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Kamuela Plunkett
Affiliate Faculty
Kamuela Plunkett
Phone: (808) 956-7031
Fax: (808) 956-3014

2525 Correa Rd., HIG#239
Honolulu, HI 96822

Kamuela serves as a Pacific Islands Climate Adaptation Science Center (PI-CASC) Climate Adaptation Planner and Research Scientist Fellow.

Kamuela was raised on Hawaiʻi Island, with a home base in Waimea, South Kohala. After high school, Kamuela moved to Oʻahu for work, first in tourism and then construction, where he could not help but notice how rapidly Hawaiʻi was changing. He often wondered what a balanced path forward would look like given Hawaiʻi’s traditional and colonial history. Complex topics like these encouraged Kamuela to enroll at UH Mānoa, where he earned a B.A. in anthropology, focused on Polynesian migration and archaeology related to traditional food production. While advocating for resource preservation and restoration, Kamuela realized that much of the conflict between communities that concerned sustainable management of cultural-natural resources and development, occurred in the land-use permitting arena. So, for his master’s thesis, Kamuela bridged his cultural resources background with governmental land-use planning to create a Cultural Landscape GIS model that overlays place-based traditional and early historic land uses on the current landscape. In the process, Kamuela developed the methods and policy rationale for spatial resource inventory and baseline land-use comparative analyses and assessments that could help communities and government agencies navigate a balanced approach to update land-use designations and zoning. With this project, Kamuela earned a Master’s in heritage management from UH Hilo, and shortly thereafter was employed as a Hawai‘i County land-use planner.