41 posts in Q&A Profiles

Q & A with Allie Brown

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I came to SMEA after studying at Friday Harbor Labs on San Juan island for a summer after my undergraduate studies. I wanted to gain a bit more marine experience after getting a degree in wildlife ecology which focused on terrestrial vertebrates. I both heard about SMEA there and realized there that I was not super interested in lab work and very interested how to create change and in how humans get excited about the ocean. 

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Q & A With Maggie Allen

Maggie Allen graduated from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs in 2016 and is now with NOAA Education in Washington D.C. as a Sea Grant Knauss Fellow. We had a chance to catch up with Maggie recently and hear about her time at SMEA and advice she has for current SMEA students.
Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs? 

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Q & A with Valerie Cleland

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
With a background in science, I craved the skills to make larger changes that impact coastal communities and marine environments. An interdisciplinary Masters would provide me with the skills to speak the languages of both science and policy and thus work more effectively between these worlds. It doesn’t hurt that I have had a lifelong love affair with the ocean, making a marine focused Masters even more appealing. 

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Q & A with Danielle Edelman

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I got my undergraduate degree in Aquatic Biology at UCSB, but after I graduated I got a job in regulatory affairs that involved ensuring compliance with the FDA. I think a lot of people would have been turned off by the bureaucracy and paperwork, but it made me realize how important it is to understand the regulatory processes that govern how science and industry interact. 

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Q & A with Dr. Cleo Woelfle-Erskine

How did you decide to become a professor?
I’ve always loved teaching, and before graduate school taught environmental science and geography to K-12 students, and home graywater system installation and rainwater harvesting to adults. In graduate school, I discovered I love research as well, and realized I could combine research, teaching, mentoring students, and community-engaged research as a professor.
What do you like most about your work? 

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Q & A With Charlene Vasquez

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I have always loved the ocean and I earned my undergraduate degree in marine biology. Moving forward I wanted to learn how to protect the ocean, so after looking into possible degrees, earning my degree in marine affairs seemed like a great choice.
Why did you decide to come to UW’s SMEA for graduate school? 

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Q & A with Karen Villeda

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
After spending a couple of years working on community-based marine conservation projects in the developing world, I realized that in order to help build impactful and resilient conservation initiatives I needed to further strengthen some of my technical skills. Through my job, I had been exposed to challenges that were not solely scientific or development focused in nature. 

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Q & A with Thao Huynh

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I fell in love with the sea the first time I saw one at the age of 5. Naturally, I was inclined to study marine sciences, swim with the dolphins, and save the animals. Eventually, I pursued a bachelors in biology and grew old enough to realize the marine environment is composed of more than animals and ecosystems. 

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Q & A with Brandon Ray

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
After finishing my active duty career in the Navy, I knew I wanted to go into a field that would allow me to combine my knowledge of science with the ability to solve problems politically – and thus act as a liaison between communities that don’t often speak the same vernacular. 

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Q & A With Hannah Russell

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I decided to pursue an MMA because I knew that to get to my goal of working in fisheries management, I would need a specialized degree. The MMA degree is inherently interdisciplinary, as are my interests, which made it a good fit for me.
Why did you decide to come to UW’s SMEA for graduate school? 

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