Maui News

Hawai‘i Land Trust’s Scott Fisher earns national award for wetlands work

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Scott Fisher, PhD, Director of ʻĀina Stewardship at Hawaiʻi Land Trust (Photo courtesy: Hawaiʻi Land Trust)

A national wetlands award for local stewardship will be issued to Scott Fisher, Ph.D., director of ʻĀina Stewardship at Hawai‘i Land Trust.

The Environmental Law Institute will issue awards to a total of six winners nationwide to individuals who have excelled in wetlands protection, restoration, and education.

Environmental Law Institute has recognized more than 200 individuals since the awards were established in 1989.


Fisher was raised on Maui and is a US Marine Corps veteran.

Since 2003, he has worked for the Maui Coastal Land Trust, first as a project manager at the 277-acre Waihe‘e Coastal Dunes and Wetlands Refuge and now as Hawaiʻi Land Trust’s director of ʻĀina Stewardship, where he leads the organization’s ecological restoration work.

The statewide local nonprofit land trust seeks to protect, steward and connect people to the lands that sustain Hawaiʻi.


Fisher has focused many doctoral and post doctoral studies on Hawaiʻi Land Trust’s preserves to help understand the land’s ancient history and problem solve for future land stewardship in the face of a warming climate and more frequent storms.

He studied at Colorado State University, and his graduate work includes a masterʻs degree in Peace Studies with a concentration in Native Hawaiian Strategies of Peacemaking and Reconciliation.

His doctorate degree explored the dynamics of post-conflict recovery in a civil war on the island of Bougainville, Papua New Guinea. Fisher also has a graduate degree in ecological restoration and recently completed a graduate certificate in sustainable agriculture.


The National Wetlands Awards Program is administered by the Environmental Law Institute and
supported by the US Environmental Protection Agency, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Natural Resource Conservation Service.

A committee of wetland experts representing federal and state agencies, academia,
conservation groups, and private-sector organizations selects the winners.

Fisher will be honored at a ceremony in Wash., D.C., on May 16.

The Environmental Law Institute is also hosting a free public webinar with the winners at 11:30 a.m. EST on May 16, featuring a discussion of the winners’ careers and advancements in
wetlands protection, as well as challenges to the nation’s wetlands.

The other awardees are: Adam Davis for Business Leadership; Matthew Hough for Promoting Awareness; Bingqing Liu for Scientific Research; Charlotte Michaluk for Youth Leadership; and Rebecca Swadek for Wetlands Program Development.


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