WSG News Blog

Four UW Graduates Selected for the 2020–2021 WSG Hershman Fellowship

September 10, 2020

We are pleased to announce that Henry Bell, Emily Buckner, Elise Lasky and Dorothy Mulkern have been awarded the Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellowship for 2020-2021. This fellowship places highly motivated, qualified individuals with marine and coastal host offices throughout Washington, providing fellows with a unique perspective on building marine policy and allowing them to share their academic expertise with the host offices.

This year’s host offices include the Washington State Department of Ecology, the Pacific Northwest Crab Research Group and the Port of Seattle.

The 2020-2021 State Fellows are:

Henry Bell

Henry grew up in rural Minnesota before heading east to Middlebury College, where he received a degree in geography and environmental studies. After graduating, he partnered with a friend to study marine debris and shark populations in the Caribbean. The project expanded into a six-month research and sailing expedition centered around the filming of an environmental documentary. After returning, Henry gravitated toward the field of marine policy, eager to pursue a career addressing some of the complex issues that he witnessed coastal communities dealing with. He began teaching ocean policy for SEA Semester in 2016 and then came to the UW in 2018 to earn his master’s degree at the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. While there, his research focused on marine learning networks – collaborative knowledge-sharing platforms – as inclusive and transformative approaches to marine governance. He is thrilled to be joining the Department of Ecology as a WSG Hershman Fellow to work on coastal hazards resilience and shoreline management.

Emily Buckner

Emily grew up in Seattle, Washington. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology and ecology from Carlton College, Emily spent three years working and volunteering in environmental education and research, holding positions at an experiential learning center in Minnesota, the UW’s Burke Museum of Natural History, the Seattle Audubon Society, the Hurricane Island Center for Science and Leadership in Maine, the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and the National Ecological Observatory Network in Alaska. These experiences fueled her passion for building positive and sustainable human-ecological relationships via community engagement and actionable science. As a master’s student at the UW School Marine and Environmental Affairs, she worked with NOAA and local stakeholders to develop recommendations for sustainable kelp aquaculture in the Salish Sea . Her thesis research, done in partnership with a citizen science seabird monitoring group, further emphasized the power of doing local research with community members. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, Emily will work for the Pacific Northwest Crab Research Group, where she will help organize a large research network to better inform the Dungeness crab fishery.

Elise Lasky

Elise grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where her love of marine wildlife grew as she visited elephant seals on field trips. This inspired her to pursue a bachelor’s degree in biology at Trinity College in Connecticut, where she joined an electric fish neurobiology lab to study how the stress of predation impacts brain cell growth in weakly electric fish. This experience led her to seek out an education and conservation internship with Mystic Aquarium. In that role, she worked on a successful campaign to get the New England Coral Canyons and Seamounts named a Marine National Monument, inspiring her interest in policy. Elise then decided to pursue concurrent masters’ degrees at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs and the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. While there, she worked with Seattle Children’s Hospital to develop a climate resilience assessment for their main campus. Elise is excited to put into practice the many frameworks and skills that she developed through her graduate studies during her WSG Hershman Fellowship with the Port of Seattle, where she will assist with developing an ocean acidification action plan as well as other ongoing projects.

Dorothy Mulkern

Dorothy finished graduate school in June, earning dual masters’ degrees in Landscape Architecture and Urban Planning from the UW. Originally from Honolulu, Hawaii, Dorothy grew up working on the family farm and going to the beach, which sparked her interest in coastal environments. In 2019 she worked with Island County Planners and WSG investigating sea-level rise best management practices for coastal property owners. This inspired her thesis, which evaluated sea level rise adaptation strategies for island communities focused on finding more robust, comprehensive solutions. This year Dorothy will work with the Port of Seattle as a WSG Hershman Fellow on projects that include shoreline habitat restoration and carbon sequestration.

Congratulations, Fellows! We can’t wait to see what you accomplish.