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Hob Osterlund, Founder

Hob Osterlund is an award-winning writer and photographer living on the island of Kaua`i. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, National Geographic News, National Geographic Explorer, Audubon, National Wildlife, Nature Conservancy, Birders’ World, Hana Hou Hawaiian Airlines in-flight magazine, Portland, Ms. Magazine and more. For several years she has served as a Habitat Liaison for a number of private landowners on Kaua`i.

Hob attended the University of California-Berkeley in the late 1960s—which may explain a few things—and there received her bachelor’s degree in Ecological Geography. She holds a master’s degree in Nursing from the University of Hawai`i-Manoa. Hob founded Hawaii’s first inpatient pain management program at The Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu, where she worked with the most astounding team of professionals you could ever imagine. As Principal Investigator for the Comedy in Chemotherapy (COMIC) Study, Hob and her colleagues were the first to conduct a randomized controlled trial demonstrating the positive impact of comedy on the symptoms of cancer and chemotherapy. She integrated the practice of Healing Touch into inpatient care at QMC, which has remained the largest HT setting in the country for many years. Hob also wrote and performed the comedy character Ivy Push, RN performing for national healthcare audiences. She produced two DVDs of those shows. Recently retired as a Pain/Palliative Care advanced-practice nurse, she continues as the President of Health, Humor & Hospitals, Inc, providing “Chuckle Channel” comedy programming to hospital closed-circuit televisions.

Ms. Osterlund is a 6th-generation Hawai`i resident, descended from the firstborn of Richard and Clarissa Armstrong’s 10 children. She is honored to be a member of the Daughters of Hawai`i, an organization of descendants of people who lived in Hawai`i prior to 1880.

Since 2003 Hob has coordinated the annual Hanalei Writers’ Retreat in conjunction with Pacific Writers’ Connection. These events have featured such stellar faculty as David James Duncan, Brian Doyle, Terry Tempest Williams, Kim Stafford, Kathleen Dean Moore, Hope Edelman, Gina Barreca and Carl Safina. All these teachers influenced Hob’s work, which included an interview with HRM Ashi Dorji Wangmo Wangchuck, Queen of Bhutan (now Queen Mother.)

Most recently Hob has finished her book Holy Mōlī: Albatross and Other Ancestors (available from Oregon State University Press in April, 2016), has been chosen as a Fellow of the Safina Center and continues to be the Kauaʻi Coordinator of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology “TrossCam” project.


View Hob Osterlund’s profile on LinkedIn.


Countless individuals from many properties and agencies share strategy and science, tenacity and time. Landowners offer refuge by setting aside safe spaces for birds, by building predator fences, by committing their own resources. None of us could do the job alone; each of us has her/his own perspective. What we share is our admiration for the extraordinary Laysan albatross—-to quote Carl Safina, “the grandest living flying machine on earth.”

While we may not feel optimistic about the many threats the birds and the seas and our blessed planet face, we rest in these beliefs: the worst thing we could do with our precious personal energy is to wait for other people to fix the world’s problems.

Agencies employing key resource individuals include:

Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels
American Bird Conservancy
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
Hawai`i Department of Education, Hawaiian Studies Kupuna Component
Hawai`i Department of Land and Natural Resources
Hawai`i Wildlife Center
Hawaiian Islands Land Trust
Island School, Hawaiian Studies
Kaua`i County Council Feral Cat Task Force
Kaua`i Endangered Seabird Recovery Program
Kaua`i Invasive Species Committee
Lumina Media
Michigan State University Department of Zoology
Pacific Rim Conservation
Princeville at Hanalei Community Association
The Nature Conservancy-Hawaii
The Safina Center
US Department of Commerce, Analytical Chemistry Division
US Fish and Wildlife Service
US Geological Survey, Western Ecological Research Center
US Navy, Pacific Missile Range Facility