Haupia, Honus, and Hapas — I feel most at home in the Aloha State.

Image for post
Image for post
Soon after our plane lands, my family is on the way to Kailua Beach. This is the first view I have when entering the beach, at which point, my heart starts to race. Then it’s a mad dash to set foot in the Pacific.

In 2014, I traveled with my mom and sister to O’ahu to visit family. Trips back to Mom’s modest island home are rare, so we never waste time. All of our time is spent with family and in the water.

A worthwhile read from the former First Lady

Image for post
Image for post

You may live in the world as it is, but you can still work to create the world as it should be. — Michelle Obama


One of my first memories of Michelle Obama was watching her in between my favorite Disney Channel shows. As she gardened with kids, she educated me on the importance of nutrition. Well, as best as she could to a 12 year-old girl impatiently waiting to see what was next on Hannah Montana.

And a difference we can make for tomorrow’s climate

Image for post
Image for post
Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash

I am an environmental engineer who studied air quality and atmospheric science. I know I have a lot to learn, but I thought I at least knew the very basics of air quality and its relationship with climate change.

I was wrong. I knew the basics of the science. Not the policy.

I have all of this knowledge about how carbon dioxide (CO₂) chemically impacts the oceans and coral, and how crops will struggle to grow while weeds have potential to thrive. But not about the policies that regulate the environment we live with.

To kickstart my education, I figured…

Making new friends in class is hard — making new friends in virtual class is harder

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

I just graduated college this past May. Despite the last 8 weeks of the final semester being virtual and undeniably surreal, I definitely still enjoyed my college experience — early morning workouts, scrambling between classes and club meetings, late night studying in a café, and filling in the cracks with game nights, concerts, and other socials.

Many students preparing for their first year of college experience one of two things (oftentimes both): being bombarded by relatives with advice for managing this new chapter of life, or curiously researching for the best advice for incoming college students from sources other than…

So how do you keep away the Fitbit admirers?

Image for post
Image for post

You know the feeling. The feeling of getting a new pair of sneakers─ caught between wanting to wear them the very next time you go to the gym, and never wanting those sterile white soles to touch the outdoors.

These feelings of excitement and protectiveness rushed back to me when I purchased a Fitbit Alta some two and a half years ago. I was finally among the fitness enthusiasts who could track their mileage, macros, and more! And for a sleep-deprived, budget-restrained college student who loves to exercise, I was ready to take this new investment seriously.

And I did…

For our fellow fit superhero nerds

Image for post
Image for post

Co-created by Ben Chapman & Charlee Thompson

If you’re here, you’re like us in one of these ways: you love to workout, or you’ve watched so many Marvel movies since shelter in place took effect that you want to build them into your workouts.

Unfortunately, while shelter in place is in effect, the gyms remain closed. But “stay at home” doesn’t mean “stay on the couch.” If you’re looking to get in shape or add something new to your workout routine, here is a set of short, Avengers-inspired HIIT workouts that will get your heart pumping without equipment.

Each workout…

Left-wing wish list? Or our only hope of avoiding environmental catastrophe?

Image for post
Image for post
Credit: EPA/Shawn Thew

I’m in my final semester of undergrad studying environmental engineering. And this means that I’m in upper-level courses that leave me feeling slightly depressed with the state of the global environment.

“Climate Change Assessment,” “Atmospheric Chemistry,” and “Tools for Sustainability.” What do these classes have in common? They’ve all warned a classroom full of future sustainability professionals, clean energy entrepreneurs, and environmental consultants of the catastrophic consequences of crossing the IPCC’s 2-degree Celsius threshold.

Every day, students are reminded that mass extinctions, severe weather, our food supply, and the wellbeing of millions of refugees are riding on the actions we…

It takes more than technology to solve the climate crisis

Image for post
Image for post

It’s finally arrived! The talk of the village for the past month is finally in Sita’s hands! The women in her Nepalese village are excited to receive this “gift” from the United States government — a new electric cookstove. A shiny piece of portable technology that looks instantly out of place against the clay walls and dirt floor. This miraculous device promises no maintenance, faster cooking, fewer chores and, best of all, cleaner air.

Mixed people occupy a unique position in the U.S. ─ they may reshape how Americans perceive race.

Image for post
Image for post
(Source: NPR, St. Louis Public Radio)

Throughout childhood, we learn the U.S. is the world’s “melting pot.” I took this to mean that there are a lot of people like me — people of two or more races. But that’s not true. The U.S. Census reported that only 2.7% of the US population is composed of people who identify with an origin of “two or more races.”

Even though this is noticeably larger than the Native American and Pacific Islander populations, sitting at 1.3% and 0.2%, respectively, multiracial people in the U.S. may sometimes feel like their own minority group.

While the multiracial experience is personal…

Charlee Thompson

I’m interested in sustainability, diversity, and fitness. I hope to help mitigate climate change through innovation and policy. (Email: charleenotmia@gmail.com)

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store