Helping fishermen on the coast of Peru

SMEA (’16) graduate Chris Giordano recently wrote a post that was featured on the Peace Corps Response’s website. In the fall of 2016, Chris joined the Peace Corps Response, which sends experienced professionals to undertake short-term, high-impact service assignments in communities around the world. He went to northern coast of Peru where “the bulk of my time has been in a support role for my socio, Inkaterra Asociacion, drawing on my recent master’s degree and experience to help my counterpart form their first set of marine projects while teaching the team how to think about coastal conservation.” In his post, Chris reflects on his past year of service and the amazing opportunity it provided him. 

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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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Why people matter in ocean governance

Professor Patrick Christie and co-authors recently published a paper in Marine Policy titled “Why people matter in ocean governance: Incorporating human dimensions into large-scale marine protected areas.” The paper draws on the results of a global “Think Tank on the Human Dimensions of Large Scale Marine Protected Areas” (LSMPAs) that included representatives from 17 countries and a variety of organizations such as government agencies, non-governmental organizations, academia, professionals, industry, cultural/indigenous leaders and LSMPA site managers. 

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Communicating science with Nives Dolšak

By Mackenzie Nelson
It is no secret that science, especially environmental science, has had to climb over a few stumbling blocks in the past six months. While the phrase “alternative facts” has spurred the development of alt-groups that challenge the stance of the current narrow-minded administration, it also highlights how scientists are failing to reach a broader audience. Nives Dolšak, however, is succeeding. 

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Catching up with Professor Tom Leschine in Retirement

By Mackenzie Nelson
He walks to the corner office and opens the door. The room is as big as his reputation at SMEA. The number of books lining his walls is impressive. The spectrum of colors represented, even more so—almost like an art installment with each book specifically placed to bring the most artistic appeal. But upon closer inspection, it is clear they have been carefully categorized by topic. 

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Alumni Updates – Where are they now?

By Mackenzie Nelson
SMEA Alums can be found all over the U.S. (and the world!) We were fortunate to catch up with several recently who shared what they’ve been up to, as well as some words of advice.

ERIK STROMBERG, Class of ‘82
Location: Beaumont, TX
Erik is the Executive Director of the Center for Advances in Port Management (CAPM) at Lamar University where he is building the curriculum for the fully online Masters of Science in Port and Terminal Management Program (check out: lamar.edu/portmanagement), which is expected to begin Fall 2017. 

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Working with Tribes

By Mackenzie Nelson
This year, Professor Patrick Christie taught an undergraduate class in the Jackson School of International Studies, a Task Force capstone course for the International Studies Program focused on the Tulalip Tribe’s environmental recovery plans. The premise of this class arose as the result of lack of understanding among non-tribal individuals about tribal treaty rights and environmental decline in the Puget Sound area due to “climate change and unsustainable human activities” (Task Force Report 2017, p. 

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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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After Graduation – what’s next for SMEA’s newest graduates

By Danielle Edelman
The freshly-minted SMEA class of 2017 is incredibly diverse, and their plans for the future reflect the incredible pool of talent they represent. Two recent grads share their post-SMEA destinations. 

Grace Ferrara
Grace has worked for the National Marine Fisheries Service since Summer 2016. She has recently been selected for the prestigious Knauss Fellowship in Washington, D.C., which begins in February of next year. 

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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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