Nēnē Research and Conservation is dedicated to the preservation and recovery of nēnē. By collaborating with government agencies and local groups, our mission centers on leveraging community-sourced data to enhance conservation strategies, support predator management, and inform policy-making. Promoting community science, we aim to streamline conservation efforts and increase public involvement, ensuring a sustainable future for all native species in Hawaiʻi.

Who are we?

Nēnē Research and Conservation operates at the heart of Hawaiʻi conservation community, founded with the vision of Jordan and Ariel to create a unified source of nēnē data. By engaging with diverse platforms and conducting specialized surveys, we transform community observations into actionable insights for habitat and species management. Our approach amplifies the collective impact on native species conservation, blending science with community engagement to nurture a deeper ecological awareness and commitment across Hawaiʻi.

Jordan Lerma

Jordan Lerma is a Native Hawaiian field biologist at Cascadia Research Collective and holds a degree in Economics and Public Finance from Saint Mary’s College of California and is pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University. He is the owner and operator of Uheheu, LLC which specializes in using technology like drones to address conservation issues.

Ariel Imoto

Ariel is a Native Hawaiian living in the North Hilo ahupuaʻa in the town of Pāpaʻikou. She has a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa in Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences. Ariel has previously worked with Keauhou Bird Conservation, National Tropical Botanical Garden, and the Hawaii Tree Snail Conservation Laboratory. She continues her passion for protecting Hawaiʻi’s native species by raising awareness of pressing conservation issues through illustrations and social media.

Katie Cartee

Katie works and volunteers for various Hawaiian wildlife conservation groups. She grew up in Alaska and then earned a Bachelor’s degree in Integrative Physiology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. She is currently finishing up a degree in Marine Science from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo and plans on continuing her education further. When she is not studying or surveying for nēnē, Katie can be found volunteering with the Hawaiian monk seals or clearing marine debris from our beaches with Hawaiʻi Wildlife Fund.

Manuohina Lerma

Manuohina is a 3 year old field assistant that has better eyes than both Jordan and Ariel. Her duties include spotting birds and checking to see if they have a band or not. When not working with nene she can be found riding her bike or playing with her dog Hiku.

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