Jackelyn Garcia grew up mostly in Washington, though her family originates from the Philippines. Jackelyn earned her bachelor’s degree in biology at University of Washington Bothell. While pursuing her degree, in 2018, Jackelyn became an alumni of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program. Through this program, she had the privilege of learning from diverse communities about the local ecology, and was inspired by the community-based approaches used to address issues relevant to food sovereignty in suburban and urban areas. Jackelyn pursued her master’s degree in marine and estuarine science at Western Washington University. Partnering with Northwest Indian College, her research focused on interlacing different knowledge systems to understand how toxins produced by harmful algae are accumulated in Butter clams, and related this to the traditional ways shellfish is prepared by Coast Salish Peoples. She also supported the review of ethics in relation to tribal sovereignty to synthesize principles key to supporting reciprocal and collaborative partnerships.
Prior to graduate school, Jackelyn gained experience in conservation aquaculture with the Puget Sound Restoration Fund where she supported the restoration of marine invertebrates, pinto abalone and Olympia oysters in the Puget Sound. As the 2023 WSG Keystone Fellow, Jackelyn is excited to work with the Puget Sound Partnership, Washington Conservation Action and Salish Sea Collective to integrate diversity, equity and inclusion into their management and strategic plans. She is also looking forward to supporting a new iteration of the Salish Sea Equity and Justice (SSEJ) Symposium, and creating space for dialogue on the collective visions for the recovery and healing of the Salish Sea and its surrounding communities.
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.
Adrienne 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.
2023 – 2024
Catalina grew up in Florida, and harvesting seafood was a formative part of her upbringing. Her great-grandmother taught her to cast net for mullet and her dad taught her to dive for lobsters and dip net for shrimp. Most summers she visited family in Maine, where her grandfather taught her to jig for mackerel and bait lobster traps. This strong connection to place and locally sourced food led her to study small-scale commercial fisheries during her undergraduate degree in biology and art at Whitman College. After graduating, her focus shifted to connecting people to place through outdoor education and river restoration. She worked for Trout Unlimited in Oregon, leading crews in beaver dam and log jam construction projects. These stewardship efforts shaped her decision to return to graduate school; she recently received her master’s in marine affairs from the University of Washington. During this period, she contributed to projects including urban restoration for salmonid recovery, culvert removal prioritization and planning, and Gulf of Alaska groundfish food web dynamics. She seeks to advocate for communities threatened by climate change and hopes to mentor, uplift and empower others through her work. Catalina is excited to join The Nature Conservancy as a Hershman Fellow working on climate-adaptive tribal fisheries and aquaculture.
After graduating with bachelor’s degrees in biology and public health from Saint Louis University, Hannah relocated to the Pacific Northwest and began working in outdoor education and ecotourism. Her experiences working as a guide and naturalist on the waters of Washington state and Southeast Alaska cultivated her passion for marine ecosystems and deepened her desire to work toward sustainable solutions to pressing environmental issues. Hannah returned to school at the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs to gain the skills necessary to work in environmental policy. In graduate school, she collaborated with the Karuk Tribe Department of Natural Resources on a beaver recovery project on the Klamath River. She is particularly interested in how conservation and restoration work can promote equity and benefit disadvantaged communities. Hannah hopes to work on salmon recovery and ecosystem restoration in Washington state and she is excited to be beginning her career as a WSG Hershman Fellow with the WA Department of Natural Resources.
Growing up in Minnesota, Noah developed an early affinity for “coastal” ecosystems through spending summers along the shores of Lake Superior. He received his bachelor’s degree in conservation biology from the University of Minnesota and spent the next few years working as a park ranger for the National Park Service. While working for Olympic National Park as a coastal biological technician, he fell in love with Washington state and the Salish Sea. While there, he noticed the large amount of plastic waste that littered the remote beaches. Interested in finding solutions, Noah decided to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. During school, he volunteered with the Seattle Aquarium, testing the biodegradability of plastic alternatives and researching how these new plastics break down if ingested by marine mammals. He also worked at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, researching how the federal government, states and local communities define and implement equitable decarbonization, seeking to bridge knowledge gaps and foster consensus. Noah is interested in human connections to coastal ecosystems as well as science communication and policy that prioritizes equitable environmental solutions to climate change. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, he is excited to be working with the Washington Department of Ecology on their shoreline planning and climate resiliency efforts.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Katie has always gravitated towards ocean and coastal ecosystems. Intrigued by the waters and mountains of the Pacific Northwest, she moved to Seattle in 2017. Katie earned her bachelor’s degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in anthropology and geography and a minor in biological sciences. She then spent five years in the field of environmental education, where she learned the value of connecting people to places to advance conservation interests. Driven by the desire to directly impact environmental policy, Katie went on to receive her master’s from the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs and a graduate certificate in climate science. She partnered with NOAA Fisheries for her capstone project, which used the power of storytelling to inspire connection to and hope for salmon recovery across the West Coast. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, Katie looks forward to continuing working at the intersection of science and policy with the Puget Sound Partnership.
Ellie grew up on an island off the coast of Maine, where she spent nearly two decades exploring granite mountains, turning over rocks in the intertidal zone, and waiting each year for the return of the spring peepers. These moments led her to pursue a degree in environmental science and policy from Smith College before ultimately returning to Maine to work as an Island Fellow for the Island Institute in Tenants Harbor. In this role, Ellie helped design and implement a K–5 afterschool program centered around outdoor education that brought about rich community connections, joyous canoe adventures to explore the islands of Penobscot Bay, and seasons of growth and change. She left Maine to pursue a graduate degree in marine and environmental affairs from the University of Washington, where her research focused on the adaptive capacity of the Maine lobster fishery. Her thesis helped to inform her interests in understanding the intersections between climate change, loss and the places we call home. She is a voracious reader of all things eco-philosophy and poetry and enjoys exploring the local landscapes through trail running. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, Ellie will be working for the Makah Tribe on projects centering climate resiliency and planning through which she hopes to continue learning about community-led climate action and connection to place.
Growing up in South Florida and being from Venezuela, Andrea has always felt a personal connection and passion for the ocean. She received a bachelor’s degree in environmental science with an applied mathematics minor from Florida State University. She then worked for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as an environmental specialist, where Andrea firsthand saw the impacts of climate change and the communities affected. This led her to pursue her master’s in marine affairs at the University of Washington, because she wanted to study interdisciplinary approaches towards tackling marine science issues relating to climate change. She completed a capstone project with the Surfrider Foundation that focused on assessing the coastal and climate policies of the 31 states that follow the Coastal Zone Management Act. Andrea did a one-year research assistantship that focused on assessing bull kelp’s carbon sequestration ability and did a spatial analysis on its distribution in Puget Sound based on some environmental factors. Andrea is passionate about working on marine issues surrounding climate change, environmental justice and science communication. She is ecstatic to have been matched with the Northwest Port Authority as a WSG Hershman Fellow, where she will work on policy for the Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma to lower greenhouse gas emissions, implement clean energy, and increase environmental justice efforts with local communities.
Hannah grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico and received her undergraduate degree in earth and oceanographic science from Bowdoin College. Initially interested in facilitating inclusive outdoor experiences for others, Hannah worked on trail crews and taught environmental education across the United States for several years. Eventually, she decided she wanted a career in natural resource management and climate change mitigation with a focus on environmental justice. This led Hannah to the University of Washington School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, where she worked with NOAA on a capstone project to understand community preferences for and values around the Duwamish River in Seattle. Additionally, she worked as a teaching assistant and supported the eDNA Collaborative’s efforts to construct an equitable grant distribution system. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, Hannah is very excited to work for the Hoh Tribe and support their climate change resiliency work. She hopes to continue learning about climate change mitigation, local adaptation efforts and building community power.
2022 – 2023
Grace grew up in Prairie Village, Kansas — a suburb of Kansas City — and received her bachelor’s degree in environmental science at Loyola University of Chicago. Here, Grace found a passion for environmental policy and aquatic ecosystem stewardship. Following her graduation, she pursued a master’s degree in public administration with a focus in environmental policy at the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. While at the Evans School, Grace worked with the Island County and Snohomish County Marine Resources Committees to review the Port Susan Marine Stewardship Area’s 2012 Conservation Action Plan, provide updated knowledge, and develop recommendations regarding future conservation and stewardship frameworks and improved community engagement. Simultaneously, Grace worked at NOAA Fisheries West Coast Region to improve information accessibility and sharing regarding aquaculture regulations, piloted the West Coast Region’s first Aquaculture Newsletter, and developed a strategic aquaculture communications plan. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, Grace is excited to work for the Coast Salmon Partnership, specifically aiding in the development of a Climate Adaptation Framework for salmon habitat protection and restoration in the Washington Coast Region.
Abigail moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2015 from the Mojave Desert in California. Since then, she has deeply embedded herself in communities and environments across the region and pursued her master’s degree to better support equity and environmental justice on the Pacific Coast and inland waters. After completing a double major in aquatic and fishery sciences and in oceanography from the UW, Abigail was awarded a policy research fellowship from Northwest Straits Foundation in partnership with the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee. In this role, she worked closely with members of the committee as well as natural resource scientists County to consolidate climate change information and produce an update to a key piece of stewardship policy in the region. While earning her degree with UW School of Marine and Environmental Studies, she worked closely with Inupiaq community leaders to develop a land-based curriculum to promote safety and small-scale adaptation of traditional hunting practices in a rapidly changing landscape fueled by climate change. Abigail is committed to continuing to support local climate change adaptation efforts and is excited to put this into action as a WSG Hershman Fellow.
Originally from Sequim, Washington — where her tribe, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, resides — Monea spent her childhood on Jamestown Beach. Her fascination that ultimately bloomed into passion for the ocean started at a young age, after spending time on the sandbar that would emerge daily outside her ancestral lands that her family still lives on. Watching this beach change over the years in combination with recognizing the importance of her tribe’s cultural and subsistence practices sparked her interest in marine policy and coastal management. Monea earned her bachelor’s degrees from Western Washington University in public relations and communication studies. Monea then worked at the City of Bellingham as a legislative assistant to the Bellingham City Council, where she found her passion for public policy and governance. This experience led her to pursue a master’s degree from the UW Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, where she specialized in environmental policy. Monea is specifically interested in the nexus between Indigenous rights, ocean conservation, and environmental justice. Monea couldn’t be more excited to work with The Nature Conservancy as a WSG Hershman Fellow, conducting a thorough restorative seaweed aquaculture scoping endeavor for the Pacific Northwest.
Born and raised in Seattle, Kate’s love for the outdoors began at a young age through exploring tide pools, hiking, and camping around the Pacific Northwest. While earning her bachelor’s degree from Colorado College in organismal biology and ecology, Kate spent her summers interning for a seabird monitoring citizen science program at UW. Her experience connecting the public to science furthered an interest in environmental outreach, prompting her to obtain a degree in storytelling and content strategy. Kate went on to receive her master’s from the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, where she completed a congruent degree in American Indian and Indigenous Studies. Her capstone project centered on climate adaptation and Indigenous sovereignty in Arctic Alaska. As the project’s engagement lead, she managed communications for a sea ice monitoring network and collaborated on initiatives assisting with capacity building and climate resilience. As a WSG Hershman Fellow, Kate is thrilled to continue working on science communications and environmental monitoring with Puget Sound Partnership to support science-informed policy, ecosystem recovery and environmental justice.
Jenna grew up in southern California before moving to Seattle to study biology at Seattle University in 2015. She quickly grew to love the Puget Sound and the diversity of life contained within it. As an undergraduate, Jenna studied intertidal invertebrate community structures and marine algae genetics. After graduating, she accepted an internship with the Seattle Aquarium where she spearheaded a project that assessed death and recovery rates of corals in Hawai’i following the 2014 marine heatwave. Driven by a desire to increase our collective understanding of coastal resiliency, Jenna went on to earn a master’s degree from the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. While there, her thesis work focused on shifts in subtidal community structures on the coast of Neah Bay, Washington, following the 2013 sea star wasting epidemic. During this time, she also worked with WSG on the Securing Adaptable and Resilient Coastal Food Systems project, in which she supported the development of the Makah Tribe First Foods Sovereignty Project. Jenna is excited to continue working with the Makah Tribe as a WSG Hershman Fellow, where she will be supporting the derelict vessel removal program, oil pollution prevention, climate resiliency and environmental policy.
HARSHITHA SAI VISWANATHAN
Harshitha holds a master’s degree from the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs and a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and cell biology with a minor in marine sciences from the University of California San Diego. Growing up in the United Arab Emirates, her passion for marine conservation stemmed from her diving experiences and participation with the Abu Dhabi Environmental Agency as a research assistant. Her master’s thesis explored the characteristics of tourism that contribute to sustainability in the coastal environment of Abu Dhabi. She assisted the Convention on Biological Diversity in developing strategies to include small-scale fishing communities and Indigenous people in the restoration, protection and equitable co-management of coastal environments and communities in India. Harshitha is currently working on two independent projects. Through the first, she is exploring the impacts of urbanization on cultural and coastal sustainability in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. The second project explores the public health impacts of climate change. Harshitha hopes to create equitable marine and coastal policies by bringing in diverse and feminist perspectives. She is excited to apply her experience to a WSG Hershman Fellowship studying climate change impacts and developing response frameworks in seaport facilities and communities.
Olivia grew up in Washington, perpetually enchanted by the region’s forests, seas and mountains. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Western Washington University, where she studied human risk perception and emotional responses to apex predators in a conservation psychology lab. Following graduation, she traveled to the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia to research local and tourist responses to proposed infrastructure developments. When she returned to Seattle, she began working as a small ship travel consultant. In this role, she helped people plan trips to remote destinations such as Antarctica, Svalbard and the Galapagos. This work deepened her passion for marine ecosystems and socio-ecological relationships. Olivia recently completed her master’s degree at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, where she conducted a qualitative research project to assess the needs of and inequities to Indigenous communities in a regional floodplain management program. Her work focuses on collaborative, co-created and equitable environmental solutions, always with an emphasis on human well-being. As a WSG Hershman fellow, Olivia is thrilled to join the Department of Ecology’s local and community-based coastal and shoreline resilience planning efforts.
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.
2023 – 2024
Jillian Everly is passionate about healthy ecosystems and resilience for communities whose livelihoods depend on marine and coastal resources. After graduating from Virginia Tech with a bachelor’s degree in wildlife conservation, Jillian pursued field work experiences and learned that a sole focus on biological and behavioral studies could not produce the change needed to achieve healthy ecosystems. This fostered her interest in using social science to understand the reciprocal relationships between humans and the environment, and how drawing upon those relationships could result in ecosystem and community sustainability. In 2020, she accepted a social science research position at Virginia Tech to study shorebird disturbance from the perspectives of managers and biologists. Then, she worked as a research assistant funded by the Ocean, Coastal and Earth Sciences program at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, where she studied how climate change in Laguna Madre, Texas affected fish populations and the subsistence fishers reliant on such sparse resources. These experiences led her to pursue a master’s degree in anthropology at Idaho State University. Her thesis examined the impact of globalization and climate change on women’s well-being in Chile’s coastal communities. In this project, she conducted interviews and participant observation with female seaweed harvesters and divers to gather, interpret and relay findings in both English and Spanish through mediums such as manuscripts, photography and poetry. She believes visuals and accessible writing include a wider audience. As a Knauss Fellow, her objectives are to advocate and incorporate marginalized voices in decision-making to improve equity in the development of marine policy.
Born and raised in Washington State, Devon’s passion for marine affairs grew from exploring local tide pools and time spent sailing the Salish Sea. She received a bachelor’s degree in ecology, evolution and conservation biology with a minor in marine biology from the University of Washington (UW). Through her studies, Devon researched bull kelp and sea urchins in the San Juan Islands, volunteered in Costa Rica to protect sea turtle nesting sites, and worked at the Center for Conservation Biology on projects involving DNA and hormone extraction for orca, elephant and grey wolf populations. After graduating, Devon became a licensed captain, then returned to the UW, where she earned dual master’s degrees from the School of Marine and Environmental Affairs and the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance. Her graduate work focused on the intersections of environmental science, public policy and social justice, which culminated in a project partnering with the Washington State Department of Ecology to evaluate their tribal consultation and engagement efforts through an environmental justice framework. Devon is excited to continue working towards a more sustainable and equitable ocean through science, policy, and social justice during her time as a Knauss Fellow.
Leslie (To-Nhu) Nguyen
Leslie Nguyen is originally from Texas, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Rice University. She then worked as an environmental consultant specializing in air emission quantification, permitting and compliance, before realizing she wanted to do more to advance climate change adaptation and mitigation solutions. Leslie decided to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Washington (UW) School of Marine and Environmental Affairs to explore her interests at the intersection of climate change science and policy. During her time at UW, she was a research fellow with the Clean Energy Transition Institute (CETI) working on the Northwest Clean Energy Atlas, an interactive dashboard for data and analysis relevant to decarbonization in the Northwest. For her thesis research, Leslie investigated implementation of managed retreat and flood hazard mitigation in the US as a climate adaptation strategy. She evaluated whether FEMA-funded property buyouts reduced the vulnerability of renting households to flooding, touching on the equity aspects of property-focused policies and programs. Leslie was also the 2021-2023 Next Generation Public Policy Fellow with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), through which she has learned more about science policymaking and advocacy. She is excited to continue her science policy journey as a Knauss Fellow in Washington, D.C.
2022 – 2023
Mitchell has been passionate about marine science since a young age, despite growing up in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Earning his degree in marine biology from the University of Oregon introduced him to the realms of intertidal ecology and deep sea biology. He has been on two research cruises to study deep sea ecology in the Gulf of Mexico and along the East Coast of the United States. During one of these cruises, Mitchell participated in an Alvin dive with his current advisor and began his graduate career path studying deep sea larval biology at Western Washington University. Because of this firsthand experience of the marvel and splendor of the deep-sea, Mitchell says he understand the need for preservation and conservation of these wild ecosystems. He aims to communicate his experiences in marine science for the benefit of the Knauss Fellowship to ensure a legacy of conservation for our nation’s coastal, marine and deep sea resources.
Caroline is passionate about fisheries policy. While obtaining her master’s at the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs, she worked with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. She evaluated how well area-based fisheries management measures meet other effective area-based conservation measures that contribute to global biodiversity targets. Caroline received her undergraduate degree in human ecology from the College of the Atlantic, where she specialized in environmental law and policy. During that time, she worked with the Wisconsin Bureau of Fisheries Management reviewing policy and guidance documents to meet the requirements of a new state act. She also worked at Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary drafting their 2019 condition report. Additionally, she served at two environmental nonprofits: Friends of Taunton Bay and Frenchmen Bay Conservancy.
Kelsey has always been interested in the intersection of people and the environment, leading her first to a bachelor’s degree in organismal biology with minors in leadership and sociology. This interest was further inspired through her work at a wildlife refuge in Florida, as well as her travels to Hawaii and the Philippines. Kelsey recognized that policy was central to many of the human-environment interactions she saw taking place, which led her to UW’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs. While there, she also undertook a concurrent graduate program in international studies with a focus on states, markets and societies. For her master’s thesis, Kelsey partnered with Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation, a local NGO based in Cebu, Philippines. Her research looked at the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on livelihoods and resource use in the case of whale shark tourism in Oslob, Philippines. Kelsey hopes to bridge international and environmental issues throughout her time as a Knauss Fellow, and she is excited to continue learning about relevant issues at the national level.
Jacquelyn is a recent master’s graduate of the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs who is interested in community involvement in marine resource management. Her thesis focused on historical ecology and the role of local ecological knowledge of fishers to understand trends in marine top predator abundance and distribution over time. Jacquelyn received her undergraduate degree in wildlife and fish biology and anthropology from UC Davis, specializing in marine ecology. She currently works with Cascadia Research Collective, where she studies odontocete movement ecology and interactions with fisheries. She is excited to apply her background in the natural sciences with a WSG Hershman Fellowship role that connects what is happening at a local level to national policy and management actions that consider both human and ecological needs.
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.
Alanna is a recent master’s graduate of the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs who is interested in the intersection between marine science, policy, and communication. As an undergraduate at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, she researched the impacts of low pH on stress related gene expression in the Olympia oyster to discern the effects of ocean acidification on marine invertebrates and researched how urban development has led to changing parasite assemblages along the West Coast. Through her master’s capstone project, Alanna provided policy recommendations to improve habitat connectivity in Washington and British Columbia. She also advanced science communication efforts throughout UW and the broader community, as she co-founded FieldNotes, an undergraduate research journal, and Earth Tones, a podcast about humans and the environment.
Zoe Rand is a doctoral student in the Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management (QERM) program at UW. Her research involves quantitative analysis of historical whaling data to study the population dynamics of whales affected by commercial whaling. Her current projects include estimating movement rates of Antarctic blue whales, analyzing the impacts of whaling on sex ratios, extracting information from blue whale age data, and an assessment of the status of Antarctic blue whales. She holds a master’s degree in marine mammal science from the University of St Andrews and a bachelor’s degree in Latin American Studies from Mount Holyoke College. In her free time, Zoe likes to hang out with her cat, Cedar, go for walks around Seattle, swim, and experiment with gluten-free baking.
Proudly Alaska-grown, Anna’s passion for all things ocean-related has spanned her entire life. As an undergraduate at UC San Diego, she worked with researchers at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which led to an internship studying coral reef ecology at the CARMABI Research Station in Curaçao. Intrigued by the tropics, she relocated to complete her master’s degree in biology at the University of Guam, where she studied the genetic diversity of tropical marine plants. Enticed by the flexibility and broad utility of genetic analyses, she moved to Seattle to help establish and support a genetics-based research program to inform stock assessment and management practices at the International Pacific Halibut Commission. Anna is now a doctoral student at the UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences. Outside of her studies, Anna is an outdoor enthusiast and spends her free time playing in the waters and mountains around Puget Sound.
Kristin Privitera-Johnson is originally from California, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in marine biology from California State University, Long Beach. Kristin worked as a high school science teacher in the Bay Area for two years after graduation. During this time, she was awarded the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. She used this opportunity to complete a master’s degree in aquatic and fishery sciences with André Punt. This work explored methods for quantifying scientific uncertainty in the production of scientific advice for fisheries management. In fact, one of her thesis chapters was adopted by the Pacific Fishery Management Council Scientific and Statistical Committee as a method for setting catch limits for US West Coast groundfish and coastal pelagic species. Kristin teaches the R programming courses for SAFS and conducts research in the Punt Lab as a doctoral student. Her dissertation focuses on using management strategy evaluation to model the performance of strategies that aim to promote catch stability while promoting sustainable fishing practices. She is also interested in the system-specific rationale and methods used to quantify scientific uncertainty in the management strategy evaluation process. She will be advised by UW faculty member André Punt and mentored by Richard D. Methot of NOAA Fisheries.
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.
A recent Washington transplant, Katalin hails from the desert steppes of eastern Oregon. In high school, she fell in love with the ocean thanks to Rachel Carson and the Spanish language thanks to Profesora Mong. After earning dual bachelor’s degrees in marine biology and Spanish from the University of Oregon, Katalin moved to beautiful Chile where she pursued both of her passions by working as a field marine biologist studying intertidal invertebrates and a marine science instructor to young Chilean students. Her desire to dive into where science meets policy brought her back to eastern Oregon, where she served as the head of communications at a small public lands conservation nonprofit, Friends of the Owyhee.
Katalin is now pursuing her master’s degree at the University of Washington School of Environmental and Marine Affairs. Her particular interests are marine biodiversity and conservation in the context of climate change mitigation and coastal resilience. Her capstone research with Dr. Anne Beaudreau focuses on community perception surrounding Alaska’s hardrock mines. She is grateful to be serving as the summer 2023 science communications fellow for Washington Sea Grant where she hopes to continue making fascinating marine research accessible to a wide range of audiences and form community connections in her new home.
Emma Duckworth is a junior at the University of Washington (UW) studying marine biology and environmental studies. Growing up in California just an hour from the coast, she developed a love for the ocean early in life that pushed her to pursue marine biology out of high school. In her time at UW, Emma has discovered a passion for science writing and studying impacts of climate change on local communities. After getting involved as an intern for the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team, a local citizen science program, she has a newfound interest in science education and outreach programs. More specifically, she hopes to use science writing to make marine science more accessible to broader audiences and to connect more communities with climate change science. Emma is excited to begin her new role as the Undergraduate Science Communications at Washington Sea Grant and is eager to learn more about climate change research in the Puget Sound community.
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 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.