68 posts in Student News

Simply Science

Currents is SMEA’s student-run blog dedicated to sharing timely and relevant discussions of pressing environmental issues, particularly in regards to marine and coastal systems and the interactions between humans and nature. Throughout the school year these students write posts about topics they find interesting and relevant in ocean science and policy. For the month of May they decided to try something a little different; they are running a series they’ve titled Simply Science. 

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Zhao Awarded NSF Research Fellowship

Congratulations to Lily Zhao on being awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowship. Zhao was the awardee for ‘Human Dimensions of Coral Reefs’. The fellowship will allow Zhao to continue her doctorate studies and research on how coral reefs and the coastal communities that depend on them can best recover from severe environmental shocks.
In all, the NSF named 2,000 individuals as this year’s recipients of awards from its Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). 

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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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Saying No to Plastic

500 million single-use plastic straws are used in the US everyday. Many organizations across the country have been working for years to raise awareness about the impacts of single-use plastic straws on the environment. This year Seattle hosted the first city-wide campaign, called Strawless in Seattle, to help remove single-use plastic straws from the US waste stream. Here at SMEA the Student Environmental Affairs Society (SEAS) and Currents Blog Teams joined forces to sponsor #StrawlessSMEA; a challenge to SMEA students and faculty to say NO! 

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Researchers’ experiences at sea

SMEA graduate students Kaitlin Lebon and Katie Keil each contributed pieces to a series for the student blog Currents illustrating researchers’ experiences at sea. Lebon’s piece takes an inside look at field science in the Arctic through Kylie Welch— a Faculty Research Assistant with the Goñi Lab at Oregon State University. Keil’s piece describes her own experiences on the University of Washington’s R/V Clifford A Barnes to collect water chemistry parameters, various plankton samples, and krill. 

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9 days, 50+ miles, and the time of my life

Written by Katie Keil
Although my summer was already comically overbooked with a month-long summer course at Friday Harbor Labs, two nine day research cruises for my thesis, and a trip back home, when Dr. Tim Billo invited me to join him in teaching a backpacking course, I couldn’t say “yes” fast enough. I rescheduled my flight home, and started preparations for ENVIR 495C, Landscape Changes in the Pacific Northwest – an interdisciplinary ecology and environmental philosophy course taught through the lens of a 9-day backpacking trip in Olympic National Park. 

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Adventures in Indonesia

Written by Allie Sifrit
Hello all!
My name is Allie Sifrit and I am just starting my second year at SMEA! However, I will actually be in Indonesia for the beginning of the school year! I am currently collecting data for my thesis. My research is on the stakeholder perceptions of compliance to marine protected area regulations in Maluku, Indonesia. I am working alongside a project from USAID called the Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced Project and the director of this project is one of SMEA’s affiliate faculty members: Dr. 

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Hershman Fellowship Awardees

Congratulations to recent SMEA grads and students Sara Brostrom, Haley Kennard and Marisa Nixon who were all awarded Marc Hershman Marine Policy Fellowships! Hershman fellows are teamed with mentors in state government or an NGO host office in Olympia, Tacoma or Seattle, working on ocean and coastal science and management issues for one year. This year’s host offices are The Nature Conservancy, Makah Office of Tribal Affairs and Washington State Departments of Ecology and Health. 

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Summer Adventures as a NOAA intern

Written by Charlene Vasquez
I have spent my summer in Honolulu, Hawai’i as a NOAA Pathways Intern. The purpose of my internship was to write a draft of the Mariana Trench Marine National Monument Ecosystem Science Plan. There was a draft written in 2011, but a lot changes in 6 years, so it needed to be updated. It also needed to be reorganized and a lot of sections rewritten. 

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Zhao awarded MSC Scholarship to fund fisheries research in East Africa

The Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) announced the winners of the latest round of its scholarship program, which provides funding of up to £4,000 to support research that looks at environmental improvement, supply chain management or best practice in fisheries management. The two winners, SMEA graduate student Lily Zhao and Timothy Munyikana Kakai from Pwani University, Kenya were selected from a record 70 applications from 30 countries. 

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