East Hawaii News

Hauanio, Minami-Judd Retire From Hawaii Volcanoes

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Two employees with a combined 60 years of service recently retired from Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Clarence “Aku” Hauanio, whose job involved protection of nene and other endangered species, retired on May 30.

Supervisory Park Ranger Gail Minami-Judd, a 31-year veteran of the National Park Service, retired on May 31.

During his 29 years of service to Hawaii Volcanoes, Hauanio has served in a variety of departments, including Protection, Maintenance and Natural Resources Management, park officials said.

He has worked on backcountry trails, built numerous miles of fencing and removed invasive weeds to protect native plant and animal communities in the park.


His work with the Nene Recovery Project has greatly contributed to the increase in the park’s population of Hawaiian geese from 152 to more than 250 birds, said project Manager Kathleen Misajon.

“Aku contributed his skills to many aspects of our program, from fencing projects and feral animal control to monitoring nests and helping band the endangered geese,” Misajon said.

Officials said Hauanio represents the third of four generations of his Kalapana ohana to work at Hawaii Volcanoes.

His grandfather, John Pa`i Hauanio Sr., worked there.


Aku’s father, John Pa`i Hauanio Jr., built the rock wall and park sign that greets visitors entering from the south. John Jr. also planted the much-photographed grove of coconut palms on the makai side of the end of Chain of Craters Road marking the ancient Hawaiian village of Panau.

Aku’s sons, Kainoa and Ikua, have also worked and volunteered at the park.

A canoe builder, as well as a fisherman who uses traditional Hawaiian as well as modern techniques, Hauanio will spend his retirement pursuing his love of the ocean and with his family in Kalapana.

In addition to her supervisor duties, Minami-Judd has also served as Kilauea District Ranger for the Protection Division since 1990.


She began her NPS career at the USS Arizona Memorial on Oahu in 1983.

She graduated from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center in 1986, and transferred the following year to Hawaii Volcanoes as a visitor and resource protection ranger.

Her supervisor, Chief Ranger Talmadge Magno, described her career as “exemplary.”

“We recognize and applaud Gail for her dedication to the mission of the NPS in protecting the natural and cultural features of Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park, and providing the leadership to maintain the safety of staff and visitors in this dynamic environment,” Magno said.

Minami-Judd has been given numerous awards and has achieved a variety of certifications including emergency medical technician, park scuba diver and wildland and structural firefighter.

She will remain in Volcano with her husband, former park criminal investigator Jeff Judd, and their three children.

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