Name Degree & School Experience & Interests
Allen, Maggie B.A., Environmental Studies-Sociology, Whitman College

Maggie graduated from Whitman College with a degree in Environmental Studies-Sociology in 2012, and has since delved into the world of marine conservation. She served as an AmeriCorps member at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Oregon, and then moved to Tasmania for eight months, where she assisted with communications concerning Antarctic fisheries management and climate activism. Passionate about justice and a healthy marine ecosystem, Maggie wishes to work in community based marine resource management and environmental communications.


Antonius, Ben B.A., English, University of California, Davis

Benjamin has worked for Foterra, collecting field data and developing techniques for estimating carbon impacts for offset purposes, and analyzing water pollution and permit data to propose potential pilot projects. He would ultimately like to have a career that combines his interest in applied science, the outdoors, and have a role in hands-on habitat restoration work.


Baker, Ian B.S. Biology, University of Florida

Ian is interested in public perception of farm raised fish versus fresh-caught and its implications towards management of fishery populations. He studied local environmental and ecological management at Bond University in Gold Coast, Australia over the summer of 2011.


Bastian, Liliana BS, Environmental Geosciences, Concentration on Coastal and Marine Environments, Texas A&M

Lili’s interest in marine affairs stems from her broader fascination with how the world uses its food resources and the resulting environmental and societal impacts. She previously studies marine and coastal environments from a physical geography perspective, and she’d now like to explore the social factors of marine affairs. She has experience in science writing education and non-profit communications.


Beaver, Ezra BA, Environmental Studies, Political Science, American Studies, Eckerd College St. Petersburg, FL

Ezra grew up on the coastal salt ponds of southern Rhode Island. He has worked in Washington and Alaska as a commercial salmon fisherman. For the past 3 years he has worked for a marine focused environmental consultation firm in Port Townsend, WA specializing in data management and mapping. Clients include NOAA and the Army Corps of Engineers among others. Ezra hopes to study the management of contaminated sediments and seaport environmental compliance while attending SMEA.


Best, Peter BA, Planning & Environmental Policy, Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University

Peter grew up here in the Puget Sound region. He worked for 9 years as a shoreline and environmental planner on local and regional issues, including capital facilities planning, comprehensive planning, shoreline management, salmon recovery, and Puget Sound restoration.  He currently sits on the board of the Great Peninsula Conservancy, a regional land trust serving Kitsap, Mason, and west Pierce counties. He will be a concurrent student at SMEA and the Evans School of Public Affairs and his goal is to continue to work on Puget Sound restoration at a regional scale.


Beverlin, Kristina B.A., Linguistics, Environmental Studies, Economics, Univ. 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.


Blake, Trina BA, Geology, Carleton College; JD, University of Oregon

Trina worked as a public defender (for TDA) in Seattle for 11 years after law school followed by a position at the NW Energy Coalition as a policy associate for 3 years, mainly focusing on early carbon/global warming issues, then on green energy. She is married with 4 children ages 7-20 and her oldest is also in college!


Boyes, Kayla B.S., Biology w/ Psychology minor, Purdue Univ., Fort Wayne

Kayla spent much of her undergraduate career researching the terrestrial invasive species emerald ash borer, and is now interested in learning more about marine conservation and invasive species management. She also studied abroad in the Bahamas and through the School for Field Studies at a marine protected area in the remote Turks and Caicos Islands exploring the challenges of managing an MPA. Kayla is interested in someday researching for a government or non-profit agency or working for a marine protected area, while also sharing the importance of marine conservation with others.


Chang, Michael BS, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University

Michael’s worked on several projects concerning local management of fisheries in the Solomon Islands, coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, and genetic analysis of invasive comb jellies. He’s extremely interested in using scientific methods and expanding his knowledge to other fields and hopefully affecting marine policy and affairs for the better in the future.


Cheney, Jack BA, International Relations, Boston University

Since graduating college Jack has attended culinary school, worked as a chef and most recently bought and sold seafood for a large seafood supplier in New York City.  He wants to combine his knowledge of the seafood industry with his background in international policy to pursue sustainable seafood solutions both in aquaculture and wild fisheries protection.  Bridging the gap between policy makers and consumers is an important goal of his in Marine Affairs.


Clos-Versailles, Sebastien B.Sc., Biology, McGill University

Sebastien has been an intern at Oceans Research in South Africa where he aided several masters students on research ranging from great white sharks photo identification to dolphin and whale tracking to shark husbandry. Prior to his work in South Africa, Sebastien spent time on Vancouver Island assisting in research on resident Grey Whales. He is interested in marine protected areas and their effectiveness on the preservation of marine life as well as the management and implementation of sustainable fisheries.


Crotty, Colleen BS, Environmental Science with a Biology emphasis, Texas A&M – Corpus Christi

After completing her undergraduate work she spent the first half of 2008 radio tracking river otters in Evora, Portugal, followed by a summer internship with the Galveston Bay Foundation assisting the Education Coordinator with a children’s science camp. Since the fall of 2008 she has been working offshore on surface seismic vessels and drilling platforms as a marine mammal observer. There she observed and reported on marine mammal and sea turtle activity and informed the seismic operators of the government regulations regarding seismic work and protected species. Any compliance issues were then reported to the government. Additionally, she worked as a Passive Acoustics Monitor doing a similar job using hydrophones to detect marine life nighttime activity. It was this work that led her to her interest in this degree, as the current regulations are outdated and often leave large gray areas open for interpretation.


Dallstream, Kiersten BS, Wildlife Ecology, Washington State University

Kiersten is a professional soccer player and has been on the move for awhile. She is excited to finally be able to stay in one place and both play and go to school in Seattle. She is limited on experience in Marine and Environmental Affairs but has always been fascinated by it.


Dawson, Claire BComm Co-op, Dalhousie University (Canada)

Clare has volunteered in Malaysia creating sea turtle sanctuaries and is an avid scuba diver. She has worked in the Similan and Surin islands as a Divemaster and is interested in Marine Tourism and Resource Conservation. Specifically, she is interested in balancing effective marine conservation with the cultural values and norms of a developing nation.


Desillier, Megan B.A., Classics, San Diego State University

Megan has lived along the coast of Southern California which sparked her interest in oil platforms and coastal management. She has grown up enjoying the environment, specifically the ocean. She has shadowed her father in his work both in the United States Coast Guard and more recently in his position of a California Commercial Fishing Boat Inspector. Megan is interested in working with the oil platforms off of the coast of Southern California through policy enforcement and environmental consulting.


Evrard, Raye B.S., Program in the Environment with concentration in marine and freshwater ecosystems, University of Michigan

Raye grew up surrounded by the beautiful Great Lakes and this proximity has created a love and fascination for large bodies of water. She is especially interested in marine pollution management and marine environmental protection due to the problems the Great Lakes have faced. She has previously studied marine environments through the use of hard sciences, such as biology and ecology, and is now very excited to study these ecosystems through a more human perspective.


Freeman, Mikaela BS, Natural Science with emphasis in Biology, University of Puget Sound

Mikaela has always had a great interest in marine life and is very excited to start studying towards making a career working in the marine environment. Her interest in Marine and Environmental Affairs is in marine conservation and working with marine protected areas, especially in coral reef ecosystems. She has some experience working in these areas while studying abroad in Turks and Caicos as well as additional experience with marine life through her internships with Foss Waterway Seaport and the Seattle Aquarium.


Giordano, Christopher B.S., Marine Science and BA, Spanish, Eckerd College

Witnessing the economic collapse and the upset anglers experienced during the BP oil spill as an intern spurred Chris towards the sustainable livelihoods approach of fisheries management. Since then he has researched the practicality of applying those methods to different maritime Hispanic communities, especially Cuba. Most recently, he interned with the California Collaborative Fisheries Research Program creating a social survey and strengthening the relationship between local anglers and scientists.


Greene, Angelica B.A., Psychology and English, University of Arizona

Angelica’s background is in social work and family services. Her most recent experience has been in direct practice home visiting for a nationally accredited child abuse prevention and parent education program. Her interests are in social change and the assessment of environmental value in coastal communities. Angelica is also interested in conservation policy and environmental education.


Hamlin, Haley B.S., Environmental Science, Baylor

Fresh out of her undergraduate schooling, Haley is an avid scuba diver and has traveled to over ten countries. She has extensive training in the field of geographic information systems and has worked previously as a veterinary technician at a local animal hospital. She is interested in pursuing a doctorate degree in marine biology to work in the field of marine conservation, specifically the trade industry of marine organisms and the impact of international policy on the management of migratory marine species.


Hillier, Annie B.A., Biology, The Colorado College

Annie strengthened her desire to advocate for healthy oceans while working as a Marine Naturalist aboard tour vessels in Maui. During these four years she came to understand the importance and potential of increased public awareness of the many challenges that the marine environment faces, and worked to empower individuals to become stewards of the environment. She is interested in public outreach as well as designing and implementing whole-systems approaches to managing the sustainability of the oceans.


Holstein, Danielle B.A., Philosophy, Pomona College

Danielle currently works for Seattle Public Utilities, creating educational videos for Seattle residents addressing environmental behavior changes. In addition, she works as a research assistant for Professor Nives Dolsak on a project relating to indicators of well-being in coastal communities. As an undergraduate, Danielle enjoyed research projects from other fields including philosophy, politics, and social psychology. Her interests include behavior change and decision-making, grant writing, and most recently, fisheries.


Jackson, Scott BS, Lyman Briggs Zoology with a concentration in Marine Biology

Scott’s interest in marine biology began with a fascination for marine mammals, such as cetaceans and sea otters. While the flagship marine species still hold a place in his mind, he is also becoming more dedicated and focused on conservation and working to preserve fragile marine ecosystems. Perhaps one of his greatest marine experiences was a study abroad that he took to the Galapagos Islands, where he was able to have a firsthand look not only at all of the incredible species that live there, but also gain insight into how Ecuador and the archipelago are working to protect their delicate ecosystems.


Kanayurak, Nicole B.A., Environmental Studies, Dartmouth College

Nicole interned with the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management where she reviewed natural resource development projects occurring in the Arctic, participated in marine mammal co-management meetings, and worked on subsistence issues in Alaska. Nicole assisted in conducting coastal beach surveys and collecting data on marine resources. As an undergraduate Nicole was a research assistant who analyzed tundra samples important to climate change research.   Nicole is a youth representative to the Inuit Circumpolar Council Food Security Advisory Council and enjoys participating in subsistence activities. She is interested in Arctic policy and co-management particularly as it relates to Indigenous communities.


Li, Yunzhou Bachelor of Agriculture, Marine Fishery Science and Technology, Ocean University of China

As an undergraduate, Yunzhou worked as a lab assistant and started her own research project at Ocean Univ. of China Student Research Development Program. She also led a team that established a simulated company to promote a biological filter for circulating water cultivation. She is interested in effective management of marine resources and is determined to be an active member in transforming the industry into a more ecologically sustainable and socially responsible one.


Lowell, Natalie BS, Molecular Environmental Biology, College of Natural Resources, University of California at Berkeley

Natalie grew up on the beach, fishing, snorkeling, and tide-pooling, but her interests are diverse and lately have delved deep into resource management. She pursued ecology in college and worked as a technician for several labs, two of which based work out of the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory. After her undergraduate years she decided that the next step in her life needed to be travel, and that the next step in her education needed to involve studies that compliment hard sciences, such as policy and economics. She hopes that studying at SMEA will be a way for her to both bridge her interests and develop new skills.


Lyles, Jillian B.S., Science of Earth Systems, Cornell University

In the past, Jillian has researched the impacts of physiological stressors and disease on Caribbean Sea fans at Cornell University and the effect of acidification and nutrient availability on Atlantic surf clams at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Most recently, she worked on the Big Island of Hawaii as a teaching/program assistant for Cornell University’s Earth & Environmental Science Sustainability Field Semester program. She holds strong interests in implementing traditional/local ecological knowledge (TEK/LEK) with western science, specifically in coupling ecosystem-based management approaches with TEK/LEK to better inform marine resource management decisions.


Macks, Samantha BS, Marine Science and 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.


Masters, Jonathan BA, Government, Dartmouth College

Jonathan served in the US Army from 2007-2011, where he served as the speechwriter for the Commanding General of Fort Hood, was the Company Executive Officer at Fort Hood, and served as a platoon leader in Iraq. His ultimate goal is to work as a senior policy manager at a governmental agency ensuring critical habitat is protected and that the country’s natural resources are effectively stewarded.


McMillin, Neal B.A., Economics. B.A., Southern Studies, University of Mississippi

During his undergraduate studies Neal spent a summer backpacking through Scotland and Northern Ireland where he researched the socio-economic and environmental impacts of the emerging wave and tidal energy industry for his undergraduate thesis. This sparked his interest in the transfer of the new renewables sector to U.S. waters.


Mossler, Max B.S., Biological Sciences: ecology & evolution, Arizona State University

Finding joy in helping others understand the wonder in science, Max has mostly worked as an educator. Science demonstrations in elementary school classrooms gave way to teaching as an instructor at the Phoenix Zoo; eventually pushing him to pursue an REU grant for education research at the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies. He is interested in furthering peoples’ understanding of environmental issues in hopes of improving overall effectiveness of marine protected areas and other conservation measures.


Naylor-Leyland, Nicholas BA, Liberal Studies, SUNY Purchase

A lifelong fisherman, Nicholas is pleased to be surrounded by water in his new “hometown.” Prior to this new phase of life he’s worked as a musician/songwriter, a yoga teacher, and as a grants evaluator/facilitator. He just received a SUP instructor certification (and is happy to give lessons to fellow SMEA folks). He’s interested in ecosystem-based management, MPAs, fisheries concerns, and the people that have them. He’s love to do more fly fishing while living here, in both salt and fresh water.


Oliver, Christopher BS, Biology, Univ. of Washington

While at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Christopher worked in a lab sorting marine invertebrates into major taxonomic groups for use in analyzing species diversity and ecosystem composition. He’s interested in a career in international management of fisheries policy and regulation.


Polis, Hilary B.S., Oregon State University, Environmental Economics, Policy, and Management and Oceanography

Hilary previously worked for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, where she conducted human dimensions research to help determine the socioeconomic impacts associated with new marine reserves and marine protected areas along the Oregon Coast. She also investigated the ecological impacts of marine reserves on the Great Barrier Reef for her undergraduate thesis. Hilary most recently spent time working with a marine veterinarian and conducting fieldwork off of the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. She seeks to combine her interests in oceanography, social science, and economics at SMEA, where she will study the human dimensions of tidal energy.


Rogier, Thea B.A., Biology, UCSB

Thea has worked with the Barbados Sea Turtle Project since 2012 tagging nesting females and in-water juveniles. Her work also involved educational outreach through organized public hatchling releases and fundraising. She has taught a UCSB class on environmental issues including renewable energy and sustainable living. Thea is interested in improving the connection between marine research and local communities that it may benefit.


Ryan-Penuela, Erin B.A., International Communications, Concentration on environmental communication, Franklin University Switzerland

Most recently, Erin co-instructed a series of field based service learning courses in Human Ecology with the Edmonds Community College LEAF School. Previously, she worked with National Geographic Natural History Unit in Washington DC where she worked on films including: Mysteries of the Moose, the Great Inca Rebellion, Sylvia Early Biography, Great Migrations and the Kingdom of the Blue Whale. At SMEA her work focuses on the role of traditional ecological knowledge and indigenous communities in coastal management and near-shore climate change vulnerabilities and mitigation.


Saltman, Annika BA, Biology, Reed College

Annika has most recently worked for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a fisheries port sampler, collecting critical biological samples from commercially harvested catch, and with NOAA as a NMFS Observer in the Gulf of Alaska. Her goal is to build a career in the field of fisheries management, working closely with fisheries researchers to create informed, scientifically-sound policy.


Sayre, Colin B.S., Marine Biology, California State University: Long Beach

Colin has worked as a Northwest Pacific Groundfish Observer in Alaska living on board commercial fishing vessels to support ongoing management with the National Marine Fisheries Service. He has also had the opportunity to participate in several survey cruises with CalCOFI and NOAA’s RACE division, as well as interning with the Communications and Outreach Department at the Alaska Fisheries Science Center. Most recently he has worked with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife as a Recreational Fisheries Sampler, interacting with the public to collect ocean fisheries and angler demographic data. Colin is interested in introducing ecosystem based management principles into the commercial Bering Sea/Aleutian Island and Gulf of Alaska Groundfish fisheries, effectively communicating the need for such strategies to industry and the public.


Sivinski, Seth B.A., Political Science, University Honors Program, Univ. of Wyoming

Seth focused mostly on international relations and intergovernmental politics in his undergraduate studies. He completed a thesis on environmental ethics dealing with how people rationalize poor environmental stewardship. He hopes to meld these two areas into developing a better way to understand and protect Arctic and northern marine areas and their inhabitants. He has been interested in protecting these areas ever since he flew over the Coast Range and took a ferry to Haines on the way to Alaska’s Chilkat mountain range where he was training to be a mountain guide.


Szymanowicz, Matthew B.Sci., Environmental Science – Ecosystem Studies, University of New Hampshire

Matt has devoted his early career to marine tourism   operations. This has included managing an eco-resort at a marine reserve in Belize, developing marine naturalist programs in Alaska and Mexico, and leading sea kayak adventures in the San Juan Islands. He now intends to advance his career in the tourism industry as a leader in sustainable coastal resource management.


Tanoue, Wataru BS, Fisheries Science, MS Bioscience and Biotechnology, Kyushu University, Japan

Wataru has worked in the Fishery Agency of the Japanese government for the past seven years and mainly engaged in international negotiations for tuna fisheries. He is interested in fishery management in foreign countries, the role of the government, local community, scientists and fishermen in fishery management as well as the international relationship between fisheries and other resources.


Tanz, Alex B.A., Political Studies and Environmental Studies, Pitzer College; JD, DePaul University College of Law

Alex is an experienced dive instructor and underwater photographer; having made a living out of each in the US and the Bahamas. He’s also worked as a Marine Science Interpreter at the Seattle Aquarium, and volunteered as both a diver and an interpreter. During his third year of law school he served as the president of the Environmental Law Society, and spent time in Eastern Kentucky addressing local environmental issues. Alex is particularly interested in Marine Protected Areas, and methods of balancing commercial and recreational uses of marine resources. He would like to use his legal background to craft policy based on scientific approaches to resource management.


Thomas, Jeffrey BS, Pre-Med, Univ. of Washington; Certificate for Community Health Advocate, North Seattle Comm. College

Since 1989, Jeffrey has been a Senior Fisheries Biologist for the Puyallup Tribe of Indians – Timber, Fish & Wildlife Program Director, where he specializes in serving as a forests and fish endangered species recovery specialist, and as a forest cultural resources protection advisor. He has nearly 30 years work experience with the freshwater aspects of salmonid ecosystems. He wants to continue to work closely with local tribes to integrate cultural resource protection values and local ecosystem-based management, and integrate human/non-human global change responses with the needs of local tribal communities and governments.


Thompson, Katie BS, Biology, Oberlin College

Katie is recently from Bellingham, Washington, but grew up in the Midwest, which is where she received her undergraduate degree in biology at Oberlin College. Since then, she’s spent her time traveling and working in the US and Latin America. Her main interests are in community-based marine conservation and fisheries management.


Thorsell, Devon BA, International Affairs, Lafayette College

Devon is a Seattle native and a vocal proponent of west coast living. She spent her undergrad years at Lafayette College in Pennsylvania where she met Tony Blair, had dinner with Jimmy Carter, and traveled to ten countries and four continents. She is pursuing a concurrent degree in Marine Affairs and International studies and is particularly interested in international maritime policy including maritime migration, law, and diplomacy.


Thuesen, Gretchen B.S., Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Univ. of Washington

Gretchen has spent a considerable amount of her career collecting data in the field, participating in research cruises and field collections in remote locations during undergraduate internships, spending time in Alaska as a NOAA fisheries observer, and working as a Divemaster intern in Panama. Most recently she worked in a lab within the UW Department of Oceanography where she helped maintain an autonomous moored profiling system and time series database focused on monitoring water quality in Puget Sound. She is interested in bridging the divide between hard scientific data and policymakers’ use of those data.


Towne, Sarah BA, Biology and History of Science, Bucknell University

Sarah has worked for NOAA Fisheries since 2009, first in Gloucester, MA on lobster management, and then in Seattle since 2010 on implementation of the West Coast Groundfish Trawl Catch Shares Program. In terms of marine and environmental affairs, she is interested in effective government interaction with stakeholders, sustainable fishing programs, catch share programs, risk pools and cooperative fishing, aquaculture, new uses and marketing of marine resources, etc. She lives in Fremont with her boyfriend Vikram and her dog Roger.


Tracey, Brian BA, Life Sciences, Rutgers Univ

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.


White, Nicole B.S., Biology with a Marine Emphasis, Western Washington Univ

Nicole developed a passion for biological anthropology while studying abroad in Indonesia.  While there she participated in several projects that included interviewing maritime Bajau people to discuss the sustainability of their village and their response to resource change over time. She hopes to continue to examine this social/technical response in the future. In addition to this, she has spent the last year conducting LA-ICP-MS on several fish species’ otoliths.


Whiteaker, William BS, Oceanography, Univ. of Washington

Most recently, William has worked for Pacific Physicians Laboratory, and also has a background in all phases of construction. He would like to combine his educational background in oceanography, and his expertise in construction, with the knowledge gained while at SMEA and develop a career working with policy, planning, and overall advising in the area of coastal construction.



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