This pilot project provided a unique and valuable opportunity to capture, distill, and share tacit knowledge that shaped The Nature Conservancy’s most effective community-based marine conservation strategies and partnerships across Hawaiʻi and the Pacific. While typically conveyed only through personal interaction, this valuable knowledge is now compiled and available as a quickly accessible asset to anyone interested in using it. The lessons we learned while conducting this project are also available to help guide our colleagues and partners in similar efforts.

Many people contributed to the success of this pilot. First and foremost, we are deeply grateful to the Acacia Conservation Fund for appreciating the value of this work, for believing in our team, for generously offering guidance and expertise to strengthen our effort, and for funding this pilot project.

We extend our deepest gratitude to the respected conservation leaders who provided their valuable time and knowledge for our interviews. These Conservancy veterans and partners (see About the Project, The Team) graciously shared their insights and wisdom to bring this project to fruition. Without them, this compendium would not have been possible.

Many current and former Conservancy staff contributed to this effort. The pilot project came about through the vision and leadership of Hawaiʻi Marine Program Director Kim Hum, who saw an opportunity and sought a solution. Prompted by the loss of long-time colleagues representing decades of wisdom, Kim felt compelled to capture what we can while we can. Her valuable guidance is reflected in the final products.

Asia-Pacific Senior Marine Conservation Fellow Lynne Hale and Pacific Division Director Trina Leberer joined Kim as advisors on this project. Their belief in the importance of capturing and sharing this valuable knowledge and their endorsement of the pilot instilled confidence in our team, our region, and our organization.

Knowledge Management Senior Advisor Olivia Millard offered valuable advice at the outset that prompted us to adapt our approach, resulting in more effective interviews. She also generously offered guidance and helped identify sources to improve outreach and dissemination. California Executive Director Mike Sweeney offered insights on capturing knowledge in a group setting.

With an unparalleled passion for strengthening leadership and partnership, Community-Based Marine Program Manager Manuel Mejia was enlisted to lead the pilot project, conduct interviews, and share our results with priority networks and partners. Kim Hum, Kristen Maize, Sean Marrs, Trina Leberer, and Olivia Millard also conducted or assisted with select interviews. 

Sean Marrs provided essential technical expertise, managing all the audio/visual and digital components of the project and overseeing transcription of the interviews by Marine Fellows Nakoa Goo, Kanoelani Steward, and Bert Weeks. The Fellows also participated in many of the interviews and helped to extract career guidance for young professionals and new leaders from the interviews. 

Former Asia-Pacific Senior Conservation Advisor Audrey Newman and Hawaiʻi Marine Communications Manager Amy Bruno joined Manuel and Sean for the analysis and synthesis of key messages. They also handled report writing and production, and guided development of a companion website and targeted outreach strategy. Their extensive experience in Pacific conservation contributed significantly to this project. 

Finally, we are deeply grateful to the many individuals who provided encouragement for this work, along with thoughtful feedback and insights on early drafts. Kristen Maize and Donna Shanefelter were especially generous with their time, guidance, and editing skills, which helped shaped the final products.

This region is rich with committed conservation leaders doing inspiring work with communities. We truly wish we could have interviewed many more. Hopefully, this pilot will provide an example and a platform for us all to build upon together.