Samoa

Social and Environmental Change in Oceania

Lecturers

LECTURERS TYPICALLY INCLUDE:

Safua Akeli Ama’ama, PhD
Safua is the director of the Centre for Samoan Studies at the National University of Samoa Le Papaigalagala. She holds a bachelor of arts degree from Otago University; an honors in history from Victoria University of Wellington; a master’s in history from the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand; and a doctorate in history from the University of Queensland.

John Mayer, PhD
John is associate professor of Samoan and chair of Indo-Pacific Languages and Literature at the University of Hawai‘i at Manoa. He founded the Samoan language program there in 1976. He was a Peace Corps volunteer and trainer and holds two Samoan chiefly titles (Fepuleai from Savai‘I and Lasei from Manono), an MA in ESL, and a PhD in linguistics. He is a charter member of the International Samoan Language Commission formed in 2000.

Frank Thomas, PhD
Frank is an anthropologist/archaeologist and works as a senior lecturer at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala campus in Suva. His main interests are environmental archaeology, tangible cultural heritage management, and human ecology on Pacific atolls. He also has research and teaching interests in ecological anthropology (human behavioral ecology, historical ecology, traditional ecological knowledge), rural development, management of common property resources, ethnoarchaeology, comparative island studies (Caribbean/Pacific), and Pacific atolls.

Anita Latai-Niusulu, PhD
Anita is a geographer and senior lecturer in the Department of Social Sciences at the National University of Samoa Le Papaigalagala. She has a bachelor of arts from the University of Queensland and a postgraduate diploma in arts, master of arts, and doctorate from the University of Otago, Dunedin.

Tuifuisa’a Patila Amosa, PhD
Patila is a biochemist and dean of the Faculty of Science at the National University of Samoa Le Papaigalagala. She has a bachelor of science and diploma in education from Flinders University, South Australia. She also has a postgraduate diploma in science, a master of science, and a doctorate from the University of Otago, Dunedin.

Tarcisius Kabutaulaka, PhD
Tarcisius is currently the director at the University of Hawai‘i’s Center for Pacific Islands Studies. He is a political economist who has written extensively on development and governance issues in the Pacific Islands, with a focus on Solomon Islands. He has researched and written on governance, natural resource development, rural development, conflicts, conflict resolution, and post-conflict development. Prior to joining the East-West Center, he was a lecturer in history and political science at the University of the South Pacific in Fiji. Born in the Solomon Islands, he is a leading expert on the Solomon Islands. He has a PhD in political science and international relations from the Australian National University.

Joshua Cooper
Joshua lectures at the University of Hawai‘i Oahu West and the Center for Hawaiian Studies, and has taught courses on nonviolence, ecology, human rights, social justice, and media literacy. He has presented papers on the environment, women’s rights, and indigenous peoples’ rights and speaks at the United Nations and NGO assemblies on discrimination, women, torture, children, migrant workers, disabilities, and disappearances. He served on the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, linking human rights to climate change in Pacific and Asian states. He advocates with Pacific Island governments to protect and promote human rights.

Paul Geraghty, PhD
Paul is an associate professor with the School of Language, Arts, and Media at the University of the South Pacific’s Laucala Campus in Suva, Fiji. He graduated from Cambridge with an MA in modern languages (French and German) and earned his PhD from the University of Hawai‘i with a dissertation on the history of the Fijian languages. He was director of the Institute of Fijian Language and Culture in Suva from 1986 to 2001. Author and editor of several books (including The History of the Fijian Languages, the Lonely Planet Fijian Phrasebook, and Borrowing: A Pacific Perspective) and numerous articles on Fijian and Pacific languages, culture, and history, he is also well known in Fiji as a newspaper columnist and radio and TV presenter.

Penelope Schoeffel, PhD
Penelope has a PhD in anthropology from Australian National University, specializing in cultural transformation in nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Samoa. She has collaborated with her husband, Lesasiolagi Dr. Malama Meleisea, on publications on Samoan history, including Samoa’s Journey 1962–2012 Aspects of History (2012). She taught anthropology and sociology at University of the South Pacific, University of New South Wales, and University of Auckland and was visiting lecturer at Thammasat University in Thailand and International University of Bangladesh. She has consulted on gender and social impact assessment for international development agencies. She lectures at the Center of Samoan Studies at National University of Samoa.

Warren Jopling
Warren, from Sydney, Australia, has lived in Samoa since 1982. He holds a diploma in gemology from the Gemological Association of Australia and a BS from University of Sydney in geology and agricultural chemistry; he studied geology in an honors year. He’s worked at oil fields in Canada and oversaw well site geology for Australian Oil and Gas. He’s done petroleum exploration in the Amazon Basin in Brazil, and has traveled extensively. Warren conducts educational tours for the Samoan Tourist Authority, emphasizing natural history, culture, and ancient archaeological sites. Warren’s acclaimed tours have been part of SIT Samoa since the program’s beginning.