My name is Brooke Hoffman and my love of the ocean started as a young child with a net in my hand pulling out every animal I could find in the tidepools along the Big Sur coast of California with my mother. My mind was sharp and curious, I was wet and cold but didn’t care because I was just having so much fun. I grew up in the woods building forts, catching animals, and thinking I was a budding naturalist. Little has changed. My first job was at the Monterey Bay Aquarium where I taught visitors from around the world about my favorite place, the ocean. I gave them hands-on experiences touching animals in touch tanks, looking at plankton under microscopes and it delighted me to see the spark in their eyes, to experience the new wonder of the ocean. The ocean is a place of wonder, where we as humans have only been to a small portion of it and have so many questions left to learn about its animals and how it functions. This leaves me in a sense of constant wonder and curiosity. I later attended both the University of Santa Cruz, California and the University of Hawai’i, Hilo where I received a bachelor’s degree in marine science. I have lived and worked in Hawai’i for over 20 years and find it a truly special place to work both in the melting pot of people who call this place home, the aloha way of life, and in the percentage of endemic species we get to experience daily that are found nowhere else on the planet.
In my last two years I have worked on several large infrastructure projects. At Honolulu Community College I was their sustainability coordinator delivering its first ever STAR report which is similar to a LEED certification. This gave the campus metrics to track its sustainability practices such as the amount of water and electricity use, commute behavior of students and staff, and the number of living lab opportunities available to its students. I also was the project coordinator for a pilot project between 3R water, Malama Maunalua and the Board of Water Supply, helping homeowners identify the best retrofit solutions for maximizing their homes’ rain catchment potential. I was the go -between person educating clients, providing resources such as rebates and workshop information as well as installation recommendations. On our 3R water follow the drop app, we have an open source dashboard so the City and County as well as the homeowner can track their changes in utility bills and can see how their particular community is saving water and reducing pollution into our oceans.
I look forward to working side by side with communities and form strong partnerships. These partnerships utilize local communities’ wealth of knowledge in terms of daily observation, cultural practice, and the history of knowing how a place has changed over time. I want local communities to be the central voice in how a place is managed and have the ability to participate in the solutions. This wealth of knowledge merged with data creates the most complete natural resource management plan. I am passionate about being a resource for communities, providing data that shows clear and trackable solutions, and providing educational outreach. Acting as a connector between community needs and pre existing opportunities such as funding and governmental rebates. I am excited to join the Hawai’i Island team with the goal to train local communities to collect water testing data so we all can see how clean the water is for both human and coral health as well as assisting communities in doing cesspool conversions.
If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime.Lao Tzu