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Malia Akutagawa 's Profile
Malia Akutagawa
Kaunakakai, Molokai, Hawaii, United States
Climate Zone:
Wet/Dry Tropical

My Projects

(projects i'm involved in)


(projects i'm following)

Zaytuna Farm, The home of the permaculture Research Institute   Southend in Transition Universidad Gaia Daraja Academy Permaculture Project Krems-Taler - Local exchange trading system Recovery of Foodforestsystems at foot of Kilimanjaro
Aida Mathes Alexia Martinez Anton Lo Carrie Jones charlene Holani Daniel Brown Grifen Hope Mark Domingo Matthew Lynch Odder ton Pat Simmons Rae Fuller Richard Perkins Theron Beaudreau Tom Baldwin Tucker Shelton Whitney S Bell
Andrew Jones Daniel Brown Eden Gal Geoff Lawton Grifen Hope Hunter Heaivilin James B. Melcher IV Justin Sandy Keith D'Agostino Marcus Spallek Marilyn McHugh Mark Crumpton Matthew Lynch Meleana Judd Nadia  Lawton Nichole Ross Rick Hutton Tanya Mendija Theron Beaudreau Tom Baldwin Vanessa Monge Augusto Fernandes
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About Malia Akutagawa

I am from the island of Molokai, Hawaii. I graduated with Bachelor degrees in Philosophy and Biology from Whitworth University in 1993. I was 1 of 8 students nationally selected for the Multicultural Initiative in the Marine Sciences Undergraduate Program (MIMSUP) in 1993, a program funded annually by the National Science Foundation and a recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Math, and Engineering Mentoring. I specialized in understanding the algal symbiont relationship to sea anemones and corals and conducted an independent study of anthropogenic disturbances on reef health. I am a certified SCUBA and scientific diver and have conducted behavioral ecology studies off the coast of Kaho`olawe and Molokini islands to monitor reef health. I worked as an aquaculture extension agent, assisting families participating in a Seaweed Growers Network. I received certification from the Oceanic Institute in Finfish Hatchery & Larval Feed Systems and assisted in the set-up of a polyculture system utilizing fish and seaweed aquaculture.

I assisted in a study of traditional fishing practices associated with Kaho`olawe which was incorporated in a management plan for that island. I served as an on-island coordinator for the 1993 Molokai Subsistence Task Force appointed by the Governor. Through that work, we successfully lobbied the State legislature to approve a traditional subsistence fishery management project run by Hawaiian Homesteaders.

In 1997, I received a Juris Doctorate and Environmental Law Certificate from the William S. Richardson School of Law at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. I served as an attorney to the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation where I dealt with major cases on the improper use of agricultural lands for resort purposes; Hawaiian burials protection and remediation; water rights of native taro farmers; and ahupua`a land and resource management.

Currently, I am the Director of the Molokai Rural Development Project which supports work training initiatives through the University of Hawaii Maui College, Molokai and partners with a number of community organizations to strengthen the capacity of our workforce and economy. Some of the projects I launched included a one-of-its-kind intensive archaeological technician training program for which the services of former trainees are solicited by several researchers and archaeological firms Statewide; the formation of sustainable agricultural enterprises with Hawaiian Homestead farmers; a made-on-Molokai product line sold locally and across the State by successful food entrepreneurs; and the expanded Kuha`o Business Center that has assisted in the creation of 121 new small businesses on Molokai.

I am the President and Founder of Sust `aina ble Molokai, a local, grassroots nonprofit organization that weaves our island’s rich cultural pathways with responsible, modern sustainability strategies. We partnered with PRI-USA and the Alu Like Ho`ala Hou Program in the implementation of the Molokai Permaculture Initiative. The ongoing training is designed to create a network of local permaculture teachers that serve the community, mentor youth, manage large earth repair projects on Molokai, and help to generate greater food security for our island and all of Hawaii nei.


My Permaculture Qualifications
Permaculture Design Certificate
Type: Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course
Verifying teacher: Andrew Jones
Other Teachers: Shenaqua Sookhoo Jones
Location: Molokai, Hawaii
Date: Oct 2010
Other course verified
PDC Teacher Training
Type: Teacher Training
Verifying teacher: Andrew Jones
Other Teachers: Shenaqua Sookhoo-Jones
Location: Molokai, Hawaii
Date: Nov 2010
Other course verified
Type: Earthworks
Verifying teacher: Geoff Lawton
Other Teachers: Nadia Lawton
Location: Molokai, Hawaii
Date: Dec 2010
Other course verified
Plant Propagation & Seed Saving
Type: Soil Biology/Compost
Verifying teacher: Hunter Heaivilin
Other Teachers: Bryan Splatt
Location: Ho`ala Hou Site, Mahana, Molokai, Hawaii
Date: Apr 2011
Other course verified
Swale Practicum
Type: Earthworks
Verifying teacher: Hunter Heaivilin
Other Teachers: Bryan Splatt
Location: Ho`olehua (Homesteader Farm), Molokai, Hawaii
Date: Apr 2011

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