Kammie Dominique Tavares
Major: Global Environmental Science
University: University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa
Kammie is originally from Mākaha, O‘ahu. She graduated from Kamehameha Schools, Kapālama, in 2014, and is now a senior at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa where she is pursuing a degree in global environmental science.
In summer 2017, Kammie worked with Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument on a project to project potential habitat loss for the Hawaiian monk seal (Neomonachus schauinslandi) in the terrestrial critical habitat areas on O‘ahu. Most of the Hawaiian monk seal population lives in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands protected by Papahānaumokuākea. The low-lying atolls of these remote islands are projected to experience significant habitat loss in the event of sea level rise. The main Hawaiian islands serve as an alternative habitat for this species, as they are high volcanic islands that have the space for beaches to migrate inland. However, coastal armoring – or reinforcement with physical structures like seawalls to protect shorelines from erosion – threatens the beaches in the main Hawaiian islands. With Kammie's help, the monument team projected coastal armoring under several sea level rise scenarios to assess the beaches' vulnerability to habitat loss. This project is ongoing and is expanding to look at additional shorelines across O‘ahu.
When not working on her research, Kammie loves being outdoors and painting.