The Hawaiʻi Marine Education and Research Center was co-founded by kamaʻaina resident scientists, Drs. Robin Martin and Greg Asner, in 2017 with funding from grants, trusts, and the Heinz Award for the Environment. Robin has been working as a conservation scientist in Hawaiʻi since 2003, generating deep ties to both coastal land and coral reef ecosystems and people. Greg has lived and worked on Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, and Hawaiʻi Islands since 1987. He is especially focused working with communities and government to address coastal and coral reef challenges.
HawaiiMERC’s Board of Directors includes individuals with deep knowledge in conservation, Indigenous practice, community engagement and law enforcement. Their dedication to the HawaiiMERC mission provides a compass for the program’s goals and initiatives.
Finally, HawaiiMERC relies on the dedicated actions of its volunteers. MERC members participate in a wide range of activities including coastal and reef cleanups, rejuvenation of native coastal vegetation, and Makai Watch. Volunteers receive training in first responder techniques, safe ocean practices, coastal and marine ecology, and reporting for law enforcement.