Waipio Valley Stream Restoration Study

Skippy Hau

Skippy Hau
Aquatic Biologist
Division of Aquatic Resources


"One of the biggest pleasures in working as a biologist has been to meet and "talk story" with people. I get to hear what other people do and listen to their observations. We get to visit places most people do not get to visit and sometimes we discover unidentified organisms and confirm the establishment of introduced plants and animals."

What he does

I work for the State of Hawaii as an Aquatic Biologist on the island of Maui. I work mainly in fisheries but after I moved to Maui I was contacted to excavate a turtle nest in Paia. I would have never guessed twenty years later I would still be working with nesting turtles.
I have a job which allows me to work in streams to study opae (shrimp), hihiwai (snails), 'o'opu (fishes) and go scuba diving to monitor coral reefs or survey fishes on different islands.

How he got into science

I decided to study biology because of Mr. Walter Hiraishi, my 9th grade biology teacher at Castle High School. He made biology fun and interesting to us as students. I grew up fishing in Kaneohe Bay and saw changes overtwenty or so years.

Favorite accomplishments

I better understand the recruitment of native stream animals which migrate upstream from the ocean. I have been able to travel to places I remember seeing in books and National Geographic magazines as a kid. Within my life, I feel fortunate to see many more turtles, and seals. Each turtle nest we excavate, we help release hatchlings which might return in 20 years.

In his free time

In my free time, I try to go jogging. Not so much for exercise but to watch the change in seasons, smell the flowers in bloom, or smell the neighbors' barbecue on the weekends.