Jennifer Vander Veur
Senior Program Manager
Jennifer has enjoyed a passion for nature and the ocean her entire life. Jennifer followed her dream and attended the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, receiving two bachelor’s degrees in marine science and conservation biology. Upon graduation, she gained a position with the state of Hawaiʻi to establish the Aquatic Invasive Species Program on the island of Hawaiʻi. Jennifer later completed a master’s degree of science in marine biology from Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. She worked for the Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission (KIRC) for 10 years, managing the marine resources around the island of Kahoʻolawe. Her work included fisheries management, protected species management, integrating traditional cultural resource management with modern scientific methods, and community engagement. Jennifer is focused on justice and equity for indigenous communities and is dedicated to facilitating pathways to achieve justice, equity, and inclusion for all people. She believes that encouraging others to participate in ocean conservation is what will change the tide in restoring our world, and believes in practicing a holistic approach to conservation to ensure the future of communities and marine ecosystems.
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.Edward Abbey