Faculty & Staff




Lecturer in Law


BS, University of Denver, 2004
JD, William S. Richardson School of Law, 2010


Melissa is Chief of Staff at Blue Planet Foundation, a Hawaii-based nonprofit committed to eliminating the use of fossil fuels and clearing the path for 100% clean energy. She received a law degree and a certificate in Environmental Law from the William S. Richardson School of Law and a B.S. in Environmental Science from the University of Denver. Prior to joining Blue Planet, Melissa worked as a legal fellow with the Coordinating Group on Alien Pest Species (CGAPS), assisting various state agencies in Hawaii with administrative rulemaking, invasive species law and policy, and inter-agency coordination. She has authored papers on climate justice and lectured on persuasive writing and legislative advocacy. Melissa also worked as a litigator in private practice and completed a clerkship at the Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals.


  • Access to the Sun: Envisioning the Policy Framework for Hawaii’s Emerging Community Renewables Program, Hawaii Bar Journal (April 2016).
  • The Sound of Falling Trees:  Integrating Environmental Justice Principles into the Climate Change Framework for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD), 20 Fordham Envtl. L. Rev. 515 (2010).
  • Compensating Climate Change Victims:  The Climate Compensation Fund as an Alternative to Tort Litigation, 2.2 Sea Grant L. & Pol’y J. 49 (Winter 2009/2010).
portrait photo