76 posts in Q&A Profiles
A white, adult man is wearing a green jacket, orange turtle neck, a blue backpack, black hat with sunglasses propped on the brim, and is holding ski poles in each hand. He's shown from the waist up standing on snow with trees in the background.

Q&A with Henry Bell

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
After college, I spent four months in the Caribbean conducting environmental research and filming a documentary to raise awareness about some of the more pressing issues facing marine
environments. In 2016, I began teaching marine policy to undergraduates in the South Pacific for Sea Education Association, an ocean research and sailing program. 

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SMEA student Chris Boylan stands in a gray sweatshirt and black biking shorts wearing a bike helmet. He stands in front of an interpretive sign with two red bicycles, one on either side of him. There's a body of water in the distance.

Q&A with Chris Boylan

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I decided to pursue a graduate degree chasing the idea that reconnecting coastal communities to their green and blue spaces would lead to a higher quality of life in those regions as well as generate more preparedness as those communities begin to adapt to the effects of climate change.
Why did you decide to come to UW’s SMEA for graduate school? 

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Head shot of SMEA student Marlena Skrobe.

Q&A with Marlena Skrobe

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I double majored in Marine Affairs and Visual Journalism with a focus on anthropology for my undergraduate studies while at the University of Miami in Florida. I then worked in the film industry for a number of years as a camera assistant and casting director in New York City in order to learn more about the technical side of filmmaking. 

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SMEA student Stephanie Wolek is crouched in clear, shallow water alongside a rocky coastline. Boulders of various sizes are spread along the shore.

Q&A with Stephanie Wolek

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I actually came across the program by chance. I was looking at the University of Washington’s degree programs and saw “Marine Affairs”. I wasn’t totally sure what it was, but it piqued my interest. I ended up spending hours on the website and realized that this was the right program for me. 

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Picture of SMEA student Brittany Hoedemaker wearing a white shirt and black pants standing in front of green shrubs with yellow flowers

Q&A with Brittany Hoedemaker

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
Honestly? I didn’t. I pursued SMEA, and that pursuit will result in an MMA!
Why did you decide to come to UW’s SMEA for graduate school?

I was working a corporate job and in many ways, really enjoyed it. But at the end of each day I felt unfulfilled, and knew I ultimately wanted my job to be more mission/impact driven. 

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Q & A with Taiki Ogawa

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
My future goal is to promote the sustainable use of fisheries resources. After majoring in fish population dynamics at the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute of the University, I worked in the Fisheries Agency of Japan (FAJ) as a fisheries management officer both domestically and internationally. I participated in many bilateral and multilateral fisheries negotiations as a member of the Japanese delegation. 

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Q & A with Jessica O’Toole

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I graduated college with a degree in Marine Biology and had no idea what I wanted to do with it. I spent some time working at an aquarium after that and learned more about the human side of the field and our impacts on the ocean. During my time there I got really interested in conservation and realized how political it can be. 

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Q & A with Dr. P. Joshua Griffin

Why did you decide to become a professor?
My grandfather was a professor of philosophy, so I was raised to ask a lot of questions. I love the possibilities we can create together when we think critically about the world, consider our places in it, and our responsibilities to one another. For me this is the work of education. I became a professor because I wanted to join a community—of students and colleagues—with whom I could seek to better understand and be of service to the world. 

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Q & A with Charlotte Dohrn

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
After working for a few years, I realized that I really wanted to go back to school and dedicate a couple years to learning in an academic environment. I have always been drawn to the coast, and over the years this interest evolved into my professional and academic focus. At my previous job, I had the opportunity to work with a lot of different organizations focusing on a range of marine and coastal conservation and resource management issues, so the Master of Marine Affairs program was a great fit to build on my experience and gain new skills and knowledge to contribute to the field. 

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Q & A with Lou Forristall

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I want work in fisheries policy, I’m hoping an MMA will allow me to do that. Before SMEA, I went to law school and interned with NOAA in Alaska. At NOAA and in the last couple years of law school, I figured out that I am fascinated by fisheries management and not so much law and legal work. 

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