness on island. And for fun he trains for and does obstacle course races in his free time.
Pat Gmelin, Mongoose Response: Pat started with KISC in October, 2010 working on an island wide LFA survey. He became KISC’s mongoose response tech in 2011, and has interviewed and mapped almost every mongoose sighting reported on Kauai since then. “Trapper Pat” helped lead a team that captured the first live mongoose on Kauai on May 23, 2012. He excels in public relations and assists with many outreach events around the island as well as working with the KISC field crew on many other target species. A member of Kauai’s Native Plant Society, Pat enjoys exploring Kauai’s native forests, and cultivating his own native plant garden. When he’s not in the jungle, you can find him surfing, kayaking the Napali Coast, or playing banjo with his band Island Grass
Vincent Vea, Field Crew: Vincent joined the crew as a field worker back in July 2014. As a field crew member, his goal has been to absorb as much knowledge from the crew as possible. This will allow him to be able to educate others about what’s happening on the island and what everyone can do to prevent these invasive plants and pests from taking over our aina. Aloha.
Chelsea Rabourn, Field Crew: Chelsea joined KISC in January 2018 and is a recent graduate with a degree of Wildlife Biology from The Evergreen State College. Her studies focused on the protection and proliferation of biodiversity, as as essential cornerstone of worldwide ecosystem health. She enjoyed studying wildlife in continental North and South America before joining conservation efforts in Hawaii, because of the islands’ vulnerability to biodiversity loss. She is deeply enamored with Hawaii’s native wildlife and excited to help protect species endemic to Kauai and the Hawaiian islands through invasive species control. In her free time she enjoys snorkeling, fawning over bugs, vertebrates, and plants, drawing wildlife, dying her hair outrageous colors, gardening, pondering evolutionary theories, stargazing, critiquing animated movies, and listening to David Bowie music. Pictured beside a Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) in Punto Tombo, Argentina, 2015.
The Committee is made up of resource managers from the state, county, federal, and private organizations as well as individuals. Committee meeting are open to the public and public input is always encouraged and welcome.
KISC Executive Committee
The executive committee provides guidance to KISC and helps assure that the KISC Strategic Plan will be carried out by KISC staff and Crew. KISC Executive Committee consists of 3 seats. Past Committee Chair, Committee Chair, Committee Chair Elect. These voluntary positions are 1 year rotating positions with a 3 year commitment. For complete details on the Chair position, please view KISC Chair Description.
The Executive committee provides guidance in determining KISC target species and yearly goals.
Past Committee Chair – Tim Flynn, NTBG
Committee Chair – John-Carl Watson, KMWP
Committee Chair Elect – Open
Technical advisors- James Leary (CTAHR), Adam Williams (DOFAW)