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Staff

Chris Brosius, Program Manager
Jill LaBram, NRM/Operations Manager
Kimberly Thayer, Program & Data Assistant
John Comcowich, Field Crew Supervisor
Travis Texeira, Field Crew Leader
Kainoa Marchello, Field Assistant II
Kyle Alreck, Field Assistant I
Kamakani Palolo, Field Assistant I
Hanoa Puaa-Freitas, Field Assistant I
Ryan Thomas, Kupu Intern


Program Manager - Chris Brosius
NRM/Operations Manager - Jill LaBram
Program & Data Assistant - Kimberly Thayer
Field Crew Supervisor - John Comcowich
Field Crew Leader - Travis Texeira
Field Assistant II - Kainoa Marchello
Field Assistant I - Kyle Alreck
Field Assistant I - Kamakani Palolo
Field Assistant I - Hanoa Pua'a-Freitas
Kupu AmeriCorps Intern - Ryan Thomas

Our team of 9 permanent staff and 1 Kupu AmeriCorps intern works together to protect our native forests and freshwater resources.  Coming from Maui, Hawaii, and the mainland United States, each of our team members brings unique knowledge and experience that helps carry out the work we do.  We invite you to read on below and get to know us!
 

Chris Brosius, Program Manager

Chris came to WMMWP as the Program Manager in July 2004.  He is orginally from Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Natural Resource Management.  Previous experiences have included work the Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project's habitat management program, Haleakala National Park's endangered species management, USGS's avian disease project on the Big Island as well as an assignment with National Geographic in Belize.  Always working hard at grants, Chris is the man who drives and supports WMMWPs efforts to preserve and protect the watershed.  In his free time, Chris enjoys every thing outdoors including surfing, natural history videography, kayaking, bird-watching, and hiking through the watershed.

 

Jill LaBram, NRM/Operations Manager

Jill grew up in Florida and graduated from Stetson University.  She has worked a variety of wildlife and environmental education jobs throughout the mainland and then got her master's at Clemson University monitoring reptiles and amphibians.  Jill came to WMMWP in March 2005, is responsible for all of the GIS work, but still gets out in the field to help the guys as much as possible.  She likes to swim, snorkel, kayak, play soccer, and has even been taking hula lessons.
 

Kimberly Thayer, Program & Data Assistant

Raised barefoot in rural Haiku, Kim developed a deep love for Maui’s native forests and natural resources.  She broadened her horizons by attending college in Queensland, Australia where she earned a degree in Anthropology.  After returning home in 2007, she worked in land use planning before joining WMMWP in October 2012.  She finds her position here to be both rewarding and fulfilling, working to protect West Maui’s forests and watersheds through a prime balance of office management, public outreach, and time in the backcountry.  Outside of WMMWP, Kim serves as Chair of the Maui County Arborist Committee, leads hikes as a volunteer docent for The Nature Conservancy, and enjoys the outdoors with her husband and two young keiki.

 

John Comcowich, Field Crew Supervisor

John is on his second tour with WMMWP after taking time out to travel in South America and answer a calling back to Colorado, where he is from.  John first came to Maui in 2002 and after a spell at the resorts decided to apply his degree in Natural Resource Management, from Colorado State University.  John first started his Maui conservation experience with the East Maui Watershed Partnership before returning to the sunny side of the island.  John has enjoyed working in the field with a great diversity of people as well as environments.  He likes to leave the land and dive into a variety of ocean activities whenever out of the mountains.
 

Travis Texeira, Field Crew Leader

Travis Kupono Texeira is a native of Maui - born and raised on the cliffs of Maluhia. Travis started working for WMMWP in March of 2011 as a temporary hire but then stayed on with us, now as a permanent member of the Field Crew. Travis graduated from St. Anthony and attended the University of Hawaii. He has much respect for his culture and the conservation of Maui. He enjoys being an avid sportsman, waterman and hunter.
 

Kainoa Marchello, Field Assistant II

Kainoa joined the WMMWP staff in 2012. Being born and raised on Maui fostered a love of the Hawaiian environment. This has inspired him to care for the place that has cared for him.

He 'a'ali'i ku makani mai au; 'a'ohe makani nana e kula'i 
I am a wind resisting 'a'ali'i, no gale can push me over

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Kyle Alreck, Field Assistant I

Kyle grew up in Santa Cruz California and studied at San Francisco State University acquiring a degree in Natural Resource Management. Beginning his conservation efforts in Hawaii he was an intern with Maui Forest Bird Recovery Project, before joining West Maui in January 2015. Kyle enjoys a list of activities including surfing, skating, backpacking, Frisbee golf, and new adventures. Kyle is committed to protecting and enhancing the land, its natural processes and its native species; from Hawaii to California he strives to put his passion to work.

 

Kamakani Palolo, Field Assistant I

Aloha no! Kama joined the West Maui Mountain Watershed Partnership team in February 2015. Born and raised on the island of Lana'i, he grew up hunting and fishing from the mountain to the sea. He understood and gained a deep respect for how critical it is to take care of our aina, our wai, our land and our water! Kama started his conservation journey back in the summer of 2007 as a KUPU Ameri Corp Intern and since then he has followed his passion and continued to put his heart and hard work into protecting and preserving what precious and vital land, and water we have. Step up, and become part of the solution, not the problem, for our generation, our kids generation their kids generation and so on.

Hanoa Puaa-Freitas, Field Assistant I

Aloha mai! Hanoa was born and raised in the rugged Waihe‘e Valley and is the youngest of 5 children. His passion for protecting West Maui’s Watershed began at a very early age, for Waihe’e River has fed his family’s lo‘i for many generations. He graduated from the Natural Sciences Academy at Kamehameha Schools Maui & pursued his education at Hawaii Community College receiving his A.S in Forest Tropical Ecosystems and Agroforestry Management. Hanoa has completed multiple internships with an array of entities and is very grateful to have obtained an intern position with the Watershed that feeds his ‘āina back in the valley.  “If not you, then who?” #alohaaina

‘A‘ohe pau ka ‘ike i ka hālau ho‘okahi. (All knowledge is not learned in just one school)

Hahai no ka ua i ka ulula‘au. (The rain follows after the forest)

 

Ryan Thomas, Kupu Intern

As a Northern California native, living amongst rivers and mountains, Ryan has always had a passion for the outdoors. She received a college degree in Anthropology, with some geographical training in 2015, after spending a year in Ghana. From mountain to sea, she now finds her home here on the beautiful island of Maui. Trying to be a conscious traveler, she believes in leaving behind the most positive impact as possible, on the land and other habitants which find it home as well. She is very excited in joining us in our conservation efforts this year!