Melissa Watkinson

Social Scientist

Melissa Watkinson is a social scientist with Washington Sea Grant where she supports the social science efforts on the Olympic Coast Ocean Acidification Vulnerability study. She is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and is native to the Pacific Northwest. Melissa has a master’s degree in policy studies from University of Washington Bothell, where she worked with the Quinault Indian Nation to better understand the impacts of historic land policies on the capacity for coastal tribes to adapt to climate change. As a graduate student, Melissa worked with Washington Sea Grant to collaborate on a social indicators project for the Washington Marine Spatial Plan, and similarly to the socio-cultural dimensions of ocean acidification study. In 2016, she completed a Marc Hershman Marine Policy Fellowship at The Nature Conservancy. Melissa serves on the City of Seattle’s Environmental Justice Committee, and shares her time with the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program at University of Washington, a program whose aim is to change the face, practice, and future of conservation. 
Areas of interest:
  • Human Dimensions of Coastal Communities
  • Indigenous Methodologies
  • Community-based participatory approaches
  • Climate adaptation and resilience
  • Environmental Justice