Arbow, Tressa

B.A., Government and 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.

Assink, Rachel

B.A., 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.

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.

Bagley, Ashley

B.A., 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.

Barnes-Crouse, Celeste

B.S., Geography and Coastal Studies, Univ. 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.

Bassett, 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.

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.

Bowser, Colin

B.S., 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.

Brady, Cullen

B.A., International Affairs and German Studies

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.

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.

Brown, 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.

Casaretto, Emily

B.A., 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.

Chen, Zelin

B.S., Marine Resource and 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

B.A., 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.

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.

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.

Cribari, Kelly

B.S., 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.

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.

Cruz, Angela

B.S., 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.

Currier, Cori

B.S., 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.

Dallstream, Kiersten

B.S., 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.

Downing, John Zachariah

B.S., Logistics and 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.

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.

 Farquhar, Samantha

B.S., Marine Biology, B.A., International Studies, Univ. 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.

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.

Franke, Emilie

B.S., 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!

Gustafson, AlexandraGustafson, Alexandra

B.S., Environmental Science, B.A., 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.

Huynh, ThaoHuynh, Thao

B.A., Biology & B.M., 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.

Kerber, Lauren

B.S., 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.

Knoth, Jessica

B.S., Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; Minor, Marine Biology; Univ. 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.

Kobayashi, Mariko

B.A., 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.

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.

Landahl, Erik

B.F.A., Cinema, University of Southern California, J.D., Law, DePaul University

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.

Lasky, Elise

B.S., Biology, Minor in 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.

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.

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.

Martin, Kelly

B.A., Marine Affairs, Minor in 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.

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.

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, 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.

Nelson, 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, 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, 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.

Plog, Megan

B.S., Environmental Science and Resource Management, Univ. 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.

Ray, 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.

Rivas, Priscilla

B.A., 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.

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.

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.

Sheng, Xue Jie (Ailsa)

B.E., 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.

Showalter, Spencer

B.A., 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.

Sifrit, AllieSifrit, Allie

B.S. Marine Biology & B.A., 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.

Stinson, Stephanie

B.S., Journalism and Psychology; B.A., 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.

Stote, Alexandra

B.A., Organismic and 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.

Swanson, Ryan

B.A., Zoology, Univ. 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.

Sweetser, Alex

B.S., Psychology and 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.

Tellez, Alexandra

B.A., English Literature, Univ. 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.

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.

Van Duivenbode, Zoë

B.S., 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.

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.

Wolek, Stephanie

B.S., 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.

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.

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