Program Coordinator, CERENE
Research Center for Resilient Neighborhoods
Kapiʻolani Kula Nui Kaiāulu; Kapiʻolani Community College, UH
Dr. Miku Lenentine grew up in Anchorage Alaska, spending much of her time in the wilds of the Alaskan mountains. This instilled in her a life-long love of nature, and interest for helping find ways to support a return to balance for human-nature interactions. She completed her master’s degree in Natural Resource Management at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia in 2010 and received her Ph.D. in environmental social psychology from the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences from the University of Washington in 2017.
She is an experienced social science researcher with expertise in small group dynamics, natural resource planning and multi-stakeholder processes. Her current research interests span the fields of ecopsychology, indigenous wisdom, the human dimensions of natural resource management and environmental planning.
In her master’s research she worked with a small rural timber town to develop a community visioning plan using participatory action research and empowerment evaluation. For her dissertation research she used Q methodology to examine stakeholder viewpoints on hybrid poplar-based biofuels in the Pacific Northwest to identify socially acceptable solutions for biofuels adoption across the region.
After completing her Ph.D. at the University of Washington, Dr. Lenentine spent the next several years apprenticing and working with traditional elders to support the cultivation and sharing of Indigenous Wisdom, a path she continues to walk today. She has studied closely with wisdom keepers of the Saanich, Quaker, Saami and Lakota / Sioux lineages, and most recently of the Nahuatl lineage (her own ancestral lineage from Mexico). Additionally, Dr. Lenentine is Editor in Chief of an online publication where she interviews traditional elders from around the world; from Mongolia to Peru. She is currently working as a consultant with Kumu Mālia Ko‘i‘ulaokawaolehua Helelā on O‘ahu to develop a conceptual framework for her teachings which honor Hawaiian indigenous ontology.
Dr. Lenentine is especially interested in indigenous wisdom and the relationship between community resilience and climate change. She is specifically interested in the role of higher education in facilitating the creation of solutions and collaboration to this end.
In addition to Dr. Lenentine’s many nature-based research interests, she is also passionate about contemplative practices such as meditation, contemplative pedagogy, and mindfulness. She completed her yoga teacher training in 2018 and holds a faculty appointment with the Still & Moving Center teaching mindfulness, meditation and yoga. Dr. Lenentine is also an experienced Forest Bathing Guide, offering Shinrinyoku (森林浴) through the Wildly Vibrant Permaculture & Ancestral School in Seattle, and hopefully, soon to be offering here in Hawai‘i as well.
Dr. Lenentine has many years of experience introducing contemplative pedagogy within non-profit organizations, including the Northwest Intentional Communities Association, The Pinchot Partners (a multi-stakeholder collaborative), and the International Forestry Students Association. She also has experience facilitating contemplative pedagogy within higher education institutions including the University of Washington, the University of Hawai‘i, as well as an ongoing international independent research seminar for statistics and Q Methodology.