currents-200x200Currents is a blog run by students at the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA). Currents is dedicated to sharing timely and relevant discussions of pressing environmental issues, particularly, but not limited to, marine and coastal systems and the interactions between humans and nature. We aim to inform and inspire the public while recognizing the complex nature of the issues we cover, and to challenge dominant views in the marine and environmental fields by advancing anti-racist and anti-colonial modes of thinking. We place value on being accessible to the broader public. We commit to creating an inclusive space that uplifts the perspectives of BIPOC and LGBTQ+ people in our field, and in particular people who do their work locally, with the long-term aim of building deeper relationships between SMEA and the wider community.

Keep your eyes peeled for a new blog every Monday!

James Lee


Twitter: @JamesLeeRWC
IG: @jamesleerwc

An exile from the San Francisco Bay Area tech bubble.

Passionate about seagrass, macroalgae, and anti-colonial approaches to restoration work in coastal and other shoreline ecosystems.

Fan of Carl Sagan, Roger Federer, and old school singer-songwriters (Laura Nyro, Joni Mitchell, Phil Ochs, etc.).

Abby Keller

Managing Editor


North Carolina native and the only vegetarian you’ve ever met whose favorite food is fried chicken.

Most often found biking, eating peanut butter, dog-spotting, or crying while watching the Great British BakeOff.

Biologist who loves all aspects of the natural world and is hoping to explore the intersection of humans and the environment.

Lindsey Popken

Social Media Coordinator


Left California for the PNW.

Anthropologist trying to navigate the world of marine science and policy. Interested in environmental justice and human dimensions behind species and ecosystem conservation.

Often found watching rewatching the same four shows, and Disney, Star Wars, or Marvel movies. Constantly seeking out Baby Yoda memes and the world’s cutest sea otter photo.

Sam Klein

Creative Director


Passionate about coastal ecosystems, environmental justice and collective liberation.

Fan of mango coconut sago and Mitski.

Raven Benko



Switches between both Washingtons regularly; born right in between in Boulder, CO.

Proficient cat trainer. Avid proponent of marine worms – the best and most terrifying invertebrates.

Fascinated by the intersection of science, policy, and public opinion; namely, misinformation, disinformation, and scientific dissent as it pertains to climate change and other collective action problems.

Katy Bland



Upstate New Yorker on the opposite coast, perpetually in search of an authentic NY style bagel.

Using her appreciation for colonial tunicates to understand and enable better social-ecological systems.

Aiming to perfect her moonwalk by graduation.

Nikki Canning



Born in Seattle and raised in Northgate.

Rookie environmental scientist interested in nutrient pollution.

Enjoys strength training and collecting cookbooks. Is finding Jersey Shore strangely wholesome and comforting upon rewatch.

Gabriela (Gabi) Carr



Native New Yorker, Chicago for undergrad, LA now, Seattle (remotely) for grad.

Passionate about urban coastal resilience to climate change. Learning to balance out a natural sciences background with environmental justice and policy knowledge.

Nudibranch and Terry Pratchett enthusiast.

Leah Huff



Coastal Florida native and geographer.

Passionate about climate policy and the socioeconomic impacts of climate change.

Much love for the ocean, Bill Nye, and jigsaw puzzles.

Christina Madonia


Desert roots. Arizona->Washington for the ocean, forests, and rain.

Loves dogs, cetaceans, peanut butter, and being outdoors.

Passionate about creating a sustainable relationship between humans and marine ecosystems.

Megan McKeown



A Texas-ex (with no plans of rekindling that old flame).

Atmospheric scientist turned climate policy fanatic.

Back-up plan is to join the circus.

Staci McMahon


Twitter: @stacithefish
IG: @mcmahsta

Lifelong Seattleite into marine science, conservation, and bothering crabs.

Thinks kelp is neat.

Catch her tidepooling, stopping a hike to take a picture of particularly nice moss, and buying just one more houseplant.

Corinne Noufi


IG: @corinnenoufi2150

Colorado native, avid cyclist and hiker, brewer of the most tasty liquid (beer), you haven’t lived until you’ve tried my lavender bread.

I’m interested in fisheries and how human and environmental health can be supported by aquaculture.

Chase Puentes


IG: @chasekaws

Normal, Illinois-born; San Diego native. Barns + beaches.

Entirely fascinated by the use of media as a bridge between Indigenous and Western knowledges, and as a vehicle for collaborative solutions to climate and equity issues.

Always available to talk about the Twilight Zone, type II fun travel stories, Shakey Graves, or the many uses of duct tape.

Abby Rogerson 


IG: @abbyrogerstein 

Roots in Wisconsin; knows how to make a good old-fashioned. 

Loves eating and cooking with others, and wants to learn how we can create a more sustainable and just food system. 

Drop her a line if you want to play some euchre.

George Thomas Jr.


Former newspaper reporter and longtime digital marketer.

Once held the title “Webmaster.”

Seeking to demystify key issues shrouded by clutter.


Olivia Zimmerman



Raised among the Pacific Northwest’s mountains, forests and seas.

90’s music devotee, margarita aficionado, and animal fiend.

Captivated by human-nature relationships, and how our inherent care for the natural world can be fostered into equity-based restoration, sustainability and conservation practices.

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