Samuel Champine-Tocher is a life long learner and modern-day renaissance man. Drawing from many disciplines and interests, Sam’s skillset is continuously evolving as he immerses himself deeply in any number of subjects that gain his attention. Sam has earned a BA in Botany and a certificate in Spanish from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. He has spent the last 6 years working for the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum, managing research projects for large scale roadside restoration with native plants on the Department of Transportation highway right-of-ways. Sam has been trained in plant tissue culture and ex-situ storage techniques at Lyon Arboretumʻs state of the art conservation laboratories, which are responsible for the rescue of Hawaiʻi’s most rare and endangered plant species. He has presented his projects at botanical and conservation congresses across the Hawaiian Islands and continues to write grants for restoration projects as well as his other various interests.
In addition to Sam’s botanical leanings, he is also the founder and curator of The Purple Room, a science and technology, education-focused entertainment collective. The Purple Room is recognized throughout the islands for its custom solar-powered sound rig, which has been featured at several music festivals and non-profit events, including Oahu’s 2018 and 2019 Arbor Day festivities at the Foster Botanical Garden in downtown Honolulu.
A natural leader and organizer, Sam has helped with several other large scale projects including the 2019 Burning Man camp Pele’s Fire, which hosted 200 fire performers, music artists, and participants. He is continuing this passion by assisting Pele’s Fire in participating in Burning Man’s once-in-a-lifetime virtual reality experience in this year’s 2020 Multiverse.
Currently, Sam is riding out the global pandemic in Washington State, where he is actively restoring a property and building permaculture-based gardens on a small island in the Puget Sound. He is also working on several music projects and curating content for the launch of a new online magazine, highlighting herbal medicine, foraging, gardening, fungi propagation, and other botanical explorations in the Pacific Northwest.