Dr. Rachel Sprague is the co-Director of Conservation for Pūlama Lānaʻi, the company that owns and manages 98% of the island of Lānaʻi for the major private landowner. Her responsibilities range from recovery of endangered species, to invasive species management, to public game hunting, to native habitat restoration and larger landscape conservation initiatives. The conservation program received the 2018 Business Leader Award from the State of Hawaiʻi’s Invasive Species Council for their work protecting seabirds and other native wildlife on Lānaʻi from invasive predators, and the company’s biosecurity efforts to prevent new species introductions.
Rachel has worked with coastal and island wildlife for over 20 years, from the Bay of Fundy, to the main and Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, to California’s Channel Islands. She received her B.A. from Bowdoin College in Maine, and her Ph.D. in wildlife biology from the University of Montana studying physiology and behavior of Laysan albatross. Through her years of conservation work, Dr. Sprague has developed strong skills in scientific and public communication, stakeholder and community engagement, conflict transformation, and long-term partnership building, including co-authoring a book chapter on the role of language in framing and driving human conflict about wildlife. Rachel also enjoys volunteering with other conservation organizations, including current terms on the board of directors of the National Wildlife Federation, the executive council of Pacific Seabird Group, and the State of Hawaiʻi Environmental Advisory Council for the Office of Planning and Sustainable Development.