Board of Directors
President and Co-founder
Robin helped found MNMRC in 2007. She is a past professor of marine biology and oceanography at Saddleback College in California. Beginning in 1995, Robin led and participated in coral reef research efforts around Maui Nui, and spearheaded the introduction of REEF to Hawaii to foster reef stewardship in Maui. She has made over a thousand research oriented SCUBA dives at many locations throughout the Pacific, and is committed to community-based reef restoration.
Lucienne De Naie
Lucienne lives in rural east Maui and is active with stream and watershed restoration projects. She is a founding member of Maui Cultural Lands, Inc. and the Maui Coastal Land Trust (now Hawaiian Islands Land Trust.) Lucienne has served on the Mayor’s Open Space Zoning Advisory Committee, the Maui General Plan Advisory Committee and serves as Conservation Chair and hike leader for the Maui Sierra Club. She also authored a report on Maui’s water,
Secretary and Treasurer
Larry is a veteran software industry executive, who now makes Maui his home. He has helped establish the Council’s online presence and consults on management and planning. He also cleans up beaches! In addition to serving on MNMRC’s Board of Directors, Larry serves on the board of the Hawaiian Islands Land Trust and is a board member of the Oneloa Colation. He is also a member of the Planning Committee and Marine Committee of the Kihei Community Association.
James Maxwell, Ph.D.
Jim Maxwell is a retired research scientist from the University of California at Berkeley where he studied the neural processes underlying the coordination of binocular eye movements. He and his wife, Cathy, visited the Hawaiian Islands nearly every year since 1992 and made it their permanent home in 2013. Both are volunteers with the Hui O Ka Wai Ola water quality testing program and Cathy is one of the team leads for West Maui. Jim received his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Maryland and his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Rochester.
Edwin “Ekolu” Lindsey III
Raised on Maui (where he loved visiting his grandparents’ home in Lahaina to surf, swim and fish in the waters of Polanui), Ekolu graduated from Kamehameha Schools on O‘ahu, and earned a B.B.A. at University of Hawaiʻi at Mänoa. Ekolu’s parents — Ed Lindsey, a Native Hawaiian and lifelong schoolteacher, and Puanani Lindsey — co-founded Maui Cultural Lands in 2002. Ed Lindsey also co-founded Maui Nui Marine Resource Council in 2007 with marine biologist Robin Newbold. After his father passed away in 2009, Ekolu assumed the role of president of Maui Cultural Lands. He carries forward his familyʻs legacy of service and their vision of protecting and restoring Hawaiian cultural resources and the marine environment. In July of 2015, he completed a ten-day, 500-mile journey aboard the voyaging canoe Hikianalia to the Papahänaumokuäkea Marine National Monument in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands to conduct reef surveys and fish monitoring to help better manage Hawai‘i’s marine resourceS. Ekolu also cofounded Polanui Hiu, the first Community Managed Makai Area (CMMA) on Maui. Maui Nui Marine Resource Council is proud and grateful for Ekoluʻs service and guidance as a member of our Board of Directors.
Christina received her Juris Doctor from the University of Hawaii at Mānoa William S. Richardson School of Law, graduating summa cum laude with certificates in environmental law and Native Hawaiian rights. She earned her B.A. from George Washington University, magna cum laude. She most recently served as a judicial law clerk for Associate Justice Sabrina S. McKenna and Associate Justice Richard W. Pollack at the Hawaiʻi Supreme Court. She is also a lecturer in law at the William S. Richardson School of Law and a member of the IUCN World Commission on Environmental Law.
Christina brings both local and international experience to her role with MNMRC. During law school, she was a delegate of Richardson’s Environmental Law Program to the 2016 IUCN World Conservation Congress; studied for a semester at O.P. Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat, India; externed at the National Green Tribunal of India in New Delhi; and was a Sam L. Cohen International Human Rights Fellow. Locally, Christina assisted the Hawaiʻi State Environmental Council with drafting updates to Hawaiʻi Administrative Rules Chapter 11-200, Environmental Impact Statement Rules, which were recently signed into law. Christina also spent four years working at the University of Hawaiʻi Center on Disability Studies on a variety of projects to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities statewide. Prior to moving to Hawaiʻi in 2012, Christina was a policy analyst and national community organizer on fisheries issues at Food & Water Watch, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C.
Acting Executive Director
Mike started his flying career as a bush pilot in Alaska; he retired in 2014 as a Captain for Alaska Airlines. During visits to Maui, Mike obtained his SCUBA certification. Shortly after retirement, Mike moved to Maui and led MNMRC in obtaining its 501c3 designation. He continues to develop MNMRC’s corporate structures, and oversees its fiscal management. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Western Illinois University and Certificate of Financial Management from Cornell University.
Programs & Operations Manager
Amy has been with MNMRC since 2012 and keeps its many programs and grants running smoothly. She appreciates the critical importance of community participation in effective marine conservation efforts, and supports a number of Maui community groups who are working restore the island’s native marine and terrestrial ecosystems. Amy is graduate student in the Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology program at Colorado State University, and holds a BA from Bowdoin College. Amy has a certificate in project management from UH Maui, has studied Hawaiian language and history, and is a graduate of the Ka Ipu Kukui Leadership program.
Project and Research Coordinator
Meredith partakes in multiple projects at MNMRC, assisting with monitoring the oysters in our Oyster Bioremediation Project, performing coral reefs transect monitoring with the dive program, and coordinating our “Know Your Ocean” Speaker Series. She also previously was a Team Lead for the Hui O Ka Wai Ola water quality monitoring program. She is passionate about preserving the beauty of the ocean and protecting the creatures that live in it. Meredith is originally from Houston and graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a degree in Marine Biology.
Jill holds a masters degree specializing in coastal and marine resource management from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management – University of California, Santa Barbara. She obtained her bachelor’s degree at San Diego State University in Environmental Sciences.
While pursuing her masters degree, Jill worked for Maui Nui Marine Resource Council as a Communication & Programs Assistant, where she coordinated with resort properties to arrange for the installation of the “Protect Maui’s Coral Reefs” informational signs, now located at 39 Maui shoreline locations. She also led marine debris educational programs. Wirt has also worked as a naturalist with Pacific Whale Foundation, The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara, and The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua. She was the co-investigator for a NOAA Marine Debris Grant awarded to Pacific Whale Foundation, and was the social media coordinator for Skyline Eco-Adventures on Maui. After completing her masters, Wirt was an Eco-Entrepreneurship Fellow through the Bren School, where she laid the foundation to start her own nonprofit, Bringing Young Women to the Ocean, to engage and encourage young women to pursue marine science and other STEM fields through camps and mentor programs.
Jill manages Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s “Reef Friendly Landscaping” project, which encourages resorts, hotels, golf courses, businesses and homeowners to move away from synthetic fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides that are causing harm to Maui’s nearshore coral reefs and populations of native fish and marine wildlife. The program offers “Reef Friendly Landscaping” certification to businesses, with complimentary consulting by a local organic landscaping expert to help properties move toward safer land care practices.
Jill also assists with field monitoring of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s Oyster Bioremediation Project in Må’alaea Bay, a vetiver-planting effort planned for this fall in Pohakea Watershed, along with social media. As part of Maui Nui Marine Resource Council’s ongoing support of the Maui Nui Makai Network, a network of community and partner groups that care for ecosystems on which Hawai’i’s people depend, Jill will provide assistance with their social media and outreach.
Senior Team Leader – HOKWO
Liz joined the Hui as Senior Team Leader in May 2022. She has a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from Florida Gulf Coast University. In 2022, Liz graduated from the Marine Options Program at UH Maui and worked as the assistant in the marine lab on campus and often volunteered in the lab with Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force. As Senior Team Lead, she is primarily responsible for coordinating various aspects of the program, including field, lab, and logistical support, coordinating fellow team leads, and managing the volunteer program. Her responsibilities include overseeing monitoring operations and data collection, entry, and record-keeping; team lead and volunteer training and coordination; preparing and maintaining supplies and equipment; and meeting with advisory Technical and Steering Committees to ensure successful continuity and growth of the program. She also often joins volunteers in collection and analysis of coastal water samples in the field. Liz is from O’ahu and currently lives in Kula with her two kids and husband. She loves all things ocean-related and is very passionate about coral reef conservation.
South Maui Team Leader – HOKWO
Ylenia started with Hui O Ka Wai Ola in 2021 as a volunteer for the West side, and eventually became a Team Leader for the South Maui team in 2022. Originally from New York City, Ylenia’s love for the ocean began at a very young age. She went to college in New Jersey where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology, then spent time in the Florida Keys, Bahamas, Ketchikan, Alaska, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, receiving her SCUBA instructor certification while in Cozumel, Mexico. Ylenia has been living in Hawai’i for 7 years.
Nancy (Maile) Sharpe
South Maui Team Leader – HOKWO
Maile joined the Hui as a volunteer in 2018 when she was a student in the Sustainable Science Program at University Hawai’i Maui Campus, while also serving as a volunteer for Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force. Maui’s water quality and distribution issues were the personal focus of her science study. As an enthusiast paddleboarder, she takes note of the alarming decline in our near-shore coastal reefs. Maile earned her BASS/PSYCH degree from University Hawai’i West Oahu Campus and is interested in bridging social science with environmental science. She values the natural camaraderie that develops when people join for meaningful projects. Maile feels it is her kuleana to support, protect, and replenish the native environment that has been so benevolent to her.
Steering Committee Member and Quality Assurance (QA) Officer
As the west Maui regional volunteer coordinator, Dana plays a huge role in introductory and refresher trainings for volunteers and regularly organizes get-togethers among the Clean Ocean Team. Behind the scenes, she is responsible for securing and maintaining lab space and lab equipment, processing sediment samples, and storing and shipping nutrient samples to the analytical SOEST laboratory on O‘ahu. Dana maintains volunteer records as well as all the data sheets collected during west Maui sampling sessions. She is also responsible for data analysis and works with the technical committee to report out to the public on their findings. To ensure that there is always adequate coverage in the field or lab, Dana steps in when a team leader is unavailable or additional hands are needed for sampling.
John has spent over two decades as a student, researcher, and resource manager in the tropical Pacific with much of that time spent working with local government and NGOs throughout Micronesia to support coral reef conservation. John brings a diversity of expertise in water quality, watershed management, and coral reef monitoring to our team. He currently manages the MNMRC diving program and is growing MNMRC’s capacity to evaluate and monitor the condition of coral reef habitats.