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Director at Akahiao Nature Institute
Julie is passionate about creating a future where humans have a symbiotic relationship with Mother Earth through weaving of native intelligence with innovation in education.
BS in Biology and Biomedical Engineering from Tufts University
Mentorship Certificate from The Tracking Project
Leadership Certificate from East West Center
MEd in Educational Foundations from University of Hawaii
Julie was born in Japan and grew up between Japan and Hawaii for most of her childhood. Attending schools in four different schools with very distinct cultures of education (Japanese public school, American public school, private international school in Japan and preparatory school in the US), the consistent language of her schooling was math and science. She navigated through her formal schooling with ease and ended up with a bachelor of science in Biology and Biomedical Engineering.
She began her career in the lab, a DNA sequencing center at the Whitehead Institute. After several years of working in lab coats, she decided to move back to Hawaii to find work in the environmental field. She began working in construction sites as a biologist and found an alarming extent of pollution beneath the surface of paradise. She then found work as a Community Relations Director at Blue Planet Foundation, working to get Hawaii off of fossil fuels.
Her career in education began with a mentorship program under the guidance of John Stokes at The Tracking Project. There she learned about indigenous philosophies and realized so much was missing from our education system. The world she occupied was so small, and that the world can operate on new paradigms. She then became a student at Asia Pacific Leadership Institute, during which she began her volunteer work at the Gross National Happiness Center in Bhutan and volunteered as an educator at the Green School Camp. She studied Gross National Happiness deeply and still is a huge advocate of the system. She then moved back to Hawaii to complete her masters in education, during which she served on on the board of Hawaii Nature Center for 9 years and crewed the Hokule’a on her world wide voyage.
Today she is working on developing 'Akahiao Nature Institute whose vision is to create the model for our future. Her vision of the future can be summarized with three phrases: earth in the center, circular economies and filled with children’s laughter.
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