Vehia Wheeler portrait

Indigenous knowledge of her tupuna, the indigenous people from Tahiti, is the core, priority and center of how she approaches her research and how she engages with her community.

Born and raised in Hawai’i, and with ancestral roots to Mo’orea and Mangareva, Polynesia, Vehia’s upbringing has instilled a passion for healthy and balanced (pono) island environments. Her University background is focused on Pacific Environmental Planning from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. She has done research with the University of Hawai’i, the University of French Polynesia, the State of Hawai’i, and has worked with environmental non-profits over the years before starting her own in Mo’orea (SOS Mo’orea).  

Her commitment to a better ecologically managed Oceania has been recognized by the Obama Foundation in 2020, where she was selected as an Obama Foundation Asia-Pacific Leader for Tahiti.