Fern Anuenue Rosenstiel was born in Kapahi and raised on Kaua'i. She graduated from Kapa'a High School in 2002.
Fern attended and graduated from public schools in Kapa'a while spending her childhood on Kaua'i. She also lived briefly in Waimea on Hawai'i Island and on Long Island in New York with her mother and sometimes summers in Australia visiting her father.
Ferns father was born in Australia. Joining the Australian Navy at 16, he left Sydney at 21 to see the world. Active during the founding of Greenpeace, he was involved in the first ever anti-whaling campaign in 1977. He co-hosted 'No Nuke' concerts in Santa Barbara, California while working to stop nuclear power plant developments. In the early 80's, he settled in Hawai'i for many years before eventually moving back to Australia in the late 90's and buying a home on the Gold Coast. He passed away in 2009 following a seven-year throat cancer battle.
Fern's mother, Noreen, is from Long Island, New York. After graduating from the University of Kentucky, she traveled some before settling in Hawai'i in the 70's. Noreen has spent 40 years working as an educator and the last 20 years running a small Montessori program on Kaua'i. She remains a longtime advocate for quality education and for students and teachers across Hawai'i.
Fern has many half and step brothers and sisters both here and in Australia.
After graduating from Kapa'a High School, Fern moved to the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia to live with her father. She attended Griffith University’s School of Environment where she studied marine biology and environmental sciences. After completing nearly all of the available science courses, Fern obtained her Bachelors in Science with triple majors in Wildlife Management, Environmental Sciences and Marine Biology.
While at university Fern was invited to join the direct action Sea Shepherd conservation crew and sailed to Antarctica for Operation Migaloo. She left and returned to Australia through the Port of Melbourne and was on board the Steve Irwin as a volunteer for just over a month.
While earning her undergraduate degree, Fern participated in a range of research projects including ecological surveys of both flora and fauna, water quality assessments, plankton identification studies, fauna trapping projects, and environmental monitoring work.
Fern graduated in the top 5 percent of her university class and was awarded the Griffith Award for academic Excellence in 2009. She was immediately offered a graduate position with an Australian based, international consulting firm, GHD. There she worked as an environmental scientist where she conducted ecological assessments and worked on a range of projects. She participated in research monitoring and survey work including botanical research in the Southern Alps and sea turtle monitoring and tagging research on Lady Musgrave Island in the Great Barrier Reef.
As a consultant, Fern worked on many projects including several in remote and rugged terrains. While at GHD, Fern spent nearly a year on contract to the Queensland Department of Transport to work as a state environmental officer for rural road projects and was based in Bundaberg, Queensland.
She was directly involved in drafting and helping to pass Bill 2491 (now ordinance 960) which would give Kaua'i the right to know what pesticides are being heavily used by biotech research centers on Kaua'i, provide buffers to our sensitive locations and request environmental and health monitoring studies. She has been active on this issue relating to heavy pesticide use, land management and large agribusiness impacts for nearly a decade and works tirelessly to support various efforts to expand local food and agriculture solutions. She was behind the negotiations and permits for both historical marches in 2013 to bring awareness to the community concerns related to the presence of large agribusiness testing on Kaua'i.
Fern graduated from the Kuleana Academy in March 2016. The Kuleana Academy was established by the Hawai'i Alliance for Progressive Action to help potential candidates prepare for and learn more about leadership, campaign management and issues relevant to Hawai'i. Through the academy and statewide activism, Fern is part of a large network of leaders working to create and inspire change for the betterment of Hawai'i.
Fern now works on a range of community issues as a community advocate and organizer. She worked, and still volunteers, as a community outreach researcher for a collaboration of efforts to protect the Hawaiian Monk Seal on Kaua'i. She worked part time on educational outreach programs to spread awareness and provide information about the history of the Monk Seal in Hawai'i and how we can avoid negative interactions and promote coexistence.
Fern's passion is in native ecosystem restoration and agriculture and food production and works to support efforts statewide to enhance our food sovereignty and native ecosystems. She currently provides other part-time marine and consulting work through her company, Anuenue Enterprises and directs ‘Ohana O Kaua’i full-time with her colleagues Dustin Barca and Elijah Frank.