GES students Andrew, Amanda, Noah, Kealohi, and Cuong on YMCA Alternative Spring Break 2019

GES Peers

The GES Peers comprises GES students of junior and senior standing and who are scholars as well as active contributors to the field of science and the community. The purpose of the GES Peers is to use their own personal GES experience to provide advice and guidance to new GES students. GES Peers are expected to assist in GES 100 and in events such as the GES Symposiums, orientations, and other events as necessary. GES Peers also organize fundraisers for social events such as Game Night and seasonal events such as Secret Santa.

As a group, the GES Peers represent the GES student body and serve as a liaison between the GES Program and students. Serving as a GES Peer is an excellent way to make friends and forge relationships, and hone your leadership and communication skills. Students are nominated by Peers; each nomination is vetted by the Program. If you are interested in serving, don’t be shy – reach out to your Peers!


Caleb Mantanoña ’23

Aloha! My name is Caleb Mantanoña. I am a junior in the GES program and my current academic interests are geared toward sustainability and I’m also exploring a path in medicine! Out of the classroom, you can usually find me at the beach, surfing, or finding a good place to eat. I am excited to support students on their academic journey and encourage them to explore the many opportunities around the University.


Shannon Murphy ’22

Hello everyone! My name is Shannon Murphy and I am born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. I have been in the GES program since my freshman year at UH Mānoa. I am a recipient of the NOAA Hollings scholarship, where I completed a project on juvenile salmon in the Columbia River estuary. However, my main passion lies in coral reefs. I am currently completing my UROP-funded thesis project on corals in Hanauma Bay and I plan to continue studying coral reefs in graduate school. Besides academia, you can find me surfing, diving, or hiking in the mountains – I love doing anything out in Mother Nature. As a part of the GES Peers, I am here to help anyone through their journey in the program and I look forward to working with my classmates.


Alyssa Renteria ’22

Aloha everyone! My name is Alyssa Renteria, a senior in the GES Program also minoring in Political Science. Currently I am the Vice President of the Associated Students of University of Hawaiʻi (ASUH) at Mānoa to pursue my interest in public policy. My research experience all involves GIS, so feel free to reach out if you have any trouble or just want to learn more. I’m passionate about water resources which has led me to my current position as a GIS Research Assistant at the Water Resources Research Center. One piece of advice I would like to share with you, is to always try. I wouldn’t be where I am today without a little optimism.


Erickson Shull ’22

Hi y’all, I’m Erickson Shull, I will be going into my last year as a GES Major. I was originally a transfer student from The University of Portland studying Mechanical Engineering back in 2019. I was born on O’ahu but raised on Maui and have a deep love for the islands and their many wonders. I have a multitude of hobbies ranging from rebuilding cars to building remote-controlled planes… Basically, if it can propel itself, I like working on it. My thesis project is a design thesis that utilizes an unmanned fixed-wing aircraft to collect various atmospheric parameters that may indicate how sea salt aerosol affects precipitation on O’ahu. To conduct this project, I had to get UROP (Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program)  funding, so please reach out to me if you have any questions on the process or need help in general! 


Sofia Suesue ’23

Hello, my name is Sofia Suesue. I am a Senior in the GES program, I’m interested in researching microbial ecology and coastal ecosystems. My hobbies include paddling and collecting minerals. I know it can be a bit overwhelming for incoming students, but don’t be afraid to ask for help or any kind of questions. There are a lot of supportive people in this program that are more than happy to help! 


Nicholas Yos ’24

My name is Nick Yos, I am a lifelong resident of Kailua, O’ahu, and I am currently a junior in the Global Environmental Science program. GES has been my home since Spring 2020, before which I was undeclared and very uncertain about what I wanted to study in college. One of my favorite experiences that I’ve gotten through GES was the opportunity to conduct research on reforestation in Hawai’i with Dr. Camilo Mora through PI-CASC’s Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship. I have also spent two amazing summers working with KUPU and Mālama Learning Center and I currently work as a notetaker for the KOKUA Program, the UH Mānoa office for students with disabilities. I’m still figuring out what I want to do after college, but my current long-term goal is to someday get a job working in conservation in Hawai’i.

Growing up, I was homeschooled from K-12 but took a lot of my classes at Windward Community College in my last two years of high school. I have loved science and the outdoors for my whole life, so majoring in environmental science has been a great way to combine those two worlds. Outside of school, hiking is my favorite pastime and I spend as much time as possible on the trail. I also love choir and have been singing with the UH choirs since I first came to UH Mānoa . My other hobbies include reading, watching movies, and searching for new songs to add to my playlists.


Eleanor Yuan ’21

Hi, I’m Eleanor. I’m in my last year of GES and Economics. I was born and raised in Honolulu and came to UH Mānoa right after graduating high school. I’m interested in how human consumption interacts and impacts the environment. Feel free to talk to me about interning in the private sector and taking advantage of activities or opportunities on campus. In the past I’ve also interned as a construction environmental monitor, studied abroad, held an on-campus job, been involved in a Registered Independent Organization/RIO (on campus club), volunteered with the Atherton YMCA, and have had the opportunity to have been on a HOT cruise and funded by UROP, to have contributed to the campus undergraduate journal (Mānoa Horizons), and to have done a bit of work in a lab and in data visualization. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to learn more about anything I’ve listed; although some of my experiences have been short and limited, I’d happy to chat and at least connect you with someone that knows more.


Tina Huynh-Nguyen ’21

Aloha everyone, my name is Tina. I’m interested in conservation education and phycology research. In my free time, you can find me at the intertidal zone. To me it’s a magical place, where the land meets the sea with bountiful invertebrates and algae to admire. One advice I would like to share with my fellow GESers is to color your life with opportunities and friendships.

Served Fall 2020.


Eric Klingberg ’21

I’m Eric Klingberg, and I’m in my fourth year in the GES program while pursuing the Sustainability Science track. I am studying deep sea ecology in areas threatened by deep sea mining operations, and I’m interested in applying scientific and multidisciplinary perspectives to improving fisheries management. 


Shannon Murphy ’22

Hello everyone! My name is Shannon Murphy and I am a senior in the GES program. I am passionate about coral reefs which I plan to continue studying in graduate school. Besides for academia, you can find me surfing, diving, or hiking in the mountains – I love doing anything out in Mother Nature. As a GES Peer, I am here to help anyone through their journey in the program and I look forward to working with my fellow classmates.


Alyssa Renteria ’22

Aloha everyone, my name is Alyssa Renteria, currently a junior in the GES program. My research interests include water resources and public policy. Outside of school, I like making films. One piece of advice I have for incoming students using to always try. Regardless of what you think might happen, just try. As author Paulo Coelho said: “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”


Sofia Suesue ’23

Hello, my name is Sofia Suesue. I am a Senior in the GES program, I’m interested in researching microbial ecology and coastal ecosystems. My hobbies include paddling and collecting minerals. I know it can be a bit overwhelming for incoming students, but don’t be afraid to ask for help or any kind of questions. There are a lot of supportive people in this program that are more than happy to help! 


Andrew Tokuda ’20

Howzit everybody! My name is Andrew Kecskes Tokuda, and am currently a senior. My research interests include deep-sea ecology, sustainable fisheries, and outreach! One piece of advice I have for you folks is to make sure to build connections both inside and outside school, and don’t forget to have fun while exploring!

Graduated Fall 2020.


Eleanor Yuan ’21

Hi, I’m Eleanor. I’m in my last year of GES and Economics. I was born and raised in Honolulu and came to UH Mānoa right after graduating high school. I’m interested in how human consumption interacts and impacts the environment. Feel free to talk to me about interning in the private sector and taking advantage of activities or opportunities on campus. In the past I’ve also interned as a construction environmental monitor, studied abroad, held an on-campus job, been involved in a Registered Independent Organization/RIO (on campus club), volunteered with the Atherton YMCA, and have had the opportunity to have been on a HOT cruise and funded by UROP, to have contributed to the campus undergraduate journal (Mānoa Horizons), and to have done a bit of work in a lab and in data visualization. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you want to learn more about anything I’ve listed; although some of my experiences have been short and limited, I’d happy to chat and at least connect you with someone that knows more.


Solomon Chen ’20

Solomon is a senior GES and Chemistry double major student. His academic interests are mainly on biogeochemistry, applied engineering, and applied chemistry. He has designed his GES thesis project for water quality monitoring and watershed characterization in the Ala Wai watershed, advised by Dr. Brain Glazer. The past summer, he was appointed as a summer student fellow at Woods Hole Oceanography Institution. His summer research project focused on characterizing a new in-situ sensor development.


Tina Huynh-Nguyen ’21

Aloha everyone, my name is Tina and I am in my junior year in the GES program, and I’m interested in conservation education and phycology research. In my free time, you can find me at the intertidal zone. To me it’s a magical place, where the land meets the sea with bountiful invertebrates and algae to admire. One advice I would like to share with my fellow GESers is to color your life with opportunities and friendships.


Eric Klingberg ’20

I’m Eric Klingberg, and I’m in my fourth year in the GES program while pursuing the Sustainability Science track. I am studying deep sea ecology in areas threatened by deep sea mining operations, and I’m interested in applying scientific and multidisciplinary perspectives to improving fisheries management. When I’m not doing school work, I enjoy spending time in the mountains and in the sea, volunteering with conservation organizations and shooting photography. 

Some advice: Expose yourself to a variety of perspectives, even if you disagree with them. The most valuable lessons often occur outside the classroom. Identify your strengths and weaknesses, then search for where your unique gifts and interests collide.


Diana Lopera ’20

Hello current and aspiring GES Rock Stars! My name is Diana Lopera, a senior in the GES Program. I am currently working with the He`eia National Estuarine Research Reserve, looking at invasive species and and water circulation within He`eia Fishpond, an 800 year old native Hawaiian fishpond. I love doing STEM Outreach and Education, using the power of story and narratives to communicate the science. When I’m not in school, I’m either cooking, playing the ukulele, volunteering for community nonprofits, or knee deep in a summer research internship somewhere in the world (seriously, ask me about them!). One piece of advice I would share to students is to believe in the power of your story. Everyone has one, and more often than not, it is talking story that opens the doors to relationships, opportunities, and growth. 

Served Fall 2019.


Kelsey Nichols ’21

Aloha, my name is Kelsey Nichols and I am a junior in GES. I am interested in oceanography and its intersection with anthropology. When I am not in school or studying I love to hike and read books. One advice for GES students: meet and talk with your fellow GES peers! They are an amazing, supportive community who are great people to vent to or ask advice from. 


Han Quach ’21

Hi everyone! My name is Han Quach, and Iʻm a junior in the GES program. My research interests consists of computer modeling as well as STEM education and outreach. Outside of class I enjoy reading and writing. One advice I would give to my fellow GES peers is that the grass is greener wherever you water it. 

Served Fall 2019.


Alyssa Renteria ’22

Aloha everyone, my name is Alyssa Renteria, currently a sophomore in the GES program. My research interests include water resources and public policy. Outside of school, I like making films. One piece of advice I have for incoming students using to always try. Regardless of what you think might happen, just try. As author Paulo Coelho said: “Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.”


Kealohi Sabate ’19

Aloha my name is Kealohi Sabate and I am currently a senior in GES. I started off as a Business major but switched to the environmental sciences when I transferred here from Kapiʻolani Community College. I’m currently doing the research involved with invasive algae management. I love being outdoors and some of my favorite activities include surfing, hiking, swimming, and in general just fooling around in nature. One of the things I held to heart while being in GES is to not be afraid of trying something new. By doing this I was able to travel to Texas, Japan, Puerto Rico, and Costa Rica within the past year, and it has presented me with some of the most unforgettable memories I’ve ever experienced.

Graduated Fall 2019.


Andrew Tokuda ’20

Howzit everybody! My name is Andrew Kecskes Tokuda, and am currently a senior. My research interests include deep-sea ecology, sustainable fisheries, and outreach! One piece of advice I have for you folks is to make sure to build connections both inside and outside school, and don’t forget to have fun while exploring!


Shaun Wriston ’20

My name is Shaun Wriston. Born and raised in Hawai‘i, grew up in Kaimuki. Graduated KCC Fall 2017 with an ASNS in both physical and biological sciences. Currently a senior in GES, utilizing time-series data from the PacIOOS Near Shore Sensors to study a wide variety of atmospheric and oceanographic processes, including local effects of climate change. I am pursuing the GES and Master of Urban and Regional Planning accelerated Bachelor’s-and-Master’s pathway, with hopes to get into policy for climate change adaptations throughout the Hawaiian Islands. 

I love to surf and bodysurf, anything in the ocean really. I enjoy spending time with my family and having mechanical projects to keep me busy. My one piece of advice for incoming students is to be sure you get to know your peers. Whether you are social or not, the friendships and professional relationships I have made during GES and my time at KCC are the only reason I am still in school and encouraged to continue furthering my education.

Solomon Chen ’20

I am a senior student double majoring in Global Environmental Science and Chemistry. My main interests are oceanography and applied chemistry within environmental science field. Prior to University of Hawaii, I was a student majoring in Applied Chemistry at National Chao Tung University in Taiwan. It was my love for ocean (actually surfing) that brought me to Hawaii. I have participated in HOT cruise; I currently work as an undergrad research assistant in SMART Ala Wai. I hope to advance my knowledge in biogeochemistry, eutrophication remedy, and sensors/instruments development. I surf, cook, make noise with guitar in my free time (which I don’t really have…)


Noah Howins ’19

Currently a senior, I’ll be graduating in Spring 2019. In Fall 2019 I will begin as a graduate student in our department. My focus in GES revolves around understanding human impacts on coral reefs through seawater chemistry- topics I am particularly passionate about are ocean acidification and carbonate chemistry. Via taking advantage of the opportunities available in GES, I have been on 3 research cruises, worked at the NOAA Inouye Regional Center, and given multiple poster and oral presentations at conferences. Outside of class you can find me enduring late nights in the lab, working as a UH scientific diver, or judging high school science fairs. I’m always available to provide advice on classes and research opportunities so feel free to reach out. A hui hou!


Diana Lopera ’20

I am a junior undergraduate student and will be graduating in Spring 2020. I have been involved in multiple REU programs in and out of the country, from microbiology in UH to tropical ecology in Costa Rica. My love for research within the natural environment started when I first went snorkeling around my home island, only to come back a year later and see it all gone due to a warmer and more acidic ocean. My interests include sea level rise, coral reef ecology, and understanding the effects of a warming world on natural ecosystems, particularly in the Pacific islands. I am involved with the Atherton YMCA, and am the current undergrad intern for the Pacific Islands King Tides Project under the Hawai‘i Sea Grant. When I’m not in school or at work, you can find me stress cooking, playing guitar, and binge watching Asian dramas.


Kealohi Sabate ’19

I am a senior transfer from Windward Community College who loves to surf and overall do anything outdoors. I also have some old lady tendencies where I like to sew, thrift, and paint. Currently I am the treasurer of the UHM Surfrider Foundation and American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES), and am an active member in the Native Hawaiian Science and Engineering Mentorship Program (NHSEMP) and Maile Mentoring programs on campus. I also frequently volunteer for KWMP, Sustainable Coastlines, Mālama Maunalua, and the YMCA. In terms of environmental experience, I am currently working with invasive algae and researching ways to better manage the waste problem through the analysis of microbial communities. My current interest involve a focus within renewable energy and conservation and trying to tie that in with a Hawaiian perspective. All my Hawaiians/indigenous peeps out there hit me up for some scholarship/program advice cuz I know some good opportunities for you guys.


Andrew Tokuda ’20

“Hey, howzit?” will be a common greeting you’ll hear me say whenever I bump into people within our SOEST Ohana. I am a junior student projected to graduate in Fall 2020. My hobbies include a huge variety of outdoor activities, including: survival, fishing, diving, hiking, mountaineering, bird-watching, and herping; just to name a few. I was also first educated in Japan and continued to take Japanese courses for close to 17 years. I recently utilized this skill to translate scientific journals and fisheries assessments. I have participated in a number of cruises, which consists of both research-related cruises (HOT program and deep-sea related cruises) and international voyages (teaching English to international students). I currently research deep-sea fish and other fauna in the deepest parts of the ocean! I am also a NOAA Hollings Scholar (Class of 2018) and Army ROTC Cadet (3rd Year). My short-term goals are: (1) to learn as much as I can about environmental processes and military functioning; and (2) to expand my social network. For the long term, I aspire to commission as an officer in the U.S Army while simultaneously working in a federal science agency.


Cuong Tran ’19

I am a senior undergraduate student and will be graduating in Spring 2019. My hobbies include adventuring, eating, trying new things, and taking 1 credit KRS classes. I am a current NOAA Hollings Scholar Class of 2017 and am involved in organizations such as the YMCA of Honolulu, Hawai‘i Sea Grant, and Mortar Board National Honor Society. My focus is on sea level rise, coastal erosion, and flood mitigation surrounding coastal communities in an imminent world of warming temperatures. My short-term goals revolve around educating myself on coastal processes leaning towards an imminent world of rising sea level. My long-term goals are centralized on the idea of preparedness of global climate change and to learn among different perspectives of people on redesigning a more resilient coast. I love to meet people but watch out, my laugh is “CUONG”tagious.


Amanda Wong ’19

I am a senior undergraduate student and will be graduating in Spring 2019. My hobbies include plants, gardening, cooking, hiking, and eating. I am a current SEEDS Fellow through the Ecological Society of America, and did an internship at Cornell University doing plant ecology and DNA extraction. I also did conservation work through KUPU and plant ecology research through an REU in Hilo, Hawai’i. I am currently involved in Mortar Board National Honor Society on campus. My interests are in plant ecology, plant competition, invasive species, and climate change. My short-term goals revolve around educating myself on the impacts of invasive species and climate change on plants on an ecosystem and global level. My long-term goals are focused around finding solutions to the environmental problems that affect the people of Hawai’i.


Shaun Wriston ’20

I am a transfer student from KCC, where I received my associates in both life and physical science in fall of 2017 and am currently a junior working towards my B.S. in Global Environmental Science at UH Mānoa with intention of attending graduate school in Oceanography. I am currently utilizing time series data from nearshore water quality sensors, taking varying parameters and comparing them to El Niño events, storm frequency and relative sea level rise along the south shores of O`ahu. I am a PIPES and PBRC REU alumni. While my interest focuses on marine and coastal relationships, I have a lot of experience with terrestrial conservation work and native forest restoration. When I am not studying I’ll be out surfing.

Updated August 5, 2021.