Youth Programs Manager
Jamie Nakama (she/her/hers) joined LandPaths first as a board member in 2017 and then as staff in 2018. Her dedication to the field of environmental education began at the Hawaii Nature Center in 2001 where she held many positions over a span of 18 years from Environmental Educator to Education Program Manager and Curriculum Specialist.
As a first generation college student who grew up in low-income, “at-risk” communities in Hawaii and Minneapolis, Jamie was grateful to find meaningful work to support herself at a young age. To that end, she has over 15 years of experience working with children with autism and adults with developmental challenges. She also spent some time at sea as a sailing youth counselor, part of an experiential ocean therapy program for teens involved in the criminal justice system. These experiences instilled in her deep values of empathy and compassion.
Jamie holds a Bachelor’s of Individualized Studies in Life Sciences, Visual Arts and Dance from the University of Minnesota, and a Master’s in Ecological Anthropology from the University of Hawaii. Her graduate studies focused on the blend of traditional ecological knowledge and modern science in our quest for local solutions to the global socio-ecological crisis. As a side passion, she has been teaching biological and cultural anthropology at community colleges for more than 13 years.
In 2018, Jamie received the Outstanding Service to Environmental Education award from the North American Association of Environmental Education (NAAEE) for her two decades of mentoring, teaching, and training of environmental educators in Hawaii. Jamie is dedicated to connecting youth from underserved communities to the healing power of nature, something she didn’t have access to as a child. She is committed to building relationships based on respect and reciprocity, grounded in the understanding of the interconnectedness of all life.
Jamie is also a capoeira instructor and a professional dancer, currently performing and collaborating with artists in the Bay Area and Hawaii. She teaches yoga, loves to travel, and finds inner peace in the redwoods, rivers, and ocean.