Keith's Open Road

  • INTERVIEWED BY:

    Hawaii Roadtrip

KEITH OLSON

Chief Science Officer
Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA)

“Things are going to happen...but how you react to what’s happening is what’s most important.”

INTERESTS:

Engineering Environment & Nature

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Exploration Opportunity Goals Transitions Choices Self-Reflection Societal Pressures Hobbies & Pastimes Determination Struggle

FOUNDATION:

Learning / Being Challenged

BIOGRAPHY:

  • Grew up on Long Island, New York; says at the time, the possibility of someday living in Hawaii didn’t even cross his mind.
  • He knew he wanted to go to the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
  • But first, he went to Suffolk County Community College to save money; says community college taught him tons of life skills.
  • When he got to the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, he entered the paper science and engineering program.
  • After graduating, he moved to California and worked at a paper mill for several months, but decided it wasn’t for him.
  • He had many of the skill sets of a chemical engineer, so he ended up working for Chevron and the Berkeley Lab.
  • He and his wife decided to move to Hawaii; he couldn’t find a job so he became a forest ranger and built up his soft skills.
  • Now works at NELHA, an 870-acre ocean and science technology park; he also teaches yoga on the side!

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