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Born and raised in Waimea and Waipiʻo Valley on the island of Hawaiʻi, Kaʻiulani Murphy developed a passion for voyaging while a Hawaiian Studies student at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Since 1998, she has served as a crew member with Hōkūleʻa and the Polynesian Voyaging Society, participating in voyages to Rapa Nui, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, Micronesia and Japan, and the recent Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage. Kaʻiulani feels privileged to learn from extraordinary mentors and to share her experiences with students at Honolulu Community College and UH Mānoa where she teaches courses in Hawaiian astronomy, navigation and voyaging.
Kaʻiu Kimura is the executive director at the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center of Hawaiʻi. She manages and oversees all aspects of the astronomy center operations including the planetarium, exhibit hall, gift shop, restaurant operations and educational outreach. Kaʻiu has held previous positions at the ʻImiloa Astronomy Center, working first as the curriculum coordinator, then experience coordinator and associate director. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Hawaiian studies and a master’s degree in Hawaiian language and literature from the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo. Kaʻiu is on the boards of Hawaiʻi Island Workforce and Economic Development ʻOhana, ʻAha Pūnana Leo and the Hawaiʻi Island Chamber of Commerce.
Laurie Rousseau-Nepton is a resident astronomer at the Canada-France-Hawaii Observatory and was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Hawaii between 2017 and 2019. First indigenous woman in Canada to obtain a PhD in astrophysics, she received her diploma from Université Laval by studying regions of stellar formation in spiral galaxies. Laurie Rousseau-Nepton was a FRQNT postdoctoral scholarship recipient, previously received the Hubert Reeves Fellowship and the Award for native women in sciences of the Association des femmes diplômées des universités du Québec. She is now leading an international project called SIGNALS, aiming at observing thousands of newly born stars in galaxies close to the Milky Way to understand how their birthplace affect the rest of their life and the galaxies evolution. She is involved in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion committees for the Canadian Association of Physicist and for the Maunakea Observatories and is devoted in promoting a community driven way to do science.
Koʻolaupoko born native Kiana Frank studies microorganisms - the smallest forms of life that live on land and in water. She studies who they are, how many of them there are, what they eat, what factors control them and how they impact their ecosystem. By studying and understanding environmental microbial communities, her lab helps to better evaluate overall ecosystem health and inform current monitoring, restoration, cultivation, and management of Hawaiian ahupuaʻa resources to sustainably support our people and ʻāina. Her research integrates biology, geochemistry, and ʻike kupuna (traditional knowledge) to address novel hypothesis and showcase connections between contemporary science and indigenous science, perpetuating place-based knowledge and ecological-based studies to foster values and concepts of traditional management. Her work is focused on environmentally tractable ecosystems in Hawai’i and the deep ocean. The direction and scope of her work is driven by the input and needs of ‘āina-based community organizations and stakeholders.
Brenda Darden Wilkerson
President and CEO
Brenda Darden Wilkerson is an advocate for access, opportunity, and social justice for underrepresented communities in technology. She currently serves as the President and CEO of AnitaB.org, an organization working to shape public opinion about issues of critical importance to women technologists in academia, industry, and government. She founded the original Computer Science for All program, building computer science classes into the curriculum for every student in the Chicago Public Schools, and serving as the inspiration for the Obama administration’s national CS4All initiatives.
Nicole Turner Lee
Dr. Nicol Turner Lee is a fellow in the Brookings Institution Center for Technology Innovation, where she addresses the regulatory and legislative policies of telecommunications, current and emerging technologies with a particular focus on the equitable access and distribution of digital resources. Her current research portfolio includes artificial intelligence, particularly machine learning algorithms and their unintended consequences on marginalized communities. Her recent co-authored paper on the subject has made her a sought out speaker in the U.S. and around the world on the topic of algorithmic bias and civil/human rights. She is also an expert on topics that include online privacy, 5G networks and the digital divide. Dr. Turner Lee has a forthcoming book on the U.S. digital divide titled Digitally Invisible: How the internet is creating the new underclass (forthcoming 2020, Brookings Press). She sits on various U.S. federal agency and civil society boards. Dr. Turner Lee has a Ph.D. and M.A. from Northwestern University and graduated from Colgate University. She resides in Alexandria, Virginia with her family.
Miki K. Tomita
Miki K. Tomita is the founder of Education Incubator, a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for youth to be agents of change for a more positive world through social impact entrepreneurship and innovation. EI works with kids and community to design and implement unique place-based, solution-oriented initiatives based on the core value of Innovation With Aloha. EI has worked with hundreds of youth through in- and out-of-school programs to approach community problem-solving and solution-generating through the lens of passion, purpose, and positive-change, serving dozens of authentic clients in local communities.
Miki has worked in education for 20 years as a teacher, administrator, curriculum developer, and researcher. Her work is anchored at the intersections of education and innovation, with a sharp focus on placing youth at the center of transforming society’s challenges into opportunities for learning and invention.
Born and raised on Maui, Miki graduated from H.P. Baldwin High School, earned a B.S.E. in Biosystems Engineering at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and a Ph.D. in education at Stanford University. She has spent her life working to help create positive change for our planet and people, and has been accompanied on her path for 11 years by her daughter Mayumi.
"Speakers may change due to the postponement of the conference. Speakers will be updated once new dates are confirmed"