Conservation... Our Purpose. Our Passion. Our Featured Volunteers.
Kristen Coelho was born and raised on the island of Molokai in Hawaii. She attended Molokai High School and upon graduating, she enlisted in the US Coast Guard based in Washington State. She retuned to Molokai in 2006 and began working for NRCS as an Americorps Volunteer in November of 2006.
Her job duties include assisting the Plant Materials Center staff in the day to day operations of the center, which include experimental test plot installation and data collection, propagation of plant propagules, test plot maintenance, irrigation repair, weed control, crop harvesting and seed cleaning, facility and vehicle maintenance.
Kristen has been a tremendous asset to the Hawaii Plant Materials Center (PMC). She provided the much needed help in the implementation of many projects at the PMC. She is a fast learner and isn’t afraid of getting her hands dirty. During her short employment at the PMC and having an enthusiastic outlook on learning new things, Kristen has become knowledgeable in understanding the function of the plant materials program and skilled in the operation of various specialized farm equipment.
She is well versed in the operation of tractors, combines, balers, rakes, mowers, disks, chemical boom sprayers, loaders and various seed cleaning machines at the Center.
Kristen has been steadily gaining knowledge of conservation plants as it relates to the protection and enhancement of our resource base. She has been intimately involved in plant identification of both native and non-native plants for conservation efforts throughout the Pacific Island Area. This included district and NRCS field office demonstration and PMC field planting projects.
She has also assisted in the Kahoolawe island re-vegetation efforts. The island of Kahoolawe is severely eroded due to the decades of overgrazing by livestock and use as a military target by the Navy. Kristen has assisted in the propagation, harvesting and maintenance of native Hawaiian plants which are used to re-establish native plant population on the severely eroded island. In fiscal year 2007, she contributed 1,320 hours of service which is roughly a $25,000 value in volunteer time.