Puaʻala Pascua


Visiting Scientist

Puaʻala Pascua is a Biodiversity Scientist specializing in biocultural and community-based approaches to natural resource management. Puaʻala is of Native Hawaiian descent, born and raised on the island of Oʻahu, Hawaiʻi.  She holds a master’s degree in Natural Resource and Environmental Management from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa and bachelor’s degrees in Hawaiian Studies and Marine Science from the University of Hawai'i at Hilo. Ms. Pascua is a young professional with strong experience in interdisciplinary and collaborative research engaging managers, scientists, and cultural practitioners. She also possesses unique policy and management experience across public and private sectors and decision-making scales – locally, with the natural resource management program of the largest private landowner in Hawaiʻi; nationally, with NOAA Fisheries Headquarters as a 2016 Knauss Marine Policy Fellow and Recreational Fisheries Specialist; and globally, through ongoing collaborations with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. This experience, in combination with her culturally-grounded upbringing, enables her to explore the junction of research, policy, and resource management in a way that meaningfully engages local communities across the Pacific and around the world.