SMEA Students Attend NOAA Sponsored Think Tank in Honolulu

'Next Gen' Graduate Students including Grace Ferrara (2nd from left) and Lindsay Gordon (4th from right).
‘Next Gen’ Graduate Students including Grace Ferrara (2nd from left) and Lindsay Gordon (4th from right).

SMEA students Lindsay Gordon and Grace Ferrara recently returned from a 3-day ‘think-tank’ in Honolulu, Hawaii where they focused on the Human Dimensions of Large-Scale Marine Protected Areas. This think-tank was hosted by large-scale marine protected area network Big Ocean and SMEA professor Patrick Christie along with other contributing organizations and sponsors such as National Geographic, NOAA, Conservation International, and Pew Charitable Trusts. Over 120 marine protected area managers, researchers, and professionals from around the world attended to discuss the importance of social considerations in design and management. Lindsay assisted the organizers in planning the think-tank during the months leading up to the meeting. Lindsay, Grace, and other attending graduate students represented the next generation of practitioners devoted to furthering the goals of socially and ecologically responsible marine protection. This conference represents a starting point in a field that is extremely relevant to Marine Affairs.