Johanie Rivera-Zayas

Participant: 2022 U.S. Grassroots Accelerator

Bridging cultural and scientific knowledge on natural and working lands to increase its resilience, increase and maintain soil health, and support public policy.



Hawaii | Puerto Rico

Affiliations & Roles

Researcher at the University of Hawaii Manoa

Johanie Rivera-Zayas is an agronomist and soil scientist researcher in the Hawaii Soil Health Research Lab at the University of Hawaii Manoa. Johanie focuses on the sustainable management of natural and agricultural systems in the tropics, subtropics, and temperate systems.

Nowadays, she serves as a researcher and coordinator working on soil health research and conservation and soil health practices implementation in collaboration with a network of farmers, ranchers, and foresters across Hawaii, American Samoa, Pohnpei, and Puerto Rico. In addition, Johanie is a member and co-coordinator of the Hawaii Natural and Working Lands research team, where she works on generating data resources that support climate-smart and C sequestration policy. Johanie holds a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Horticulture and Soil Sciences, respectively, from the University of Puerto Rico Mayagüez and a doctorate in Agronomy from Kansas State University.

Johanie is dedicated to supporting food security and land stewardship by helping land managers increase their system’s resilience through implementing sustainable practices. She is working on making scientific data available that informs and supports the island’s land stewardship, education, food sovereignty, and circular economy.