Q & A with Alumna Natalie Lowell

Alumna Natalie Lowell graduated from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs in 2015 and is now a PhD student in the School of Aquatic & Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. We had a chance to catch up with Natalie recently and hear about what she’s studying, her time at SMEA, and advice she has for current SMEA students. 

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Should India’s Supreme Court Enforce Regulations?

SMEA Professor and Associate Director Nives Dolšak, UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash and faculty member at the School of Law, Environment and Planning at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology in India Shalini Iyengar, recently wrote a piece featured in The Regulatory Review, a publication of the Penn Program on Regulation titled “Should India’s Supreme Court Enforce Regulations?” The article questions the Supreme Court of India’s involvement in enforcing public interest regulations, and whether sustained interventions could affect its ability to interpret the law as an expert, legitimate, and neutral actor. 

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Will the California Current lose its nesting Tufted Puffins?

Congratulations to SMEA alum Chris Hart, whose SMEA Master’s thesis “Will the California Current lose its nesting Tufted Puffins?” was recently published in PeerJ. Hart worked in collaboration with Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife to ask about the population trends of an iconic species that’s under consideration for the Endangered Species Act (ESA) listing, the Tufted Puffin. Hart’s work could influence the U.S. 

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Q & A with Julie Ann Koehlinger

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I wanted to remain immersed in ocean science while learning how to navigate the interface between science and policy.
Why did you decide to come to UW’s SMEA for graduate school?
It felt like a good fit for my goals. My undergraduate oceanography degree is from UW so I had a good sense of everything the university has to offer. 

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Using Art to Communicate Science

Log into Twitter on a Sunday and search for #SundayFishSketch; you’ll find a plethora of illustrations of fishes and other marine species. These illustrations are submitted by scientists, artists and anyone else inspired to create, from all over the world. One of these contributors is 1st year School of Marine & Environmental Affairs (SMEA) graduate student Spencer Showalter. Showalter said “My sophomore year [at Boston University], I traveled to Belize for a research class, and part of the assignment was to keep a field journal and draw a ridiculous number of fishes. 

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Quantifying the effectiveness of shoreline armoring removal on coastal biota of Puget Sound

2017 SMEA graduate, Tim Lee, whose SMEA thesis entitled, “Quantifying the effectiveness of shoreline armoring removal on coastal biota of Puget Sound“, was recently published in PeerJ. Lee did a meta-analysis of data from School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS) research scientists Jason Toft and Jeff Cordell to show that removing shoreline armoring in Puget Sound is an effective restoration technique. 

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Why aren’t non-profits overseen like for-profits?

SMEA Professor and Associate Director Nives Dolšak, UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash and Political Science Ph.D. student Sirindah (Christianna) Parr recently wrote a piece featured in The Washington Post Monkey Cage on the Oxfam scandal titled “The Oxfam scandal shows that, yes, nonprofits can behave badly. So why aren’t they overseen like for-profits?” The civic sector plays an important role in the contemporary society. 

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The Politics of Carbon Tax

SMEA Professor and Associate Director Nives Dolšak and UW Director of the Center for Environmental Politics Aseem Prakash recently wrote an article featured on the The Hill titled “The key to a successful carbon tax is how you spend the money.” To examine the politics of carbon tax, Dolšak and Prakash compared three carbon tax proposals, all from Washington state: the 2018 carbon tax proposed by Governor Jay Inslee, a counter proposal by Washington Land Commissioner Hilary Franz, and I-732. 

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Q & A with Alex Gustafson

Why did you decide to pursue a Master of Marine Affairs?
I received Bachelors degrees in Environmental Science and Political Science with the intention of getting a Masters from a coastal university focused on coastal issues. This degree seemed like one where I could really capitalize on my strengths in both academic realms, pursue my lifelong interest of all things aquatic and also discover new skills. 

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Looking at the rise and fall of sockeye salmon using environmental DNA

Congratulations to SMEA alum’s Mike Tillotson and Jimmy Krajl, Professor Ryan Kelly, and co-authors on their recently published paper “Concentrations of environmental DNA (eDNA) reflect spawning salmon abundance at fine spatial and temporal scales.” The paper, published in Biological Conservation, was spearheaded by Tillotson and refers to water sampling data from a small stream in Alaska to look at the rise and fall of sockeye salmon DNA over a spawning run. 

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