Keith Olson

Keith Olson

Chief Science Officer


Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA)

Kona, HI USA


Things are going to happen...but how you react to what’s happening is what’s most important.

Videos

Videos

By Roadtrip Nation

Keith Olson

Highlight
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01:40
Keith Olson HighlightInterview Highlight
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06:31
InterviewThe Interview
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00:42
Trying Different ThingsWeb Exclusive
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00:55
Know Your StrengthsWeb Exclusive
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01:06
Don't Worry About ItInterview Excerpt
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Look At The Bigger PictureInterview Excerpt
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You're in ControlInterview Excerpt
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Milestones

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Grew up on Long Island, New York; says at the time, the possibility of someday living in Hawaii didn’t even cross his mind.
He knew he wanted to go to the State University of New York’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
But first, he went to Suffolk County Community College to save money; says community college taught him tons of life skills.
When he got to the College of Environmental Science and Forestry, he entered the paper science and engineering program.
After graduating, he moved to California and worked at a paper mill for several months, but decided it wasn’t for him.
He had many of the skill sets of a chemical engineer, so he ended up working for Chevron and the Berkeley Lab.
He and his wife decided to move to Hawaii; he couldn’t find a job so he became a forest ranger and built up his soft skills.
Now works at NELHA, an 870-acre ocean and science technology park; he also teaches yoga on the side!
Keep following my journey
Education

Education

highschool
High School
associates
Associate's Degree
Engineering, General
Suffolk County Community College
undergrad
Bachelor
Chemical Engineering
State University of New York at New Paltz
Career

Career

Chief Science Officer

I run an environmental program pioneering ocean energy technologies and sustainable development.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Engineering
Engineering
Environment & Nature
Environment & Nature
Learning / Being Challenged
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

Students will see how job tasks don't always work out as planned and some of the biggest problems are not technical in nature...How you react to a problem determines your attitude. This will effect the direction you take and impact the result. Observing how people interact and solve problems in a work place can be a great value for a student.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Communication, persistence and outside the box thinking! Tasks in science and engineering may require figuring out how to perform an analysis or solve problems that have not been performed or solved before. You will also need to communicate complex ideas to people who may not understand your work.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for college students

Select a generic scientific area of interest to study (Chemistry, Biology, Engineering...) and master the basics. Then minor or take a class or two in computer programming.

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

certification
Associate's Degree
Engineering, General
undergrad
Bachelor
Chemical Engineering
Hurdles

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"Your work needs to be perfect."

I realized that in the long run that this didn't matter. I had to start thinking big picture and not let small things get to me.

Challenges I Overcame

First-Generation College Student
First-Generation College Student

I didn't have mentors in my family to coach me on the difficulties of College or to show and help me transition into a professional career.