Baechler, NyssaBaechler, Nyssa

B.A., Environmental Science and Policy, Duke University

Nyssa has been working as a biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game since graduating in 2011, where she has lived and worked in rural Alaska and participated in many different fisheries research projects, such as the juvenile sockeye salmon enumeration, DIDSON sonar adult salmon escapement, Bering Sea King and Tanner crab observer program, and Chinook and Sockeye salmon commercial catch sampling. She is interested in the management of marine and fisheries resources in a rapidly changing climate and incorporating research into policy decision-making. She is also very passionate about sustainable food resources, particularly seafood, and wants to learn more about environmental and food law and how this can be reflected in marine policy and consumer choices.

Bassett, HannahBassett, Hannah

B.S., 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.

Beaver, EzraBeaver, Ezra

B.A., 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.

Beverlin, KristinaBeverlin, Kristina

B.A., 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.

Blair, KathrynBlair, Kathryn

B.A., Biology & Psychology, University of Missouri

Kathryn was a fisheries observer with the National Marine Fisheries Service in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. She later developed an interest in aquaculture while performing regulatory aquatic toxicity studies. She is currently a Marine Science Interpreter at the Seattle Aquarium. Kathryn is interested in the future of sustainable seafood, with an emphasis on aquaculture.


Brodbeck, AmyBrodbeck, Amy

B.S., Biology, Queen’s University, Ontario, Canada

As an undergraduate student, Amy explored both terrestrial and aquatic biology and quickly realized her affinity for water. In 2009, she worked as a fisheries bio-technician in Yellowstone National Park, gillnetting thousands of invasives on the Lake Trout Removal Project. Upon receiving her biology degree, she continued working on the water, this time as a whale-watching naturalist in Gustavus, Alaska. She now works as an interpretive (educational) park ranger in Glacier Bay National Park and is passionate about sharing the whales, glaciers, and expansive wilderness that have called her back to the area for the past five summers. In the off-seasons, she has gotten her feet wet in a variety of experiences, ranging from guiding whale watch tours on Maui to working at a marine field station in Chilean Patagonia. She is looking forward to delving deeper into the political and economic aspects of marine conservation to help bridge the gap between science and the general public.

Brostrom, SaraBrostrom, Sara

M.A.T., Secondary Science Education, Johns Hopkins University

Sara’s fieldwork experience includes a fisheries internship in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, she worked at a sea turtle hatchery in Guatemala, and she participated in various ecology focused investigations while obtaining her biology degree at Western Washington University. Also, Sara has 5 years of experience as a public school science teacher in Baltimore and Seattle. Lastly, Sara diversified her teaching experience by becoming a field science educator in the Olympic National Park where she led multiple programs and a backcountry field research course. At SMEA, Sara is interested in both fisheries and climate change and the intersection of environmental policy and public school curriculum.

Brown, AllieBrown, Allie

B.S., Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Allie graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015 with a wildlife ecology degree, though her main interest lies in marine science. She studied tree kangaroos in Australia, volunteered for habitat restoration in the Galapagos, and has traveled to many other countries, sparking an interest in tourism and how that can affect change in people while respecting the local culture and environment. Allie is also interested in education and outreach especially geared towards children.

Cleland, Valerieclealand-valerie-2

B.S., Environmental Science & International Relations, Tufts University

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Valerie has turned her focus north and plans to study the emerging international policy issues in the Arctic. She works for a small environmental consulting group here in Seattle where she has had a chance to see marine policy implemented on the ground. With a background in field research and interest in coastal communities, Valerie intends to work at the intersection of marine science and policy.

Coberly, JerilynCoberly, Jerilyn

B.S., Earth and Space Sciences, Geology, University of Washington

Jerilyn grew up near the beach on Camano Island, Washington, sparking an early interest in geology/oceanography and a love for the Puget Sound. She studied Earth and Space Sciences at the University of Washington, but spent half of her undergraduate career working for the Puget Sound Foram Project at the Burke Museum. The project examined how foraminifera, a type of marine microorganism, have been affected by either natural or anthropogenic changes in Puget Sound over time. This experience led to an interest in bridging the gap between scientists, policy-makers, and the public.

Colpo, BellaColpo, Bella

B.A., Public Relations, Gonzaga University

After finishing her undergraduate career at Gonzaga University, Bella has returned to Washington following a summer spent at her hometown in California. She has worked as an intern for The Waterkeeper Alliance at San Diego Coastkeeper and Spokane Riverkeeper. While working for these conservation organizations, Bella gained experience with strategic planning and media communications. Additionally, Bella worked in the Public Affairs department at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where she collaborated with other non-profit organizations to promote the protection of the world’s oceans. She is passionate about international marine policy and managing the impacts of global climate change on marine ecosystems.

Crigler, EmilyCrigler, Emily

B.A., Communication Studies, Winona State University

Emily has been employed with the NOAA Fisheries Pacific Islands Regional Office since 2009, where she has worked to support international negotiations related to fisheries management and the domestic implementation of international fisheries agreements. She is interested in the conservation and management of marine resources, and sustainable fisheries management, through the integration of science driven decisions in domestic and international ocean management and policy decisions.

Dallstream, KierstenDallstream, 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.


Dickerhoff, LeoniDickerhoff, Leoni

B.S., Marine Science, California State University, Monterey Bay

Leoni has been a volunteer for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where she was a part of the public outreach and education program. She has also worked as a natural interpret at Elkhorn Slough educating about the impact of human development on marine ecosystems and marine species. She is interested in Arctic resource management, specifically offshore oil and gas exploration within the Arctic Circle and creating regulations for drilling licenses and oil spill response plans.

Dvorak, MichelleDvorak, Michelle

B.S., Chemistry, Seattle University

Michelle partnered with Doug Latch, professor of Environmental and Analytical Chemistry at Seattle U., to assess the lifetime and potential environmental persistence of BPA substitutes used in the plastics industry. She is interested in the environmental and biological impact of oil and waste spills, and the policy that determines both their prevention and their mitigation.


Edelman, DanielleEdelman, Danielle

B.S., Aquatic Biology, UC Santa Barbara

Danielle has volunteered at the Monterey Bay Aquarium and worked at the Research Experience and Education Facility (REEF) at UC Santa Barbara. She became interested in Aquaculture while studying abroad at the University of Copenhagen, and later worked in a lab at UC Santa Barbara where she developed protocols for rearing larval rockfish. Danielle hopes to find new ways to promote sustainable aquaculture and fisheries practices and protect overexploited marine resources.

Ferrara, GraceFerrara, Grace

B.S., Biology, University of Puget Sound

Grace has spent two years in the animal care field, first as an aquarium intern at Sea Life Park, Hawaii, then as a Zookeeper at the Point Defiance Zoo with their collection of marine mammals and birds, and now as a Bird and Mammal Care Volunteer at the Seattle Aquarium. She has also been a research fellow at the Marine Conservation Institute here in Seattle since June studying fisheries management plans all over the world to identify protections against bottom trawling. She is interested in studying the use of traditional ecological knowledge in managing marine protected areas, as well as the ways in which protecting discrete areas affects highly mobile marine mammal populations.

Flittner, BrittanyFlittner, Brittany

B.S., Environmental Science, University of Rochester

Brittany graduated from the University of Rochester with a degree in Environmental Science with an emphasis on sustainability. As an undergraduate, she had the opportunity to intern with the NOAA, gaining research experience related to the effects of ocean acidification on the larval stages of bivalves. This experience sparked her interest in marine conservation, leading her to study abroad the following year in the Galápagos Islands. Fully immersed in marine conservation courses and fieldwork, Brittany’s passion for marine conservation evolved to include a focus on anthropogenic causes of habitat degradation with a goal of finding common ground for people and nature to coincide sustainably. Brittany is currently enrolled in the AmeriCorps program, which has allowed her to gain experiences related to coastal restoration projects, and environmental education.

Freeman, RachelFreeman, Rachel

B.A., International Studies: Political Science, Southwestern University

Through years of research and work in Latin America, Rachel developed an interest in water issues both from a policy standpoint and out of concern for the real effects they had on the environment and people’s lives. From deteriorating aqueduct systems in Panama, to frightening levels of water toxicity and scarcity in Ecuador, she quickly realized the need to go beyond analyzing the infrastructures that continued to fail those they were intended to serve, to finding real solutions, thus propelling her into pursuing a degree through SMEA. She recently completed three years of service as a bilingual teacher with Teach For America, and hopes to find a hands-on career working on water quality and marine conservation issues.

Gordon, LindsayGordon, Lindsay

B.A., Marine Affairs & Policy, Economics, University of Miami

Lindsay has conducted research in the Galapagos Islands while participating in socio-ecological and marine conservation projects, as well as a community outreach program. She also worked for NOAA Fisheries analyzing the ecological and economic health of the shrimp fishery and has contributed to Earth Island Institute’s Dolphin Project. Lindsay enjoys working at the interface of natural and social sciences to support optimal environmental management and conservation decisions. Her greatest interest lies in improving the management of marine protected areas.

Greiner, CourtneyGreiner, Courtney

B.S., Environmental Science with an emphasis in marine ecology and minor in geography, Western Washington University

Courtney currently works as a shellfish biologist for the Swinomish Tribe where her primary task includes conducting intertidal and subtidal bivalve biomass surveys to determine harvest quotas. She also implements projects to restore native species and assess climate change impacts on tribally-important shellfish resources. Courtney is attending SMEA to strengthen her ability to conduct research that examines climate change and ocean acidification impacts on shellfish. Her main interest is assessing the effectiveness of mitigation and adaptation strategies in order to better inform management and policy development.

Gustafson, AlexandraGustafson, Alexandra

B.S., Environmental Science, BA, Political Science, Iowa State University

Swimming, scuba diving and traveling has shaped Alexandra’s desire to protect her favorite place, the ocean, and its resources. She was a student athlete at Iowa State University receiving degrees in Environmental Science and Political Science and competing on the Women’s Swimming Team. An internship with the Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation took her across Iowa to the remote prairies to restore the natural landscape. An opportunity to work on White Shark population dynamics research took her down to South Africa. A desire to get experience in a larger policy body brought her to Washington D.C. where she served as an intern for the United Nations Environment Programme’s regional office of North America. Volunteering and working for the Seattle Aquarium has been Alexandra’s main passion since moving to the Pacific Northwest. These experiences reinforced that education and public interest is at the crux of protecting the environments we wish to preserve. She is interested in rapidly and efficiently restoring the unique oceanic ecosystems and engaging the world to share in her passion.

Hanna, IanHanna, Ian

B.S., Operations Research and Computer Analysis, US Coast Guard Academy

Ian joined the Coast Guard in 2002 and graduated from the Coast Guard Academy in 2007. He has been stationed in Kodiak, Alaska aboard the Cutter SPAR as a Deck Watch Officer and the Executive Officer, where he gained significant experience with the burgeoning issues in the Arctic region. Ian’s other assignments include Sector Puget Sound as the Safety and Security Branch Chief, and the Cutter BERTHOLF as the Combat Systems Officer. He is interested in sustainable management of the Arctic that balances the interests of the myriad of people groups in the region. He and his family now live aboard their 45’ Puget Trawler.

Hart, ChrisHart, Chris

B.S., Biology, University of Washington

Chris interned with Oceans Research performing marine conservation research projects primarily focused on white sharks in South Africa. While there, Chris helped analyze biological data regarding monitoring of white shark population dynamics, documenting behavioral ecology relating to trophic interactions in Mossel Bay and promoted marine conservation and education out of the Ocean’s Research operated public aquarium. He is interested in effective management of marine protected areas, and how public education and outreach can increase the effectiveness of these areas. Chris is also interested in the management of conservation strategies and how these will adapt in the face of increasing climate change.

Hernandez, Jessica (Tribal affiliations: Maya/Zapotec)Hernandez, Jessica

B.A., Marine Science & Italian Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Jessica Hernandez’s double major in Marine Science and Italian Studies allowed her to expand her passion for marine affairs with courses, internships and international research. As a Berkeley alumna, Jessica worked in the Coastal Waters Consortium transforming research from multi-disciplinary projects that analyzed the effects of the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill on the Gulf of Mexico and Terrebonne Bay. She is the founder of Kaknab and co-founder of the Jaws and Paws Foundation, two conservation and educational nonprofits focusing on the oceans and endangered species. Jessica hopes to continue expanding her horizons and professional skill sets at the University of Washington to help implement community-based solutions that will mitigate the harmful impacts environmental problems have on the ocean and the coastal indigenous cultures it sustains. Her long-term goal is to take her educational experiences back to her tribal land and help the Water People manage their environmental resources.

Holloway, KristenHolloway, Kristen

B.A., Marine and Environmental Science, United States Coast Guard Academy

Kristen has been an active duty Coast Guard Officer for the past 4 years. She served on a 154 ft ship in Miami, FL from 2012-2014 conducting migrant and drug interdiction as well as search and rescue operations. The last two years she served on a 225 ft buoy tender out of Honolulu, HI as the Operations Officer. While in Hawaii she facilitated aids to navigation and living marine resources missions. Kristen was a qualified boarding officer who physically went aboard foreign and domestic fishing vessels to check for proper fish catch and safety equipment. Her areas of interest align with her passions as a Marine Scientist, Mariner, and Coast Guard Officer while allowing her to best serve in a Living Marine Resources capacity in the Coast Guard after graduation.

Huynh, ThaoHuynh, Thao

B.A., Biology & BM, Violin Performance, University of North Texas

Thao was a participant of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Researchers Program at the University of North Texas, which funded her research on the skeletal development of Red Drum (Sciaenops ocellatus) as a function of probiotics/antibiotics and her poster presentation at the Texas Aquaculture Association Conference in Fredericksburg, Texas. Thao’s interest in marine animals led her to pursue an internship at the Seattle Aquarium, where she studied and presented on the topic of Spotted Lagoon Jellyfish (Mastigias papua) and its behavior/health. For the future, Thao wants to explore sustainable alternatives to commercial fishing and spread public awareness abroad. Overall, her passions lie in marine conservation and any factor that is of consequence to it, from an ecological, political, and even aesthetic point of view.

Jensen, KaitlynJensen, Kaitlyn

B.A., Marine Affairs, University of Miami

Since graduating from University of Miami, Kaitlyn has relocated to Seattle where she was an intern at the Port of Seattle in the Travel and Recreation Division. Kaitlyn worked at the Port’s recreational facilities, supervising community events and working in everyday marina operations. She is interested in international policy related to marine industries and the environment and practical and realistic application and implementation of those policies.

Keil, KatherineKeil, Katherine

B.S., 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.

Kennard, HaleyKennard, Haley

B.A., Global and International Studies, University of California Santa Barbara

Haley lived in Brazil after graduation and worked on a project mapping environmental health risks in coastal slum communities. She then worked in the health non-profit sector and is interested in the interaction between health, poverty, and the environment. She grew up in Hawaii and on the California coast and wants to learn about how those (and other) marine environments and their ecosystems can be protected and their resources managed sustainably and effectively.

Koehlinger, Julie AnnKoehlinger, Julie Ann

B.S., Biology, Purdue University, B.S., Oceanography, University of Washington

Julie Ann has a lifelong fascination with how systems depend on and interact with each other, leading to her first degree in Biology, where she focused her studies on ecology, evolution, and population biology. She eventually moved to Seattle to be closer to the water. After many years studying the system interactions of the human body as a nurse, she returned to school to focus on her love of the ocean. She obtained a second degree in Oceanography, focusing her senior thesis on small scale estuarine physical processes. Her goal is to use ecosystem level management and science outreach to balance human impact with healthy marine ecosystems.

Komaki, KanaeKomaki, Kanae

B.A., Physics, Ochanomizu Univ., Ph.D., Natural Environmental Studies, Univ. of Tokyo

Kanae has been working as a physical oceanographer for an NGO (Ocean Policy Research Foundation), a marine consultant company (The General Environmental Tecchnos Co.), and Kochi University in Japan. Her specialty is direct measurements and analysis of ocean currents using acoustic sensors and autonomous underwater vehicles in deep seas. She also has been participating in Japanese projects to develop and manage the seabed natural resources, and policy suggestions related to the Arctic Ocean.

Kralj, JamesKralj, Jimmy

B.S., Microbiology, University of Wisconsin-Madison

As an undergraduate, James took advantage of numerous research opportunities, both on and off campus. Beginning his sophomore year he used biogeochemical computer models to investigate the impacts of invasive quagga mussels on the ecology of Lake Michigan. James also worked as an Oregon Sea Grant Summer Scholar with the Environmental Protection Agency at the Hatfield Marine Science Center to study the effects of algae on rates of sediment oxidation in several estuaries along the Oregon coast. James was also fortunate to have studied abroad in Ecuador where he learned about and researched the ecology of the Andes Mountains, the Amazon rainforest, and the Galápagos Islands. Additionally, James completed a summer internship at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand where he worked to clone fungal genes into bacteria for drug production. As a student at SMEA, James is greatly looking forward to enhancing his scientific background while simultaneously learning about the social and political aspects of the marine environment.

Lebon, KaitlinLebon, Kaitlin

B.S., Biology, Marine Biology Concentration, Oregon State University

Kaitlin just recently finished her undergraduate studies. While studying at Oregon State University, she worked in an oceanography lab researching carbon cycling off the Oregon coast. This past winter, she was involved in several research cruises aimed at investigating the influence of river flooding on wintertime coastal productivity. She is interested in bridging the gap between scientists and policy makers, allowing for more efficient and effective marine management strategies to be implemented.

Lee, TimothyLee, Tim

B.A., Environmental Sciences, University of California, Berkeley

As an undergraduate, Tim has interned at NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service here in Seattle, WA, and at National Fisheries Research & Development Institute in South Korea shortly after graduating. In the past few years he has collaborated in interdisciplinary marine science projects and participated in various research cruises with different foci (stock assessment, benthic ecology, and plankton ecology just to name a few) in different parts of the world, including Sea of Japan, Gulf of Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest. He is interested in building management strategies to ensure marine ecosystems’ resilience under climate change and other anthropogenic stresses.

Macks, SamanthaMacks, Samantha

B.S., 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.


McBride, MarissaMcBride, Marissa

B.S., Environmental Science, Western Washington University

Marissa has interned for RE Sources for Sustainable Communities in Bellingham, Washington. She participated in intertidal beach surveys tracking trends of organisms in the North Puget Sound area. She has done work with the Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizen Scientist Committee organizing volunteer and outreach events. She had also done data collecting on Sea Star Wasting Disease as well as water quality in the Bellingham area. Marissa spent time in college also working as a Stream Restoration Intern at the Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association educating community members of the importance of riparian zones. She is interested in sustainable tourism, specifically in high volume areas and areas with coral reefs.

McGrew, ScottMcGrew, Scott

B.S., Management, Excelsior College

LT McGrew has been in the United States Coast Guard for 17 years. He has served at coastal stations on both the Pacific and Atlantic coasts, as well as the Great Lakes. Most recently he served as the Commanding Officer of Station Cape Disappointment in Ilwaco, WA. His unit was responsible for search and rescue, maritime law enforcement, and homeland security at the mouth of the Columbia River, the most dangerous river bar in America. McGrew’s station and its 82 personnel ensured the safe passage of over 2 billion dollars in commerce, and thousands of commercial fishing vessels each year. In addition to being a recognized search and rescue professional, McGrew has extensive experience in fisheries law enforcement. The Coast Guard’s Living Marine Resource program is sponsoring McGrew’s studies at UW. He hopes to gain a greater understanding of coastal and ocean law, public policy, and the science behind fisheries management regimes. His primary area of interest is the sustainment of living marine resources, while balancing the economic impacts of policy and technology changes on small coastal fishing communities.

McShirley, KadieMcShirley, Kadie

B.S., Environmental Science, University of Michigan

Kadie has been a legal assistant at the Sierra Club Environmental Law Program, working on the campaign to transition the United States from coal to clean energy. She recently participated in a research program in the Gulf of Thailand monitoring coral bleaching and fish populations via scuba surveys. She is interested in plastic pollution reduction measures and community based fisheries management.


McTiernan, KaylieMcTiernan, Kaylie

B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University

Kaylie graduated from Northeastern University in 2014 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. She loves to travel and spent a year living and working in New Zealand. Focusing on renewable energy, she worked at an ocean wave energy company and completed a wind turbine capstone project. She now hopes to understand how tidal energy can be sustainable taking into account technical, economic, environmental, and human dimensions.

Murray, ErinMurray, Erin

B.A., Environmental Studies, Western Washington University

Erin has worked with a variety of governmental agencies and global enterprises and hopes to bring her experiences into her graduate research in order to find innovative solutions to complex aquatic resource management challenges. As a Seattle native, Erin can usually be found identifying resident orcas or local plant and bird species throughout the Northwest. In her undergraduate studies, Erin specialized in Environmental Policy which she utilized while interning with state and local agencies. At the Port of Seattle, Erin worked with their seaport division on superfund remediation and water quality projects. During her work with the Washington Department of Transportation, she identified native species to monitor regrowth of mitigation wetlands. After these internships, Erin worked as content developer at Microsoft where she worked with stakeholders to dictate product narratives for large enterprise customers.

Nelson, MackenzieNelson, Mackenzie

B.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oceanography Minor, University of California Davis

During her time at UCD, Mackenzie became involved with Bodega Marine Laboratory in Northern California. Her experiences here encouraged her to complete research projects looking at the relationship between eelgrass and ocean acidification, which led to internships comparing invertebrate heterogeneity in various seagrass bed locations. Mackenzie is interested in the relationship between humans and marine environments–specifically how water chemistry changes and affects local ecosystems as a result of human interaction.

Nixon, MarisaNixon, Marisa

B.S., Resource Economics and 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.

Oathout, DanaOathout, Dana

B.S., Earth Sciences- Geography, Oregon State Univ., Cert. in Geographic Information Science, Oregon State Univ., B.A., History, Western Washington Univ.

Retired from the U.S. Navy with 20 years of working in meteorology and oceanography. Experiences include providing meteorological and oceanographic analysis and forecasts to ships and aircraft around the world. Conducted remotely sensed collection of environmental data and geospatial analysis of terrain and hydrographic information. Interested in working with coastal communities on preparing for changes due to climate change and to prepare for a major earthquake and or tsunami. Enjoys boating and sailing in the Salish Sea.

Pelach, BryanPelach, Bryan

B.A., Classics, Gustvaus Adolphus College

Bryan spent several years working in ecotourism, initially in Voyageur and Quetico National Parks of Minnesota and Ontario, before spending two years leading trips in Queensland (Aus.) and New Zealand. Bryan spent the last five years in the Navy, initially as a boarding officer and eventually serving as ship’s navigator deploying to the South China Sea and Arabian Gulf.


Perry, DianaPerry, Diana

B.S., Chemistry, Haverford College

Diana’s background is in Chemistry and Environmental Studies, but her interest in marine affairs comes from her time spent growing up near the ocean and watching it change over the years. She observed the human impact on the oceans while sailing from Honolulu, HI to San Francisco, CA, which motivated her to continue her studies in marine affairs. Diana is interested in the effective management of marine resources and the socio-economic impact of resource management policy on coastal fishing communities.

Peterson, HenryPeterson, Henry

B.S., Bioengineering, Syracuse University

After college, Henry joined Nan Hauser and her team to study, track, and collect genetic information of humpback whales in the Cook Islands. For the past two years, he worked for Brainlab Inc., a medical company focusing on Image Guided Surgery, where he provided clinical and technical support for spine, sinus, and brain surgeries. He has always held a strong interest in marine sustainability and fisheries and is excited to study with the SMEA faculty. He is interested in working with developing countries to conserve their marine resources to sustain their economies, tourism, and food source while facing the threats of over fishing, ocean acidification, and climate change.

Pucylowski, TeressaPucylowski, Teressa

B.S., Conservation Biology, SUNY – College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Teressa has worked as research assistant for Allied Whale photo identifying humpback whales and gathering data for population studies. She currently works as a whale watching naturalist in Monterey, CA and volunteers Tuna Research and Conservation Center where she is involved in research on the energetics of tuna. She is interested in the effects of climate change, particularly on fishing communities. She would like to focus on marine policy that encompasses both the human aspects of fisheries as wells as the health of the marine populations.

Ray, BrandonRay, Brandon

M.S., Atmospheric Sciences, Univ. of Washington, B.A., Mathematics/Geography/Geological Sciences, Northwestern University

Brandon just finished his master’s degree in Atmospheric Sciences, studying the predictability of seasonal sea ice in the Arctic; and has worked as an International Policy Institute – Arctic Fellow for the past year. He has served in the U.S. Navy for over ten years, working on both submarines and unmanned undersea vehicles. He will be starting a concurrent degree in International Studies and continuing his studies in Russian language as part of the FLAS Program. He is interested in how cooperation on climate change in the Arctic can be leveraged in Arctic security strategies, and how best practices in the Arctic can be applied more broadly to improve global climate change governance.

Rhoades, EmilyRhoades, Emily

B.A., 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.

Rivera, DavidRivera, David

B.S., Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz

David has spent the last five years working for the Joint Institute of the Atmosphere and Ocean (JISAO) a cooperative institute run by UW and NOAA, where he supports a variety of collaborative field research projects at the Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory (PMEL). His interests lie in oceanographic data collection and remote sensing through marine technology and the impact that this technology has on the research community’s ability to create policy.

Roubal, JamesRoubal, James

B.S., Natural Resource Management & Administration, The Ohio State University

James has been an Education & Outreach Assistant at the Byrd Polar & Climate Research Center for the past two years. While working with climate scientists, he has learned about how the changes in ocean circulation, temperature, sea ice, and glacier mass have affected the global climate system throughout Earth’s history. He has also studied abroad on the coasts of South Africa and Ecuador, where he learned how the ocean is crucial to human lives and is intimately linked to the health and stability of the global climate. He is interested in marine sanctuaries and creating policies and laws to protect ocean ecosystems from anthropocentric destruction. He is also interested in exploring conservation issues such as bycatch and habitat protection.

Russell, HannahRussell, Hannah

B.S., Conservation and Resource Studies, University of California, Berkeley

Hannah’s self-designed major, titled “Environmental Alienation,” focused on the deconstruction of the nature-culture dichotomy. She interned at Environmental Defense Fund in the Oceans Innovations program, where she co-authored the paper Cooperative strategies in fisheries management: integrating across scales (Fujita et. al.). She is interested in the application of stewardship theory to the management of small-scale fisheries, the protection of indigenous fishing cultures, the allocation of fishing rights, and the facilitation of mutually beneficial relationships between fisher people and fish conservation scientists.

Schmaus, CarrieSchmaus, Carrie

B.S., Biology, Minor in Marine Sciences, Wittenberg University

During her time at Wittenberg University, Schmaus was the president of PoWER (Parliament of Wittenberg’s Environmental Revolution), as well as being involved in other campus activities. During her sophomore year, she went abroad and studied at the Duke University Marine Lab, during which she participated in a month-long research cruise to study the abundances of phytoplankton. She also traveled to Singapore to study how a densely populated island has approached environmental issues, from an ecological and political standpoint. She is interested in translating scientific data into effective policy to mitigate the effects of climate change in a way that considers both the human and ecological needs of the area.

Schommer, KaylaSchommer, Kayla

B.S., Environment and Society, University of Alaska

Last Spring I began a yearlong internship with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, specifically working within the Division of Subsistence. As an intern I uploaded community harvest surveys and learned a lot about how the Alaskan Government manages their resources. I have spent countless hours poring over household surveys done within small Alaskan communities that rely on subsistence foods for survival. As I read about problems like declining species, commercial fisheries depleting resources, and families going hungry, I began to develop a passion and sense of importance towards resource management. When it comes to marine affairs, I have one very specific goal in mind. I want to work in the field of northwest salmon research and resource management.

Sifrit, AllieSifrit, Allie

B.S. Marine Biology & BA, Spanish, University of Hawaii at Manoa

Allie has held several internships, volunteer positions, and jobs in the marine research and protection community. She was a NOAA Hollings Scholar and worked with the National Coral Reef Monitoring Program to analyze and collect data for the US Virgin Islands. Allie was also the 2016 Our World Underwater Scholarship Society® AAUS Scientific Diving Intern, which was hosted by the University of Georgia’s Skidaway Institute of Oceanography in Savannah, GA. She also has her Dive Master through PADI. Allie has volunteered with Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation by traveling to the Philippines for coral reef surveys using scuba. While completing her two bachelor’s degrees at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Allie also worked for Kewalo Marine Laboratory and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, as well as volunteered at the Waikiki Aquarium. She is interested in marine protected area (MPA) design, set up, and monitoring, and the use of public outreach to bridge the gap between local fishing communities and organizations working to protect marine resources.

Snouffer, BrianSnouffer, Brian

B.S., Computer Science, University of Wisconsin

Brian spent 2 years as a software developer for Epic before deciding to quit to pursue marine conservation. He’s spent the last year in various internships and volunteer positions around the world while traveling in between. This includes 3 weeks aboard a NOAA research vessel off the coast of California. He also spent 2 months in the Philippines working to make the dive industry more sustainable as well as collaborating with the local marine enforcement to create an education program for fisherman explaining the environmental reason of laws and MPAs. He most recently spent 3 months in Malaysia completing his dive master cert and working as the project coordinator of a newly established turtle conservation group. He is most interested in ecosystem based management practices, especially those using a bottom up approach. He is also interested in utilizing his software development skills and exploring the possibility of data collection through citizen science.

Solberg, LangeSolberg, Lange

Bachelor of Business Administration, International Business concentration, Gonzaga University

Lange’s roots lie primarily in the commercial fishing industry. His grandfather and father began commercial fishing throughout West Coast waters beginning in the 1950s. Now, Lange owns and operates his own fishing boat in Bristol Bay, Alaska, where he participates in the world’s most robust and healthy wild sockeye salmon fishery. When the salmon aren’t running, he spends his time serving as a director and treasurer for the Bristol Bay Regional Seafood Development Association, helping advance marketing, quality, and research initiatives on behalf of drift permit holders in the fishery. He also serves as a director for the Working Waterfront Coalition of Whatcom County, which advocates for the economic vitality and cultural identity of Bellingham’s maritime trades. Lange is interested in a broad range of topics going forward—the economic and intrinsic impacts of salmon resources to local economies, innovative methods of harvesting food from the sea for a growing global population, and exploring low-carbon methods for moving resources and freight across oceans.

Tracey, BrianTracey, Brian

B.A., 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.

Vasquez, CharleneVasquez, Charlene

A.A., Supervisory Leadership, Hawaii Pacific Univ., B.S., Marine Biology, Univ. of Hawaii

Charlene has done an internship with NOAA’s protected resources division. She helped the marine mammal response team in their efforts to protect the endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal. She also did an internship with the Marine Mammal Research Program, assisting graduate students with their echolocation projects using bottlenose dolphins and a false killer whale. Finally, she assisted Hawaii Pacific University’s marine mammal stranding team in conducting necropsies on stranded marine mammals. She is interested in marine conservation and marine policy.

Villeda, KarenVilleda, Karen

B.A., double major in History and Peace, War and Defense, minor in Environmental Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

Having spent the past three years working for Conservation International on marine conservation initiatives in the developing world, Karen is passionate about the intersection of human well-being, dependency, and biodiversity conservation. At CI, Karen’s work centered on large-scale marine management in the Eastern Tropical Pacific and Indonesia. She is interested in small-scale fisheries and the effective management of marine resources to ensure that coastal communities, that are highly dependent on these resources, can continue to maintain their livelihood security.

Williams, TrevorWilliams, Trevor

B.A., Environmental Studies (Specialization in Politics, Public Policy, and Justice), Seattle University

Trevor attended Seattle University for his undergraduate degree, and completed his four years with a B.A. in Environmental Studies, specializing in Politics, Public Policy, and Justice. While attending his undergraduate school, he completed a study abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands during the summer of 2014. The program studied Marine Protected Area (MPA) policy within the region, and the struggles to sustain the subsistence fishing economy versus the protection of a declining marine species population. He is interested in International Ocean Governance, as well as management of marine resources in an environment that requires a balance between growth needed to sustain a population, and protection of the marine environment. Trevor has enjoyed policy research, field data collection, and analysis related to marine resource protection.

Wippel, BryandaWippel, Bryanda

B.A., Environmental studies, Minors in: Marine Biology, Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, Univ. of Washington

Bryanda has been working as a laboratory technician at UW’s School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences. She has built ocean acidification experimental systems at Friday Harbor Laboratories and NOAA Mukilteo testing generational effects of ocean acidification on Olympic Oyster and Geoduck larvae. She has also worked with abalone withering syndrome both at UW and most recently building a lab at UCSB; starting a new experiment involving deployment of caged abalone off the coast of Santa Barbra and Los Angeles. Bryanda is interested in using scientific research to educate aquaculture fisheries of how to best combat issues of disease.

Zhao, LilyZhao, Lily

B.S., Environmental Science, B.A., Public Policy Studies, The University of Chicago

Lily first became interested in conservation planning and resource management after speaking with fishermen at successfully managed marine reserves in Northern Bali. There, she learned that the best initiatives are those backed by ecological findings, and fueled by the efforts of local stakeholders. This experience sparked her initial interest in synthesizing social and ecological research to improve the livelihoods of coastal communities. Most recently, Lily worked in the Turks and Caicos Islands where she designed a youth research program to increase local access to marine science and monitoring. At SMEA, she hopes to examine the cascade of social and ecological outcomes linked to declining fisheries, and the interdisciplinary, multisector efforts needed to tackle these issues.

Ziff, DaniZiff, Dani

B.S., Aquatic Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara

Dani has worked with the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission conducting field and lab work and completed an internship with the biological resources division of an environmental consulting firm that included biological resource surveys in support of documentation on regulatory compliance. She has also devoted nearly six years in helping lead and build a successful environmental education nonprofit, Sprout Up, which partners university and primary school students to instill an ethic of sustainability in communities. Her interests lie in the creation and implementation of successful policy based in sound science to help promote sustainable management of coastal and marine resources.

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