Dr. Bill Steiner has served as Dean for University of Hawai‘i-Hilo College of Agriculture, Forestry, and Natural Resource Management at Hilo since 2005. As financial and academic manager for the college, Dr. Steiner has developed new research thrusts into biofuel development, heritage foods development, and equine sciences. It is his intention to move the college forward into a future that embraces a growing forestry industry and addresses growing threats to the island environment by developing work in the field of sustainable agriculture and forestry.
Prior to his appointment as Dean, Dr. Steiner served for 22 years in Federal research, first as a scientist for the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Columbia, Missouri, then as director for the Pacific Islands Ecosystem Research Center (PIERC) in Honolulu, where he oversaw federal research into natural resource management and conservation for states and territories under US jurisdiction within the Pacific Basin.
Dr. Steiner was born in Honolulu to a mother whose roots trace back to three Hawaiian ‘Ohana: the Haleakala family on Maui, the Punahele family on Kauai, and the Haili family on Hawai‘i. His father is descended from of long line of homesteaders and mechanically minded people. Dr. Steiner grew up on a 16,000 acre ranch in Owyhee County Idaho. While in Missouri he bought and operated a 160 acre organic farm which he still owns.
An inveterate observer of people and culture, Dr. Steiner finds human diversity and behavior fascinating and believes one of our biggest threats is the loss of cultural diversity itself. He recognizes that cultural diversity is a result of environmental diversity, and that loss of natural resources threatens the base upon which humanity is derived.