About Me

My Philosophy
I strive to encourage sustainable action and health through education, personal empowerment, and deeper connection with nature.  Through exploring
and appreciating our connection with plants and the rest of the natural world, we better understand our responsibility to take care of and give back to our Mother Earth and how to harness our own healing energy.  Please take the time to be with nature, to incorporate it into your daily life, to give it appreciation and thanks.  Please ask permission, vocally or internally, before harvesting plants and other natural substances and beings, before making them into useful products, and before consuming them.  Please reuse and recycle, remembering that decomposition and reintegration is the key to energy flow, immortality, the continuation of life and being.  Avoid stagnation, seek continuous flow, rejuvinate, explore, create, be happy and healthy. 

If you seek healing, first look inside yourself, then feel free to contact me.  I am happy to serve as a guide for you to find your own healing energy and to find assistance from various tools (such as herbal remedies, "horticultural/nature therapy", proper diet for you, and lifestyle choices).  I have formal training in the biological sciences and botanical medicine and approach healing with an open mind and intuition but also guided by healthy skepticism and ongoing education about sound peer-reviewed studies on herbal remedies, healing therapies, and disease processes.  

In addition to my research on Ethnobotanical, Ecological, and Disease Biology issues, I have 11 years experience teaching biological courses at the university level, including international field courses (e.g. Ethnobotany, Medical Ethnobotany, Botany, Microbiology, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Anatomy and Physiology, Biostatistics, Hawaiian Natural History and Conservation, Biology).  For two decades I have taught workshops on herbalism, organic gardening, sustainability, fermentation, and food and medicine independence and empowerment for the public and K-12 programs. 


Education
  Professional Development training                                                                                           Through the present (always learning!)
  Aquaponics intensive training                                                                                                   October 2011
  NIH Human Participant Protections Education for Research Teams Course                           October 2011
  M.S. Botany, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Advisor Tamara Ticktin                                      Dec 2008
  M.S. Thesis Title: Ecological and Social Feasibility of Colophospermum mopane

     (Fabaceae) Seed Commercialization from Namibia                                                                                                                

 Practitioner of Botanical Medicine, Southwest School of Botanical Medicine                       Feb-July 2003

 Herbalism and Herbal Product Training, California School of Herbal Studies                       Various workshops
 B.S. Environmental Studies, Minor Spanish, University of Nevada, Las Vegas                    Dec 1998

    Senior Thesis: Developed University Recycling Protocol for 23 Special Wastes                                                                

 

 
Current Positions
President, Herbalmagik: Botanical Products, Education, and Consulting
Board of Directors Member and Instructor, The Growing Project


Publications
  • Jarvi, S., Pitt. W.C., Farias, M., Shiels, L., et. al. 2015. Detection of Angiostrongylus cantonensis in the blood and peripheral tissues of wild Hawaiian rats (Rattus rattus) by a quantitative PCR (qPCR) assay. PLoS ONE 10(4): e0123064. doi:10.1371/journal. pone.0123064.
  • Jarvi, S., Pitt. W.C., Osuna, A., Farias, M., Shiels, L., et. al. 2014. Efficacy of a vaccine for Angiostrongylus costaricensis against rat lungworm disease caused by A. cantonensis in wild Hawaiian Rats (Rattus rattus). Journal of Immunology 192(1 Supplement): 141.23
  • Vougioukalou, S., Huish, R., Barfield, K., Shiels, L., Brosi, S., Harrison, P. 2014. The contribution of ethnobiology to teaching plant sciences: Student and faculty perspectives.  Innovative Strategies for Teaching in the Plant Sciences. Edited: Cassandra Quave. New York: Springer. 312 pp. ISBN: 978-1-4939-042101.
  • Shiels, A.B., M.K. Ennis, and L. Shiels.  2014.  Trait-based plant mortality and preference for native vs. non-native seedlings by invasive snail and slug herbivores in Hawaii.  Biological Invasions 16(9): 1929-1940.
  • McClatchey, W.C., G. Mahady, B.C. Bennett, L. Shiels, and V. Savo.  2009.  Ethnobotany as a pharmacological research tool and recent developments in CNS-active natural products from ethnobotanical sources.   Pharmacology and Therapeutics 123(2): 239-254.

 

  • Shiels, A.B., C.A. West, L. Weiss, P.D. Klawinski, and L.R. Walker.  2008.  Soil factors and elevation predict initial plant colonization on Puerto Rican landslides.  Plant Ecology 195:165-178.

 

  • Weiss, L., A.B. Shiels, and L.R. Walker. 2005. Soil impacts of bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) tree islands on alpine tundra, Charleston Peak, Nevada. Western North American Naturalist 65(4):536-540.
  • Bloch, C. P. and L. Weiss. 2002. Disturbance History and Habitat Association of the Tailless Whip Scorpion, Phrynus longipes, in the Luquillo Experimental Forest, Puerto Rico. Caribbean Journal of Science 38: 260-262.
  • Floyd, M. and L. Weiss. 2001. Sex and Aging: A Survey of Young Adults. Journal of Sex Education and Therapy 26(2):133-139.
 
 
Community Outreach and Media Appearances

Feb 12, 2015      KTUH Radio interview: Directing the Chinese New Year Cultural Play.

June 27, 2011

Wu, N.  "Eat, Grow, Heal."  Star Bulletin.  http://www.staradvertiser.com/features/20110627_Eat_grow_heal.html

2011     

Live Tricast (television, radio, internet) “Ben and Sonia’s Peace of the Rainbow” OC16TV, K108 Radio. peaceoftherainbow.com          

Green House Teachers Talk about Sustainability and Health


December 20, 2010
TBN Oahu Channel 26
Talk show about sustainability and herbal medicine featuring teachers from The Green House. 
 
December 13, 2010
Live Tricast (television, radio, internet) “Ben and Sonia’s Peace of the Rainbow” OC16TV, K108 Radio. peaceoftherainbow.com 
Mosquitos: Their history in Hawaii, diseases they carry, and natural remedies you can make to repel them and treat bites.  
peaceoftherainbow.com

Nov 5, 2010
Live Tricast (television, radio, internet) “Ben and Sonia’s Peace of the Rainbow” OC16TV, K108 Radio. peaceoftherainbow.com        
Healing Trees      
 
April 12, 2010
"Let an Herbal Expert Show You How."  Honolulu Advertiser.                                                                                                 http://www.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/20100412/LIFE11/4120313/Let+an+herbal+expert+show+you+how
 
Mar 3, 2010
Live Tricast (television, radio, internet) “Ben and Sonia’s Peace of the Rainbow” OC16TV, K108 Radio:  Probiotic Healing and Sustainability    peaceoftherainbow.com             
 
 May 3, 2009       
 Arcayna, N.  "Nature’s pharmacy: An ethnobotanist shares both her experiences and expertise with garden remedies."  Star Bulletin   http://www.starbulletin.com/features/featuresstories/20090503_natures_pharmacy.html