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Brennan Ka’aihue

Brennan Ka’aihue Profile Picture

Stewardship Specialist

Born and raised in the Mojave Desert, Brennan is a long way from home but has managed to find many a way to fulfill their childhood dream of saving the planet and make a new life here among the ridges and valleys of south-central Pennsylvania. Their ancestral homes are the upper Rio Grande Valley of Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado, the tropical coastal rainforests of the eastern side of Hawai’i, the interior river lowlands of Missouri, the piedmont of central Georgia, the Sea Island Flatwoods of Florida, and the interlobate dead ice moraines of southern Michigan.

They graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh in 2012 with a degree in anthropology, focusing on cultural anthropology, archaeology, and psychology. While at Pitt, they were a member of the Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honor Society for outstanding academic achievement in the field. Life then lead Brennan on adventures ranging from pursuing a masters degree in environmental studies, working on organic farms, painting houses, being a prep chef in a from-scratch kitchen, to a job facilitator supporting adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. It was this time spent working in social services and being involved in countless community volunteer efforts that crystallized their inherent desire to work toward justice and equity for all.

An identity crisis brought on by career transition helped them realize that their love for the planet and all its inhabitants could be nurtured through earth care, which lead them to volunteer opportunities with Central PA Conservancy. Since becoming involved with CPC, Brennan has become a qualified Type II Wildland Firefighter, a PA State Registered Pesticide Applicator, and continues to gain hands-on experience through stewardship at CPC properties and coursework such as arborist training, wildland fire chainsaws, introduction to fire effects, and followership to leadership.

When not at CPC, Brennan can be found birdwatching, hiking, kayaking, botanizing, snuggling their pug, gardening with and propagating native species, participating in the Penn State Extension Master Watershed Steward program, playing and singing old country songs, and cooking really good food. They bring a thoughtful, holistic approach to their conservation work and relish the opportunity to help others unlock the joy of connecting with and caring for people and planet.

Fun facts: They have a special talent for gently wrangling critters great and small and helped restore an 1858 Prettyman fire hose carriage that belongs to a museum in Virginia.