Dan A. Polhemus

United States Department of the Interior (DOI)
Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation Program Manager
Dan A. Polhemus Image

Dr. Dan A. Polhemus manages the Aquatic Ecosystem Conservation Program for the Pacific Islands Fish and Wildlife Office, a position he has held since 2010. He also holds an affiliate faculty position at the University of Hawaii, and research associate appointments at the Bishop Museum in Honolulu, and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Born in California, he grew up in Denver, Colorado, receiving a B. S. from Colorado State University in 1980 and a Ph.D. from the University of Utah in 1984. Following this, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution from 1988-1990, worked as an entomologist for the Bishop Museum in Honolulu from 1991-1997, returned to the Smithsonian as a research biologist from 1997-2005, and eventually returned to Hawaii to administer that state's Division of Aquatic Resources from 2005–2010. Dan has conducted extensive field work in freshwater and nearshore marine ecosystems throughout the Indo-Pacific region, including projects in Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Australia, French Polynesia, East Timor, and Madagascar, with his most recent international work involving protected area planning in the Maldive Islands, an impact assessments for proposed Mekong River dams, and evaluation of biodiversity conservation funding needs in Papua New Guinea. He is the author of 200 peer-reviewed scientific publications, two books, and numerous agency reports. These include recent studies dealing with effects of climate change on wetlands in the Hawaiian Islands, and patterns of drought in the US-affiliated Pacific Islands.