68 posts in Alumni News
A woman in a US Coast Guard uniform poses in front of the US and Coast Guard flags.

Vice Admiral Fagan ’00 Named USCG Vice Commandant

SMEA alumna Vice Adm. Linda L. Fagan has been nominated by the White House to be the next Vice Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard.
She currently serves as the commander of the Coast Guard Pacific Area, overseeing all Coast Guard missions from the Rocky Mountains to the waters off the East Coast of Africa. Fagan concurrently serves as commander, Defense Force West and provides Coast Guard mission support to the Department of Defense and Combatant Commanders. 

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SMA Alum 2021 recipient of the Pew fellowship in marine conservation

Gakushi Ishimura, a School of Marine Affairs (SMA) alumnus, was one of nine distinguished conservation researchers from around the world that were named 2021 recipients of the Pew fellowship in marine conservation. The program was created to provide support to midcareer experts seeking solutions to the challenges affecting the world’s oceans.
Gakushi will examine how fisheries and coastal communities respond to extreme events, such as natural disasters and the COVID-19 pandemic, to inform marine conservation strategies in Japan. 

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Skrobe ’20 Wins Film Festival Audience Award

They Keep Quiet So We Make Noise, the directorial debut of Marlena Skrobe ’20 has been awarded the Audience Award for Best Documentary Short for the 2021 Washington DC Environmental Film Festival. The festival, whose mission is “to advance understanding and stewardship of the environment through the power of film”, is celebrating its 29th year, and is being held virtually due to the ongoing COVID pandemic. 

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Successful Establishment of Territorial Use Rights for Fisheries

SMEA affiliate professor Dr. Amber Himes-Cornell and alumna Kathryn (Katy) Dalton, along with co-authors Juan Francisco Lechuga Sánchez and Rebecca Metzner of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization collaborated to publish a review on the enabling conditions necessary to ensure successful establishment of territorial use rights for fisheries (TURFs). Allocating or recognizing fishing tenure rights via TURFs can lead to a wide array of social, economic, and ecological responses, both positive and negative. 

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A poster for the film They Keep Quiet So We Make Noise. The imagery showcases a fence crossed by yellow caution tape.

Alumna’s Debut Film Yields Award Nom

The documentary short They Keep Quiet So We Make Noise was accepted to the Melbourne Short Film Festival and nominated for the Best Short Documentary Film Award. The work is the directorial debut of SMEA alum Marlena Skrobe ’20, a filmmaker and plastic pollution researcher. The film allowed Marlena to merge her research tools with her storytelling skills and her commitment to identify, expose, and help solve global environmental injustice perpetuated in global plastic recycling. 

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Mislabeled salmon, shrimp have biggest environmental toll

A study by Arizona State University, the University of Washington and other institutions examined the impacts of seafood mislabeling on the marine environment, including population health, the effectiveness of fishery management, and marine habitats and ecosystems. Co-author and SMEA Professor Sunny Jardine helped to design a statistical analysis to compare the product on the label with the one that was actually consumed. 

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There are several long poles and 4 yellow buoys underneath a black fishing net on a beach. An adult man is crouched between the net and the ocean.

SMEA Group Publish on FADs

SMEA alumni Guillermo Gomez, Samantha Farquhar, Henry Bell, Eric Laschever, and Stacy Hall collaborated on a paper exploring “a critical link between canned tuna – which is commonly fished with the aid of hundreds of thousands of Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) drifting in the ocean – and the legal and marketing concept of Illegal, Unreported or Unregulated (IUU) fishing”. The article published in Coastal Management documents “how a transparent registration and tracking process can better align market and regulatory forces to reduce unsustainable FAD practices. 

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Environmental DNA Paper Published

A team of SMEA community members recently were published by Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Biological Sciences. Congratulations are in order for Ramón Gallego, former SMEA postdoc, who led this paper with Emily Jacobs-Palmer, former SMEA postdoc, and Kelly Cribari, SMEA alumna, who was the Research Assistant, as a student on this project. The paper entitled Environmental DNA metabarcoding reveals winners and users of global change in coastal waters uses DNA sequences from water samples in the Salish Sea to forecast future ecological communities. 

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Marine-Related Learning Networks: Shifting the Paradigm Toward Collaborative Ocean Governance

Congratulations are in order for SMEA capstone alums Katy Dalton, Marlena Skrobe, Henry Bell, Benjamin Kantner, and Dave Berndtson, SMEA Professor Patrick Christie, and their Brazilian collaborators, including Dr. Leopoldo Gerhardinger, on their newly published paper “Marine-Related Learning Networks: Shifting the Paradigm Toward Collaborative Ocean Governance” published in Frontiers in Marine Science. The paper is a result of the first internationally-focused SMEA capstone, and the collaboration helps solidify connections between SMEA and Brazilian capstone counterparts who are fostering large and impactful learning networks there. 

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Three SMEA Graduates selected as Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellows

Recent SMEA Graduates Elise Lasky, Emily Buckner, and Henry Bell have been awarded the Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellowship for 2020-2021. This fellowship places highly motivated, qualified individuals with marine and coastal host offices throughout Washington, providing fellows with a unique perspective on building marine policy and allowing them to share their academic expertise with the host offices.
This year’s host offices include the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Pacific Northwest Crab Research Group and the Port of Seattle. 

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