Tree Canopy Viewer Fellowship

Tree Canopy Viewer Fellowship

Tree Canopy Viewer FellowshipTree Canopy Fellowship Logo

Four fellows have been selected to carry out projects that utilize the Tree Canopy Viewer data to support urban and community forestry in Hawaiʻi.  Fellows are supported by mentors who guide their research and help connect them to a network of agency and industry partners. Meet the 2022 cohort of Tree Canopy Viewer Fellows below:


Axel Beers HeadshotAxel Beers

Alma Mater: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, M.A. in Education

Research Mentor: Dr. Orlo Steele, University of Hawai‘i at Hilo

Networking Mentor:  Dr. Jonathan Marshall, USFS Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry

Project Overview: Axel will explore where tree canopy could be expanded in vulnerable communities in Maui and develop a blueprint for action.

About: Axel was born and raised in Wailuku, Maui and is the former editor of MauiTime Weekly, and a former public school teacher & counselor for marginalized youth. He is currently the Chair of Maui County Council’s Climate Action, Resilience and Environment Committee where he does policy research and legislative analysis. His interest in policy is rooted in the care for his home and its people, and a desire to better our quality of life now and for future generations.  Axel has three children and his favorite tree is the moringa tree, or kalamungay tree as it’s called where his mom’s from.


Bronwyn Kay HeadshotBronwyn Kay

Alma Mater: University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo, B.S. in Environmental Science

Research Mentor: Dr. Noa Lincoln, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Networking Mentor:  Dr. Ellyn Bitume, USFS Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry

Project Overview: Bronwyn will explore spaces where urban canopy can be expanded with focus on climate ready and native tree species.

About: Bronwyn was born and raised on Kauaʻi where she has been involved in conservation efforts since high school. As President of her school’s Nature Club, she organized events for reforestation and invasive species remediation on the island. She did a seven week environmental internship doing similar work with six separate environmental agencies through the Kupu program on Kauaʻi. She’s been involved with the Nā Pali Coast ʻOhana, surveying endangered endemic plants and conducting annual reef surveys with Eyes of the Reef at Nuʻalolo Kai.  Bronwyn also enjoys surfing, hiking, art, shell picking and jewelry making.

Final products: Technical Report: Bronwyn Kay

Chanel Yee HeadshotChanel Yee

Alma Mater: The University of British Columbia, B.S. in Urban Forestry

Research Mentor: Dr. Susan Day, The University of British Columbia

Networking Mentor:  Dr. Christian Giardina, USFS Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry

Project Overview: Chanel will explore the relationship between Hawai‘i’s fire history, fire threat, and tree canopy, with focus on projected climate changes. 

About: Chanel was born and raised on Oʻahu and moved to Vancouver, Canada to pursue her undergraduate degree and learn about urban forests around the world, how to care for them, and how to design our cities to be resilient to climate change by learning from the land. She is grateful to apply the knowledge and skills I have acquired through my urban forestry degree to the culture and community I grew up in. Her favorite tree is the Douglas Fir since they are extremely fire resistant and tell unique stories though their tree rings about the land tens to hundreds of years ago. Chanel even spent a summer coring these trees to aid a PhD student in their work of reconstructing the fire history of an interior, BC region to tell the story of the land and its implications for our carbon future.  Outside of school, Chanel enjoys hiking, backcountry camping, rock climbing, and baking.

Final products: Presentation Slides | Community ReportTechnical Report – Chanel Yee

Dustin Palos HeadshotDustin Palos

Current University: University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, B.S. in Natural Resources & Environmental Management

Research Mentor: Dr. Aurora Kagawa-Viviani, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa

Networking Mentor:  Dr. Kealoha Kinney, USFS Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry

Project Overview: Dustin will explore which campus trees provide more ecological and biocultural services, then develop a technical report with future recommendations.

About: Dustin was born and raised on the island of Maui in the moku of Pūʻali Komohana and ʻahupuaʻa of Wailuku. Over the past decade he has experience with multiple state and non-profit agencies and is currently finishing his final year at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Such experiences have opened so many doors and opportunities and prepared him to provide resources for our lāhui.  Dustin’s favorite tree is lama because it is a kinolau (physical manifestation) of the Hawaiian Goddess of the forest Laka.  In his spare time, Dustin likes to volunteer at conservation projects like Kauluwehi Biocultural Restoration Project at the University of Hawaiʻi Maui College.

Final products: Technical Report – Dustin Palos | StoryMap