Washington Sea Grant Keystone Fellows
Ashley Townes is a passion-driven fish ecologist, educator, researcher and environmental justice advocate. She is completing her doctorate in fisheries ecology at the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (SAFS). Her research focuses on sockeye salmon breeding behavior in Bristol Bay, Alaska and the habitat associations of juvenile chinook in Lake Washington. Ashley is also a trainer in program design and cross-cultural communication and obtained her master’s degree in both sustainable development and international education from the School for International Training Graduate Institute. Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Ashley has traveled to more than 50 countries on 6 continents, studying, researching and providing professional development to various international organizations and institutions. She continues to design and implement high impact community-based environmental projects and best cross-cultural practices in natural resource management, especially as related to Black and Indigenous populations, people of color and ethnic minority groups. Before starting at SAFS, Ashley worked as a linguistic data analyst at the Linguistic Data Consortium, as a recycle specialist at Cascadia Consulting Group in Seattle, and as an environmental technician at King County-Water and Lands Resources Division.
As the 2022–2023 WSG Keystone Fellow, Ashley is thrilled to work with the Port of Seattle’s maritime habitat team on advancing the development and implementation of innovative habitat restoration projects including kelp research, floating wetland islands and blue carbon monitoring. Additionally, she will investigate ways to strengthen the linkage between habitat restoration, stewardship, community engagement and equity.
Heather grew up in the heart of Texas, but traded cacti for pines when she moved to Washington to pursue a master’s degree at the UW Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, specializing in environmental policy. To complete her degree, Heather worked with the WA Department of Ecology to assess both the agency’s overall management of and each department’s individual approach to climate change, with a focus on decision-making processes and policymaking. Heather has previously devoted her time to a range of environmental issues, including species conservation and urban sustainability. In 2015, she graduated from New York University with a dual degree in Art History and Environmental Studies. She then became a conservation writer at the nonprofit Global Wildlife Conservation, where Heather covered stories on threatened species, global biodiversity, and conservation developments. At the nonprofit Farm&City, Heather expanded her vision and understanding of equitable and practical sustainability. She now fervently seeks to repair the divide between societal needs and environmental wellbeing; equity and development; and human and nonhuman animals. Heather does not stand for the status quo, and as a WSG Keystone Fellow, she will work with the Seattle Aquarium to advocate ocean policies that reflect the vibrant and just future of all communities, on land and under the sea.
Andres graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy with a focus on environmental policy and has a bachelor’s degree in political science from UC Berkeley. He is particularly interested in environmental adaptation policy as it relates to regional climate change and water resources. As part of his capstone project, Andres worked with the Climate Impacts Group as a research consultant, exploring the state of adaptation in Washington across a variety of environmental sectors and organizations. He also worked with a team of classmates with whom he co-authored an award-winning report that explored how the Evans School can more effectively integrate content and facilitate conversations on diversity, equity and inclusion in the core curriculum. Before grad school, Andres did advocacy and organizing work as part of the Center for Biological Diversity, primarily on public land and fossil fuel infrastructure projects throughout the Western U.S. As the 2020 Keystone Fellow, he is working with the Puget Sound Partnership on their Vital Signs Reporting program, exploring ways to improve messaging on human well-being, examining environmental inequalities and climate impact through incorporating data to better inform recovery efforts, and evaluating relationships between project and program effectiveness.
In 2019, Adrienne Hampton earned her master of public administration degree from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington. Adrienne is dedicated to weaving equity, justice and inclusion through all aspects of her career in marine policy and public service. She has been a fellow with the Future Earth and Global Sustainability Scholars program and Marine Conservation Institute. She has also served in positions focused on developing new partnerships to advance equitable frameworks for fellowship programs, research and monitoring of endangered species and change management initiatives. Currently, ocean health is not a top priority for the majority of Washington residents, and just a few organizations and communities are engaged in federal ocean policy. This means when issues of ocean policy arise, a limited number organizations in the state are involved in shaping legislation, participating in or leading advocacy campaigns, or testifying during hearings. As the inaugural Washington Sea Grant Keystone Fellow, Adrienne is working at the Seattle Aquarium to lead the development, coordination and training of a network of diverse groups and individuals around the goal of elevating ocean conservation as a central value throughout Washington State.
Allison was born and raised in the Seattle area and grew up playing on Alki beach, kayaking across Lake Sammamish, and sailing around Puget Sound with her family. She spent her summers studying abroad and eventually moved to the United Kingdom to pursue her bachelor’s degree in law at University College London. After graduating, she moved to Southern California to be the primary guardian for her teenaged sister. She had developed a passion for environmental law throughout her undergraduate studies, so after her sister left the nest, Allison decided to pursue a master of public administration, concentrating in environmental policy, at the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. During this time, she also worked as the nonprofit coordinator at the Washington State Parks Foundation. Throughout her academic work in and professional experience in outdoor recreation and conservation, she knew she wanted to pursue a career in marine and coastal policy, specializing in natural resource management. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, Allison will support the Northwest Seaport Alliance’s air quality and sustainable practices team with their climate and zero emission commitments.
Hailing from Golden, Colorado, Corinne grew up doing outdoor activities such as skiing, hiking, mountain and road biking, and trail running, and she still loves it all! She obtained her bachelor’s degree in biology from Seattle University, where she studied fish food web ecology in Cambodia. This sparked her interest in fisheries and aquaculture and how human and environmental health can be supported by sound science communication and environmental policy. After graduating, Corinne worked for the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, a nonprofit focused on regional ecological restoration work. Wanting to further her studies and connect science with law and policy, she began her master’s degree at UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. While there, she worked on a two-year aquaculture campaign and completed a capstone project working with NOAA to develop a marine spatial planning tool for kelp and shellfish aquaculture site selection. She also had a summer science communication fellowship with UW College of the Environment. All of these experiences prompted Corinne to want to continue her growing her skillset for mapping, data analysis, and ocean science and policy through the WSG Hershman fellowship. Her position with Puget Sound Partnership will allow her to do just that.
Katie grew up in Washington, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Western Washington University. As an undergraduate, she interned with the Whatcom Land Trust’s stewardship team, performing ecological restoration and conservation site monitoring. After graduation she moved to central coast of California, where she began an internship in environmental compliance with the City of Carmel. This internship sparked her interest in science-based management and policy and led her to pursue a master’s degree from the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. While there, she collaborated on a capstone project with NOAA to create an interactive marine spatial planning tool for kelp restoration and aquaculture in Puget Sound. Concurrently, she earned a graduate certificate in climate science from the Program on Climate Change, where her capstone focused on designing an educational curriculum that the taught the effect of ocean acidification on Washington’s nearshore eelgrass ecosystems. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, Katie will work with the Port of Seattle in developing a multi-site habitat mitigation bank in the Green Duwamish River Watershed, along with other ongoing projects.
Katie grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin along the “fresh coast” of Lake Michigan and then attended Juniata College in central Pennsylvania. While Pennsylvania is dominated by rivers, Katie also had opportunities to study salt water through a guest term at the Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, study abroad at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, and a NOAA Hollings internship in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Between college and graduate school, Katie lived in New Jersey, where she worked with the NOAA Northeast Fisheries Science Center to study how wind energy development affects behavior of the local black sea bass. Katie has now earned her master’s degree from the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, and she is excited to apply her newly gained experience in human dimensions and equity within ocean governance to a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellowship. Katie cannot wait to work with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission and to study the social and ecological benefits of salmon hatcheries.
To prepare for a career supporting equitable and sustainable natural resource management, Natalie pursued joint interests of science and policy. During her time at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, she compared agency use of “best available science” under the Endangered Species Act and researched the effects of urbanization on marine ecology in the Puget Sound. For her doctoral degree at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, Natalie used a multidisciplinary approach to fill knowledge gaps regarding the genetic risks of native shellfish aquaculture. Specifically, she analyzed genetic data from wild shellfish populations to inform aquaculture management, interviewed co-managers to characterize this emerging policy issue, and developed a simulation model for evaluating genetic risks to wild populations under different shellfish production scenarios. Natalie is excited to apply her experiences and learn new skills, as she moves out of academia and into practice. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow with the Makah Tribe, Natalie will support a variety of projects related to oil spill prevention and response, vessel traffic safety, climate resilience, and treaty resource protection.
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 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 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 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.
Tressa is from central Texas, and an interest in international policy led her to a bachelor’s degree in government and African studies from the University of Texas at Austin. Following her undergraduate studies she served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Rwanda. Though she was placed in the education sector, her time in East Africa ignited an interest in the ways governments approach conservation and natural resource management. It was this interest that led her to pursue a master’s degree at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs after working as a teacher in Austin. At SMEA, Tressa wrote her thesis on equity and social justice in the Washington maritime industry, which provided her with a strong foundation in marine and maritime leadership and decision-making in the state. As a WSG Hershman Fellow with the Department of Ecology’s Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program, Tressa will support communities in taking action regarding coastal hazards.
Rachel grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, where her interest in both the ocean and animals led her to become an animal care volunteer at The Marine Mammal Center. After earning a degree in psychology from Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington, Rachel returned to The Marine Mammal Center to work as the Event and Development Coordinator. While working at the Center, Rachel became interested in the interactions between people and the environment, which inspired her to attend graduate school at the University of Washington’s School of Marine
and Environmental Affairs. During graduate school, Rachel worked at NOAA Fisheries in the Protected Resources Division, and collaborated with NOAA to write a thesis on humpback whale entanglements and management. As a WSG Hershman Fellow with the Department of Ecology’s Spills Program, Rachel will work on implementing new legislation related to oil transport vessel safety.
Growing up along the Pacific Coast in Sonoma County, California, Ashley spent most of her time at the beach boogie boarding or digging for mole crabs. These experiences led her to California’s central coast where she attended the University of California, Santa Barbara to major in Environmental Studies. A year after graduation, Ashley moved to Seattle to work as a public involvement consultant for EnviroIssues, where she engaged with the public and decision-makers in conversations that shaped surrounding communities. After three years as a consultant, Ashley decided to attend the University of Washington to obtain a Master of Marine Affairs and a Graduate Certificate in Climate Science. In graduate school, Ashley examined how engineered logjams can be used as a mitigation tool to create suitable freshwater salmon habitat in the face of a changing climate. As a WSG Hershman Fellow with Long Live the Kings, Ashley will work on the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project which is focused on determining why certain species of juvenile salmon and steelhead are dying as they migrate through the Salish Sea. Ashley’s main goals are to communicate findings, incorporate results and tools into management decisions as appropriate, and plan and implement research to address research gaps and to test solutions. Ashley is excited to branch out beyond freshwater to support salmon recovery efforts in the Salish Sea.
Angela grew up in the Chicago area annotating whale field guides and dreaming of living by the sea. This led her to pursue a degree in Integrative Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where she was involved with a lab that researched physiological adaptations to extreme cold in Antarctic fishes. After a trip to Cambodia in 2014, she realized that her passion lay in management, policy, and community led efforts to conservation. After graduating from the University of Illinois in 2016, Angela was an AmeriCorps member with the Watershed Stewards Program placed with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife in Fortuna, California. There, she performed salmon spawner and habitat surveys. After a wonderful AmeriCorps year, she pursued a master’s degree at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Her thesis included interning with the USAID Sustainable Ecosystems Advanced Project in Indonesia and focused on assessing USAID policies regarding gender mainstreaming and female empowerment in conservation and biodiversity projects. Angela is excited to continue applying her past experiences and education to a project in Washington state through the WSG Hershman Fellowship. As a WSG fellow, Angela will be with the Pacific Northwest Crab Research Group, assisting with coordinating the program and working on other ongoing projects.
Alex grew up in Washington and spent much of their childhood exploring the outdoors of Puget Sound. As an undergraduate at Boston University, Alex studied child development and neuroscience. After graduation, Alex worked at Stanford University in the Social Neuroscience Lab where they used an fMRI machine to study empathy and prosociality. While exploring the coasts of California in their spare time, Alex was inspired to combine their interest in social systems with their passion for the marine environment. This led Alex to work for the San Joaquin School District as an outdoor educator located in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Afterwards, Alex returned to school to pursue a master’s degree at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. There, Alex wrote their thesis on the socioecological and societal impacts of the Elwha Dam Removal Project and worked for the Puget Sound Institute to analyze grant projects funded through the Puget Sound Marine and Nearshore Grant Program. As a WSG Hershman Fellow with the Northwest Indian Fisheries Commission, Alex will assist with regional salmon recovery efforts and conduct research on the stages of recovery and the different tradeoffs of management actions.
Sonni Tadlock grew up in Washington and is a direct descendant of the Colville Tribe. In 2016, she completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Native Environmental Science at Northwest Indian College (NWIC) with a concentration in Indigenous Food Systems of the Salish Sea. This then led her to work with Tribal communities doing curriculum development with the Swinomish Tribe, and project coordination for NWIC’s Local Environmental Observers Network. She recently obtained her Masters of Public health at the UW’s Department of Environment and Occupational Health Sciences. While there, her thesis research explored the relationships between people and place by identifying social cultural attributes of clam garden restoration and management in the Southern Gulf Islands, British Columbia, Canada. With a background in both environmental science and public health, working with the Department of Ecology Coastal Hazards project will help further develop her literacy in policy and bring a holistic perspective to the project through her work within Coast Salish communities in the Salish Sea.
Danielle grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area and spent much of her childhood exploring the California coast. After volunteering at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in high school, she earned a degree in aquatic biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduation, a job as a study coordinator made her appreciate the importance of understanding the interactions between science and policy, which led her to pursue a master’s degree at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. While there, she wrote her thesis on navigating the regulatory barriers to native oyster restoration in Washington State, a project that greatly expanded her knowledge of environmental policy processes and decision-making. Between researching her thesis and interning with NOAA’s groundfish branch in Seattle, Danielle’s graduate school experience made her eager to begin a career in coastal and policy. As a WSG Hershman Fellow with the Makah Tribe, Danielle will assist with the Makah Ocean Policy Implementation Plan and other ongoing projects.
Felicia grew up on the Mediterranean island of Corsica, France, where she spent her summers on and in the water. Her love for the marine environment, strengthened by Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s worldwide expeditions on the RV Calypso, inspired her to pursue an undergraduate degree in oceanography at Hawaii Pacific University. She then earned a master’s degree in marine affairs at the University of Rhode Island, where she investigated the development and effectiveness of the International Mediterranean Sea Cetacean Sanctuary Agreement. She is now finishing her doctoral degree in environmental and natural resource sciences at Washington State University. Her research focuses on the human dimensions of Northern California marine protected areas (MPAs), looking at stakeholders’ perceptions on the effects of MPAs and the MPA planning process and the patterns of interactions between actors. As a WSG Hershman Fellow at the Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelands and Environmental Assistance Program, Felicia will work with other state agencies, organizations and local planners to develop state-level guidance for local governments that are using shoreline planning to address sea level rise. She will also help manage the Washington Coastal Hazards Resilience Network.
Growing up in Washington State, Katrina has been constantly influenced and driven by the outdoors and her community. After attending the UW for a degree in oceanography, she became inspired to bridge the gaps between communities and marine sciences. She then attended graduate school at Western Washington University in environmental policy with a focus on marine policy. Between analyzing ocean acidification and collaborative barriers in the Salish Sea, and interning at Re-Sources Bellingham, her professional and personal goals to work with the community and marine science continued to grow. As a WSG Hershman Fellow at the Nature Conservancy, Katrina will work on developing and conducting outreach for the Washington Coastal Resilience Project, engaging and implementing a network with the Community, Economy and Place Initiative, and develop a tribal engagement training for staff.
Born and raised on the East Coast, Brittany spent most of her time exploring the beaches of Long Island Sound, garnering a passion for the natural world. As an undergraduate at the University of Rochester, she held numerous leadership roles for student organizations focused on fostering environmentally sustainable practices, such as EcoReps and GreenSpace. She participated in two summer internship opportunities: one with Virginia Tech focused on pathogens of public health concern, and the other as a NOAA Ernest F. Hollings Scholar researching the impact of ocean acidification on larval bivalves. After studying abroad in the Galápagos Islands, Brittany realized she wanted to work in a field focused on solving marine conservation issues with society at the forefront. This led her to spend a year as an AmeriCorps service member, and then enroll as a master’s student at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, Brittany will work with the Department of Ecology’s Spills Program to aide in spill prevention, preparedness and response activities for the state of Washington.
Henry earned a bachelor’s degree in bioengineering from Syracuse University and then worked for Brainlab, Inc., implementing new surgery procedures in hospitals around the country. After years of talking about fish and seafood with his coworkers, Henry made the switch to the marine world by enrolling at the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs to study seafood, food security, Washington-based tribes, aquaculture and more. He completed his capstone project with The Nature Conservancy and Dr. Eddie Allison studying the interactions between chefs, seafood and sustainable seafood certifications in Seattle. Henry has worked with the Washington Department of Health to improve their programming and interactions with shellfish licensees and the Northwest Fisheries Sciences Center on effects of feeds on sablefish development. He is thrilled to work with the Washington Department of Health as a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, where he will assess the Pollution, Identification and Correction (PIC) program to increase collaborations, capacity and implementation of projects, as well as integrate climate change resiliency. During Henry’s fellowship, he collaborated with Strategic Shellfish Initiative to run a workshop on microbial source tracking (MST), which is a method used to identify sources of fecal coliform pollution in water. The event provided scientists, researchers, and other stakeholders an opportunity to learn about new developments in MST technology and share their work with peers. If you’d like to read more about the workshop, check out the blog post: Advancing Water Quality Tools: Microbial Source Tracking Workshop.
JULIE ANN KOEHLINGER
After working for many years as a registered nurse, Julie Ann returned to school at the UW to study oceanography. Her desire to learn how to effectively use science in marine policy decision making brought her to the UW’s School of Marine in Environmental Affairs. Her thesis focused on water temperature trends in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS) during the years of “the blob.” She also completed the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science, during which she developed a capstone project that used mindfulness practices to motivate personal change around a person’s carbon footprint. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, she will be working at OCNMS to co-lead the formation of a steering committee for an Olympic Coast Ocean Acidification (OA) Sentinel Site and assist with developing management goals and defining priorities and activities for OA work on the Washington Coast.
Shortly after Jackson completed his undergraduate degree at Clemson University, Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. He then relocated and helped rebuild the city, designing and building flood-resistant affordable housing and managing stormwater in public spaces and in local urban agricultural hubs. His passion for increasing resilience in coastal settlements and ecosystems led him to UW’s Department of Landscape Architecture with a focus on Urban Ecological Design. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow at The Nature Conservancy, Jackson is planning, implementing and researching resilience strategies along the coast of Washington, British Columbia and southeast Alaska. His work involves communicating probabilistic sea level rise data for Washington’s shorelines through the Washington Coastal Resilience Project, furthering sustainable rural and indigenous economies through the Conservancy’s Emerald Edge program, and working with shellfish growers to understand the ecological role of shellfish aquaculture.
Sara’s passion for preserving the natural environment was bolstered through her experiences building trails in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, an internship collecting salmon data in rural Alaska, and time spent in Olympic National Park. These experiences led her to a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Western Washington University. From there, she decided to pursue a master’s degree in teaching from Johns Hopkins University in hopes of sharing her passion for science and nature with the next generation. After six years of teaching earth and life science, Sara wanted her work to reach an even wider audience and enrolled in the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow at the Washington Department of Ecology, Sara assists with the Washington Coastal Resilience Project and the Washington Coastal Hazards Resilience Network (CHRN).
Growing up in Hawaii, Haley developed a lifelong love for the ocean, which she carried with her as an undergraduate at the University of California, Santa Barbara where she received a degree in Global and International Studies. A study abroad experience in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, led her to join a project mapping environmental health in Rio, with a focus on those living in coastal favelas (slums). This experience inspired her to enroll in the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA), and to complete a thesis exploring the Tulalip Tribes’ motivation for participating in collaborative restoration projects, combining themes of salmon recovery, the important role of treaty tribes, and social and environmental resilience. During the summer of the SMEA program, Haley interned at NOAA’s Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument Office in Hawai’i and gained even more real-world marine policy experience. Now, as a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow at the Makah Tribe Office of Marine Affairs, Haley is working on vessel safety/oil spill response capacity and climate change planning and policy.
Marisa moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2011, and quickly immersed herself in environmental restoration and community wellbeing as an EarthCorps field crew leader and then as a watershed science educator for Salish Sea Expeditions. Her desire to better link policy and science with community needs led her to pursue a master’s degree from the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA). During her master’s program, Marisa remained engaged with the local community as a Sound Steward for the Duwamish River, running volunteer events and restoring and managing the site. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow at The Washington State Department of Health, Marisa is working on enhancing shellfish-related norovirus illness prevention and response.
Previously, Lili has worked on gender mainstreaming in international protected areas policy with the IUCN Global Gender Office. She is the recipient of a Fulbright grant to Sabah, Malaysia, where she developed environmental education programming for secondary students and worked in conservation law. Lili earned a Master of Marine Affairs (MMA) from the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, and she holds a B.S. in Environmental Geoscience and Geography from Texas A&M University. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, Lili is managing the Washington Coastal Hazards Resilience Network; she is also working with Ecology’s Shorelands and Environmental Assistance program to develop climate change and sea level rise adaptation guidance.
While originally from Toronto, Claire fell in love with the ocean during her time as an undergraduate student at Dalhousie University on Canada’s east coast. While there, Claire earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree and a Co-op degree. Traveling in Asia and Europe, she became ever more engaged with the vibrancy of coastal communities. After settling into a Divemaster job in Thailand for a season, Claire decided she wanted to do more to protect the natural resources and areas in our oceans we as humans so heavily depend on for sustenance, climate regulation and, of course, natural beauty. This led her to pursue her Master of Marine and Environmental Affairs degree at the University of Washington. While there, Claire focused mainly on understanding food production in marine systems and the tradeoffs with environmental conservation. Her work analyzed aquaculture systems as a potential way to grow the world’s animal protein availability, particularly given the immense growth this sector has shown in developing countries predominantly in Asia. She hopes to continue to work in coastal communities in North America, and is committed to understanding how partnerships between the public sector, private sector and NGOs alike can drive sustainable growth and development for marine industries in Washington State, securing food and jobs well into the future. For her Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellowship, Claire is working with The Nature Conservancy, focusing on advancing habitat conservation and community resilience for Washington’s marine waters.
Forrest’s lifelong interest in climate change was formalized in high school, when he independently published a research project that investigated the shrinking ice season of his hometown on Lake Superior over 150 years. After earning an undergraduate degree in Conservation Biology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, Forrest worked as research assistant on avian projects in the U.S. Midwest, Central America, and Hawaii. Everywhere he worked, Forrest found evidence of the impacts of climate change as well as the desperate need for local adaptation. This led him to Seattle and the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy and Governance to learn more about how local policy decisions could be better informed by science. Now, as a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow working with the Makah Tribe, Forrest is pursuing his career goal of helping communities understand, mitigate and adapt to the localized impacts of climate change.
Natalie is an Olympia native. Living near the Puget Sound for 27 years inspired her to pursue a career in the marine sciences. As a graduate student at the Evergreen State College, Natalie applied her interest in shellfisheries to a master’s thesis quantifying nutrient cycling between native macroalgae and cultivated manila clams in a Hood Canal estuary. Also during this time, Natalie served as a biotoxin intern for the Washington State Department of Health, monitoring toxic algae blooms. This internship sparked an interest in the link between marine science and public health. For her fellowship, Natalie now looks forward to returning to the Department of Health to assess the risk of Vibrio related illness from the state’s shellfish growing areas. Eventually, Natalie intends to return to academia to learn more about Washington State aquaculture and how to maintain sustainable industry practices in a changing environment.
Growing up in North Carolina, Mike was no stranger to marine and coastal issues. However, while his love of art is what brought him to Yale, it was here—in an introductory science course—that Mike’s fascination of ecology and concern for marine resources took off. His research took him to places like Turks and Caicos and Australia where he studied coastal resilience and the ties between ecology and community-based governance. As a graduate student in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington, Mike continued to pursue a higher education understanding of connecting science and policy. He incorporated his interest in art into his graduate research, which looked at how scientists communicate research through art and how art can facilitate conversations about marine policy issues. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, Mike worked with the Makah Office of Marine Affairs.
Mikaela started her career in marine science at the University of Puget Sound, where she pursued a B.S. in Natural Science. Here, she had the opportunity to study abroad in the Turks and Caicos Islands and the Botswana and Namibia area, where she experienced the processes and impacts behind decision-making for environmental policies. Mikaela furthered her studies on the human dimensions of marine policy at the University of Washington as a graduate student in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. During this time, Mikaela expanded her skills as an educator by working as teaching assistant at the University of Washington for recreational fisheries and biology courses, as touch tank educator for Foss Waterway Seaport, and as a stewardship programs intern for Forterra. Mikaela worked with Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission as a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow.
As an undergraduate student at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, Lindsey researched the invasive Coqui Frog and its influence on arthropod communities. By way of working as a Biological Science Technician with the Lucky Peak Nursery at the Boise National Forrest, Lindsey attended graduate school at Evergreen State College. While studying in Olympia, her research focused on the distribution of preferred nocturnal resting areas for Wintering Surf Scoters to identify which of these locations across the Salish Sea are potentially vulnerable to oil spills. During this time, Lindsey also worked as a Program Coordinator with the Sustainability in Prisons Project where she organized inmate technicians to gather data on the endangered Taylor’s checkerspot butterfly. Lindsey spent her time as a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow working with the Department of Health.
Michael first pursued his interests in public policy as a congressional district intern in Gabrielle Giffords’s office in Tucson, Arizona. Making his way north, Michael was a Climate Change Awareness Events Coordinator in Massachusetts. In Seattle, he attended graduate school at University of Washington while volunteering with multiple organizations—including the Economics and Finance Interest Group, the American Water Resources Association, the Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, and the Evans School Budget Council. As a graduate student in the UW Evans School of Public Affairs, Michael worked on multiple projects focusing on community behavior in response to local policies. These included a project researching methods to encourage coastal homeowners to improve shoreline management practices. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, Michael worked with the Washington Department of Ecology.
SKADIE VON REIS
As a student at the University of Washington, Skadi pursued two graduate degrees—a Masters in Public Affairs from the Evans School of Public Affairs and a Masters in Science from the School of Environmental and Forest Science. During her academic career, her research examined shoreline management methods employed by homeowners, evaluated a county program on surfacewater management, and analyzed politics surrounding wolf management with the Thomas J. Watson Foundation. Ultimately, Skadi’s Masters thesis focused on understanding homeowner motivation and decision-making regarding shoreline management projects in Puget Sound. Skadi worked with the Puget Sound Partnership as a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow.
Melissa’s research interests lie in the implications of climate change policy displacing communities, specifically of coastal tribes. In working with the Quinault Indian Nation’s Department of Resources—as part of her capstone project for her Master of Arts Degree in Policy Studies from UW, Bothell—Melissa analyzed how the acquisition of parceled land would increase community resilience to sea level rise. Melissa is motivated by witnessing how her work positively affects a community and its well-being. Her work with non-profit organizations, including Oxfam American and the One Equal Heart Foundation, made her sensitive to the needs of international communities in pursuing sustainable livelihoods. Melissa continued pursuing her interests as a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow with The Nature Conservancy.
Molly Bogeberg earned her master’s degree in Environmental Science in 2014 from Washington State University, Vancouver. She studied the habitat associations of an aquarium fish species, yellow tang, from shallow (3 m) to upper mesophotic depths (40 m) in West Hawaii. Molly was placed as a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow at The Nature Conservancy in Seattle to study marine policy and management along Washington’s Pacific coast. She worked to incorporate Habitat Risk Assessments into Shoreline Master Program updates to help coastal communities protect ecosystem services and fishery resources in the face of climate change. She worked on projects to minimize conflict between potential offshore renewable energy developments and fishing as well as learning about community quota banks to manage fisheries.
Katie Graziano earned a master’s degree in Marine and Environmental Affairs from University of Washington in 2014. While studying at UW, she joined as a researcher with the U.S. Coral Triangle Initiative Learning Project to investigate lessons learned from an international marine conservation and governance project. Her thesis explored the gender dimensions of climate change risk and adaptation in coastal fishing communities of the Philippines.
As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow with the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) in Tacoma, Katie evaluated connections between recovery efforts and desired goals to improve the ecological health of Puget Sound. She worked with local experts to validate the linkages between actions and ecosystem outcomes that are described in the PSP’s Action Agenda. Her project helped to tell a comprehensive story of past recovery efforts in Puget Sound, and establish criteria to better link actions to positive outcomes in the future.
Adi Hanein earned her Master’s degree in Marine and Environmental Affairs from the University of Washington in 2014. While at UW, she developed an online mapping survey to study tourism and recreation patterns in Hood Canal, Washington, and was a teaching assistant introductory biology and invertebrate ecology courses. She also worked with the Puget Sound Institute on developing human well-being indicators for the Hood Canal watershed by conducting a literature review of social and economic indicators in the Puget Sound and coordinating and facilitating stakeholder workshops.
As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow at the Washington State Department of Health, Adi worked with the molluscan shellfish (clams, oysters, mussels, geoducks and others that have a hinged shell) biotoxin program. The program collects data on the different biotoxins, shellfish species, monitoring sites, and collection dates. A major focus of her fellowship was analyzing this data set, looking for county- and Puget Sound-wide trends, impacts from climate change, as well as a way to visualize the data for the public.
Jessie earned a BS in Marine Biology and Political Science from the University of Oregon. She received her Master’s degree from University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, with both an international and U.S. focus in ecosystem-based management, stakeholder involvement, and climate adaptation. Her thesis evaluated Arctic Nations and their efforts in implementing Best Practices in Ecosystem-based Ocean Management (BePOMAR) in the Arctic region. She brought to her fellowship experience from her internship with the National Ocean Council within the Council on Environmental Quality and from Norway, where she spent time at the Fridtjof Nansen Institute researching Arctic ocean policy. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow at the Washington State Department of Ecology, Jessie managed the Coastal Hazards Resilience Network (CHRN) for the state.
Laura recently graduated with a Masters of Marine Affairs from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington where her thesis focused on an educational project with NOAA developing lesson plans for the Pacific National Marine Monuments. Prior to moving to Seattle for graduate school, Laura worked for the Sea Education Association and several other educational programs aboard tall ships, teaching oceanography and marine biology to students of all ages.
As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, Laura worked jointly with the Makah Tribe on the Olympic Peninsula and The Nature Conservancy in Seattle on a range of ocean policy issues. She primarily focused on a project dedicated to improving response capacity and minimizing the risk of oil spills in Puget Sound in the face of increasing vessel traffic.
While pursuing her Master in Marine Affairs degree from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington, Rachel also spent time as a writing fellow for Washington Sea Grant. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, she was placed with the Washington State Department of Ecology, where she worked on creating a Coastal Hazards Resilience Network for Washington State. This included developing strategies to improve communication with the Washington State Emergency Management Division—accomplished by creating a webtool as well as establishing a system to incorporate Spanish-speaking community members into conversations with the Washington State Emergency Management Division. Rachel has since worked for Triangle Associates as a Project Associate where she has the opportunity to continue her interest in science communication.
Hilary Browning earned her Master’s degree in Marine and Environmental Affairs from the University of Washington in 2013. Her thesis investigated the distribution patterns and habitat associations of rockfish in Puget Sound in the 1970s using archival data. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow at the Washington State Department of Health, Hilary developed a quantitative microbial risk assessment for the risk of vibriosis (food poisoning) from raw oyster consumption. She also helped the agency establish thresholds for new regulatory controls based upon statistical analyses of past trends in environmental conditions and illnesses.
After her time in Mauritania with the Peace Corps, Haley spent her graduate career at the University of Washington in both the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs and the Evans School of Public Policy. Here, she pursued her passion to protect the environment while addressing the worldwide inequalities of environmental impacts on resource users. In addition, she learned policy tools and ecological modeling methods available for decision-makers. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, Haley worked with the Puget Sound Partnership. From there she started work in her current position as a watershed planning and policy coordinator with the Hood Canal Coordinating Council.
As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, Katie worked with The Nature Conservancy. Since then, she has worked with the Makah Tribal Council as a Natural Resource Policy Analyst.
Kara Cardinal earned her master’s degree in 2012 from the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Her thesis focused on the commercial shellfish industry in Puget Sound in the context of Washington’s marine spatial planning efforts. While in school, she also conducted research for Washington Sea Grant on impacts of changing climate dynamics on the Pacific whiting fishery. In her life before graduate school, she spent time as a Marine Educator at Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and as a Restoration Technician for the Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group. As a 2012 Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow placed at The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Washington State, Kara played a major role in leading TNC’s involvement in the state’s marine spatial planning process and conducted extensive stakeholder outreach throughout the Washington coast. Soon after the fellowship ended, Kara was offered a position with TNC. She currently is TNC’s Marine Projects Manager, where she supports their marine program by leading communication and outreach efforts, managing grants and project funding, and building relationships throughout the marine field.
Gretchen’s interests in the marine environment began during her childhood explorations of the shorelines of the Long Island Sound in Connecticut. While working for AmeriCorps, Gretchen expanded her skills as an educator and communicator. She continued to pursue her interests and expand her skills in management while attending graduate school in the School of Marine of Environmental Affairs and in the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, Gretchen worked with the Washington Department of Ecology where she had the opportunity to participate in the creation of the Coastal Hazards Resilience Network for Washington State. After her fellowship, Gretchen worked for the Puget Sound Partnership as an Ecosystem Recovery Coordinator and, more recently, started working for Snohomish County in her current position as a Snohomish Basin Lead Entity Coordinator.
Constance has earned a Master in Science Degree in marine science from the College of William and Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences as well as a Master of Marine Affairs Degree from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington. With an interest in ecotoxicology and ocean acidification, Constance believes in working at the interface of science and policy to improve the condition of the marine environment. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow with Puget Sound, Constance worked on a project focused on evaluating and updating environmental indicators for Puget Sound. Constance is now a science and education coordinator with Puget Soundkeeper Alliance.
Libby earned her masters degree from the The School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, University of Washington. Through her thesis work (titled “Community perceptions of tourism in Bien Unido, Bohol Island, Philippines”) she helped empower a community in the Phillippines to find their united voice and communicate with local government officials about establishing guidelines for tourism development. She worked with community leaders to develop a strategy for maximizing the community involvement and economic opportunity in development while incentivizing environmentally clean practices from investors and outside developers. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow at the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Libby worked on a collaborative project to map activities in Washington’s marine waters, create a vision for the future of Washington’s coast, and develop a plan to guide the development of future activities. She believes that helping communities find a voice and the right opportunity to express insights during a management process can bring much needed understanding and value to that process.
LAURA WIGAND JOHNSON
Laura Johnson earned a master’s degree in Marine and Environmental Affairs from the University of Washington in 2012 for her research on the spatial patterns of groundfish abundance along the Bering Sea outer continental margin. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow in the Washington State Department of Health she helped research and develop a new management approach to reduce illnesses associated with the naturally occurring bacteria, Vibrio parahaemolyticus. Her fellowship year was spent researching the associations between V. parahaemolyticus and environmental conditions, working with the Tribes and the commercial shellfish industry to develop a preventative approach to managing the risks of V. parahaemolyticus illnesses, and organizing a West Coast V. parahaemolyticus workshop. The resulting draft rule is currently available for public comment and the State Board of Health decided whether to adopt the new approach in 2015.
Heather’s love of nature and fascination with the ocean led her to the University of Washington. As an undergraduate, she recognized a disconnect between marine science research and ocean policy. Looking to address that issue, Heather pursued her Master in Marine Affairs degree from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at UW. Heather’s fellowship year was spent with the Aquatic Resources Division of the Washington Department of Natural Resources. She went on to work as environmental planner in the Aquatic Resources Division of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
While interested in science—with a Bachelor’s Degree in biology—Clara’s passion lies in how science could be applied to economics, resource management, and politics. Building a skillset that allowed her to contribute to the process of restoring the health of Puget Sound, Clara received her Master in Marine Affairs degree from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, Clara’s fellowship assignment was with the Washington State Department of Health. She went on to become a public health advisor for the Department of Health.
Allison pursued a Master of Environmental Studies degree from the Evergreen State College where her research focused on evaluating the impact of public participation on shoreline programs. Allison spent her time as a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow with the Puget Sound Partnership. Here, she helped to develop a framework for implementing a regional network of marine protected areas. She went on to work for the Thurston County Planning Commission and is currently an Associate Planner there. In this position, she coordinates projects that identify and implement land use plans to protect water resource.
Bridget received her Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Bridget’s fellowship assignment was with the Washington Department of Ecology. During this experience, Bridget developed a marine spatial planning strategy for planning processes in Washington State. Following her fellowship, Bridget started working for Washington Sea Grant as a Coastal Policy Specialist, a position that allows her to work on coastal resilience and emergency preparedness issues.
Dan recognizes the importance of collaborating with stakeholders—especially members of communities local to protected environmental areas—in establishing successful conservation strategies. While pursuing his Master of Science degree in Environmental Science from Washington State University, Dan researched the potential socioeconomic impacts of proposed marine reserves in Oregon State waters on the local fishing industry. He was awarded the Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellowship and matched with the Washington State Department of Ecology. Dan is currently a Project Manager for the Health and Safety Institute in Vancouver, WA.
Heading west after spending her undergraduate career at Michigan State University, Jamie pursued a Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. During her time as a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, Jamie worked with the Washington Military Department as a Hazard Mitigation Specialist. She then worked as a Coastal Policy Specialist with Washington Sea Grant before becoming the Community Engagement and Risk Communication Lead at Michael Baker International.
Michael’s fellowship year was spent with the Washington Department of Natural Resources. Following his fellowship, Michael continued to work for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources as an Aquatics Analyst and later as an Aquatic Reserves Program Specialist and Data Manager. Michael is currently pursuing his PhD at the University of Victoria where he is studying coastal geomorphology—specifically focusing on the geomorphic role of large woody debris on sandy beach-dune morphodynamics.
Jess received her master’s degree from the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences in microbial ecology. Her research focused on the ecosystem effects of the invasive eelgrass species Zostera japonica on sediment microbial communities. As a Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow, she worked with the Washington Department of Health. Jess is now a researcher at Natural Capital Project in Seattle.
A graduate from the School of Marine Affairs at the University of Washington, Angie focused her research on marine transportation and port administration. Angie was among the first Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellows and worked as a fellow with the Washington Department of Natural Resources. In this position, she developed a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the Aquatic Resources Division, co-created Action Plans for the West Coast Governor’s Agreement on Ocean Health’s Climate Change Action Coordination Team, and contributed information on the effects of climate change on the Cherry Point Environmental Aquatic Reserve Management Plan. Angie is currently an associate for Palmer Biezup & Henderson LLP.
Nathalie received her PhD in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences from the University of Washington. She was one of the first Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellows to work with the Washington Department of Ecology where she collaborated on policy analysis of the Washington Coastal Zone Management Program. Nathalie was then hired on as a Monitoring Program Manager with the Puget Sound Partnership and led the development and implementation of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program. Continuing her work with the Puget Sound Partnership, Nathalie is a Monitoring Program Performance Analyst. In this position, she manages reporting on the Puget Sound Vital Signs and also leads the Marine Birds and Marine Mammal technical workgroups of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program.
One of Katy’s earliest memories is exploring a dead humpback whale that had washed up on a beach in her hometown of Anchorage, Alaska. Since then, the ocean and all its mysteries has fascinated her. Learning to SCUBA dive at 16 further solidified this passion which she maintained even while pursuing a degree from Colorado College in organismal biology and ecology. After working for an environmental nonprofit in Denver, Katy found her way back to the ocean via the Master of Marine Affairs program at the University of Washington. There, she studied marine learning networks—collaborative knowledge sharing platforms—and their potential to transform ocean governance. Katy also worked for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations on small-scale fisheries policy, and became passionate about the intersection of international marine policy, resource management and sustainable development. She is excited to apply these varied experiences, continue learning, and find new passions as a Knauss Fellow in Washington, D.C.
As a native of Houston, Texas (dubbed the “Energy Capital of the World”), Megan was inspired to study the impact of the local oil and gas industry had on her city’s air quality. After earning a bachelor’s degree in atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, Megan planned to become an academic researcher in the field. However, an internship at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory opened her eyes to the need for environmental science communication and advocacy in the policy realm. Megan shifted courses and began her master’s degree at the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Here she bridged her atmospheric background to new issues in both the policy and marine worlds. Graduating in December, Megan’s thesis centers on environmental justice in climate change policies. As a Knauss Fellow, Megan pledges to elevate and engage Black, Indigenous and people of color in the policy process.
Max Showalter is finishing a doctoral degree in oceanography and astrobiology at the University of Washington under advisor Jody Deming. Using a combination of lab experiments, mathematical modeling and polar field work, Max seeks to understand how bacteria and their viruses survive in the extreme environment of sea ice, and how bacterial life in extremes on Earth can inform the search for life in our solar system and beyond. During his graduate work, he became involved in Arctic policy through work with the Canadian Studies Center on Inuit policies and politics, which helped develop his interest in science policy. Max is also a former Science Communications Fellow with Washington Sea Grant.
Hally hails from Buffalo, New York. She is finishing her doctoral degree in physical oceanography at the University of Washington (UW), advised by Neil Banas (University of Strathclyde) and Parker MacCready (UW). Her research focuses on the broad impacts of coastal upwelling dynamics in the Pacific Northwest, with specific interest in how wind patterns affect shelf bottom water variability and phytoplankton biomass. She also does some work modeling transport of harmful algal blooms as part of the region’s Monitoring and Event Response for Harmful Algal Blooms (MERHAB) program. She earned her bachelor’s degree in astronomy and physics and marine science from Boston University, where she became interested in coastal oceanography because of its interdisciplinary nature and relevance to people. She became interested in science policy through the UW’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) Program on Ocean Change, where she worked with state legislators and agencies on projects including quantifying the economic value of blue carbon stored beneath eelgrass beds in Puget Sound.
Originally from the Boston area, Katie fostered a love of the ocean through exploring the varied New England coast. As an undergraduate at Colby College, Katie had the opportunity to research how lobstermen in the Gulf of Maine perceive climate change and its potential impacts on the lobster industry and their livelihoods. This research led Katie to pursue a master’s degree at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. While there, her capstone project explored stakeholder perspectives and policy implications of the Adaptive Management Program in the West Coast Groundfish Fishery. Katie’s experience during graduate school furthered her desire to continue working with local communities and stakeholders to influence, create and implement effective policy in the environmental field.
Kelly developed her passion for the environment while exploring the coastline of her hometown just North of San Francisco, but it was a high school marine biology class and getting SCUBA certified that finally inspired her pursuit of a career in marine science. This path first led her across the country to Florida, earning a bachelor’s degree in marine affairs from the University of Miami while completing internships with the Shark Research and Conservation Program and the New England Aquarium. Following graduation, Kelly moved to The Bahamas to work as an educator at the Cape Eleuthera Island School. After two years of teaching, Kelly returned to school at the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs to refocus on a career bringing together science and policy. While there, she completed a capstone project analyzing policy options for the Pacific Groundfish Fishery catch share program and worked as a program assistant for Washington Sea Grant’s Crab Team. Kelly is excited to work and learn at the center of U.S. policy in Washington D.C. next year as a Knauss fellow.
Jasmine grew up fascinated by the ocean, although she didn’t live near the coast until moving to Seattle in high school. Once there, she volunteered at the Seattle Aquarium and was inspired to earn degrees in marine biology and science communication from University of California, Santa Barbara. Jasmine first became involved in toxicology as an undergraduate by studying the impacts of urban stormwater runoff on pacific salmon as a NOAA Hollings scholar. She continued this work as a master’s student at Washington State University, where she was able to work with a collaborative team of academics, federal agency researchers, and tribal members to complete her thesis research. Working with diverse stakeholders made her aware of the importance and challenges of protecting marine resources, and she is eager to learn about addressing relevant issues through national policy as a Knauss Fellow. Jasmine is also a former Science Communications fellow with Washington Sea Grant.
Spencer grew up on an island in the San Francisco Bay, but she fell in love with the ocean at eight years old, knee-deep in the mudflats of Puget Sound. She spent high school volunteering with seals at the Marine Mammal Center and pursued her undergraduate degree in Marine Science and Environmental Science at Boston University. Through their marine program, she had the opportunity to study coral in Belize, sharks in Ecuador, and the marine urban ecology of the greater Boston area. She was also an Ernest F. Hollings scholar and studied toxic algal blooms on the NOAA R/V Brown and at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center. Driven by a sense that every study she’d done prompted a call for policy action, she began her master’s degree with the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. At UW, she wrote her master’s thesis on the prevalence of toxic algae in pink salmon and was an intern with NOAA’s groundfish branch in Seattle, where she contributed to environmental assessments. She also was the managing editor of and wrote for the school’s blog, Currents. In her spare time, Spencer loves to read, bake bread, and jump into the nearest available body of water.
Hughey recently graduated from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington with a Master of Public Administration, specializing in environmental policy. Over the past six years, he has advanced policy and GIS efforts at the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, an environmental non-profit pursuing the balance of people and nature in the Puget Sound region. Hughey’s affinity for the marine environment stems from explorations of the coastlines of Baranof Island around his hometown of Sitka, Alaska. Hughey will spend his Knauss fellowship working in U.S. Senator Cory Booker’s office.
Carini recently finished her doctoral degree, where she studyied the physics of breaking waves at the beach to understand how wave forces change the coastal environment. Using infrared cameras, she observes and quantifies both individual wave characteristics and large-scale patterns of wave breaking. She finds these remote sensing techniques exciting because they can be applied to any beach, including the cliff-lined coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington and the sandy, barrier-island shores of New Jersey—both places she calls home. During her graduate career, Carini pursued formal science communication training and became a lead facilitator for science communication workshops on campus. As a Knauss Fellow, Carini will work with the Marine Mammal Commission, where she is eager to combine her research skills, knowledge of coastal processes, and passion for translating science for a non-expert audience, to help advance federal marine science and policy.
Grear recently completed her doctoral degree in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Washington. Her research bridges biology and engineering to better understand the environmental impacts of marine renewable energy on the ocean ecosystem. Her dissertation focused on describing and modeling the structural mechanics of marine mammal skin and blubber to evaluate the risk of these animals colliding with tidal turbines. Since 2012, she has also worked for the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), with projects in coastal modeling, wave energy, and offshore wind energy. Currently a postdoctoral researcher at PNNL, she is working on offshore macroalgae cultivation, as well as better stakeholder communication and outreach around ocean energy projects. Grear will carry out her fellowship with the National Science Foundation’s Ocean Sciences Division.
Born and raised in California, Chow is passionate about promoting environmental justice through access to clean water and coastal resources. Chow received her bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo and went on to earn her master’s degree in aquatic and fishery sciences from the University of Washington. In collaboration with the Puget Sound Stormwater Science Team, her graduate research explored the consequences of stormwater runoff pollution on Pacific salmon and their prey species. Chow will spend her Knauss fellowship working with the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources.
Cleland was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and recently graduated with a master’s degree from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington. While in graduate school, she focused on emerging Arctic issues as well as changes in crude oil shipping and changes in oil spill risk. She earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental science and international relations from Tufts University after spending two years on the Welsh Coast at United World College of the Atlantic. Cleland has worked as an environmental consultant and outdoor educator for the past three years and is thrilled to start working on national marine policy issues in D.C. As a fellow, Cleland will work with the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation where she hopes to work with people to solve complex environmental problems using science. Valerie was featured on the program Topophilia, “a podcast about place,” in which she shares her experience as a Knauss fellow. You can listen to a recording of the interview here.
Grace grew up in St. Paul, Minn. and earned her bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. After graduation, she worked as a zookeeper at the Point Defiance Zoo and a research intern at the Marine Conservation Institute. Grace earned her UW master’s degree in marine affairs, for which she focused on developing tools to measure the climate vulnerability of eight species of Arctic marine mammals. For the past year, she has worked for the NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region on orca recovery efforts. Grace will spend her Knauss Fellowship working with NOAA’s international fisheries experts on agreements to reduce marine mammal bycatch in foreign fisheries and learn about the International Whaling Commission’s quota-setting process.
Born and raised in Bellingham, Wash., Laura is currently finishing her doctoral degree in fishery sciences under adviser Tim Essington. Her doctoral research focuses on how forage fish fisheries affect upper trophic predators, including seabirds and marine mammals. She explores these impacts using multiple tools such as large ecosystem models. Laura has also served on the project management team for the Lenfest Ocean Program’s Fishery Ecosystem Task Force. Her research interests include ecosystem approaches to fisheries management, wildlife conservation and food web ecology. As a Knauss Fellow, Laura is looking forward to working in NOAA Fisheries headquarters, where she will help review listings and develop recovery plans for threatened or endangered species. In the future, Laura hopes to continue to work in species conservation at NOAA or an environmental nonprofit organization.
Jimmy recently graduated with a master’s degree in marine affairs, for which he studied environmental DNA and its use in ecosystem monitoring, as well as the effects of shellfish aquaculture on the Washington environment. Originally from Wauwatosa, Wis., Jimmy earned his bachelor’s degree in microbiology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2015. His interest in marine policy stemmed from a summer internship with Oregon Sea Grant and continued to grow after various research opportunities and study abroad programs in Ecuador and Thailand. Jimmy currently works at Washington Sea Grant on research and fellowship programs. He is thrilled to serve as a Knauss Fellow in U.S. Senator Brian Schatz’s office.
Another recent graduate, Carrie earned a master’s degree in marine affairs with thesis work that measured the success of public-private partnerships in the renewable energy sector. She is currently a research fellow working on education and partnership facilitation for the National Center for Public-Private Partnerships (NCPPP), a non-profit organization in Washington, D.C. Carrie will join the Water Power Technologies Office at the U.S. Department of Energy for her fellowship, and hopes to continue exploring her passion for renewable energy and cross-sector partnerships.
Maggie recently received a master’s in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. She currently works as a social scientist for the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, where she measures community impacts of the West Coast catch share fishery management program. She also assisted WSG’s Social Scientist Melissa Poe and NOAA to develop social indicators to measure human well-being in marine management. Before graduate school, she worked as an environmental educator, video producer and intern coordinator for a variety of ocean organizations. Born and raised in Florida, Maggie is passionate about environmental education and social justice. She is excited to be NOAA’s Education Policy Fellow in Washington, D.C., and eventually hopes to lead a nonprofit that engages communities in ocean conservation.
Sarah’s love of the environment stems from growing up along the Apple River in rural Wisconsin with the opportunity to continuously be outdoors either in the woods, on the river or in the river depending on the day’s adventure. She is finishing her Ph.D. from the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University, Pullman. Her study dissertation entails using archives of precipitation to study sources of atmospheric nitrogen deposition and how they changed over time. During her Ph.D. studies, Sarah had the opportunity to work as a science policy fellow at the U.S. Global Change Research Program in Washington, D.C., helping to develop a national system of climate change indicators. She looks forward to returning to the D.C. to serve as a Knauss Legislative Fellow in the office of Senator Gary C. Peters of Michigan for what is certain to be an interesting and historic year of political transitions.
Michael grew up in Seattle and has spent nearly his whole life in the Pacific Northwest. He recently graduated from the University of Washington School of Law, where he earned both his J.D. and a master’s degree in Sustainable International Development. In law school he focused his work and studies on international development and public interest environmental law. During this time he worked with the Wildlands Network, a Seattle-based wildlife conservation organization and Trustees for Alaska, a public interest law firm based in Anchorage. As a Knauss Fellow he will be working at the NOAA’s Oceanic and Atmospheric Research office with the Policy, Planning and Evaluation division, doing corporate evaluation work for NOAA’s regional and international research laboratories. He hopes the fellowship will provide him with a fresh perspective on policy-making that he can bring to his future work as a practicing public interest environmental attorney.
Nicole is from Utqaġvik (Barrow), Alaska, which is the northernmost place in the United States. Her interest in marine affairs derives from the strong relationship her community has with the Arctic Ocean, a relationship that entails venturing onto the sea ice for food and cultural security. Nicole earned a Masters of Marine Affairs from the University of Washington in 2016. Her research focused on polar bear co-management in Alaska. Nicole is currently the youth representative to the Inuit Circumpolar Council and participates in the Arctic Council Protection of the Arctic Marine Environment working group. As a Knauss Fellow, Nicole will be working with the National Marine Fisheries Services International Affairs Office as a foreign affairs fellow.
THOMAS NEAL MCMILLIN
Neal first engaged with ocean policy through a Barksdale grant from the Honors College at the University of Mississippi. He traveled throughout coastal Scotland learning about the economic impacts of the emerging marine renewable energy sector. Neal expanded this research in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington. He compared leading tidal energy projects in Washington State and Scotland to learn how novel projects overcome barriers to development. At a professional development experience with the Center for Ocean Solutions in Pacific Grove, California, he recognized a passion for national ocean policy. Motivated by his experience as a Mississippian impacted by Hurricane Katrina and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Neal is thrilled to be placed with the office of Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi as a 2017 Knauss Fellow.
Laura Deighan graduated from the University of Washington in 2014 with a Master’s of Marine Affairs. Laura’s research focused on improving the sustainability of fisheries through the use of Fishery Improvement Projects (FIPs). Her past work includes an aquarist position at the Virginia Aquarium, and researching FIPs as an intern for FishWise. As a 2015 Knauss Fellow, Laura will work for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation. She will provide project coordination and review for both the National Fish Passage Program (NFPP) and National Fish Habitat Action Plan (NFHP). She will also assist in working with Fish and Wildlife’s eight regions to develop regional and national lists of priority species.
Bonnie was a Knauss Fellow with the Office of Coastal Management.
Marissa earned her master’s degree in 2013 from the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences for her research on the genetics and ecology of juvenile steelhead trout. As a Knauss Fellow, she worked in NOAA’s Office of Education, supporting education efforts across the agency. A major focus of her fellowship was to work with the NOAA Education Council to complete the revised NOAA Education Strategic Plan. In 2015, Marissa was hired by the Office of Education to lead the strategic plan effort and help the NOAA education community report progress.
Megan Stachura earned her Master’s degree in Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences from the University of Washington in 2013. For her thesis, Megan studied environmental drivers of synchrony in Northeast Pacific marine fish recruitment and North Pacific salmon abundance. During the Knauss Fellowship, Megan worked in the NOAA Fisheries, Office of Sustainable Fisheries, Domestic Fisheries Division. While at NOAA, she developed content to communicate information about U.S. marine fish species and their management on the FishWatch website. Megan also supported the implementation of a fish stock climate vulnerability assessment in the Northeast U.S. and researched factors important to the success of recreational fisheries management.
Rebecca Jablonski-Diehl earned a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington Seattle in 2011. Her thesis, “Facing the future of the international whaling commission: addressing environmental threats through organizational learning” examined the effectiveness of the International Whaling Commission as an environmental regime.
As Legislative Fellow in 2012, Rebecca was placed in the Office of Congresswoman Madeleine Z. Bordallo of Guam. While in the Congresswoman’s Office, Rebecca was responsible for all natural resource issues, including the Congresswoman’s work with the House Committee on Natural Resources. A major focus of her fellowship was working on legislation for the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing Enforcement Act (H.R. 69), and the Coral Reef Conservation Act Reauthorization and Enhancement Amendments (H.R. 71).
Prior to her work as a Mediator and Program Manager for the Meridian Institute, Meghan spent her fellowship with the United States Department of Energy.
Chelsea spent her fellowship with NOAA Climate Program office before becoming a Marine Climate Change Policy Consultant.
Ethan earned a master’s degree in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington’s School of Marine Affairs in 2010 for his research on community-based marine protected areas in the Philippines. He is presently employed at FishWise, a non-profit sustainable seafood consultancy based out of Santa Cruz, California.
During his time as a NOAA Knauss Fellow, Ethan identified satellite-derived data products that are capable of addressing existing issues that coral reef managers face in the field. Near-future and newly-operational NOAA/NESDIS/STAR satellite-derived data products were aligned with U.S. jurisdiction-level and national-level goals and objectives for coral reef management. The results identified and recommended satellite-derived data products for STAR funding and from which the greatest cross-jurisdictional benefit in addressing U.S. coral reef management goals and objectives would be provided. His project resulted in NOAA Tech Report 142 and an article in the Proceedings of the 12th International Coral Reef Symposium.
NOAA Coastal Management Fellows
Hilary Papendick received master’s degrees in Public Administration and Environmental Science from the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs and the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. Her thesis, Preparing for Rising Tides: Coastal Hazard Risk Perceptions and Support for Sea Level Rise Adaptation in Washington, evaluated efforts to prepare for sea level rise among coastal managers and local government officials in coastal cities and counties throughout the state. Hilary was a NOAA Coastal Management Fellow at the California Coastal Commission from 2011-2013.
While a fellow, Hilary developed a Draft Sea Level Rise Guidance document for the Coastal Commission, in collaboration with a sea level working group. The guidance document provides recommendations for how to address sea level rise in the Coastal Commission’s planning and regulatory actions. In addition, Hilary served as an organizing partner for the California King Tides Project. She helped produce annual reports and conducted a variety of outreach and presentations with the Project team. After her fellowship, Hilary has continued to work at the Coastal Commission on sea level rise planning and adaptation projects.
Chelsea continued to work with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources after her fellowship as a Coastal Resources Planner.
Deborah holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in Latin American studies from Lewis & Clark College and a master’s degree in marine biology from Western Washington University. As a NOAA Coastal Management Fellow with the Washington State Department of Ecology Deborah developed statewide shoreline public access mapping tools and shoreline management policy guidance for local governments. Previously, Deborah’s work in marine science included marine protected areas research as a Fulbright scholar in Chile, graduate research on bivalve physiology related to aquaculture in Baja California Sur, Mexico and following her fellowship Deborah worked in coral reef restoration in the Dominican Republic. In 2018 she joined Washington Sea Grant as our Fellowships and Research Specialist.
Sea Grant/NOAA Fisheries Fellows
Grant (he/him/his) is a PhD student in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. He earned a BSc in Biology from Denison University and a MS in Coastal Sciences from the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast Research Laboratory. For his master’s, he studied the ecology and dynamics of Gulf Menhaden (Brevoortia patronus) and Sheepshead (Archosargus probatocephalus). Between his undergrad and master’s, Grant served in the Peace Corps as a community based environmental management volunteer in the Central Andes of Peru (where he described a new species of lizard) and as a research assistant with the Instituto del Mar del Peru (IMARPE). His current work aims to adapt a multi-species climate enhanced, age-based stock assessment model to the Gulf of Alaska groundfish fishery and explore the implications of predator-prey dynamics for fisheries management via management strategy evaluation.
Sam grew up in Pennsylvania and inherited a deep love for wild ecosystems from his family. In high school, he competed in Sea Grant’s National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB). At the University of Miami, he spent his free time SCUBA diving and working on independent research projects. Sam graduated in 2016 with dual degrees in Marine Science and Biology, as well as minors in Marine Affairs, Anthropology, and Chemistry. Upon receipt of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, he began his Ph.D. at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. Advised by Dr. Kerry Naish, his research uses quantitative and population genomic techniques to investigate the fitness effects of eco-evolutionary processes such as assortative mating, dispersal, and inbreeding in wild populations of Alaskan sockeye salmon. He aims to predict the long-term consequences of assortative mating and hatchery supplementation on population productivity and viability. Sam continues to participate in NOSB and is now a moderator for Washington Sea Grant’s Orca Bowl.
John is a PhD student in the Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management program at the University of Washington. His research focuses on applying spatiotemporal statistical models to questions in fisheries management and ecology. In particular, he is exploring approaches to improving indices of abundance by combining fishery-dependent and -independent data, accounting for preferential sampling in fishery-dependent data, and allowing for more realistic spatial structure. He earned a master’s degree in statistics from the University of Alaska Fairbanks in 2016, where he developed a spatial model for mapping permafrost in Alaska. Prior to graduate school, he worked in aviation maintenance and the outdoor industry.
Megan grew up in the White Mountains if New Hampshire. She first became interested in aquatic ecosystems while majoring in Biology at Boston University and eventually conducted her senior thesis investigating prey quality of forage fish in the Gulf of Maine ecosystem in collaboration with Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary. Upon graduation, Megan worked at Kauaʻi National Wildlife Refuge, where she developed a greater appreciation the cultural value of natural ecosystems. Currently she is a Ph.D student at University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. Megan’s fellowship project aims to model how the role of harbor seals in the Salish Sea and coastal WA has changed over the past century in response to prey availability, environmental productivity, and legislative action, using chemistry of museum skull specimens.
MAIA SOSA KAPUR
Maia received her MSc in Marine Biology from the University of Hawaii (2016) and BSc in Environmental Science from UC Berkeley (2014). She worked in the the life history and then stock assessment programs at the Pacific Islands Fisheries Science Center (NOAA) before joining the PhD program with Dr. André E. Punt at SAFS in fall 2018. Her work emphasizes the importance of correctly specifying spatial processes (such as movement and climate forcings) in assessment models when performing management strategy evaluation, with a focus on the Pacific sablefish stock. This project is a collaboration between the NWFSC, AFSC and the Dept. of Fisheries and Oceans (Canada).
Charles first became interested in salmon ecology, evolution and population dynamics while working at NOAA’s Little Port Walter Marine Research Station in Southeast Alaska as an Ernest F. Hollings Scholar. He is now studying these disciplines as a Ph.D. student at the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. Charles also assists the UW Chapter of Engineers Without Borders on a project that aims to increase production of a trout farm in a remote village in Guatemala. His fellowship project entails modeling the effects of inbreeding in salmon salmon hatcheries on the eco-evolutionary dynamics of supplemented wild populations. Following graduate school and his NOAA Fisheries fellowship, he would like to continue research on fisheries conservation and sustainable aquaculture.
Kelli’s fellowship project focused on population dynamics. Specifically, she developed multi-species methods to facilitate the transition from heuristics to statistics in an ecosystem based approach to fisheries management.
Christine Stawitz will earn her doctoral degree from the University of Washington in Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management. She is broadly interested in building statistical models that incorporate the effects of ecosystem dynamics and human impacts on marine populations. Her doctoral research focuses on understanding how variability in growth rates of commercially valuable marine fish impacts overall population status and management decisions. She is currently conducting a simulation analysis to assess whether reproductive or growth variability is most responsible for changes in fish population productivity. She will then examine how fisheries stock assessment models handle these sources of variability and how different assumptions about fish growth rate impact management decisions.
Peter Kuriyama received a B.A. in Biology from the College of Creative Studies and a minor in Japanese from the University of California Santa Barbara. His research is focused on the effects of catch shares in the West Coast groundfish fishery and identifying best practices for stock assessments with researchers at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Center for the Advancement of Population Assessment Methodology (CAPAM).
Jennifer Meredith previously earned a master’s in development economics from the University of San Francisco and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in economics at the University of Washington. Her dissertation explores the impact of fishery management on the migration decisions of harvesters from remote communities. Using her NOAA Sea Grant Fellowship, she will conduct field research in rural Alaska and examine how changes in Bering Sea fisheries regulations and in fishery volatility have impacted residents’ migration patterns. In addition, she will be collecting survey data on variables such as social networks, access to credit, and other harvester characteristics to test the impact of various policies designed to curtail rural outmigration.
Cole Monnahan will earn his doctorate in Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management from the University of Washington in winter of 2016 for his research on Bayesian methods in fisheries stock assessment. In 2013 he received his master’s degree for his research on the population trends of the endangered eastern North Pacific blue whale. Since then he has been using simulation testing to explore and learn about single species stock assessments. His research focuses on their statistical properties, in particular improving the efficiency of Bayesian algorithms and comparing inference to frequentist approaches. He also will work closely with scientists at the International Pacific Halibut Commission to analyze their commercial logbook data and help with the assessment.
Jeffery’s fellowship research focused on populations dynamics in a project where he explored mechanisms of mortality in the first ocean year of Chinook salmon.
Prior to becoming a Fisheries Scientist with the Sustainable Fisheries Group, Cody spent his fellowship working on population dynamics research where he evaluated the stock assessment method for Eastern Bering Sea snow crab. From this, he incorporated spatial heterogeneity in fishing pressure, recruitment processes and distribution of spawning biomass into such assessments.
Jocelyn Lin earned her Ph.D. in School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences from the University of Washington in 2012, completing her dissertation titled “Microevolution, local adaptation, and demography in wild populations of Pacific salmon.” During her fellowship, she worked with collaborators at the National Marine Fisheries Service and the University of Washington to develop an eco-evolutionary model for investigating how gene flow (movement of breeding individuals) between fish populations might affect local adaptation and population viability. Model results indicated that gene flow can result in rapid evolution of populations away from optimum trait values, although strong stabilizing selection may moderate these evolutionary departures.
Jim Thorson earned a Ph.D. from the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fisheries Sciences, supervised by Andre Punt and with NMFS mentor Ian Stewart (then at the Northwest Fisheries Science Center). He developed and tested methods to account for aggregations encountered in some Pacific rockfishes (including canary rockfish) where fishery-independent sampling occasionally has found aberrantly large catches. This method continues to be used when analyzing data for managed rockfishes, including darkblotched rockfish, in the 2013 assessment.
WSG Science Communication Fellows
Andrea Richter-Sanchez grew up in South Florida and decided to trade palm trees for pine trees when she moved to Washington for her Masters in Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington. She is passionate about marine ecology related to sea level rise, coastal erosion, ocean acidification, and nature-based solutions for carbon sequestration. Andrea was born in Venezuela and has had the opportunity to travel through South America. Traveling through South America made her realize how countries who often contribute the least to climate change are the ones who are most affected. This realization made her want to learn about environmental justice work and work with Latino communities like the one she grew up in, to advocate for coastal adaptation, mitigation, and conservation. She graduated from Florida State University in 2019 with a B.S. in Environmental Science and an Applied Mathematics minor. After graduating, she went on to work for FEMA as an Environmental Specialist relating to emergency management work in disasters such as Hurricane Michael. Her current work involves assessing state coastal policies related to sea level rise, coastal armoring, coastal development, and sediment management with the Surfrider Foundation.
Andrea is excited for the opportunity to work as a Science Communication fellow with Washington Sea Grant in order to polish her communication skills, learn more about marine issues facing Puget Sound, and work on outreach projects with the local community.
Olivia (she/her) is a first year master’s student at the University of Washington. School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. Growing up in Michigan, her life has always been interconnected with water. This led her to pursue dual bachelor’s degrees in marine ecology and Native American studies at the University of Michigan. During her undergraduate career, she studied abroad in New Zealand which illuminated her passion for intersectional marine conservation that prioritized Indigenous knowledge systems. When Olivia returned to the United States, most of her professional experience was in cetacean research, marine mammal conservation and marine science education in Washington, Hawaii and California. She has also worked as an artist and designer for environmental organizations, using visual media to communicate complex ecological and social themes in science. Those prior experiences highlighted the importance and need for science communication as a way to involve wide audiences in conversations about protecting marine ecosystems.
Her current research addresses Indigenous-led marine mammal conservation along the West Coast of North America, emphasizing the ecological and cultural perspectives of sea otter reintroductions in the Pacific Northwest. Olivia’s future goals aim to integrate Indigenous knowledge, marine research, and educational outreach to conserve marine mammal species through a community and ecosystem-based approach.
Maddie Hansen is a sophomore at the University of Washington studying marine biology. She grew up in Minnesota, as well as in California and Tennessee, which has inspired a love for investigating and enjoying the diversity of the natural world. Since moving to Washington state and starting at the UW, she has channeled this passion into studying the marine world and how various communities interact with it. Her favorite experience so far was spending five months in the San Juan Islands taking classes at the Friday Harbor Laboratories and completing a summer internship at the Wolf Hollow Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. She hopes to take these opportunities and turn them into a life devoted to learning about and serving coastal communities. Her time outside of class is spent climbing with friends, teaching ski lessons, attempting the Danish language, and learning to crochet.
Benjamin (he/him/his) is a master’s candidate in the Biology Department at Western Washington University. His research utilizes a model organism, Baker’s Yeast, to study the effects of genetic variation on how organisms respond to environmental change. While pursuing research, Benjamin has taught lab courses, mentored students in his lab, and served as a representative in his program’s administrative committee. He hopes to translate his experiences as a scientist and educator toward advancing science literacy and collaboration between communities, researchers, and policymakers seeking to understand and conserve the Salish Sea.
Exploring the beaches and forests of Western Washington, gaining a fascination with nature that eventually led him to earn a bachelor’s degree studying genetics and evolutionary biology at the University of Washington. While studying at the UW, Benjamin worked as a research technician, an environmental educator in the South Puget Sound, and volunteered with local nonprofits to restore urban forests. He is pursuing a career focused on bridging the gap between active research and education as well as on empowering people to become students of and advocates for their surrounding environments.
Kathleen McKeegan is a master’s candidate in the Marine and Estuarine Science Program at Western Washington University. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree in biology from Whitman College, Kathleen worked as an environmental educator and outreach specialist for NOAA’s Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. There, she learned about the importance of science communication while working with communities along the Washington Coast. Afterwards, Kathleen returned to her roots in Southern California where she worked as a deckhand on two brigantines, captained a research boat for UCLA, and led an environmental education nonprofit in Redondo Beach. Today, Kathleen is the lab manager for the Marine Mammal Ecology Lab at Western Washington University, where she leads a team of undergraduate research assistants to study a novel management tool designed to decrease the rates that pinnipeds (which include seals, sea lions and walrus) prey on depleted salmon stocks. When not in the lab or on the water, Kathleen can be found belting her heart out at the piano or on the stage.
Hannah is currently a senior undergraduate at Pacific Lutheran University working towards a major in Chemistry with a Biochemistry Emphasis and a minor in Hispanic Studies. Throughout her time at PLU, Hannah has worked as a Resident Assistant and a Laboratory Teaching Assistant for a variety of courses, where she works on supporting students in their learning and preparing them for life after college. She is a captain on the PLU Women’s Tennis team and enjoys a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing (mostly snow, but learning to ski on water!), and kayaking. Hannah has spent a summer researching dopamine detection with analytical techniques at PLU, and another summer with the Center for Sustainable Nanotechnology focused on learning how nanomaterials can make a positive impact on the environment, specifically the oceans and preservation of marine life. In the fall of 2021, she will be attending graduate school at the University of Washington to attain her Ph.D. in Chemistry to work towards becoming a professor and communicating science for the rest of her career.
Grace Freeman is a master’s candidate in the Marine and Estuarine Biology Program at Western Washington University. While working on a bachelor’s in biology and environmental studies from St. Olaf College in Minnesota, Grace spent summers working as a camp counselor and backcountry guide across the western mountain states and in Maine. After graduation, Grace held a variety of field and research tech positions before returning to a role in environmental education and trip leading. Today, Grace continues to mentor students as the lab manager for the Marine Mammal Ecology Lab at WWU. Within the work of the lab, Grace’s research focuses on the foraging ecology of harbor seals and their predation on Pacific salmon in Whatcom Creek in Bellingham. She hopes to develop this work into actionable science that can have a positive effect on the co-management of two highly iconic and protected species.
James is a master’s student in the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA) and is also a candidate for the Graduate Certificate in Climate Science. He has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and marine biology from San Francisco State University and was a research technician for two years at San Francisco State’s Estuary & Ocean Science Center.
James is passionate about nearshore restoration work for the value it brings to ecosystems and the opportunities it provides to connect the public to science and to their shorelines. James now works with the UW’s Green Futures Lab and fellow SMEA students on a floating wetlands project in the Lower Duwamish Waterway to see if it will provide critical habitat functions for juvenile out-migrating salmon. He is also part of a team investigating changes in gene expression when eelgrass is infected with wasting disease. He is a contributor to and Editor-in-Chief of Currents, the SMEA blog.
Brandon is currently an undergraduate at Seattle University working towards a double major in Environmental Studies and Creative Writing. Brandon fell in love with the outdoors before he could walk, and since then has been exploring coastlines, forests, and mountains all over the west. Currently, he works as an outdoor educator and trip leader at Seattle U, where he focuses on exposing underrepresented populations to the joys of nature. In addition, Brandon is a budding writer, with pieces appearing in the publications such as the Seattle Times and Hidden Compass Magazine. When not studying or working, he can usually be found climbing something tall or eating something new and tasty.
After graduating with a bachelor’s in marine biology from Western Washington University (WWU) in Bellingham, Washington, Bobbie became certified as a fisheries observer for the North Pacific Observer Program, working in Alaska on commercial fishing vessels. She collected biological data on target and bycatch fish that is used to manage groundfish populations in the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska. Working with fisheries stakeholders for the last 5 years has inspired her to continue bridging the communication gap between fisheries science and management. She returned to WWU in 2019 to pursue a Master’s in Marine and Estuarine Science. Working with the Makah Tribe, she is identifying the diet of coastal river otters in Neah Bay, Washington. The study aims to find evidence of river otters acting as a biological control on invasive European green crabs.
Andrew is Washington Sea Grant’s first Undergraduate Science Communication Fellow! A Seattle native, Andrew has spent many hours wandering in the woods or crouched by a tidepool with a field guide in hand. A double major in Aquatic and Fishery Sciences and Marine Biology, he is currently studying the seaward migration patterns of Alaskan char and other salmonids. After graduating, he plans to continue studying fish life history and ecology.
Science communication has played an integral role in how Andrew approaches research. From his days as a Boy Scout and Seattle Aquarium volunteer to crewing the schooner Adventuress, teaching others about marine science has been a top priority. Writing became a later passion as an editor for the undergraduate-run College of the Environment research journal FieldNotes.
Brittany is a master’s student in the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs (SMEA) and is also working toward a Certificate in Climate Science with the Program on Climate Change (PCC). She received her undergraduate B.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Southern California and worked in Los Angeles and San Francisco before happily returning home to Seattle.
In addition to SMEA, PCC and communication coursework, Brittany also serves as an author and editor of the SMEA blog Currents. She is eager to bring science and business together to improve quadruple bottom line performance, foster innovative sustainability solutions and empower our communities to be catalysts for change.
Mackenzie is a transplant from California. After growing up in a Southern California beach town, she decided to move north and inland to attend the University of California, Davis where she studied biochemistry & molecular biology and oceanography. She spent time doing research on ocean acidification in eelgrass beds at the Bodega Marine Laboratory and taking classes on science writing and journalism. Making her way further north, Mackenzie graduated with a masters from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, where she was the Editor In Chief of the student-run blog Currents.
Beth finished her doctoral degree in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, where she studied the influence of freshwater plumes on marine ecosystems, with a focus on how the Columbia River plume affects seabirds, forage fish, and juvenile Chinook salmon survival. She grew up in Tacoma and has been fascinated by the sea since she first dipped her toes in Puget Sound. She is always looking for new ways to share science in creative and meaningful ways, and recently developed and edited a blog for undergraduate students to write about topics related to sustainable fisheries – from their perspective and in their voices.
Jasmine is a master’s student at Washington State University studying the toxic effects of stormwater runoff on Pacific Salmon. She has been interested in anthropogenic stressors on marine communities from a young age, but first became involved in toxicology and salmon conservation as a NOAA Hollings scholar in Seattle, which has contributed to her current thesis work. She received her undergraduate degrees in biology and science communication at the University of California Santa Barbara, where she participated in research on the effects of temperature changes on calcifying phytoplankton. In addition to conducting research, Jasmine is highly motivated to bring marine science to the public through education and outreach efforts. She has contributed to this goal through work with the Seattle Aquarium, Santa Barbara Sea Center, Seattle Citizen Science Programs, and with the Washington Sea Grant Science Communication Fellowship.
AMY BRODBECK LINHART
Amy is a master’s student in the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs and is also working toward a Certificate in Climate Science at the University of Washington. Through her research, she is investigating how harmful algal blooms (e.g. red tides) affect coastal communities in order to assess factors that determine community resilience to such events.
Upon graduating with a bachelor’s degree in biology from the Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, Amy spent the last five years engaging in environmental education and outreach. From her work as a whale-watch naturalist in Alaska and Hawaii and an interpretive park ranger in Glacier Bay National Park, she quickly realized the importance of effective communication to building a larger community of environmental stewards.
In the summer of 2016, she interned at the Prince William Sound Science Center in Cordova, Alaska, As a Science Communications Fellow at WSG, she developed branding for WSG videos and producing completed pieces to spark curiosity and increase public engagement with important marine issues. She’s also helping to develop WSG social media platforms and strategy. Amy currently works for WSG as Crab Team Coordinator.
Max’s interest in oceanography began in an unlikely place: amid a sea of corn at Purdue University in central Indiana. Here, Max developed a love for extreme ocean microbes while earning a bachelor’s degree in Biological Engineering. Now a doctoral student in the UW School of Oceanography and Astrobiology program, Max studies bacteria and their viruses in sea ice and other cold places, asking how we can adapt knowledge of these organisms to look for life in outer space.
Science communication became a priority for Max as he found himself answering questions on Astrobiology and its connections to Oceanography. He has participated in a variety of sci comm projects on campus and in Seattle, hoping to make marine science and its importance more accessible to the public. He is currently a Knauss Fellow working in Washington D.C.
Lauren is a doctoral student in Geography at the University of Washington, working on the use of science and technology in fisheries management. Her research looks at electronic video monitoring for bycatch reduction and asks what are the social, political and economic implications of digitizing fisheries science. As a Fellow in UW’s Public Scholarship Program, Lauren is also interested in the mechanisms scientists and research agencies use to communicate about environmental issues and interventions in the digital age.
Lauren’s work with Washington Sea Grant allowed her to further explore this arena through digital storytelling, social media and story-mapping. She wrote two articles for Sea Star newsletter: “To See a World in an Oyster’s Shell” and “Fish Kills and Vanishing Razor Clams Alarm the Quinault.” She also helped implement a summer campaign to promote the prevention of small oil spills with recreational boaters in Washington. As part of this project, she wrote guest blog posts for NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration. In addition, she wrote several articles for WSG’s newsletter, Sea Star:including: To see a world in an oyster’s shell and Fish kills and vanishing razor clams alarm the Quinault
Annie earned her master’s degree from the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs in spring 2016. A paper based on her thesis, “Narrative Style Influences Citation Frequency in Climate Change Science,” was published in the journal “PLOS ONE” in December 2016. In her research, Annie discovered that scientific papers written in a narrative style—that tell a story—may be more influential than ones written in dry, expository languag
During her fellowship, Annie wrote two very engaging stories for the summer 2016 issue of “Sea Star,” the Washington Sea Grant’s newsletter: “It’s Not Easy Seeing Green” (about our European green crab monitoring program) and “Saving Salmon From Roadway Runoff” (about how rain gardens can benefit salmon habitat). She also did media outreach about Sea Grant programs and events. Prior to and following her fellowship, Annie worked at Washington Sea Grant in a variety of roles, including as a Communications and Information Analyst. She now works as a planner for the City of Bainbridge. She also volunteers at Washington Sea Grant events, including our annual Orca Bowl.
Liz earned a BS in Marine Biology from the University of Oregon. She is currently working toward her Master’s degree in Environmental Science at Western Washington University’s (WWU) Shannon Point Marine Center in Anacortes, Washington. Her thesis focuses on the interactions between photosynthetic dinoflagellates and their predators, and the way these relationships are affected by environmental stress. Liz’s qualifications for her fellowship stemmed from her experience as a scientific illustrator, a teaching assistant for undergraduate level biology, a facilitator of marine science outreach, and as the developer of a science communication graduate course she designed for herself and other students at WWU.
As a Science Communications Fellow, Liz assisted with Washington Sea Grant’s mission to keep communities all over Washington engaged and connected with marine science issues and education. Her duties included corresponding with media outlets regarding marine science-related events and writing for the WSG Sea Star newsletter.
Chelsea holds a bachelor’s degree in Biological Oceanography from Rutgers University and received a Master’s Degree in Marine and Environmental Affairs at the University of Washington in June 2014, with a focus on science communication and climate change. Her thesis, “The climate of newspaper coverage: communication of climate change uncertainty in India,” discusses newspaper coverage of climate change throughout India and how that compares with scientific publications.
As a fellow, Chelsea worked closely with the Washington Sea Grant Communications Department, writing articles for the Washington Sea Grant’s quarterly newsletter, the Sea Star. As the writing fellow, she wrote both feature articles in the 2014 autumn edition, “For the Birds.” Chelsea worked as the Research and Information Analyst for WSG before taking a position with FEMA.
MARGARET “MEGSIE” SIPLE
Margaret (Megsie) Siple is currently a PhD student in the School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington. She studies how fluctuations in forage fish (sardines, anchovy, herring, and others) affect predators and fisheries for those species. During her science writing fellowship, she worked with WSG to cover WSG-funded projects on salmon genomics, snow crab population assessment, and the impacts of ocean acidification on zooplankton communities. She was recently awarded a fellowship from the Puget Sound Anglers to study the effects of age truncation on Pacific herring in Puget Sound.
Laura Geggel earned her master’s degree in journalism, with an advanced certificate in science writing, at New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP). During graduate school, she interned at The New York Times, Popular Science, and Scholastic, writing about diabetes, concussions, and cocoa tasters. After reporting on autism research for the Simons Foundation, Laura took a job at LiveScience.com, where she covers animals and the environment. You can read her most recent work at LauraGeggel.com.