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NOAA highlights Pacific islander employees during AANHPI Heritage Month

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, is crucial in serving and safeguarding communities across the United States, particularly in Hawaii and American Samoa. The employees at NOAA are committed to preserving and protecting our marine resources in a region that reflects the diverse cultures of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

Meet our American Samoa employees at NOAA:

ISABEL A. HALATUITUIA

Isabel is the Education Coordinator/ It Specialist, for the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

As an Education Coordinator for the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa, Isabel gets to do what she loves every day: creating engaging and informative educational programs for public schools. She works with the American Samoa Department of Education, various environmental agencies, private schools, and many other partners to help further NOAA's mission of conserving and protecting coastal and marine ecosystems.

Her passion—to help and serve others—is fueled by her faith and the charge to love your neighbor as yourself.

“I feel fortunate to be able to motivate and empower people, especially teachers and their students, to become stewards of our ocean. I am humbled and honored to be part of a living and thriving culture, particularly with non-speaking Samoans around the world.”

Isabel has a bachelor’s in education from the University of Hawaiʻi. 

IOSEFA F. SIATUU

Iosefa is the Fiscal Administrative Assistant, at the National Marine Sanctuary of American Samoa.

As a native of American Samoa, Iosefa grew up appreciating the connection between the land, the sea, and the people of Samoa. A graduate of American Samoa Community College, Iosefa makes that same connection for the students who participate in events and programs, including working as a tour guide at the Tau'ese P.F. Sunia Ocean Center.

Iosefa believes AANHPI Heritage Month and the celebration of diverse people from different cultures and backgrounds has made our great nation what it is today.

 “My job is to raise awareness about ocean conservation and why it is important to protect our ocean, and to show them what they can do every day to help keep our ocean clean and protected. It is truly an honor to be able to do what I do for the betterment of our community, to be able to offer up my knowledge and share my experiences with our people. I believe that the services that the National Marine Sanctuaries provide benefits not only the people, but also the ocean and its resources for generations to come.”

Click to read more at Dept. of Commerce blog site