BA, Government & African Studies, University of Texas at Austin
Tressa was most recently an assistant principal and special education teacher in Austin, Texas. Prior to her work in public schools, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Rwanda, where she was an English teacher and instructional coach. Her experiences as a tourist in developing countries, particularly with the mountain gorillas in Rwanda and on the Indian Ocean in Zanzibar, ignited her interest in the way developing countries balance the economic gains of tourism with sustainable environmental practices. She is especially interested in activities that provide tourists with opportunities to interact up-close with marine life, such as snorkeling and “swim-with” programs.
BA, Psychology, Whitworth University
For the last three years, Rachel has worked in the Development & Marketing Department at The Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA. As the Event Coordinator, she planned animal release events for hundreds of donors each year. Additionally, Rachel also worked as an animal care volunteer at the Center, providing medical care to sick and injured marine mammals. She is interested in the causes and effects of toxic algal blooms and the effects of climate change on marine organisms.
BA, Environmental Studies, UC Santa Barbara
Ashley grew up on the coast of northern California. For the past three years she has worked as a communications outreach consultant developing outreach strategies and translating technical information into public-facing materials for the Washington State Department of Ecology. Ashley is extremely interested in how research and society interconnect through restoration policy in order to engage with local communities, businesses, and officials to tackle complex water quality issues. More specifically, policy regulations regarding noise pollution and marine debris from vessels within the Puget Sound. In her free time, she enjoys running and backpacking with friends.
BS, Geography & Coastal Studies, University of Victoria
Celeste has completed two projects with the University of Victoria’s Whale Lab in Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia: One focused on monitoring amphipod population recovery following gray whale predation; the other on anticipating shore morphology changes due to climate change. She is interested in ocean acoustics, marine debris sources and removal, and wildlife conservation.
BS, Biology, University of California, San Diego
Hannah has a background in the marine natural sciences, but her passion for understanding the complete picture of marine resource use and management lead her to the innately interdisciplinary field of fisheries science. Hannah’s general research interests revolve around how small-scale fisheries can be best studied and managed to ensure sustainability of both the natural and human components of the system. Specifically, she is interested in how small-scale fisheries are assessed to inform balanced, appropriate, and holistic management as well as how human values affect the adoption and ultimate success of management measures. Currently, Hannah acts as Research Assistant for Professor Eddie Allison, Project Coordinator for the Small-scale and Artisanal Fisheries Research Network, or SAFRN, and as a consultant and scientific diver for Sirenas Marine Discovery, a group focused on development of anti-cancer medicines inspired by the chemistry of simple marine organisms.
BA, Geography & Environmental Studies, Middlebury College
After graduating from college in 2014, Henry decided to sail to the Caribbean with the purpose of studying marine debris and shark populations. He partnered with a friend, and their research project expanded into a six-month sailing journey centered around the filming of an environmental adventure documentary. More recently, Henry sailed as a marine policy instructor in 2016 and 2018 on SEA Semester’s research expeditions to Kiribati’s remote Phoenix Islands Protected Area, the world’s largest and deepest UNESCO World Heritage Site. Henry has also spent time working in the solar and outdoor gear industries, but his biggest passions lie within the world of marine research and conservation, particularly on the international stage and in the South Pacific.
BS, Biology & Psychology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dave fell in love with the underwater world while learning to SCUBA dive in the Galápagos, while working as an animal conservation volunteer on San Cristóbal island. When he returned to the states, he began guiding teenagers on international community service trips at animal refuge centers in Costa Rica. Those trips also including surfing, ziplining, rafting, and SCUBA diving in Belize. He then became a registered Maine guide, an L3 whitewater canoe instructor, a wilderness first responder, and a swift water rescuer in order to take teenagers on lengthy canoe and backpacking trips in Maine. He spent one year writing science stories for PBS NewsHour out of Alexandria, VA, and is currently the assistant program manager and assistant tripping director at Wavus Camp for Girls in Jefferson, Maine. He is passionate about spreading the beauty and wonder of nature to others in hopes of sparking desires to care for the planet we live on, for the species we rarely see, or the ones we have yet to see. He is dedicated to giving a voice to the species who can’t speak for themselves, and to preserving as much of this wonderful world as he can for future generations to enjoy and respect. He is so excited to join like-minded and dedicated individuals at SMEA, and to explore the beautiful PNW!”
BA, Linguistics, Environmental Studies, Economics, University of Kansas
At age 19 Kristina worked for the local CBS affiliate in Kansas City (KCTV) where she created, produced and hosted a weekly public affairs television program geared towards the interests of teenagers. Along with her triple major from KU, Kristina also has a minor in Film and Media Studies. She devotes much of her free time to film research (with a particular emphasis on female filmmakers). In 2013 Kristina worked as an Energy Performance Coordinator on a project at the University of Kansas, where she developed a unique grading system designed to encourage campus faculty and staff to use less energy. When she is not traveling (her most favorite pastime), Kristina spends most of her time in various yoga or circus arts classes, rock climbing or simply staying inside with her two special-needs kitties.
BS, Oceanography, U.S. Naval Academy
In the U.S. Navy, Colin served in operations and engineering departments aboard ships, maritime patrol aviation squadrons as a pilot, and at shore bases in operational test coordination and emergency management. At Starbucks Coffee Company, he leads a team in business continuity planning. Colin is currently interested in pursuing study in coastal zone management and applied marine science while at SMEA.
BS, Biological Sciences; Minor, Chemistry, Indiana University South Bend
Chris has been influential in an array of research topics from ovarian cancer development to the effect of warming waters on marine invertebrates. Chris has also done user trend research to determine how people interacted online with Openlands, a Land Trust based in Chicago. Chris recently completed a year at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum as a Public Program Interpreter, where he educated guests on the specific environmental issues facing the Chicago region and discussed what mitigations civilians can make to offset these problems. Having grown up in southwest Florida, Chris is excited to return to an (albeit very different) marine environment and learn how to communicate a different set of problems and solutions. He is passionate about creating new opportunities for people to connect to nature and is very interested in the role social class plays in shaping opinions around marine life and sustainability.
BA, International Affairs & German Studies, Lewis & Clark College
After living in Munich, Germany for a year, Cullen returned to the Pacific Northwest and worked for The Nature Conservancy in major gift fundraising and eventually as a member of their federal government affairs team. He continued working in conservation policy at Portland, Oregon-based Sustainable Northwest on rural, rangeland, forest, and transportation policy issues. Eventually, Cullen landed in the Seattle area working for The Wilderness Society. He is interested in collaborative and innovative policy solutions in the ocean and coastal environment with a focus on conservation and marine mammal protection. Cullen lives on Bainbridge Island and is a board member of the Bainbridge Island Land Trust.
BA, Biology, Carleton College
Emily has been an environmental and science educator, working at an experiential learning center in the north woods of Minnesota, The Northwest School in Seattle, the University of Washington’s Burke Museum of Natural History, the Seattle Audubon Society, and the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership in Midcoast Maine. She has also worked as a research and field technician for the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the National Ecological Observatory Network. Emily is passionate about science communication and building positive and sustainable human-ecological relationships. She hopes to be involved in research that can be directly applied to conservation decision-making and is particularly interested in the interactions that occur at the interface of the marine and terrestrial environment to connect these two distinct ecosystems and influence their health and function.
BA, Psychology, Yale University
Emily used to teach snorkeling, sea kayaking, and windsurfing in Belize, where she first realized that her enthusiasm for marine life was something she wanted to explore academically. This led her to the beaches of Cape Verde for a summer, working with nesting sea turtles (and “accidentally” rescuing her dog). She is interested in improving regulatory policies and education surrounding marine tourism, particularly in developing countries; her social science background encourages her to investigate these issues from the human point of view. Within the past year she has been working with graduate students at UC Santa Cruz’s Long Marine Laboratory studying ochre sea stars and California mussels, as well as volunteering as an adult ESL tutor.
BS, Marine Resource & Environment, Ocean University of China
Zelin’s research has focused mainly on marine fishery resources. His interest in marine fishery resource restoration had inspired him to conduct his SRDP (Student Research Development Project) in the artificial reefs and importance of marine ranching. With his understanding expanding to marine fishery resource assessment, his interest has shifted to evaluate fishery status using mathematical model methods, which was his undergraduate thesis research topic. Zelin also worked as an intern in China Blue to help optimize seafood supply-chains in China. His working experience in fishery NGOs and background in research has inspired him to explore better utilization of fishery resources based on analytical stock assessments to achieve a sustainable use of marine resources.
Chicojay Moore, Katrina
BA, Environmental Science, Colby College
As an undergraduate, Katie had the opportunity to research how lobstermen in the Gulf of Maine perceive climate change and its potential impacts on the lobster industry. This research sparked Katie’s interest in social-ecological interactions and how scientists and lawmakers can work with local communities and stakeholders to implement effective policy. At SMEA, she is excited to further her understanding of human interactions with the marine environment and the effective management of marine resources.
BS, Marine Biology, Roger Williams University
During her time at RWU Kelly was fortunate enough to study abroad in both Bermuda and Panama where she studied coral reefs and anthropogenic impacts on the ecosystems. In Bermuda she also studied the distribution and social behavior of the Puddingwife Wrasse. Kelly was a research assistant at RWU under Dr. David Taylor and had the opportunity to conduct a 4-year research project which later became her senior thesis. She studied the predation of blue crabs on juvenile winter flounder in New England waters using a PCR-method. She is excited to continue learning PCR techniques at UW and connecting it to a larger ecosystem.
BS, Integrative Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Angela has been an Americorps member with the Watershed Stewards Program since graduating in 2016. She was placed with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Coastal Watershed Planning and Assessment Program performing salmonid surveys in the winter and summer months. During her university studies, Angela had the opportunity to do surveys in Marine Protected Areas of Cambodia and Belize, where she started to notice a disconnect between the environmental goals of MPAs and the needs of local fishermen. At the UW, she hopes to study how MPAs can most effectively be implemented and monitored for maximum biological success with the local community’s needs still in mind.
BS, Marine Biology, The College of Charleston
Cori studied marine ecology as an undergraduate, and discovered her passion for teaching at sea after an exciting six-week research sail with Sea Education Association. She then worked as an educator aboard the schooner Spirit of South Carolina, at Catalina Island Marine Institute, and for the Audubon Sanctuary. She has developed and taught two experiential science programs, with one focusing on ocean literacy and the other on biodiversity and stewardship. Cori managed an education program at a conservation non-profit, and has supported a variety of science initiatives in San Francisco for the past six years. Most recently, she has enjoyed doing field research on a shoreline restoration project and its impact on marine invertebrates, and collecting stream data in the Salmon Creek watershed. She is interested in the social and quantitative aspects of marine ecosystem based management and spatial planning, and collaborative approaches to addressing environmental problems. At SMEA, Cori is excited to learn more about the economic and political factors impacting marine ecosystems, fisheries, and coastal communities.
BA, Biology-Environmental Studies, Whitman College
As an undergraduate, Chris worked as a research assistant studying the health of a native grass population in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem in Eastern Washington. Following graduation, he worked as a volunteer with NOAA and the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation to study methods of rearing larval lamprey in order to promote the health of Pacific Lamprey in the Columbia Basin.
BA, Organismal Biology & Ecology, Colorado College
Growing up in Alaska gave Katy a natural affinity for wild spaces and environmental conservation, but it wasn’t until she learned to SCUBA dive that she began to develop a passion for marine ecology and conservation. Since finishing undergrad, Katy has worked for an environmental nonprofit and an avalanche safety and education nonprofit. Katy has traveled and volunteered all over the world, and hopes to extend that international focus to her career. With a background in biology and field research combined with a degree from SMEA, Katy is excited to work as the link between marine science and policy implementation.
BA, Environmental Analysis, Pomona College
Charlotte worked for a consulting company in Oakland, California, supporting clients working on marine and coastal conservation and resource management. As a consultant, her work included conducting social science research to inform strategic planning, program evaluation, stakeholder engagement, and other services. Prior to Blue Earth, Charlotte worked for a climate policy organization, shellfish restaurants, and as a field technician in Alaska. Her undergraduate thesis focused on community-based fisheries management. Charlotte is interested in learning more about climate adaptation and resilience for coastal communities and sustainable management of coastal resources.
Downing, John Zachariah
BS, Logistics & Intermodal Transportation, United States Merchant Marine Academy
John is an experienced Merchant Mariner, Naval Officer, and has been an active duty Coast Guard Officer for 11 years serving as a Law Enforcement Officer, Marine Inspector, and Marine Investigator. His most recent assignment was as the Chief of Waterways Management division in Charleston, South Carolina where his team ensured safe transit for a waterway which annually contributes over $136B to the national economy and primed Coast Guard activities for the $2B port deepening project set to begin in December 2017. He is interested in arctic policy and effective management of marine resources and waterways.
MPA, California State University East Bay; BS, Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences & Conservation Biology, University of Washington
Cody has been an active duty Coast Guard officer since 2007. His previous tours of duty include Deck Watch Officer on the CGC MELLON (WHEC 717) home ported in Seattle, WA; Operations Officer aboard CGC WALNUT (WLB 205) home ported in Honolulu, HI where he conducted Aids to Navigation and Fisheries Enforcement operations. From 2011 to 2013, he was stationed in Alameda, CA within the PACAREA/11th District Command Center where he stood duty as a Command Duty Officer, Search and Rescue Controller and Law Enforcement Duty Officer. From 2013 to 2014, he was selected to serve as the 11th Districts Living Marine Resource Officer where he focused on improving training, building partnerships and shaped fisheries operations throughout the district. In 2014, he received orders to be the Executive Officer for CGC ELM (WLB 204) home ported in Atlantic Beach, NC. Upon completion of his Executive officer tour in 2016, he was assigned as Commanding Office of CGC GEORGE COBB (WLM 564) homeported in San Pedro, CA.
BS, Marine Biology; BA, International Studies, University of North Carolina Wilmington
While an undergrad, Sam studied invasive lionfish from North Carolina and Bonaire. She has worked as a fisheries technician with the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries and has lead high school students studying marine and aquatic science abroad as a Program Leader with the nonprofit, CIEE. Additionally, Sam was a regular volunteer at her local aquarium as a dive educator as well as an intern at a local nonprofit, the Full Belly Project. After graduating, Sam went to Nepal to research how aquaculture can be used as a tool to boost economic and food security for women. She hopes to continue to explore relationships between environmental resources and communities while at UW.
JD, Law; BA, English, University of Illinois
Louis is a native of the Chicago area, and was first exposed to marine policy issues during law school. After his second year of law school, Louis interned with the Alaska section of the NOAA Office of General Counsel, where he first worked with marine and fisheries policy. At school, he took classes on environmental and administrative law that focused on international trade, food issues, and Marine Protected Areas. As part of the law school’s Environmental Law Clinic, he was lucky to work with Costa Rican lawyers to create potential fisheries policy reforms based on US regulatory experiences. At SMEA, Louis hopes to study how policy can be used to foster sustainable fisheries growth, and to develop a better understanding of fisheries and ocean science as it relates to marine policy making.
BS, Environmental Science, Duke University
Since graduating from Duke, Emilie has worked in Annapolis, MD supporting fisheries science and management in the Chesapeake Bay region. She started out staffing a Baywide team focused on science-based management before becoming a contractor for the NOAA Chesapeake Bay Office to coordinate the blue crab scientific committee. Her experience developed her interest in fisheries management and the associated complexities of managing at a regional scale and balancing the interests of many different stakeholder groups. After growing up in Chicago and spending the last several years on the East Coast, she is happy to be in Seattle and exploring the West Coast!
BS, Environmental Science; Minor, Global Engagement, University of Washington, Tacoma
Ryan is an entrepreneur that developed a couple of small businesses before returning to school. His undergrad thesis was published, which investigated the ecological effects of concentrate waste from desalination plants. With a background in environmental science, he seeks to utilize that scientific knowledge as a policymaker, protecting ecosystems and species from the constant encroachment and exploitation of unsustainable economic pursuits. At SMEA, he is eager to research the industries that harm species and destroys vital habitat, such as marine sand mining, to find sustainable management solutions. He is also developing his future business of environmental consulting, seeking to provide beneficial ecological solutions, economic savings, and regulation compliance.
BS, Sustainability, Arizona State University
Despite being a Sonoran Desert native, Bridget has always loved the ocean. During her undergrad studies at ASU, she joined the Decision Center for a Desert City (DCDC) as a research intern. Through DCDC she cooperated with the Nature Conservancy on an urban watershed project in the City of Phoenix. She also has international research experience, such as her summers studying wave energy harvesting with the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago. Most recently, she completed a two-year Fulbright ETA grant on Jeju Island, South Korea where she worked in a Korean public-school teaching about American culture and environment. Her greatest interest is learning how the balance of human relationships with nature can lead to better, more resilient uses of marine resources.
BS, Zoology, University of Hawaii at Manoa
Since 2016 Jenna has been working for NOAA Alaskan Fisheries Science Center at their Marine Mammal Lab doing marine mammal acoustics research and data analysis. Here she has gained experience in data analysis using MATLAB, report editing, working with acoustical equipment in the lab and on the ships used for fieldwork. Before this, she did wildlife rehabilitation on San Juan Island, WA. She is interested in marine mammal acoustics and behavior, and how marine pollutants such as noise from boats or underwater machinery are affecting marine mammals. Also, how climate change and human interactment will affect these marine species. She’s also interested in how eDNA is used as a non-invasive tool to identify cetaceans and their habitats. Specifically how it’s being used to study the southern resident killer whale population.
BS, Environmental Studies, University of Southern California
Brittany is a Seattle area native whose love for environmental education was ignited while volunteering at the Seattle Aquarium throughout high school and into college. While living in LA she worked as an MPA intern at Santa Monica-based nonprofit Heal the Bay, where she split her time between gathering transact data at local MPA sites and working on public outreach programs. After graduating USC, she worked as an Environmental Planner at ICF International before moving to San Francisco where she worked at Pottery Barn’s corporate HQ as an Inventory Planner. She is passionate about science literacy, particularly educating the public on climate change and its impact on marine ecosystems. She hopes to find ways to make complex scientific ideas more digestible for the general public to foster innovative sustainability solutions and empower our communities to think green.
BS, Environmental Science, Loyola University Chicago
As an undergraduate, Abby held a Mulcahy Research Fellowship where she focused on sediment toxicology and benthic organisms in the Chicago River. After graduating and moving back to her home state of Alaska she spent the last two years as a staff scientist in environmental consulting researching, reporting, and sampling contaminated sites on military installations. Working in remote areas, especially coastal zones, sparked her interest in how resources are managed in Alaska and beyond. She is excited to learn more about coastal zone, ecosystem, and resource management as well as climate change and adaption strategies, especially for coastal arctic communities.
BS, Environmental Sciences, Oklahoma State University
Katherine has developed an interdisciplinary background in the sciences by defining the association between marine organisms at the Smithsonian Institute, researching the ecological impacts of various logging practices with the US Forest Service in Alaska, and reintroducing, rearing, and monitoring peregrine falcons with the National Park Service. She is interested in analyzing environmental response to anthropogenic stressors, and developing economic and effective strategies to protect marine resources.
BS, Marine & Environmental Science, U.S. Coast Guard Academy
TJ graduated the US Coast Guard Academy in 2012, and was an active duty Coast Guard Officer for 6 years. He has served as a Deck Watch Officer aboard a Medium Endurance Cutter conducting law enforcement patrols across Eastern Pacific from the Bering Sea down to the Panama Canal, as a Command Duty Officer directing Search and Rescue operations in Southeast Alaska, and at the National Strike Force Coordination Center in North Carolina supporting the Coast Guard’s oil spill and hazardous materials response mission. He is excited to be a part of such an interdisciplinary program utilizing skills from a variety of fields to develop environmental solutions.
BS, Environmental Science & Geology, Temple University
Lauren took an interest in coastal processes and sediment transport while working as a research assistant in the Coastal Geology lab at Temple University where she researched the effect of storm events and aeolian processes on barrier islands and sand dunes. Since graduating, she has worked as a Lab Director in an Environmental Science lab. She is interested in coastal geology, the effects of climate change on coastlines and coastal communities, and environmental policy.
BS, Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; Minor, Marine Biology, University of Washington
Jessica volunteered at the Seattle Aquarium as an undergraduate at UW, and was also involved in research projects. She analyzed hydrophone data from the Bering and Chukchi Seas for bearded seal calls, and studied persistent organic pollutant transfer from mothers to calves in bottlenose dolphins at the NOAA NWFSC. She participated in the necropsy of J32, a Southern Resident Killer Whale, and wrote science articles for the UW Daily. After graduating, Jessica went on a NOAA research cruise, and worked night ops to collect samples for harmful algae bloom research. Besides that, she has been developing teaching skills working as Director of Education at Huntington Learning Center. Jessica hopes that a master’s degree from SMEA will help her work at an NGO or an AZA, educating and inspiring the public about marine conservation.
BA, Environmental Studies; Minor, Marine Biology, University of Washington
Mariko grew up near the beach in Carlsbad, CA, sparking an early interest in marine life and human coastal interactions. She graduated from the University of Washington in 2016, with a degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on marine science. As an undergraduate, she had wonderful opportunities to go on research cruises around the Puget Sound, work as a lab assistant in oceanography and fishery labs, and serve as an ocean acidification intern for three amazing organizations (Washington Sea Grant, Environmental Protection Agency, and The Nature Conservancy). Since graduating in 2016, she has been working in a wetland ecology fishery lab, and has been expanding her knowledge in Japanese community based coastal operations and is planning on visiting Japan right before school starts, with the hopes that she can integrate her findings. Mariko is limited in her background with marine policy, but is extremely eager to learn how she can further develop her interests in shoreline restoration, coastal resilience, sustainable seafood, ocean acidification, and education/outreach.
JD, Law, DePaul University; BFA, Cinema, University of Southern California
Erik is a trial attorney, practicing primarily in the areas of personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense. He has also been a legislative-political director for a trade union, the Communications Workers of America, where he lobbied the U.S. Congress, advocating for pro-worker legislation. He also taught workshops, educating the union membership about the political and legislative processes and how the union agenda was advanced. He is interested in discovering the nexus between various forms of marine and environmental advocacy – community, political, and legal — and learning if it is feasible to develop a symbiosis between them.
BS, Biology; Minor, French Language, Trinity College
As an undergraduate student, Elise worked in an electric fish lab, studying the effects of the stress of predation on brain cell proliferation. Through studying animal physiology, she discovered an interest in aquatic locomotion. She worked as an education and conservation intern at the Mystic Aquarium, and participated in a project that resulted in the designation of the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts as a Marine National Monument. She is interested in the way in which policy decisions and governmental opinions affect marine environmental education. She is also interested in the way in which policy decisions are communicated to local communities, and ways in which decisions can be made that are environmentally sustainable and community minded.
BSc, Marine Biology & Creative Writing, Dalhousie University
As an undergrad, Sallie tried her hand in paleontology and studied how a species of ostracod failed to evolve in the Carboniferous and went extinct, while writing poetry about small-scale fisher people losing their fishing rights. After graduating in 2017, she returned to Hong Kong to work as a research assistant for a project looking at biodiversity in a harbor impacted by human activities. During this time, her interest in small-scale fisheries remained as her love for paleontology waned. So now she is fully committed to being a feminist marine scientist and hopes to explore how equity and sustainable development can be achieved by including responses to the specific needs of marginalized fishers in policy and management strategies.
BA, Environmental Studies & Sustainable Urban Development, University of Washington
As an undergraduate, Chris completed a study abroad project in India where he examined how rapid industrialization affects rural villages and the ecosystems they depend upon. Consequently, he is interested in research that not only examines the linkages between urban spaces, the environment, and human social constructs, but also explores how policy can be an effective tool in promoting better ecological resilience in an age of accelerated climate change. While at SMEA, Chris hopes to focus on the ways conservation practices impact both biodiversity and different social groups, particularly in relation to dam removal. A lifelong resident of Washington, Chris spends much of his free time on the Olympic Peninsula where he enjoys kayaking and hiking.
BS, Marine Science & Biology, University of Tampa
Samantha has been a teaching assistant in a variety of classes at the University of Tampa including Marine Ecology, Marine Botany, Biological Diversity and Biology. She’s also assisted in research on seahorses and pipefishes in Tampa Bay. She’s interested in understanding the socio-economic issues that surround the management of critical coastal ecosystems. Samantha would eventually like to pursue a career in academia as a professor or researcher.
BS, Environmental Science, Marine ecology emphasis; Minor, Spanish, Western Washington University
Susannah is passionate about both conservation and sustainability that focuses on equitable distribution of resources for underrepresented communities. She wants to learn how to bridge the gap between scientific research and legislation to implement environmental policies that will benefit ecosystems and minority communities. She studied abroad in Bocas del Toro, Panama. There she focused not only on climate change’s effect on marine ecosystems but also the influence of a rising tourism industry within a small community. She is particularly interested in how to reconcile community needs with a changing ocean and ever limited resources.
BA, Marine Affairs; Minor, Economics, University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science
Since graduating from the University of Miami in 2015 Kelly has worked at the Cape Eleuthera Institute and Island School in The Bahamas as a lead educator and divemaster for CEI’s Educational Programs team, and most recently as the Dean of Students and Marine Ecology Teacher for The Island School’s Summer Term. Though passionate about education, Kelly is also interested in how to communicate science to broader audiences and the general public, especially through outreach campaigns and social media- something she first gained experience with while assisting the Cape Eleuthera Institute’s communications team in producing photo, video, and written content for blogs and social media pages. Through the SMEA MMA program she hopes to further develop her communication skills, particularly as it relates to the sustainable use of living marine resources.
BS, Biology; Minor, Chemistry, Western Washington University
Jon grew up in the PNW and has worked in fishery observer programs since 2000. He currently manages the Fisheries Observation Science Program for NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. His love of the ocean solidified while working as an observer on the west coast of the US where he worked alongside commercial fishers and experienced firsthand how amazing the marine environment can be. Jon is excited to bring his practical knowledge of fisheries monitoring and management into the classroom and has interest in learning more about marine policy, economics, and law to make him a more effective scientist and manager. His goal is to have a positive impact on healthy oceans and strong coastal communities over his career in public service.
BA, Integrative Biology, University of California Berkeley
Hanna has worked as a Coastal Program Analyst for the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission, where she evaluated proposed projects affecting the Bay for conformity with applicable environmental laws and the Commission’s policies, in order to minimize their impacts and maximize public access to and along the water. While at UC Berkeley she held the position of Waster Audit Coordinator with the Campus Recycling and Refuse Services, and led a grant funded project to develop a novel Waste Audit Protocol. She has interned and conducted research in a variety of lab settings at UC Berkeley, Scripps Research Institute, and the University of Washington. She has been involved in community outreach and education related to marine life and conservation since high school, through volunteer work with the Seymour Discovery Center at UCSC’s Long Marine Lab, Save Our Shores, and various other organizations. Hanna is interested in applied marine ecology and resource management.
BSc, Zoology (Hons.), University of Edinburgh
Manjari has had a diverse range of experiences in Biological Sciences, Conservation Science, Public Outreach, Climate Change & Sustainability advisory services. After completing her undergraduate studies, she interned at the Wildlife Institute of India. There, she worked on the aquatic aspect of the National Mission for Sustaining Himalayan Ecosystem (NMSHE) project which dealt with the effect of Climate Change on fish and macrovertebrate distribution and biology. She then went on to intern at Sparklework Films, a documentary production company. Here, she assisted in the pre-production research and show flow of the “Special Operations: India” series on the History Channel. This past year, she has been working as an analyst at the Climate Change & Sustainability Department of KPMG, a “Big 4” consulting firm. Her projects dealt with climate change analysis and planning along with sustainability reporting and assurance. Manjari is also interested in martial arts (Japanses Jiu Jitsu), music (Piano) and Japanese anime.
BS, Biology (Ecology, Evolution, Conservation); BA, Classical Studies; Minor, Latin, University of Washington
Sarah works in the environmental consulting industry as a natural resources and fisheries biologist. She is interested in restoration ecology, conservation of Pacific salmon, forage fish, and quantifying and prioritizing restoration actions, among other things. She likes solving problems regarding sensitive aquatic species and resources using creativity and technical expertise. She especially likes field work, being outside, and handling fish, in addition to hiking, crabbing, climbing, bushwhacking, running, and soccer in her free time.
BS, Marine & Conservation Biology, Seattle University
Angela graduated from Seattle University in 2017 with a degree in marine and conservation biology. During her undergraduate years, she did research on local adaptations of organisms found along the Duwamish waterway (a Seattle SUPERFUND site) as well as work on genomic quantification and variation of crustaceans. Last year, she served as an AmeriCorps service member in Bellingham, WA where she managed two elementary school gardens and taught lessons about food production, nutrition, and environmental stewardship. Angela is passionate about ensuring fisheries are operated in a sustainable way and is excited to explore how policy and regulation can be realistically implemented to protect both human and ecological interests.
BA, Integrative Biology, Harvard University
Nick has worked as an educator at Birch Aquarium in San Diego, and he hopes to study current methods of restoring balance to ecosystems affected by unsustainable anthropogenic use. He is also interested in studying the way modern ocean management strategies affect different types of stakeholders.
BS, Resource Economics & Commerce, University of Rhode Island
During her undergraduate career, Marisa spent a significant amount of time with the Rhode Island Sea Grant Climate Change Collaborative, creating behavior change models and outreach tools to make climate change science more accessible to the public. Post college, she spent two years with a Seattle based non-profit engaging in environmental restoration with volunteers from around the world. Most recently, she has worked for several different organizations that teach marine science aboard sailboats, in the Salish Sea and Caribbean. Marisa is passionate about actively engaging communities in the management of natural resources, and proactively creating policies surrounding the impacts of global climate change.
Master of Environmental Studies, University of Tokyo; Bachelor of Marine Science, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology
Taiki majored in fish population dynamics at both Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology, as well as University of Tokyo, where he received his master’s degree. He focused on fish stocks such as Pacific chub mackerel. He has worked in the Fisheries Agency of Japan, and at the Resources Management Promotion Office, where he actively coordinated with the relevant fishing industry stakeholders and 40 prefectural governments to develop and revise resource management guidelines and implementation plans to promote co-management between fishing communities and the government. Since April 2016, he’s engaged in bilateral fisheries consultations between Japan and Pacific islands countries concerning conditions and fees for Japanese tuna fishers in the EEZs of these nations. He also participated in multilateral negotiations such as Western and Central Pacific Fisheries Commission to manage internationally shared fish species. Taiki is interested in sustainable use of fishery resources and eager to improve his practical analysis and management skills, in particular on marine policy, fish resource economics and fish stock assessment.
BS, Marine, Estuary, Freshwater Biology, University of New Hampshire
While at University of New Hampshire, Jess worked in a cyanobacteria lab studying the effects of BMAA (Beta-N-Methal Amino-L-Alanine) and microcystin in lake environments. This included the impact of cyanotoxins in local food chains and the consequence of cyanobacteria blooms on human populations. After college she worked at New England Aquarium helping out in their quarantine facility, getting hands on experience with a large array of animals. She is interested in conservation and learning how to improve public involvement in species protection and environmental sustainability.
BA, Environmental Studies, University of Washington
Karin is passionate about engaging children and young adults in interactive marine debris education to fall in love with ocean, exercise critical thinking skills, and inspire their creativity to envision innovative solutions. In 2014, she and her parents established the non-profit organization, Islands4Kids, an online platform focusing on marine debris education for children and their families. Several times a year, they conduct marine debris research at Ocean Shores, WA. While carrying out a general beach clean-up, they collect Asian debris that may have been carried over by the North Pacific Gyre to illustrate the international scale of the issue. During her nearly three years of working at the Kiddie Academy daycare center, she has also prepared outreach brochures, lessons, and activities on marine debris and plastic pollution for children ages 2 to 10 years old. She is interested in delving into regulations for reducing the input of trash into the ocean and effectively communicating plans of action across diverse communities and families.
BS, Environmental Science & Resource Management, University of Washington
Megan has participated in extensive research on the bioremediation properties of biosolids in a University of Washington Laboratory and has managed civil engineering projects at a small firm based in South Seattle. She is also an avid rock climber and rugby coach in her spare time.
BA, Biology, Whitman College
Emily served two years as a Washington Conservation Corps AmeriCorps member. She restored riparian areas and managed invasive species for the City of Bellingham, and contributed to a variety of nearshore monitoring projects, public outreach and education with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Aquatics Reserves Program. Most recently Emily has worked aboard commercial fishing vessels in Alaska as a NOAA fisheries observer. She is excited to learn more about marine policy and the human dimensions of resource management while at SMEA, and is particularly interested in collaborative and community based management.
BA, Marine Affairs, University of Miami
Priscilla has worked as a resident camp counselor at SeaWorld San Diego, educating campers about marine animals and ocean conservation. She will be doing fieldwork in September with Dr. Woelfle-Erskine in California, conducting snorkel habitat surveys and assisting citizen science volunteers with wet-dry mapping. She has many interests, but is particularly interested in interdisciplinary work that focuses on resource management and environmental conservation.
BA, Biology, Seattle Pacific University
Debbie grew up fishing with her dad in the Pacific Northwest and is excited to return to the saltwater after working in a microbiology lab. She is interested in effective management and restoration of salmon fisheries in the Puget Sound as well as public education/outreach and collaboration with tribal remediation projects.
Sheng, Xue Jie (Ailsa)
BE, Environmental Engineering, Nankai University
Holding interest in environmental economy, Ailsa wants to learn more about how to develop coastal cities in an environmentally-friendly way. Ailsa has learned about water treatment, solid waste treatment and air pollution control engineering in undergrad. After completing an internship with a startup’s communication and operation team, she is interested in learning how to convey environmental knowledge to the public. Her experience in Marine and Environmental Affairs is limited but she grew up in Tianjin, Bohai Bay, and has always been fascinated by protecting and developing the vulnerable coastal cities and risk assessment of offshore engineering.
BA, Marine Science, Environmental Science, Boston University
Most recently, Spencer was a NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholar, researching toxic algae blooms in the California Current System with NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center. She got into HABs through volunteering with intoxicated California Sea Lions at The Marine Mammal Center in California. She is particularly interested on the trophic effects that algae-based toxins on commercial species.
BA, Marine Affairs, Visual Journalism – Photojournalism Track, University of Miami
Marlena has worked as an assistant camerawoman and a casting director in New York City for the past five years. She helped cast films such as We The Animals and Night Comes On, which both shared the SUNDANCE NEXT Innovator Award. She is currently working on a documentary on the Sama Bajau peoples and their statelessness in the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Marlena is interested in the use of visual communication, such as feature length documentary form, as a tool to better incorporate marginalized groups in environmental strategies and policy.
BA, English Literature, University of Richmond; BS, Biology (Marine Focus), Western Washington University
Ian is a volunteer interpreter with the Seattle Aquarium, working to encourage people’s interest in and affection for the natural world. His main interest is in trying to make scientific developments more accessible to laymen. By facilitating better communication, he hopes we can see productive environmental work supported by policy makers and the general populace.
BS, Journalism & Psychology; BA, Spanish, University of Florida
Since completing her studies at the University of Florida, Stephanie has spent the past seven years working throughout South America in different facets of grassroots development and education. Overseas, she held the varied roles of Peace Corps Volunteer, Fulbright Student Researcher, and most recently, Media and Program Assistant for the US Embassy in Asuncion, Paraguay. Through her experiences with the Peace Corps, Stephanie recognized that environmental conservation is key to the success of any development project. As such, she aims to build off this passion for cross-cultural work, along with her background in communication and foreign languages, to focus on conservation issues at the international level. Specifically, she is interested in assessing the impacts of and adaptation to ocean acidification within the Latin American region. Before spending a considerable portion of her twenties in landlocked Paraguay, Stephanie grew up in South Florida, where she was a competitive swimmer and NAUI certified Divemaster. She is thrilled to embark on her studies at SMEA, and to be transitioning into a coursework that will allow her to work closely with her first love: the ocean.
BA, Organismic & Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
As an undergrad, Alex completed her thesis in a fish biomechanics lab studying the suction disc mechanisms unique to a group of fishes called remoras. Eager to work in the field after graduating, she pursued her passion for fishes working aboard a commercial fishing vessel in Bristol Bay, AK. Between two seasons of fishing for sockeye salmon, she split her time between two deep-sea research cruises and WWOOFing throughout South America. The year before enrolling at SMEA she spent back home in Boston working in sales and marketing for a sustainable orchard and craft cider house based in Shoreham, VT. She is interested in examining how increasing ocean acidification and hypoxia conditions should be integrated into fisheries management policies, and how these conditions and policies will affect coastal communities that are reliant on locally harvested seafood for food security.
BA, Zoology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
As an undergraduate, Ryan participated in the Ceiba Foundation for Tropical Conservation semester abroad in Ecuador and The Galápagos Islands. This program focused on tropical and marine ecology and conservation in the classroom and field, and included an independent research project in which he researched Ringtail damselfish (Stegastes beebei) aggression based on group density off the coast of San Cristóbal island. For the past two years he worked as a post-baccalaureate IRTA research fellow at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, where he examined the adverse effects of chronic HIV infection on the human immune system, specifically B Cells. Ryan is interested in ocean acidification due to climate change and its effects on marine life in coastal ecosystems, as well as government and international policy that mitigates harmful human activity in marine areas.
BS, Psychology & Brain Science, Boston University
Alex has a research background in child development and neuroscience, but his passion for marine science led him to return to his hometown of Seattle. While conducting prosociality research at Stanford, he was also helping with studies on sea star wasting syndrome at UC Santa Cruz and regularly volunteering with Save the Bay to assist with ecosystem restoration around the San Francisco Bay Area. Afterwards, he spent a year living in the redwood forests of the Santa Cruz Mountains as an Outdoor Educator. There, he led educational hikes through the redwoods and weekly trips to the California Coast. He is deeply interested in the establishment of Marine Protected Areas and improving their long-term efficacy in addition to local outreach and environmental education.
BA, English Literature, University of Richmond
Alex’s interest in marine conservation stems from scuba diving; having witnessed the positive impact that an MPA had on a bay in Saipan, she was inspired to pursue policy work. During her time with SMEA, she hopes to research how climate change or plastic pollution effects human populations with the intent to frame the threats to marine environments as public health issues. She has spent the last four years as a Transportation Officer for the United States Army and believes her experience in operations and logistics will enable her to put research into action.
BA, Life Sciences, Rutgers University
Brian has worked with the Alaska Observers as a biologist, collecting information aboard commercial fishing vessels and determining species composition of catches. He believes that part of a scientist’s duty is to empower the general public with new knowledge and understanding. His goal is for his work to influence public policy, safeguarding priceless and irreplaceable resources for future generations.
Van Duivenbode, Zoë
BS, Environmental Management and Protection, Humboldt State University
Zoe has worked for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) for the past year where she first interned for TNC’s Washington Chapter. Later, she joined TNC’s Global Oceans team working with the Reef Resilience Program where she connected with coral reef managers around the world to document current and future challenges managers face. Through her work she gained experience in coral reef management and resilience planning. She is interested in climate adaptation planning and sustainable marine resource management for regions located in Southeast Asia.
BS, Biology, Marist College
Stephanie is a science writer from New York, covering topics ranging from climate change to animal myths. She’s previously conducted research on the spread of invasive Asian shore crabs, pulsing Xenia coral as living filters, and the dietary needs of captive fanworms. There’s currently a disconnect between the public and scientists. Her goal is to develop citizen science projects that get the public directly involved in scientific research. When she’s not writing or tutoring biology, Stephanie enjoys gardening, hiking, and caring for her many pets.