What led you to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I would like to help bring attention and understanding about marine issues to the general public.
Why did you choose UW’s SMEA for graduate school?
I had been told that it is one of the most distinguished marine programs in the world.
What are you writing your thesis about and why? If you haven’t decided, what do you think you might write about and why?
I am focusing on sea level rise (caused by climate change) and the effect it is having on small island developing nations. I haven’t completely decided how to frame it yet, but I am currently researching the planning aspect (how small island nations plan for sea level rise), implications for human rights (how to handle displaced persons or “climate change refugees”) and the effect that it has on tourism, the largest economic sector for these nations. There is also a new phrase being discussed in academia called “Last Chance Tourism,” that refers to the desire of tourists to see or experience something before it disappears. That concept fascinates me and is highly relevant for these nations.
What has been your favorite class at UW so far? Why?
My favorite SMEA class has been Dr. Marc Miller’s “Pacific Marine Tourism” class. His passion for the importance of studying tourism (which combines economics, politics, culture, history and ethics) is boundless.
My favorite UW class was an Environmental Innovation class that I took through the Foster School of Business. The class met once a week and consisted of reading about the latest environmental innovations and technologies and then sitting through guest lecturers by Seattle-based environmental entrepreneurs and companies. Our class was visited by the heads of sustainability for Boeing, Microsoft and Alaska Airlines, as well as the owners of local green businesses and green tech entrepreneurs who were just starting to get their ideas off of the ground.
What do you like most about SMEA?
Working with so many distinguished professors. I am trying to make the most of that opportunity. I have one of my favorite professors as my thesis advisor; I am currently working as the assistant of another and will soon do an independent study with another. That allows me to develop close contacts with several marine affairs experts and learn about a variety of marine-related issues.
What’s it like to live in Seattle? What do you do in your spare time?
Seattle is the greenest place I have ever been. It is simply gorgeous. In my free time I hike, run and boulder.
If you could design your ultimate job after graduating, what would it be and why?
Environmental journalist, traveling the world, covering marine issues.
What is your favorite form of marine life, and why?
It is really hard to not say whales/dolphins/manatees/sea turtles (you know, the big, beautiful, almost cliché species). But my time here has definitely taught me that the smaller, indicator species who are less charismatic are definitely just as important (if not more so).