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CBE Summer Fellows

Students pursue fully-funded fellowships with top marine organizations

Students enrolled in the International Environmental Policy program who are pursuing the concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management are eligible for fully-funded fellowships with top marine organizations. Applications are due in the spring, followed by interviews with the project leaders. Students then choose projects that are best suited to their interests and skills.  Learn more by clicking the profile links below or visit the Center for the Blue Economy Summer Fellows Blog site.

2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Past Scholars
2012
2011
John Allen
Clesi Bennett
Lindsay Cope
Zara Currimjee
Brian Free
Siobhan Gibbons
Aimee Kerr
Alexandra Long
Emma Ross
Molly Shane
Shirin Wertime

Placement Location: Monterey, California

NOAA Marine Protected Areas Center

This summer, John Allen is going deep. John will be conducting research and policy analysis for the NOAA Marine Protected Areas Center on sustainable management for deep sea ecosystems. How much of the deep sea is protected? The first priority of the project will be to develop an analysis of the current spatial extent and level of protection related to deep sea habitats in US waters. This portion of the project will use GIS analysis to examine where current legal protections exist and where gaps in protection are present. This report will be initially written for internal circulation at NOAA but will have the ultimate goal of scholarly publication. What about issues of deep sea mining and fishing? John will conduct research on international deep sea ecosystem management best practices and contribute to the USGS’s efforts to develop specific measures to manage the potential impacts on these ecosystems from emerging technologies including industrial mining and fishing. This work will ultimately shape international regulations on deep sea conservation.

John’s Story

See John's Blog.

Where are they now?

Current student in the International Environmental Policy Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Placement Location: Oakland, California

California State Coastal Conservancy

Clesi will be working with the California State Coastal Conservancy as a Climate Resilience Fellow in the San Francisco Bay Area. She will have an opportunity to become immersed in ongoing resilience projects throughout the Bay Area. Clesi will be producing a brief for Bay Area counties and cities on implementing adaptation plans and policies. In addition, Clesi will help with programmatic development and research for the San Francisco Bay Restoration Authority as well as monitor State Coastal Conservancy Bay Area projects.

Clesi gave an interesting example of this kind of work in her first blog post. The Hamilton Wetlands Restoration Project, part of the San Francisco Bay Trail, was created using sediment dredged from the bay to keep shipping lanes open. This sediment is normally dumped in the off the continental shelf, but was "repurposed" to help restore the wetland that had sunk too low to support native grasses. Recently, California passed a bill to allow state funds to assist with exactly this type of redirection of sediments for wetlands. Economical, environmentally sound, and leading to greater protection of the SF Bay--all things we can get behind here at the Center for the Blue Economy!

Clesi’s Story

See Clesi's Blog.

Where are they now?

Current student in the International Environmental Policy Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Placement Location: Honolulu, Hawaii

Conservation International

Lindsay will work with the Conservation International Coral Triangle Initiative team to develop a regional strategy for community-based resource management. The research will include a literature review of low-coast approaches for community-based management and surveys of community-based management projects. The toolkit is part of a strategy to empower communities to better manage their own marine resources. In addition to this research, Lindsay will assist with the organization of an Innovation Lab that will bring together partners to synthesize the most effective low-cost approaches for community-based resource management and gather input on the development of a regional strategy. Time permitting, Lindsay will assist in the further development of the low-cost community-based management strategy.

Lindsay’s Story

We are awaiting the first blog post from this student. Stay tuned!

Where are they now?

Current student in the International Environmental Policy Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Placement Location: San Diego, California

The Waitt Institute

Zara, shown here immersing herself in the Blue Economy, will work with the Waitt Institute to develop and implement sustainable ocean policies for the Government of Montserrat. An important deliverable of Waitt's Montserrat project is a system of sustainable finance, including the creation of one or more special funds to support ocean management and the establishment of a finance plan. Zara will directly support this effort, and will develop strategies to inform the development of a sustainable finance mechanism for ocean management on Montserrat. She will complete case studies for two or three initiatives that may be suitable for Montserrat to strengthen the island’s Blue Economy, highlighting both barriers and factors of success. Finally, Zara will present one or more work products in person to key stakeholders and government officials in Montserrat.

Zara’s Story

See Zara's Blog.

Where are they now?

Current student in the International Environmental Policy Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Placement Location: Broomfield, Colorado

Secure Fisheries

Brian, shown here connecting with the ocean, will move inland to Colorado this summer, working with a non-profit organization called Secure Fisheries. He will work on sustainable fisheries issues for the government of Somalia/Somaliland. This will include a range of projects including: research and analysis support scientific assessment of Somali fisheries; help to design surveys and questionnaires for target communities about Somali coastal resource availability and use, as well as other surveys for fishing associations regarding management of resources and coordination between fishers. Brian will build off existing data to get a fine-scale view of fishing in different communities along the coast. He will then use this information to identify areas where fishing occurs and what type of fishing is financed through the loans, and enter this data into detailed mapping software. Finally, he will use ArcGIS or QGIS to build out a spatial analysis of maritime activities in Somali waters built of survey results, online data, and discussions with field staff and partners in Somalia.

Brian’s Story

See Brian's Blog.

Where are they now?

Current student in the International Environmental Policy Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Placement Location: San Francisco, California

Environmental Defense Fund

Siobhan will work with the Environmental Defense Fund to produce an analysis of the fisheries management processes in the Philippines. She will analyze major decision points in the Philippine fishery management process made by central fishery agencies, scientists, fishermen, etc. to assess the factors that influence good or bad management outcomes, with a focus on the commercial sardine fishery. As time permits, she will also investigate the potential for improved integration of the Territorial Use Rights for Fishing (TURFs) and near shore marine reserves that have been established with aquaculture to generate higher and more diverse revenue streams, food, and jobs. Finally, Siobhan will assist in the examination of major objections to rights-based fishery management systems such as the consolidation of fishing rights, excessive lease fees, etc. to find enhanced design solutions.

Siobhan’s Story

See Siobhan's Blog.

Where are they now?

Current student in the International Environmental Policy Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Placement Location: Suva, Fiji

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Oceania Program

Aimee will be working with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Oceania Program, through their Pacific Centre for Environmental Governance (PCEG). The center has identified climate change as a key area of focus for Fiji in 2017, due its strategic importance to the region, and also because of the international leadership role being played by Fiji with its co-hosting of the inaugural UN Oceans Conference in New York, and also it’s Presidency of the COP23 on Climate Change.

Aimee will work alongside and be supported by the PCEG Coordinator to map the interconnections and interdependencies between the Pacific Ocean and Climate Change in Fiji and the Pacific, drawing on the concept that a healthy ocean equals a healthy Fiji. She will examine several factors in a healthy ocean: sea level rise – eg. climate migration; land and reef reclamation; ocean acidification (and its potential links to tuna, one of the most valuable natural marine resources in the region); and ecosystem services (the Pacific ocean as the lungs of the planet, generating oxygen for every second breathe we take).

Aimee will develop a briefing paper on the climate /ocean nexus and importance of a healthy ocean for a healthy Fiji and pacific, and she will develop and convene a leader’s talanoa (forum) in Suva, Fiji on the topic.



Aimee’s Story

See Aimee's Blog.

Where are they now?

Current student in the International Environmental Policy Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Placement Location: Suva, Fiji

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Oceania Program

Alex will be working with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Oceania Program, through their Pacific Centre for Environmental Governance (PCEG). Her project is entitled: Integrated Oceans Management in Fiji and the Pacific Islands region.

In 2017 the global focus on Oceans and Climate Change will be increased, especially in the Pacific Islands, as the Fiji Government co-hosts the inaugural UN Oceans Conference and also becomes chair of the UNFCCC COP 23. The countries of the Pacific Islands have total landmass of 552,789 square kilometres, compared with a total sea boundary of 30,569,000 square kilometres. An integrated approach to oceans management across sectors and across countries is vital if the ecological integrity of marine and ocean systems, which underpin and are vital to human welfare and the economies of Pacific Island countries, are to be maintained and improved, especially in the light of future impacts from climate change.

Alex will research and map of the elements of Integrated Ocean Management and Governance, with a focus on Fiji and including a regional outlook. This will involve desktop research, interviews and possibly field trips, and will draw on IUCNs projects and partners in Fiji and the region. Alex will also develop a briefing paper (informed by the mapping) on Integrated Ocean Management and Governance in Fiji and the region. Finally, she will contribute to the development and convening of a leader’s talanoa (forum) in Suva, Fiji on Integrated Ocean Management and Governance, to support leaders and decision makers in Fiji and the region as they consider future plans related to or with impacts on the Pacific Ocean.

Alexandra’s Story

See Alexandra's Blog.

Where are they now?

Current student in the International Environmental Policy Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Placement Location: San Diego, California

San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative

Emma will work with the San Diego Regional Climate Collaborative on a project entitled, "Building Coastal Resilience in San Diego County." Emma will be directly supporting the Resilient Coastlines Project of Greater San Diego with several tasks. She will be assisting with putting on three summer workshops on living shorelines in San Diego and Los Angeles including developing workshop materials, speakers, and presentations. She will also develop a written summary based on the input received at the workshops into a white paper or journal article. Emma will also be helping to support our San Diego Sea Level Rise Working Group, disseminating our legal and economic tools for sea level rise planning, and participating in community outreach events focused on coastal resilience.

Emma’s Story

See Emma's Blog.

Where are they now?

Current student in the International Environmental Policy Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Placement Location: Koror, Palau

One Reef

Molly will be working with a non-profit organization called One Reef to provide support to the Helen Reef Resource Management Program (HRRMP). The Helen Reef Program has evolved to be one of the most effective and outstanding models for community-based conservation programs in Palau. Helen Reef is important both in terms of its ecological value and its cultural importance for the Hatohobei community. Molly's work will focus on helping to foster more community engagement and participation and to communicate the ecological, cultural, and economic benefits of the HRRMP. Specifically, she will assist with the planning and implementation of a marine summer camp curriculum and program for youth, and will help to design creative outreach and communication materials and programs for distribution within and beyond the Hatohobei community.

Molly’s Story

See Molly's Blog.

Where are they now?

Current student in the International Environmental Policy Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.

Placement Location: Rome, Italy

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Shirin will work for the UN Food and Agricultural Organization on a project called, "Strategies for Mainstreaming Gender into the Blue Communities Platform." The Blue Communities Platform is one of three linked platforms within the Blue Growth Theory of Change. It seeks to empower and build resilient communities with improved livelihoods, food security and employment based on sustainable natural resources use, social organizations, norms and values, and user rights. Given the central role women play in ensuring the economic development and well-being of families and communities, any strategy to support Blue Growth should also integrate a gender perspective. Shirin will research and develop a concept paper, exploring gender-based approaches for the enhancement of community resilience in target countries in west and north Africa. The paper will identify barriers to women's full and equal participation in society and the economy, and examine policies that empower women to sustainably manage natural resources in order to improve livelihoods, food security, etc.

Shirin’s Story

See Shirin's Blog.

Where are they now?

Current student in the International Environmental Policy Studies program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
Matthew Coomer
Melinda Domurat
Megan Godfrey
Alexander Kalish
Joshua Morris
Lance Park
Sorina Seeley
Shaun Richards
Galen Wangberg

Placement Location: Honolulu, Hawai'i

Conservation International, Hawai'i

Mathew (Matt) will assist the Conservation International Program of Hawai‘i with the creation of a non-commercial fishing license feasibility study and the creation of a community-based marine resource management tool. For the feasibility study work, Matt will assist in gathering and analyzing information through a steering committee process involving representatives of diverse fishing interest groups, including Conservation International. The process will be professionally facilitated by neutral, third-party facilitators who will lead the steering committee through a group fact-finding process that will aim to determine if a non-commercial marine fishing license is legally, financially, and politically feasible in Hawai‘i. If that proves to be the case, Matt will assist with financial analysis and with the design and development of the proposed licensing program. For the work associated with community based resource management, Matt will develop tools and products (such as videos or written guidance on management techniques) to support community-based management in predominately under-served, rural coastal communities.

Matthew’s Story

See Matthew's Blog.

Where are they now?

Recent graduate (May 2017) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, earning a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

Placement Location: Emeryville, California

Root Solutions

Melinda (Mindy) will work on a project with Root Solutions and the Farallons Marine Sanctuary Association to reduce the impact that both private and military airplane pilots have on breeding seabird populations. Mindy will implement and assess the effectiveness of a “small commitments campaign” at one airport, aimed at reducing the number of pilots that flight below 1000 meters, flushing nesting birds in the process. Additionally, Mindy will collaboratively design and test another behavior-based campaign to improve pilot behavior at the Half-Moon-Bay Airport, where barriers are different than at pilots' home airport. Mindy will develop a client report that communicates the process followed and results obtained from the “small commitments campaign” and the Half-Moon-Bay Campaign.

Melinda’s Story

See Melinda's Blog.

Where are they now?

Recent graduate (May 2017) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, earning a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

Placement Location: San Francisco, California

The Environmental Defense Fund

Megan will be working with the Environmental Defense Fund team on behavioral interventions to reduce illegal fishing and improve fisheries outcomes in the Upper Gulf of California, as well as Myanmar, Japan, and the Philippines. She will be researching the psychological and social drivers of illegal fishing and designing interventions to disrupt them. This project is part of an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional research project aimed at discovering the mental models and social norms associated with illegal fishing in the Upper Gulf of California. Megan will help input and process survey data during the first phase of the study. She will participate in the design of behavioral interventions, assist with experimental testing and evaluation of results, and conduct research to support potential replication of behavioral interventions in fisheries in Myanmar, Japan, and the Philippines.

Megan will work to improve fisheries outcomes in Myanmar, Japan, and the Philippines by researching opportunities for successful fishery reform and marine spatial management. Megan will analyze the conditions and constraints to improving fisheries outcomes using available literature and information from two scoping trips. A variety of tools will be applied, including ecosystem risk analysis, data limited stock assessment, and governance analysis.

See a copy of her policy paper:
"Aligning Decision-making and Key Behaviors with Effective Fisheries Management," prepared for the Environmental Defense Fund by Megan Godfrey and Dr. Rod Fujita,Director of Research and Development, EDF Oceans Program, August 2016.

Megan’s Story

See Megan's Blog.

Where are they now?

Recent graduate (May 2017) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, earning a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

Placement Location: San Francisco, California and Santa Barbara, California

Pelagic Data Systems, Center for the Blue Economy, and Fish Cubed

Alexander (Alex) began his summer fellowship with Pelagic Data Systems, a San Francisco based company that has a goal to help fishermen earn a better living, while reducing the amount of seafood that goes to waste and minimizing the environmental impact of fishing. They have created a vessel monitoring system (VMS) specifically designed for small-scale fisheries, so they can benefit from technology that large commercial fishing operations use routinely. The summer took a new turn in early July with Alex simultaneously working with the Center for the Blue Economy on Arctic research, and working toward bringing his innovative, student-led product "Fish Cubed" to market.

From mid-May to early July, Alex worked with Pelagic Data Systems to develop a survey tool to quantify the benefits of using VMS for the small-scale fishers of Indonesia. The survey was designed to identify financial benefits for the fisherman, as well as other, non-market benefits environmental and livelihood improvements. Unfortunately, the trip to Indonesia had to be canceled, leaving Alex with the question of what to do next.

Not missing a beat, Alex turned his focus (or rather, returned his focus) to two areas of research and innovation that he worked on during the previous semester: The Arctic and Fish Cubed.

Alex will be working with the National Ocean Economics Program, the main research arm of the Center for the Blue Economy, to compile data on economic trends in the Arctic Ocean’s Blue Economy, i.e. economic activity related to marine and coastal regions and maritime-related sectors. This data will support a report that will be written in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund. The intent of the report is to make a case for stronger policy to ensure a more sustainable approach to marine-based economic development in the Arctic, and the target audience is principally policy decision makers in all Arctic Council countries.

Fish Cubed is a student-designed device (Alex is co-founder) that uses a combination of aeroponics and aquaponics to efficiently grow food in your home. Picture something like a low-cost, low-maintenance refrigerator, but with live fish swimming around and organic produce growing inside. “It comes with the satisfaction of home gardening, without the pain of home gardening,” Janna Ratzlaff (MIIS IEP 2015 alumna) explained. The product has the potential to help families have access to organic food, and according to team members the technology utilized can change the face of agriculture all over the world as aquaponics use 90% less water than traditional soil agriculture. What makes this version of family-style aquaponics unique is the compact design and affordable price point. Alex and his team will be in Santa Barbara, participating in the Goleta Entrepreneurial Magnet (GEM), nine weeks of seminars and workshops designed to help incubate the Fish Cubed product.

Alexander’s Story

See Alexander's Blog.

Where are they now?

Recent graduate (May 2017) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, earning a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

Placement Location: Suva, Fiji

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): Oceania Program

Joshua (Josh) will be working with the IUCN on the issue of deep sea mining in the Pacific islands. He will research and develop a position paper for the newly formed IUCN Pacific Centre for Environmental Governance, to support Pacific islands leaders and decision makers as they consider future plans for the mining sector. Josh will work with key stakeholders including communities, governments and their technical agencies, and the mining industry. Josh will conduct research and interviews, drawing on IUCN's partners and network in the region. A seminar or workshop is also planned.

Joshua’s Story

See Joshua's Blog.

Where are they now?

Recent graduate (May 2017) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, earning a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

Placement Location: Lyngby, Denmark

Maersk Drilling

Lance will be working with Maersk Drilling in analyzing emerging sustainability and environmental trends. Lance will be analyzing emerging trends in the industry to make sure Maersk Drilling will be able to adequately meet future environmental and sustainability standards. This will involve reporting on emerging focus areas for governments, best practice leaders (within both offshore and marine sectors), industry bodies, NGOs and applicable lobby groups. The scale of the project will focus in detail on Norway while taking the overall global context into account. Lance will be meeting with relevant NGOs in Denmark and other stakeholder groups. The project will aim to maintain a strong offshore focus where relevant insights from other industries (aeronautical, nuclear, manufacturing, etc.) may be included. Lance will develop policy recommendations for Maersk Drilling in preparing for these emerging sustainability and environmental trends and he will make recommendations for what practices or technologies Maersk Drilling should be investing in.

Lance’s Story

See Lance's Blog.

Where are they now?

Recent graduate (May 2017) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, earning a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

Placement Location: Honolulu, Hawai'i

Conservation International, Hawai'i

Sorina will work with Conservation International Hawai'i to produce an economic justification for the development and establishment of protected seascapes in the Coral Triangle, as part of the Coral Triangle Initiative Program. The Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security (CTI-CFF) is a multilateral partnership of six countries formed in 2007 to address the urgent threats facing the coastal and marine resources of one of the most biologically diverse and ecologically rich regions on earth. Sorina will produce a position paper based on large-scale, comprehensive, multi-sectoral marine planning evidence to support an economic justification for the development and establishment of protected seascapes in the Coral
Triangle.

Sorina’s Story

See Sorina's Blog.

Where are they now?

Recent graduate (May 2017) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, earning a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

Placement Location: Suva, Fiji

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN): Oceania Program

Shaun will be working with the IUCN on the issue of coastal fisheries in the Pacific islands. He will contribute to the mapping of environmental, social (especially health), economic and cultural interconnections and interdependencies in coastal fisheries in the Pacific. This will involve research, interviews and field trips, and will draw on IUCNs projects and partners in the region.

The mapping will be a key part of publications including outreach materials and position/options papers being developed by the the newly formed IUCN Pacific Centre for Environmental Governance, and will inform the convening of a seminar/debate as part of a broader approach by the Centre to increase the profile and priority of the coastal fisheries and food gap issue with communities, with regional leaders, international donors and other stakeholders.

Shaun’s Story

See Shaun's Blog.

Where are they now?

Recent graduate (May 2017) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, earning a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.

Placement Location: Monterey, California

The National Ocean Economics Program

Galen will be working with the National Ocean Economics Program, the main research arm of the Center for the Blue Economy, to compile data on economic trends in the Arctic Ocean’s Blue Economy, i.e. economic activity related to marine and coastal regions and maritime-related sectors. This data will support a report that will be written in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund. The intent of the report is to make a case for stronger policy to ensure a more sustainable approach to marine-based economic development in the Arctic, and the target audience is principally policy decision makers in all Arctic Council countries.

Galen will gather, compile, and organize reliable data on the economic activities occurring in the Arctic including traditional ocean-based market sectors such as transportation, offshore oil and gas and other mineral production, tourism, infrastructure construction, and fishing, as well as emerging sustainable industries such as wind and wave energy that are becoming known as the New Blue Economy. Galen will also track the important local market economies that serve indigenous peoples, and to the extent possible, track data on employment, revenue, and investment to help inform policy makers and the public about the economic state of the Arctic. Galen's work will be critical to completing the report on the Arctic Ocean Blue Economy for the World Wildlife Foundation, a report which could influence important policy outcomes.


Galen’s Story

See Galen's Blog.

Where are they now?

Recent graduate (May 2017) from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies, earning a Master of Arts degree in International Environmental Studies with a concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management.
Jennifer Adams
Heather Benko
Whitney Berry
Marina Binsack
Christie Heyer
Chelsea Jordan
Melis Okter
Matthew Shipley
Emma Tonge
Heidi Williams

Placement Location: Paris, France

UNESCO’s World Heritage Marine Programme

Jennifer assisted with the preparation and follow up of the High Seas Expert Working Meeting, develop an overview of World Heritage related decisions for marine sites, and develop a media-kit: “10 years of Marine World Heritage” for outreach to US press.

Jennifer’s Story

See Jennifer's Blog.

Where are they now?

Jennifer is engaged in an International Professional Service Semester (IPSS), an immersive learning experience, integrating academic work with professional experience. Students serve as junior professional staff members in an international organization while producing specific deliverables for academic credit. Her IPSS program is with the Assistant Secretary in the State Department Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs, often referred to as “Oceans, Environment and Science” or “OES,” in Washington D.C. After that assignment, she will be working with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Policy Division. Jennifer will graduate in August of 2016.

Direct Link to Jennifer's Profile Page

Placement Location: San Francisco, California

Environmental Defense Fund

To improve fishery outcomes, it is often necessary to reduce catches of main target species temporarily to accelerate stock recovery. Heather's project with EDF was aimed at finding ways for such fisheries to transition to sustainable operations while catches are depressed. It included seafood supply chain analysis in select countries to identify opportunities to add value and generate higher revenues for fishermen, the economics of mariculture operations conducted in association with fishing territories and marine reserves, and alternative revenue generation programs.

Heather’s Story

See Heather's Blog.

Where are they now?

Heather graduated in May of 2015, and she is now a California Sea Grant Fellow, working on a project with the California Department of Fish and Game regarding by-catch and invasive species.

Direct Link to Heather's Profile Page

Placement Location: Pohnpei, Micronesia

One Reef

Whitney worked with One Reef to broker marine conservation agreements with local reef owners and enable sustainably financed conservation projects. She engaged in community outreach within the greater Pohnpei community, primarily the Enipein and Ant Atoll communities. She assisted community leaders to develop marketing plans and materials for cultural tours, materials for school outreach programs, and planning and management skills to help them reach their goals.

Whitney’s Story

See Whitney's Blog.

Where are they now?

Whitney is engaged in an International Professional Service Semester (IPSS), an immersive learning experience, integrating academic work with professional experience. Students serve as junior professional staff members in an international organization while producing specific deliverables for academic credit. Whitney is working as a Junior Associate at Earthmind, a non-profit organization focusing on biodiversity, business, and sustainable development. Earthmind maintains an office at the IUCN Conservation Centre in Gland, Switzerland. Whitney is focusing on supporting Earthmind’s work in marine conservation, including the development of the Economics of Marine Resources Library, in addition to collaborating with the IUCN Global Marine and Polar Programme on various programmes and projects including engagement with the private sector. She also recently presented at a Geneva workshop titled, “The Application of Genomic Tools for Benthic Monitoring of the Marine Environment: From Technology to Legal and Socio-Economical Aspects.”

Direct Link to Whitney's Profile Page

Placement Location: Oakland, California

California State Coastal Conservancy

Marina worked on vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning projects for the California State Coastal Conservancy, specifically: the San Mateo County Shoreline Vulnerability Assessment, the Crissy Field Sea Level Rise Analysis, and the Marin Adaptation Demonstration and Education Project.

Marina’s Story

See Marina's Blog.

Where are they now?

Marina graduated and engaged in an International Professional Service Semester (IPSS), an immersive learning experience, integrating academic work with professional experience. Students serve as junior professional staff members in an international organization while producing specific deliverables for academic credit. Marina worked as a Communications Intern for the Friends of the San Francisco Estuary. Marina implemented a social media communications program to decision makers, opinion makers, the media, public officials, and the public regarding the need for adequate freshwater flows to the San Francisco Bay. She did outreach, website development, and other related duties.

Currently (2017) she is working as an Outreach Specialist for San Francisco Rising, a vibrant electoral alliance that builds political power of working-class communities of color in San Francisco.

Direct Link to Marina's Profile Page

Placement Location: Dili, Timor-Leste

Conservation International

Conservation International and the Coral Triangle Initiative produced generalized guidelines for the co-management of natural resources for the government of Timor-Leste in June 2013. These guidelines were piloted within Nino Konis Santana National Park (NKSNP) and used to establish three locally managed marine areas in communities within the park. Conservation International is presently in the process of working with the Timor-Leste government to formalize these co-management guidelines for marine areas and broaden them to apply to the management of all natural resources in the country, including terrestrial protected areas. Christie performed an independent review of the co-management process for marine areas within NKSNP in order to update and propose revisions to the 2013 national co-management guidelines.

Christie’s Story

TBA: Awaiting blog posts

Where are they now?

After her Conservation International fellowship, Christie served as a teaching assistant for Dr. Jason Scorse in his Environmental Economics course. Christie is finishing up her degree, and will be graduating in May of 2016.

Direct Link to Christie's Profile Page

Placement Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Maersk Drilling

Chelsea worked with Maersk to streamline the ISO 50001 voluntary international energy standard aboard offshore rigs, which incorporates energy use and consumption. She engaged in measurement, documentation and reporting of energy use and consumption, as well as design and procurement practices for energy-using equipment, systems and processes. She assisted in the development of an energy management plan and other factors affecting energy performance that can be monitored and influenced by the organization. She assisted with Maersk’s National Capital Accounting (NCA) pilot project in partnership with the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, assisting with biodiversity and ecosystem health research and development.

Chelsea’s Story

See Chelsea's Blog.

Where are they now?

Chelsea Jordan graduated in 2015 and is now a Business Development Consultant at the Marine Megafauna Foundation.

Direct Link to Chelsea's Profile Page

Placement Location: Washington, DC

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Melis assisted NOAA in various tasks related to NOAA’s mission of environmental stewardship and resource conservation in the Arctic, splitting her time between the Washington, DC office, and the NOAA's Silver Springs, Maryland office . These tasks also supportted U.S. priorities as it assumed chairmanship of the Arctic Council in April 2015. She worked with NOAA’s Marine Protected Areas Center in establishing an Arctic MPA Workgroup to advise the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee on issues related to strengthening Arctic MPAs. She also assisted in developing outreach materials on resource conservation in the Arctic and supported the NOAA General Counsel’s office in work to ensure safe and environmentally sound practices for shipping in the Arctic, which is expected to increase dramatically with the melting of sea ice.

Photos by Melis

Melis’s Story

See Melis's Blog.

Where are they now?

After graduation in 2016, Melis Okter worked as a California Sea Grant Fellow at the California Coastal Commission in their Climate Change Department. She conducted an exhaustive review of California’s coastal resources at risk to sea level rise, and drafted the final statewide report that includes county level data on climate change vulnerability, economic valuation studies, and Local Coastal Program participation. Now, a new interactive website and map visually communicates those findings in an easily accessible way. Congratulations Melis! Thanks for your part in actualizing this important planning tool! See the tool here: Climate Vulnerability Tool

She is currently working at Dudek Environmental Consulting and Engineering in Oakland, California. She is an environmental specialist/coastal planner working on sea level rise updates for local governments as well as doing some habitat restoration/mitigation work.

Direct Link to Melis' Profile Page

Placement Location: Del Rey Oaks, CA

Both Company

Matt is combining his personal passion with the summer fellow project: learning the science of aquaponics at Both Co. Both Co. is a company who's triple bottom line includes sustainable, organic vegetables and fish for the local community, ending global hunger, and social responsibility. Matt will be developing business strategies for the success of the company, facilitating community outreach and education strategies for local youth programs, as well as helping with facility maintenance, fundraising and networking. Matt will research food safety regulations, trends in the aquaponics industry, and create a rubric for the company for obtaining the right to produce fish and vegetables for sale in the U.S. His diverse duties will also include creating training materials for new hires, marketing and branding concepts, and web development.

Matthew’s Story

See Matthew's Blog.

Where are they now?

Matt graduated in May of 2015, and (as far as we know) is working at Both Co. Both Co. is really taking off, and part of the team just pitched their for-profit arm--Fish Cubed--a small and affordable aquaponics unit that will fit in any kitchen. Keep an eye on this local company, who's founder is an IEP grad, and with lots of ties to our IEP and local Monterey community.

Direct Link to Matt's Profile Page

Placement Location: Nairobi, Kenya

UNEP’s Global Programme of Action

Emma spent her summer in Nairobi, Kenya at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters working for the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA) tackling the problem of marine debris.

Emma’s Story

See Emma's Blog.

Where are they now?

Emma engaged in an International Professional Service Semester (IPSS), an immersive learning experience, integrating academic work with professional experience for her last semester at MIIS. Her IPSS was with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in San Francisco, CA, where she supported activities in the Office of Response and Restoration’s Marine Debris Division. She completed a detailed analysis of the west coast trash policy and implementation (California, Oregon, and Washington), supported the Office of Response's action planning workshop, and compiled and mapped Pacific Northwest marine debris data, compiling existing best management practices for removal, and more.

Emma graduated in 2016, and has been hired by the NOAA Office of Response and Restoration’s Marine Debris Division, where she will continue her role in a professional capacity with the title of Communications and Outreach Specialist.

Direct Link to Emma's Profile Page

Placement Location: Galway, Ireland

National University of Galway, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit

Building on previous survey information that identified the major marine and coastal recreation activities undertaken by the Irish general public, Heidi used benefit transfer methods to estimate the non-market values of marine recreation pursuits in Irish coasts. A previously completed literature review on marine and coastal recreational valuation studies was also used in a meta-analysis to estimate the value of access for recreational pursuits along Ireland’s coastline. Within the context of this project, Heidi used GIS to produce maps of the quantified ecosystem service benefit values.

Heidi’s Story

See Heidi's Blog.

Where are they now?

Heidi graduated in 2016, and works for National Geographic Learning, a subset of National Geographic located in Monterey, CA. She is Product Contractor for the Editorial, Operations, and Design teams managing content for a new K-12 reading program that will incorporate science standards into National Geographic Society textbooks. She is also a Research Associate and Data Analyst working for the Center for the Blue Economy continuing her work on non-market standardization. She is also a recent recipient of the highly competitive and prestigious NOAA California Sea Grant Fellowship. She will be working working with the Delta Science Program in their Water Supply Adaptive Management and Communications Unit. The Delta Science Program (http://deltacouncil.ca.gov/science-program/about-science-program) works to convey and communicate scientific knowledge to stakeholders about the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, the largest estuary on the West Coast.

Her project is to translate complex scientific information into a form readily understood by the non-scientist through tools such as seminars, symposia, and digital storytelling. She will also be working with their staff to continue the development of a water supply adaptive management framework for the Bay-Delta system. Go Heidi!



Direct Link to Heidi's Profile Page
Vicky Bell
Maren Farnum
Trent Hodges
Amanda Leinberger
Mairi Miller
Jessica Morten
Matt Nichols
Sara Pfeifer
Kelsey Richardson
Jordan Sanchez

Placement Location: Ant Atoll, Micronesia

Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego

Vicky Bell was at Ant, a (very small) atoll in Micronesia, working under an emerging collaborative effort with the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO). Focusing on fish biomass, population size, and related economic benefits, Bell will use data collected by SIO to project probable increases in fish abundance and distribution patterns, and track changes over time. She will also estimate increases to direct economic benefits from increased fish abundance.

Photos by Vicky

Vicky’s Story

I was working with OneReef, an organization dedicated to the reverse of coral reef decline based out of Santa Cruz. I was working at Ant Atoll, Micronesia and on the island of Pohnpei, Micronesia. At Ant Atoll, I worked with scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography conducting research to establish base line data which future scientists can refer to to determine the heath of the reef. I did benthic surveys and photo quadrats to determine key species in each of 16 dive sites surveyed on the outside of the atoll, and 10 surveyed inside the atoll.
In Pohnpei I attended Marine Spatial Planning meetings, which were being held to determine the most effective ways to go about implementing Marine Protected Areas. We also worked with a local partner to create educational materials and pamphlets, showing locals the importance of conservation and what is being done at Ant Atoll.
For the rest of the summer I will be working on a white paper report for OneReef, which will likely be presented by my boss at the International Marine Conservation Congress in Scotland in August. The report will focus on how developing countries are bearing the consequences of globalization, and how now OneReef is on the front lines of fixing this issue by using the befits of globalization to connect international partners with one another to increase and inspire marine conservation.

Where are they now?

Vicky pursued an International Professional Service Semester (IPSS), an immersive learning experience, integrating academic work with professional experience. Students serve as junior professional staff members in an international organization while producing specific deliverables for academic credit. Vicky served as an Ocean Policy Fellow with the Marine Conservation Institute this spring. Her job was to track and evaluate congressional actions, attend and report on congressional, administration and NGO events, set up and attend lobby meetings, build and maintain congressional staffer relationships, create and update educational materials, and create a daily marine conservation newsletter. She also testified at public hearings regularly and writes petitions on important marine issues. See her IPSS profile page for more of her experience. Vicky graduated in 2015 and is currently working with the Blue Frontier Campaign in Washington, D.C. as their Outreach Coordinator.

Direct Link to Vicky's Profile Page

Placement Location: Monterey, CA

National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP)

Maren Farnum served as a research assistant with the National Ocean Economics Program (NOEP) here at the CBE. Her duties included compiling market and non-market data for the NOEP website for sectors such as the commercial and recreational fishing industries, ports and cargo, coastal population and housing demographics, etc. In addition to data collection and analysis, Maren will also update and supplement NOEP's resource library for non-market and market studies. In the fall, Maren worked for the office of State Senator Bill Monning in Santa Cruz, CA on environmental initiatives.

Where are they now?

Maren graduated in May of 2015, and worked full-time for the Center for the Blue Economy as a Research Associate and Data Analyst, working on our non-market database. Goods and services that are not exchanged in normal market transactions, but which have economic value nonetheless are considered to have “non-market value.” These include ecosystem services such as the value of a wetland or mangrove in providing protection from storm surges, or individuals’ value from using a surf break or spending a day at the beach. Unlike much of the economic data that the Center for the Blue Economy’s National Ocean Economics Program manages, which is based on standardized public data sets, the large amount of information on the non-market values of ocean and coastal resources is only available in individual studies published in multiple types of outlets using a variety of methodologies. The Center for the Blue Economy plans to develop a new approach bringing order and consistency to what is mostly an ad hoc body of literature, and Maren her talents to that effort. In addition, she represented the Center for the Blue Economy as part of a collaborative climate change action group, doing research on how economic data has been used in Monterey politics and policy decisions.

In December of 2015, Maren was awarded the prestigious NOAA Sea Grant Fellowship. NOAA Sea Grant Fellowships are highly competitive, and involve an extensive application and a two-day interview process with hundreds of applicants vying for a limited number of paid fellowships. We are so proud of Maren! Maren will work for the State Lands Commission in Sacramento. She will be working in the Environmental Planning and Management Division reviewing and drafting sea level rise policy for California’s state-owned and granted tidelands and submerged lands.

Direct Link to Maren's Profile Page

Placement Location: Northern Baja, Mexico

Save the Waves

Trent Hodges worked with Save the Waves in Bahia Todos Santos in Northern Baja, Mexico. The project has three objectives: first, to assist with the development and implementation of an economic valuation study for surfing resources in the bay. This information will be used to show policy makers the importance of maintaining the ecological integrity of the coastal ecosystems and the economic benefits the sport of surfing provides to the community; second, to assist in logistical support for the World Surf Reserve dedication on June 21 in Ensenada; third, to assist in the Local Stewardship Project of San Miguel ,which includes the promotion of the arroyo San Miguel as Baja California’s first state park.

Photos by Trent

Trent’s Story

Today, June 12, 2014, I complete my first month living in Ensenada and working with Save the Waves Coalition. It has been an engaging and productive experience. The Bahia Todos Santos World Surfing Reserve was dedicated on the 17 of June with a paddle-out, speeches from various stakeholders including the local government, famous local and international surfers, and conservation partners such as Surf-Ens and Wildcoast who all have contributed to making this project a reality.


Now that the party is over, I am faced with many questions and challenges. What does a World Surfing Reserve mean? What is surfonomics? How will a dollar value on a wave save the coast? These are the questions I continually find myself responding to among the local community and topics I am continually trying to frame in my own mind. The truth is, there are no easy answers to these questions and a World Surfing Reserve is only a drawing board and platform for communication and planning in the preservation of coastal resources. More than anything, it is an empowerment tool, a way for local surfers, community members, and conservationists to celebrate the coastline they possess and envision a future with healthy waves and a healthy local economy.


Throughout the first month of work down here in Baja, my work has been focused in three directions. The first is building the surfonomics research plan to capture the economic value of surfing in the World Surfing Reserve from locals to international surfers. This work has included a lot of survey design, methodology planning, and capacity building. The second goal has been to promote this project and involve all relevant parties. The surf community in Ensenada is vibrant and large, so a lot of my work has been reaching out to surf schools, surf groups, artists, and interested parties to get them excited about participating in this research and training them to carry it out themselves. The third has been to assist a local NGO Pronatura in the designation of a state park in the river of San Miguel, a critical watershed for the formation of the famous right-hand point break that forms at the mouth of the river.


It has been a great experience diving into this place and understanding the challenges that come with community conservation planning in a city where the economy rides the waves of tourism, harbors fish processing plants, and hosts global commerce activities in the port of Ensenada. What has become more and more clear is the importance of assigning value to coastal recreation and the associated economic and societal benefits. On a coastline that has seen so much destructive and poorly planned development, waves and surfing have continuously provided the people of Ensenada with a recreation outlet and added a continued source of economic generation for the communities that we will now be able to measure.


As the south swells begin to fill in and we begin the process of surveying the traveling and local surf community, I look forward to seeing the surf community unify in the goal of protecting their waves in perpetuity. With the monetary values of their waves in hand, they will have peaceful economic weapon to counter-attack the forthcoming and present threats to their coastal zone.

Where are they now?

Trent graduated in December of 2014 and is currently working as Outdoor Program Coordinator at the Big Sur Land Trust. Congratulations Trent!

Direct Link to Trents's Profile Page

Placement Location: Grenada, Lesser Antilles

The Nature Conservancy

Amanda Leinberger worked with The Nature Conservancy out of Santa Cruz, CA and is on the ground in Grenada working on coastal resilience projects. She will assist with a Cost-Benefit Analysis of coastal adaptation strategies being considered in Grenada, as well as work with the Red Cross on community outreach projects. "I am excited to take what I have learned in the classroom and apply it to this critical work being carried out on the island of Grenada."

Photos by Amanda

Amanda’s Story

I started my fellowship journey in Santa Cruz, CA where I learned more about the organization I am working for this summer, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and their current projects in Grenada. I have now been on the ground working in TNC’s Grenada office for about three weeks. Grenada is a beautiful island located in the southeastern Caribbean Sea. It is rumored to be one of the friendliest islands in the Caribbean, and I would have to say so far that it is very true.

My work here revolves around the recent partnership between TNC and the Red Cross of Grenada. These two organizations have been working together to assess local communities’ vulnerability and develop nature-based adaptation solutions to reduce disaster risk and promote coastal resilience. Some of these communities are located just steps away from the water and are extremely vulnerable to coastal flooding from sea-level rise and storm surges. I recently visited some of the project sites located on the eastern side of the island near the city of Grenville. While there, we met with community members and viewed the current mangrove restoration project.

The work between TNC and the Red Cross has not really been documented thus far, so I am responsible for preparing a report highlighting the successes of some of these projects and the lessons learned. In addition, I will also be helping with community outreach projects and activities. I think the partnership between these two organizations can serve as a model for other areas of the world that are just beginning work on climate adaptation.

Where are they now?

NOAA Coastal Management Fellowships are not easy to come by. The competitive applicant pool and week-long interview process can be daunting, but Amanda Leinberger (MAIEP-OCRM Class of 2015) was up to the challenge, and the CBE congratulates her on being granted the prestigious award. The Coastal Management Fellowship program provides on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resource management and policy for postgraduate students. The program matches postgraduate students with state coastal zone programs to work on projects proposed by the state and selected by the fellowship sponsor, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coastal Services Center. This two-year Fellowship offers a competitive salary, medical benefits, and travel and relocation expense reimbursement. Amanda will be heading to Puerto Rico to work with the Puerto Rico Coastal Zone Management Program on creating a decision support tool (a webpage or mobile app) that regional leaders can use as they consider adaptation strategies. In addition, she will be helping to draft the Puerto Rico State of the Climate Report.

Direct Link to Amanda's Profile Page

Placement Location: Bonthe, Sierra Leone

Environmental Justice Foundation

Mairi Miller worked in Bonthe, Sierra Leone with the Environmental Justice Foundation. Currently, little is known about what types of fish are being caught in the West African waters and of their relative abundance. Mairi's work focused on a community science project investigating the relative impacts of commercial and artisanal fishing methods in the Sherbro River estuary aimed to support a campaign to end destructive and illegal fishing methods in the country’s coastal waters. She obtained and quantified commercial and artisanal fish stock data in order to determine the overlap in fish catch, fishing methods, and location of effort between commercial and artisanal fishers. This community science project will be complementary to a broader initiative to develop Co-Managed Marine Protected Areas (CMPAs).

Mairi’s Story

I have learned so much in the short time I have spent in this beautiful country. I cannot say I have learned what I came to learn, but my experiences have been significant. I have been working in a small island town called Bonthe, on the Sherbro Island in southwestern Sierra Leone.

One effort to control illegal fishing is to engage community participation. In doing this, the West Africa regional Fisheries Project, WARFP, a joint government/world bank project, has established community fisheries management committees for four Marine Protected Areas MPAs within local fishing communities along the coastlines. This is where I came to work. Creation of Community Management Associations (CMA’s) can provide an opportunity for community stakeholders, fishermen and governing bodies to communicate and work together to build an accurate, practical, scientifically and traditionally based management of the resources in question.

This work entails traveling by foot and by boat to remote villages with thatched huts and smoking fires. Many people here know about the CMAs and just need a bit more understanding of how they are going to be impacted by any agreements or affiliations. All of the communities are dependent upon the fishery, either net caught in the estuary, hook and line at the river mouth or most interestingly, oyster harvesting. One community I visited is 100% dependent upon oysters- they eat oysters every single day for every single meal they eat (usually people here eat one to two times per day). Women and men have their roles in the fishery, men typically harvest the catch, leaving around 3am and returning around 8am so that their wives – or women of the village, the fishmongers- can take the catch to market or prepare it for a meal. Many villages have not been in the mindset of ‘saving the earth for our children’ but with the right conversation everyone understands this idea. Most recently this has come to light as we ask people recall what the fishery was in the past and how it has changed over the last 20 or so years. This is progress.

Where are they now?

Mairi graduated in August of 2014 and went to Rome, Italy working for the UN Food and Food and Agricultural Organization in the small-scale fisheries and aquaculture division as a Consultant. Her work included research and project development on the suite of large marine ecosystem approaches in the Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem. This included an analysis of Marine Protected Areas in West Africa and their success, implementation, and policy gaps, and implications of climate change. Additionally she supported the development of a suite of fisheries projects for the upcoming coastal fisheries initiative for the Global Environment Facility, which include small-scale fisheries, fishers’ organizations, and marine managed areas.

Most recently (2017) she is serving as Land Stewardship Assistant at the Otsego Land Trust in Cooperstown, NY. She will be monitoring and managing oversight of land trust easements to assist the Otsego Land Trust in its goal of conserving our natural heritage of woodlands, farmlands, and waters that sustain rural communities, promote public health, support wildlife diversity and inspire the human spirit.

Direct Link to Mairi's Profile Page

Placement Location: San Francisco, CA

Environmental Defense Fund

Jessica Morten worked for the Environmental Defense Fund in San Francisco as part of their Oceans Research and Development team. Jessica assisted with research and data analysis for EDFs global fisheries strategy.

Jessica’s Story

My summer fellowship with Environmental Defense Fund's Ocean Research team in San Francisco has been really amazing so far. I'm working and collaborating with the entire Ocean Research and Development team on several ongoing fisheries policy projects, but am leading the charge in putting together a research paper and corresponding internal position piece on EDF's preferred global fishery management strategy, known as catch shares, and its relationship with food security, gender equality, and poverty in the coastal communities in which it's implemented. Drafting fishing policies, creating marine reserves, and assigning property rights within a historically open-access resource has huge implications--especially for subsistence-based fishing communities in the developing world--and so it's really important that research is done to determine the most effective methods to ensure that these higher fish yields translate into greater food security and more equitable distribution of natural resources within these regions.

Where are they now?

Jessica graduated from MIIS in May 2015, and did some part-time contract GIS work for MADRE in the Santa Cruz area. In December of 2015, Jessica was awarded the prestigious NOAA Sea Grant Fellowship. NOAA Sea Grant Fellowships are highly competitive, and involve an extensive application and a two-day interview process with hundreds of applicants vying for a limited number of paid fellowships. We are so proud of Jessica! Jessica will work for the the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary as the 2016 California Sea Grant Fellow. During her one-year assignment, she will be working within the Resource Protection department on reducing the threat of ship strikes on endangered whales and enhancing sanctuary enforcement.

Direct Link to Jessica's Profile Page

Placement Location: Copenhagen, Denmark

Maersk Drilling and Shipping

Matt Nichols worked on sustainability issues for Maersk Drilling, a subsidiary of the A.P. Moller – Maersk Group, the world's largest shipping company, in Copenhagen, Denmark. He helped refine and communicate the company's environmental policy on a range of issues, including their efforts to mitigate risk, protect the marine environment and reduce carbon emissions. Matt collaborated with Maersk's sustainability team, building on his research on offshore oil & gas for the National Ocean Economics Program.

Photos by Matt

Matt’s Story

I will be starting my fellowship with Maersk Drilling in Lyngby, Denmark, a suburb of Copenhagen, later this month. Most of the Danish workforce takes a lengthy vacation in July, so it made sense for me to wait to start my fellowship until "all hands are on deck." My project this summer and fall, working under Maersk's Drilling Head of Environment and Climate Change, will be to continue the excellent work that CBE Fellow Tiffany Carlson began last summer. She developed position papers on various issues related to the company's impact on the marine environment. Now the challenge is to communicate those policies externally to Maersk Drilling's customers, namely the exploration and production (E&P) firms to which it provides oilfield services in the form of drillships, jack-ups, semisubmersible rigs and floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) capacity. Especially in light of recent disasters like the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Maersk's decades of experience operating safely in the marine environment - their parent company, A.P. Moller-Maersk Group, is the world's largest shipping company - is a major point of difference for customers looking to manage risk, achieve sustainability targets and improve stakeholder relationships. With every major corporation in the world - yes, even oil companies - now having a "sustainability" section on their website, the question for a business-to-business (B2B) services company like Maersk Drilling is how they can match their offerings (and the way they talk about them) to the issues that matter to their customers.


In the meantime, I just completed a three week summer course at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH), titled "Natural Resource Management and Policy: The Norwegian Model." With lectures from some of the world's leading resource economists and a company visit to Statoil, the course was an excellent introduction to Scandinavia and the offshore oil industry. I plan to use most of my remaining vacation time before starting at Maersk to travel around the North Sea barrier islands off the coasts of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, a region vulnerable to climate change and sea level rise which I studied while at MIIS.

Where are they now?

Matt graduated in 2014 and worked in Washington, DC working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a Policy Analyst. Matt's project portfolio included designation, expansion and management of marine protected areas; implementation of coastal and marine spatial planning via the National Ocean Council; emergency response functions together with FEMA and Coast Guard; analysis of emerging technologies; and collaboration with Department of the Navy on environmental protection and national security topics.

He is now working with the U.S. Army in their Air Quality and Climate Change department, as Program Manager. Congratulations Matt!

Direct Link to Matt's Profile Page

Placement Location: Quintana Roo, México

The Nature Conservancy

Sara Pfeifer spent her last semester at MIIS working with The Nature Conservancy on their Coastal Resilience network project in southern Mexico, conducting a cost-benefit analysis (economic and non-economic) of the use adaptation practices along the Mesoamerican reef coastline and supporting the elaboration of the coastal vulnerability and coastal protection models. She is now teaching English for Corporate English Associates in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Photos by Sara

Sara’s Story

The Costa Maya of Quintana Roo, México, has yet to experience the concentrated development that can be seen in the nearby Riviera Maya. In general, conventional development practices in the Cancun and Playa del Carmen have not permitted many ecosystem functions to maintain their naturally protective characteristics against the powerful tropical storms that strike this coastline each fall. A common management practice during the first stage of resort and hotel development is to remove all of the lush and protective dune vegetation. These developments are often constructed right on the sand, within shockingly close proximity to the waterline, despite the buffer created by the federal coastal zone. Such practices promote the erosion of sand by wind and waves, disrupting the littoral cell, and increasing exposure of the property to the sea. Over an expanse of time, hoteliers may find their assets increasingly vulnerable to tropical storms. Such threats are likely to grow in intensity and frequency in the face of global climate disturbance.


The objective of my analysis is to examine the costs and benefits associated with the implementation of various development practices in the lesser-developed southern Quintana Roo. Three differing practices are compared to determine which presents the most significant protection to assets under a number of storm and climate scenarios. My study aims to demonstrate that best management practices, including the preservation of native vegetation and the construction of structures on the back dune, atop elevated platforms, will improve resilience against powerful storms by minimizing costly property damages and losses to revenue during reconstruction or closure.


To prove the hypothesis that the application of best development practices increases the resiliency of infrastructure against tropical storms, I have gathered regionally specific data from a process of literature review, using publicly available records from State and Federal sources, doctoral dissertations and journal publications, and through surveys of regional experts and stakeholders, including weather and climate experts, local physical and biological process experts, developers and investors, and hotel owners. Though much of my preliminary research was conducted from the Nature Conservancy office in Mérida, my field research took me on a month-long journey along the coastline of south eastern Mexico; from the impressive Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve down to the border of Belize, and from the regional headquarters Comisión Nacional de Areas Naturales Protegidas (CONANP) to the offices of researchers and professors at the Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnic Institute (CINVESTAV). Through this research, my aim is to produce a tool for the Nature Conservancy to promote best development practices in the tourism sector, as growth in this area is imminent. Ultimately, the goal is to facilitate a more comprehensive understanding of the protective benefits provided by a healthy dune ecosystem for regional land-use planners, real estate developers, and potential investors in the Costa Maya.

Where are they now?

Sara graduated from MIIS in May of 2015 and worked through July of 2016 with the Center for the Blue Economy as a Research Associate and Data Analyst on non-market economic data. Goods and services that are not exchanged in normal market transactions, but which have economic value nonetheless are considered to have “non-market value.” These include ecosystem services such as the value of a wetland or mangrove in providing protection from storm surges, or individuals’ value from using a surf break or spending a day at the beach. Unlike much of the economic data that the Center for the Blue Economy’s National Ocean Economics Program manages, which is based on standardized public data sets, the large amount of information on the non-market values of ocean and coastal resources is only available in individual studies published in multiple types of outlets using a variety of methodologies. The Center for the Blue Economy plans to develop a new approach bringing order and consistency to what is mostly an ad hoc body of literature, and Sara lent her talents to that effort.

Sara is now moving on to her position as Coastal Program Analyst with the California Coastal Commission. She will collaborate with regional stakeholders and experts to manage coastal development consistent with the Coastal Act, creatively explore complex coastal resource issues, and provide for the balanced use of the coastal zone and protecting California's valuable resources for present and future generations. Congratulations Sara!

Direct Link to Sara's Profile Page

Placement Location: Nairobi, Kenya

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Global Programme of Action

Kelsey Richardson worked as an intern for the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land Based Activities (GPA), which is part of the Division of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI) for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in Nairobi, Kenya. Kelsey's focused on the GPA's Marine Litter (ML) activities and will include a desk review, evaluation, and future needs assessment of ML monitoring activities world-wide. She conducted an assessment of technical gaps in these monitoring activities, identify potential projects to assist with future ML activities, and assistance in the development and implementation of the GPA's ML Components of its Work Programme. "My area of specialization in OCRM is marine debris, so the opportunity to work with this division of UNEP is a dream summer internship." Kelsey spent almost 10 months sailing through the South Pacific region and various island countries in 2011. She was excited to work on the types of marine environmental issues that she experienced during her time sailing and which were in large part her inspiration to pursue a master's degree at MIIS.

Photos by Kelsey

Kelsey’s Story

I am spending my summer in Nairobi, Kenya at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) headquarters. I am working as a Marine Litter intern, for the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities (GPA), which is part of the Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems Branch (FMEB), within the Department of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI). [can't get away from all these long acronyms, even here ;)]


My work involves a diverse variety of projects, all related to global marine litter issues. I am working with and contributing to two reports that we are publishing. One we recently published called 'Valuing Plastics: The Business Case for Measuring, Managing and Disclosing Plastic Use in the Consumer Goods Industry,' and the other has to do with the use of microplastics in personal care and cosmetics products. I've worked on various project proposals, agreements and media workshops, as well as preparation for the launch of our Marine Litter Network website. A particularly exciting event that took place during my time here was the first United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA). UNEA is the new governing body of UNEP, is the highest level global platform for environmental policy-making, and serves to set the global environmental agenda with universal membership within its Governing Council. Marine litter, particularly problems with marine plastic debris and microplastics, featured significantly at UNEA, and it was heartening to be part of this inaugural event with such a strong focus on the issue that brought me to MIIS. My internship is three months long, and I work daily under my supervisor, who heads the Marine Litter work by the GPA. Outside of the UN, I've been maximizing every weekend exploring Kenya, whether it's climbing to the top of a volcanic mountaintop to going on safari to see the annual wildebeest migration. It's a bit ironic being here on a CBE fellowship and totally landlocked in Nairobi, but the nature of the work is exactly what brought me to MIIS, and I am continually challenged and learning more with every day.

Where are they now?

Kelsey graduated in 2015, and went to Apia, Samoa, working for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP). Kelsey's included an extension of some of the work she did at UNEP's headquarters as a Center for the Blue Economy Summer Fellow in 2014. She provided support to UNEP marine litter initiatives in the region, and assisted in the development of Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) as a Regional Node for UNEP's Global Partnership on Marine Litter (GPML). Her work also included research toward and the creation of a report on the origins and impacts of abandoned, lost, and discarded fishing gear in the region. She also had the opportunity to get out of the office and travel a bit in the region through participation in community-based demonstration pilot projects in both Samoa and other countries in the region.

Kelsey is now considering pursuing a PhD program. We are awaiting word on her next venture!

Direct Link to Kelsey's Profile Page

Placement Location: Bahia de Jiquilisco, El Salvador

EcoViva

Jordan Sanchez worked with EcoViva along with the Mangrove Association, fishing cooperatives, and Ministry of the Environment to expand EcoViva's "Pesca Limpa" program in the internationally recognized mangroves of Bahia de Jiquilisco in El Salvador. The goal of "Pesca Limpia" is to empower local fishing cooperatives in their transition away from blast fishing into more sustainable fishing methods.

Photos by Jordan

Jordan’s Story

Bahia de Jiquilisco in El Salvador is home to the largest and most extensive mangrove forests in Central America. It is a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, and designated as a wetland of international significance by the Ramsar Convention. One of the greatest threats to ecosystem health in Bahia de Jiquilisco is the use of explosives for fishing. There has been an ongoing effort since 2008, to transition fishing cooperatives away from blast fishing into more sustainable practices. Spearheading the effort are four fishing cooperatives from the Puerto Parada region, La Coordinadora de Puerto Parada, the Mangrove Association, and Eco Viva. This new program was named “Pesca Limpia” or clean fishing, and has started a movement within Bahia de Jiquilisco as a whole to raise awareness, and provide an example of other viable alternatives to blast fishing. Unfortunately, fishermen that practice “Pesca Limpia” lack a streamlined distribution system and are selling their fish sometimes at below market price to middle men that decide arbitrary prices on the spot. The main focus of my work this summer is helping to do a supply chain analysis of the local and national fish markets in El Salvador, with the end goal of increasing sales of fish caught by member cooperatives and the eventual creation of a “Pesca Limpia” brand.

My first trip out onto the mangroves was unbelievable, a dramatic landscape of a crystal clear saltwater rainforest surrounded by volcanoes. Accompanied by; Eco Viva Program Director, Nathan Weller, University of El Salvador researchers Johanna Segovia and Francisco Chicas, and La Coordinadora de Puerto Para’s director, Marvin Arias. We set out to do an evaluation of current fishing practices in the bay, including a revision of the artificial reef program and current status of the “guarda recursos” initiative to stop illegal blast fishing practices. All in hopes of forming a relationship with the University of El Salvador to provide more scientific and technical support to the efforts of the “Pesca Limpia” program. The health of Bahia de Jiquilisco’s fishery has slowly deteriorated over the years. With the economic pressure to overfish historically winning over conservation efforts. In hopes of recovering and conserving the fishery, the mangrove forests they rely on for habitat, and recovery of the endangered Hawksbill sea turtle; “Pesca Limpia” is changing the way entire communities view marine resources and their value. A selective and responsible way of fishing, artisanal hook and line methods ensure the elimination of harmful by-catch and the taking of fish before their adulthood.

Where are they now?

In spring of 2015, Jordan pursued an International Professional Service Semester (IPSS), an immersive learning experience, integrating academic work with professional experience. Students serve as junior professional staff members in an international organization while producing specific deliverables for academic credit. Jordan worked with WildCoast in Imperial Beach, CA. He created a feasibility study about the creation of a bi-national Marine Sanctuary between the United States and Mexico. In addition, Jordan will work with WildCoast staff to advocate for a bi-national watershed management plan for the Tijuana River between San Diego and Tijuana. Jordan graduated in 2015, and held a professional position as Education Coordinator with WildCoast.

He has recently been hired by the California Coastal Commission as the District Enforcement Officer of the South Coast District which includes Los Angeles County and Orange County. Congratulations Jordan!

Direct Link to Jordan's Profile Page
Tiffany Carlson
Sarah Cowen
Rainey Graeven
Cindy Jimenez
Malcolm Johnson
Gabe Kiritz
Nate Maynard
Nereyda Montano
Hanna Muegge
Erich Pacheco
Samantha Robinson
Kelsey Schueler
Justin Wright

Placement Location: Lyngby, Denmark

Maersk Drilling and Shipping

Tiffany Carlson worked in Lyngby, Denmark with Maersk Drilling, developing environmental management plans for their rigs. Tiffany plans to learn everything she can about ocean engineering and the drilling sector, and forge a career as a sustainability officer in industry.

Tiffany’s Story

See Tiffany's Blog.

Where are they now?

Tiffany graduated and is in Austin, TX, working as an International Environmental Regulatory Research Analyst for Beveridge & Diamond, P.C. focusing on Latin America and Canada. Congratulations Tiffany!

Direct Link to Tiffany's Profile Page

Placement Location: The Republic of Malta

KAI Marine Services

Sarah Cowen worked with KAI Marine Services in Malta to conduct a marine survey of turtle & cetacean populations.

Sarah’s Story

See Sarah's Blog.

Where are they now?

Sarah graduated and went to Mexico where she worked with the Peace Corps. She is currently working at Think Beyond Plastic, and organization committed to market-based approaches to eliminate single-use plastic and reduce plastic pollution in the ocean and on land. Sarah is Project Manager for the MAR Project, coordinating activities with local stakeholders including local NGO's, Mayors, and business owners (major hotels, restaurants etc for tourism) on the islands of Roatan, Utila, and Guanaja in the Honduras Bay. Congratulations Sarah!

Direct Link to Sarah's Profile Page

Placement Location: Galway, Ireland

National University of Ireland in Galway, Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit

Rainey Graeven spent the summer on the beautiful west coast of Ireland to generate a travel cost model of recreational marine fishing in Irish waters. Rainey will be working with Dr. Stephen Hynes, a Fulbright Scholar who previously worked with the Center for the Blue Economy in Monterey as a Visiting Scholar in 2012-2013, and who currently serves on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics.

Rainey’s Story

See Rainey's Blog.

Where are they now?

After graduation from MIIS, Rainey worked as an Research Fellow for the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority, where she researched brine disposal alternatives for the planned desalination plant. She then moved on to work with the NOAA Ocean Guardian School Program as an intern, reviewing previously funded and currently funded Ocean Guardian School projects and assessing the outcomes and outputs of the projects (e.g.: pounds of trash removed from local beaches, number of students involved, number of community members, number of recycling bins installed, square feet of invasive plants removed, etc.). She will be conducting a literature review of the economics of stewardship activities to determine an economic value to the Ocean Guardian School projects. The study’s findings will then be summarized in a formal report.

In August of 2015, Rainey a position as Coastal Program Analyst with the California Coastal Commission. Congratulations Rainey!

Direct Link to Rainey's Profile Page

Placement Location: Huanchaco, Peru

Save the Waves

Cindy Zuluaga Jimenez worked for Save the Waves in Huanchaco, Peru, creating a methodology for analyzing the economic value of surf spots, using sites in California, Huanchaco, and Pichilemu, Chile.

Cindy’s Story

This summer I have the incredible opportunity to work with Save the Waves Coalition. They are dedicated to saving waves throughout the world while involving communities. My project will be based in Huanchaco, Peru and Pichilemu, Chile. I will be evaluating the value of the surf breaks in these small surfing towns. I hope to be able to contribute to the conservation of these areas while enjoying many days out in the water.



The study in Peru will be based in Huanchaco, a newly approved world surfing reserve. This site boats some pretty amazing waves as well as being one of the first pioneers of surfing. The Caballitos de Totora are reputed to be the first surfing crafts, used by artisanal fishermen for hundreds of years. The project in Chile is in its earlier phase, and will be based in Pichilemu. Pichilemu is a popular surf area in Chile, visited by both local and international surfers.

I will be at each site for approximately a month, gathering data and establishing contacts. The ultimate purpose of the research project is to complete the establishment of Huanchaco as a world surfing reserve and to explore the possibility of Pichilemu as a future world surfing reserve.

See Cindy's Blog.

Where are they now?

Cindy graduated and is in Los Angeles, California working as a Freelance Consultant.

Direct Link to Cindy's Profile Page

Placement Location: Monterey, CA

Oceana

Malcolm Johnson stayed locally in Monterey, California, working with Oceana to analyze California fisheries that interact with leatherback sea turtles and draft an international agreement codifying a trans-Pacific partnership between the U.S. and Indonesia to protect leatherback turtles.

Malcolm’s Story

See Malcolm's Blog.

Where are they now?

Malcom graduated and worked as a Teacher and Naturalist in Washington, DC with Echo Hill Outdoor School. He simultaneously began writing for The Verb, and was responsible for covering the UNFCCC COP20 with a group of writers from the organization. The main focus of his work was on oceans and their presence at the international conference.

As of July 2015, Malcom is working as a Coastal Resource Management Volunteer in the Municipal Agriculture Office of the Environmental Services department, Peace Corps. He is located in the Western Visayas on Guimaras Island in the Philippines. His main tasks are drafting a integrated coastal resource management plan, effectively mapping our coastal resources, conducting IECs in the local barangays, and creating a Marine Protected Area network for the Municipality.


Direct Link to Malcoms's Profile Page

Placement Location: Amman, Jordan and Dubai, UAE

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Gabe Kiritz divided his time between Amman, Jordan and Dubai, United Arab Emirates working for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) studying the Middle East and Northern African seas.

Gabe’s Story

See Gabe's Blog.

Where are they now?

Gabe graduated and worked in Patagonia, Argentina with Centro de Estudios y Conservación del Patrimonio Natural (CECPN), affiliated withNational Audubon Society working as an Audubon Consultant.

As of January 2016, he is a Public Lands Business Organizer and Wyss Fellow at Conservation Colorado where he created and is managing the Colorado Outdoor Business Alliance. He is working toward building durable coalitions of advocates for public lands protection within Colorado's outdoor recreation and technology industries. In addition, he is developing industry leadership on public lands and waters issue advocacy. Go Gabe!

Direct Link to Gabe's Profile Page

Placement Location: Hong Kong, China

Ocean Recovery Alliance

Nate Maynard worked with the Ocean Recovery Alliance in Hong Kong to compare trash reduction methods in waterways and analyze their economic benefit. He also helped launch Global Alert – an online platform to monitor trash in watersheds and coastal communities around the world.

Photos by Nate

Where are they now?

Nate Maynard graduated in 2014 and worked for a time as a Fulbright Research Fellow at the National Museum of Marine Biology and Aquarium, Taiwan , and completed a study valuing Taiwan's first national marine park at $129 million. The study found that the reefs could be better protected by favoring sustainable tourism over fishing. Several news outlets covered this story including the Taipei Times, the China Times, and Apple Daily. "Reflecting back on all the opportunities from MIIS and the CBE," says Nate, "the CBE opened a lot of doors for me that I didn’t even realize existed before." His internship with the Ocean Recovery Aliance (ORA) enabled him to go to Columbia and work with the World Bank, and led to a side consulting job with ORA.

Most recently, Nate worked as a Consultant at the Center for the Green Economy, Chuna-Hua Institution for Economic Research, in Taipei, Taiwan. "At the Center for the Green Economy I am continuing my Fulbright research on coral reef economics as well as helping to promote and research Taiwan's green product market," says Nate in a recent email. We are very proud of the leadership Nate is provided for a sustainable Taiwan!

Currently, Nate intends to pursue a PhD at National Chengchi University (NCCU) in Taiwan.

Direct Link to Nate's Profile Page

Placement Location: Watsonville, CA

Driscoll's

Nereyda Montano worked with Driscoll's and the community to address the issue of aquifer overdraft in the Pajaro Valley.

Nereyda’s Story

See Nereyda's Blog.

Where are they now?

Nereyda graduated and worked in Santa Barbara, CA with Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center working as a Training Coordinator.

As of May, 2016 Nereyda is working as a Planner for County of Santa Barbara, working on the analysis of specific development proposals with consideration for land use issues including coastal resources, agriculture, sensitive habitats, historic resources, and energy efficiency. Her tasks include project analysis, report writing, fieldwork, and public presentations. Congratulations Nereyda!

Direct Link to Nereyda's Profile Page

Placement Location: Koror, Palau

One Reef

Hanna Muegge was in Koror, Palau working with One Reef to mitigate sediment flow that smothers reef-building corals in the Pohnpei lagoon area.

Photos by Hanna

Hanna’s Story

See Hanna's Blog.

Where are they now?

Hanna graduated and worked in Monterey, CA holding down three positions, one of which is with the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) as a GIS / Planning Intern. She is also working as Social Media Manager for Bay Bikes, and an Event Assistant for Corporate Kids. Go Hanna!

Direct Link to Hanna's Profile Page

Placement Location: Papua, New Guinea

Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program

Erich was a Summer Fellow at the Center for the Blue Economy in 2013, working with the Tree Kangaroo Conservation Program in Papua New Guinea to value the coastal resources in the Yopno, Uruwa and Som Conservation Area of the Huon Peninsula.

Erich’s Story

See Erich's Blog.

Where are they now?

Erich Pacheco graduated and is Senior Manager for the Ocean Health Index (OHI) at Conservation International in Washington, DC. The OHI is the first assessment tool that scientifically compares and combines key elements from all dimensions of the ocean’s health – biological, physical, economic and social. Through ten human goals, the Index provides leaders with the portfolio of information they need to promote a more sustainable human-ocean ecosystem.



The Index sets a standard of measurement to continually inform decision-making to positively impact ocean health and human well-being. Through strategic input, Erich facilitates the development and implementation of the Index in various countries, supporting effective ocean management throughout the world, from China to Colombia, from New Caledonia to Brazil. We are so proud of Erich!



Direct Link to Erich's Profile Page

Placement Location: Santa Cruz, CA

FishWise

Samantha Robinson worked with FishWise to prepare white papers and briefing documents on social issues in seafood and fishing and relevant proposed legislation.

Where are they now?

We are awaiting news of Samantha's current ventures.

Direct Link to Samantha's Profile Page

Placement Location: Silver Spring, Maryland

NOAA Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary

Kelsey Schueler was in Silver Spring, Maryland with the NOAA National Marine Sanctuary program, preparing a valuation survey to determine the economic value of tourism at the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary.

Kelsey’s Story

See Kelsey's Blog.

Where are they now?

Kelsey wrapped up her last semester while also serving as an intern at Ocean Champions, where she prepared technical briefs on ocean policy topics (e.g. sustainable seafood and climate change) to support National Ocean Policy advocacy, advisory board development and successful fundraising efforts.

Kelsey graduated and is working as a Marine and Coastal Resource Consultant at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC. Her duties include project management and operational support through all stages of the project cycle (appraisal, approval and execution). She has jointly developed, monitored, evaluated annual BIO work plans and US$2.6 million budget for 2015. She has built support for sustainable coastal and marine planning as a competitive feature of the Bank’s portfolio in the Caribbean, including collaboration with the Bank’s Disaster Prevention Funds and Country Offices. Some of the projects she has served as core team member on include: The Business Case for Sustainable Fisheries Management in the Eastern Tropical Pacific; BIO Capacity Building and Innovation in Disaster and Climate-Resilient Coastal Zone Management; Belize – Mainstreaming Natural Capital and Climate Resilience in Tourism, Sustainable Tourism Program II; The Bahamas – Ecosystem-based Development Planning for Andros Island, Climate Risk Resilient Coastal Zone Management Program; Trinidad and Tobago – Risk-Resilient Coastal Zone Management Program Program. We are so proud of Kelsey!

Direct Link to Kelsey's Profile Page

Placement Location: Bali, Indonesia

Save the Waves

Justin Wright worked with Save the Waves, and designed a willingness-to-pay study for a surf reserve on the Bukit Peninsula in Bali, Indonesia and assist community members in a World Surfing Reserve application.

Justin’s Story

See Justin's Blog.

Where are they now?

Justin graduated and now works as World Surfing Reserve Fellow for Save the Waves.


Direct Link to Justin's Profile Page
Whitney Anderson
Sam Fielding
Adam Fullerton
Laura Henson
Anna Lui
Anja Mondragon
Nancy Olsen
Margaret Sands
James Tsou-Wong
Tami Weiss
Cynthia Yeh

Placement Location: The Republic of Palau

OneReef

Whitney Anderson worked in the Republic of Palau, conducting economic assessments for OneReef. She created conservation incentive agreements in neighboring islands. She also assisted communities with protection, conservation, and monitoring of local coral reefs.

Whitney’s Story

See Whitney's Blog.

Where are they now?

Whitney wrapped up her last semester while also serving as an intern at Ocean Champions, where she prepared technical briefs on ocean policy topics (e.g. sustainable seafood and climate change) to support National Ocean Policy advocacy, advisory board development and successful fundraising efforts.

Whitney graduated and worked for a time at Sea Sanctuaries in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, as a Community Development Manager.

Whitney went on to take a position with Conservation International as the Senior Program Coordinator for their Coral Triangle Initiative Program, working out of Hawaii. Congratulations Whitney!

Direct Link to Whitney's Profile Page

Placement Location: Washington, D.C.

World Resources Institute

Sam Fielding worked in Washington, D.C., on the Coastal Capital Initiative of the World Resources Institute, using previous valuations of coral reefs to develop a standardized framework for economic valuation of coastal resources.

Sam’s Story

See Sam's Blog.

Where are they now?

Sam graduated and served as a Fulbright Scholar in the Fulbright China Program. We are awaiting news of Sam's most recent venture.

Direct Link to Sam's Profile Page

Placement Location: Robertsport, Liberia and Washington, DC

Conservation International

Adam has the distinction of serving two stints as a Center for the Blue Economy Summer Fellow. In 2012, Adam Fullerton researched fishing methods, catch species, and size in an artisanal fishery in Robertsport, Liberia. He worked with the local collaborative fishery management association to help design and implement local management for the ocean and lake fisheries in Grand Cape Mount County, Liberia. In 2011, he worked with Conservation International in Washington, DC.

Where are they now?

Adam graduated and worked as a Program Analyst at Earth Resources Technology for NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service. His duties included: strategic planning and reporting; development of the NOAA Fisheries Priorities and Annual Guidance Document; service as a key member of the National Ocean Policy Subgroup on Ecosystem Based Management, with focus federal implementation of Ecosystem Based Management of natural resources; Development of communications strategies and materials for Ecosystem Based Management activities within NOAA including a building NOAA Ecosystem Based Management website.

As of June 2016, Adam is working for the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission as a Coastal Planner. Go Adam!

Direct Link to Adam's Profile Page

Placement Location: Madrid, Spain

United Nations Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Laura Henson worked in Madrid, Spain worked with UNESCO to build human and institutional capacity in Mozambique for access to genetic resources and Benefit Sharing negotiations.

Laura’s Story

See Laura's Blog.

Where are they now?

Laura graduated and worked as a Staff Writer for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars , in the Environmental Change and Security Program. She next went to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of International Affairs, serving as a Knauss Marine Policy Fellow.

Laura (now Laura Strickler) is working as an Arctic Program Officer at Garnet Strategies, LLC (Clean Air Task Force and Arctic 21) in the Washington D.C. area.

Direct Link to Laura's Profile Page

Placement Location: Washington, D.C. and Tobacco Caye, Belize

Tobacco Caye Marine Station

Anna Lui spent the early summer working in Washington D.C. on international development programs with the Development Project Management Institute, then traveled to Tobacco Caye, Belize, to work with two fellow CBE students at the Tobacco Caye Marine Station on coral reef conservation and community development.

Anna’s Story

See Anna's Blog.

Where are they now?

Anna graduated and worked as an Environmental Justice Fellow at the Asian Pacific Environmental Network. She went on to work with Carbon Lighthouse as a Consultant. Carbon Lighthouse is a company that places temporary sensors on a company asset, be that a building or parking garage, to track variables creating a detailed understanding of how the asset operates. They determine how to deliver energy savings, quantify them, and propose a project that meets a pre-specified financial return. Their goal is to stop climate change, and make it profitable for their clients to lower their carbon footprint.

As of March 2015, Anna joined Building Robotics, Inc. in Oakland, CA. She started as a Business Development Associate, and was promoted to Integrated Marketing Manager. Building Robotics, Inc. has a mission to make modern, commercial buildings more comfortable for people, and more energy efficient.

Direct Link to Anna's Profile Page

Placement Location: Tobacco Caye, Belize

Tobacco Caye Marine Station

Anja Mondragon worked with the Tobacco Caye Marine Station in Belize, working on coral reef conservation and community development.

Anja’s Story

See Anja's Blog.

Where are they now?

Anja graduated with a dual degree MBA-MAIEP, and worked for a time as an English Language Teacher for Unidad Educativa Liceo de las Americas in Santo Domingo, Ecuador. She is currently serving as a Program Manager for the Llikchary Institute in Ecuador. The name Llikchary comes from the Kichwa language and means to wake up, get up, open your eyes and look around to appreciate what you have. The mission of this organization is protection of the rain-forest and cultures of the rain-forest in Ecuador. Anja manages (and helped create) the Llikchary business plan, manages fundraising campaigns and event implementation, manages supervision of building construction and budget management, and also manages engagement and recruitment of volunteers and staff on conservation projects. We are so proud of Anja!


Direct Link to Anja's Profile Page

Placement Location: San José, Costa Rica

Nancy analyzed the seafood export market, with a focus on the seafood supply chain that extends to the U.S. She characterized the market and relevant regulations to recommend ways to improve compliance with U.S. and Costa Rican laws. Nancy compiled a survey of seafood traceability and sustainability in the United States and generating a plan for a sustainable seafood traceability system in Costa Rica.

Where are they now?

Nancy Olsen, alumna of the Institute and highly regarded member of the Center for the Blue Economy (CBE) team, passed away in January 2015 after a long battle with cancer. Nancy graduated in May of 2013 with a MA degree in International Environmental Policy (IEP). Later that year she joined the Institute’s Center for the Blue Economy as Managing Editor of its new journal, the Journal of Ocean and Coastal Economics (JOCE). She will be missed by all of us.


Direct Link to Nancy's Profile Page

Placement Location: Tobacco Caye, Belize

Tobacco Caye Marine Station

Margaret Sands was in Belize, conducting interviews with fishermen and other stakeholders in the South Water Caye Marine Reserve, in order to identify sources of conflict that could impact the effectiveness of a Marine Protected Area. Margaret joined two fellow CBE students at the Tobacco Caye Marine Station working on coral reef conservation and community development.

Margaret’s Story

See Margaret's Blog.

Where are they now?

Margaret graduated and was a Project Manager at The South Carolina Environmental Law Project (SCELP) and SC Thrive.

As of December 2015, she is now the Membership and Community Outreach Coordinator at the Triangle Land Conservancy , where she is responsible for planning and partnership building to get people out on to our preserves, build membership, and connect people with nature. Go Margaret!


Direct Link to Margaret's Profile Page

Placement Location: Beijing, China

Jane Goodall Institute Roots & Shoots

James Tsou-Wong worked in China with the Jane Goodall Institute Roots & Shoots wetland education program, designing the curriculum and teaching manual as well as leading classes in wetland education. James and others developed a grant proposal for an environmental education center.

James’s Story

See James's Blog.

Where are they now?

James graduated and spent some time working in Rome, Italy with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) . There he conducted FAO’s first collation and annotation of research on inland aquatic protected areas, summarized the findings into a theory of change flow chart to determine current perceptions of inland and marine protected areas, and developed recommendations for the direction of protected areas to be incorporated into FAO biannual state of the worlds fisheries report and the 2014 World’s Park Congress, and the Global Conference on Inland fisheries organized by the FAO. He next went on to serve as Program Assistant for Pennsylvania Certified Organics in Spring Mills, Pennsylvania. There he worked on inspection reports, data systems, and helped to create an online database.

In March 2015, James is worked as a Fisheries Consultant with Nordenfjeldske Development Services (NFDS) in Gaborone, Botswana. NFDS is a consultancy with Norwegian roots and long standing presence in Africa. They specialize in work relating to natural resources, the environment and development, primarily in Africa but also in other parts of the world. James is worked to conduct an in-depth review of Taiwan and China’s long distance fishing fleet through interviews with industry experts, general research, and site visits, for the creation of an overall strategic plan by East African nations to manage the increasing impact of the Taiwanese and Chinese long distance fishing fleet in the Western Indian Ocean. As of June 2016, James has taken a position with FishWise, a Santa Cruz, CA based organization that focuses on a sustainable seafood and promoting the health and recovery of ocean ecosystems through environmentally responsible practices. James will serve as their Human Rights Project manager. We are so proud of you James!

Direct Link to Jame's Profile Page

Placement Location: Santa Cruz, CA

FishWise

Tami Weiss worked with FishWise in Santa Cruz, California to document seafood traceability. FishWise promotes the health and recovery of ocean ecosystems by providing innovative market-based tools to the seafood industry to support sustainability through environmentally responsible business practices.

Tami’s Story

See Tami's Blog.

Where are they now?

Tami graduated and spent some time working as a Contractor working for FishWise, where she researched and created an Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUU) Toolkit for industry use in combating illegal fishing globally.

In June of 2014, Tami began work as an Organic Handler Certification Specialist for the organization California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) . There she reviewed client files for compliance to USDA National Organic Program and international standards, and she trained in organic inspection and review methods by the International Organic Inspectors Association (IOIA). Tami has since changed positions in the organization, and is now the Foundation Events Coordinator, where she plans and manages annual conferences, food safety workshops, and assists with development.


Direct Link to Tami's Profile Page

Placement Location: San Francisco, CA

Environmental Defense Fund

Cynthia Yeh worked with the Research and Development department of the Environmental Defense Fund in San Francisco, California, helping to develop a global strategy for small scale fisheries, and evaluating management strategies for shrimp fishing in the Gulf of California.

Where are they now?

Cynthia graduated and worked as Marketing Manager and Sustainability Coordinator for the Royal Hawaiian Seafood company. Presently, she is working as a Program Manager for TriCal Rentals in the SF Bay Area. Go Cynthia!


Direct Link to Cynthia's Profile Page
Colleen Beye
Lisa Johnston
Alyssum Pohl
Frank Reynolds
Amanda Sackett
Silvia Sanchez

Placement Location: San Francisco, CA

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF)

Colleen Beye worked with the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) in San Francisco, and advised EDF’s offices in Latin America about utilizing existing fishing cooperatives to promote sustainable fishing. Colleen also traveled to Baja California for a few weeks to work with a local sea turtle conservation group and field test a cooperative scorecard.

Colleen’s Story

See Colleen's Blog.

Where are they now?

Colleen graduated and is working for the County of Monterey as a Board Aide to Supervisor Jane Parker.

Direct Link to Colleen's Profile Page

Placement Location: Washington, DC

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Lisa Johnston worked with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) over the summer in Washington, D.C. She helped to develop the IUCN’s Blue Carbon Initiative, researching how mangrove forests can fit into the international REDD+ policy framework.

Lisa’s Story

Lisa's Story--10 Questions for a CBE Summer Fellow:

1) Your Center for the Blue Economy Fellowship was with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). What was that like?

Working at IUCN in Washington, D.C., really opened my eyes to the policy side of environmental work. This was my first experience working with a multilateral organization, rather than an NGO. IUCN carries out its work in cooperation with a vast network of partners and member organizations, including governments, NGOs, UN agencies, and research organizations. So while the office I worked at was pretty small, with only around 15 staff, we were often communicating with many other organizations. The atmosphere in my office was very fast-paced and every day brought new challenges.

2) What work did you do for the IUCN?

I worked with the Blue Carbon Initiative, part of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Program. Part of my work involved assisting my boss to coordinate the first workshop of the Blue Carbon Policy Working Group. This working group included top experts in the Blue Carbon field from around the world. I put together a 20-page background document outlining the current state of all policies, international conventions, and programs related to blue carbon to make sure everyone was up to speed and on the same page before the workshop began.

The other main project I worked on was researching and drafting a paper that investigated how mangroves can fit into international climate change policy, in particular a program called Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+). The research I produced will contribute to a future IUCN publication.

3) What is Blue Carbon Policy?

Blue Carbon refers to coastal ecosystems that store and sequester huge amounts of carbon primarily in their soil, such as mangroves, sea grass, and salt marshes. When destroyed or degraded, the carbon stored in the soil of these ecosystems is released into the atmosphere slowly for decades. These ecosystems are declining at a rate faster than tropical forests and coral reefs, and make up a significant portion of global carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. Blue Carbon Policy refers to international efforts to incentivize protection of these ecosystems through various payment mechanisms.

4) Why is Blue Carbon Policy important?

Without policies that can provide economic incentives for countries to protect and restore Blue Carbon, these ecosystems are likely to continue declining at a rapid rate. In addition to concerns over carbon emissions, many developing countries depend on mangroves to support their fisheries and protect their coastal cities from storms and tsunamis.

5) How was the experience of putting together a Blue Carbon Policy workshop?

This was a fascinating experience for me. I learned a lot through the process of putting together a background document, assisting with note-taking, and observing how my boss facilitated the workshop. It was great to see the final product of the action plan and timeline, which showed how productive and successful the workshop had been.

6) Who was at the Blue Carbon Policy workshop?

Workshop participants included experts in climate change, ocean and land use policy from a wide range of NGO’s, think tanks, the US State Department, UN agencies, the World Bank, and many wetland and coastal ecosystem scientists. This was really a top-notch group of people, so I felt pretty honored to be there.

7) Did you have a lot of opportunities to network with industry leaders?

Absolutely. The Blue Carbon Policy workshop was a great networking experience because I had lots of time for informal conversations with people. Aside from that, nearly every week I was able to go to a lecture or brownbag hosted by institutions throughout Washington, D.C., where I would meet other people in the field.

8) How did this fellowship help you towards reaching your career goal of working on climate change policy and sustainable development in Indonesia?

This internship has strengthened my resume considerably by giving me experience with a reputable, well-known international organization that is involved in high-level policy work. Also I had the opportunity to network with people from many international organizations that may be valuable connections for finding work in Indonesia in the near future.

9) Why are you so interested in working in Indonesia?

I worked there for 4 years before coming to the Middlebury Institute of International Studies (MIIS), working with several local grassroots organizations. I became interested in environmental issues affecting this country and the Southeast Asia region while living there, and it’s been the focus of most of my work at MIIS so far.

I’m most interested in projects related to coastal ecosystem and land use issues, specifically projects that promote sustainable use of peat forests and mangroves.

10) What advice do you have to students looking at a fellowship with the Center for the Blue Economy?

It’s really an amazing opportunity that you should not pass up. The organizations offering CBE Fellowships are some of the best in this field. These are not easy internships to get outside of the CBE!

Where are they now?

Lisa graduated and is working at the World Resources Institute as a Research Analyst.

Direct Link to Lisa's Profile Page

Placement Location: Washington, DC

World Wildlife Fund

Alyssum Pohl worked in Washington, D.C., with the World Wildlife fund. She helped improve the sustainability of global aquaculture by participating in the creation and streamlining of sustainable international certification standards.

Alyssum’s Story

See Alyssum's Blog.

Where are they now?

Alyssum graduated and is working at Tridec Technologies, LLC as a NOAA Digital Coast Fellow. In November of 2015, she completed an incredible 2400 mile kayak journey up the Mississippi River to draw attention to water quality issues. Check out the links below about her journey.


Direct Link to Alyssum's Profile Page

Placement Location: Austin, TX

Environmental Defense Fund's Ocean Division

Frank Reynolds worked with the Environmental Defense Fund's Ocean Division in Austin, Texas working on a tri-national agreement for shark conservation.

Frank’s Story

This summer, I had the opportunity to work for the Environmental Defense Fund’s Ocean’s Division. This group is working on some of the most progressive issues in the ocean realm including catch shares, Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), sustainable seafood, and biodiversity conservation. I was a long way from home and not close to any oceans, but the energy and passion this department has for protecting our oceans are second to none. All of the EDF staff welcomed me with open arms and showed the true meaning of “Southern hospitality.”


Under the guidance of Pam Baker, the Director of Strategic Conservation Initiatives within the Gulf of Mexico and the Southeastern United States, I had the opportunity to work on a unique project that is incorporating partnerships with Mexico and Cuba to promote shark conservation in the Gulf of Mexico. This tri-national agreement is a direct response to the increasing depletion of the Gulf’s pelagic shark species over the past decades. The agreement encourages strategic involvement and transparency between the countries to promote healthy shark management practices.


My work focused on understanding where and why the shark populations are disappearing in the Gulf. I developed a regional fact sheet on the pelagic longline fleets of all three countries, and researched the different characteristics of the fleets, including their annual catch and discard rates. This research will help the lead scientists (such as Dr. Baker) to better understand the severity of the problem, and in turn create the management practices that will help these shark species recover. This information proved vital as we uncovered and pieced together missing data that shed light on the main drivers of the shark population declines.


Having previously worked with sharks in the field as a natural scientist, this fellowship provided me with the opportunity to experience the policy side of conservation. I could not have asked for a better department or boss, and I am sure this experience will always stand out as one of the most influential for the duration of my professional career.

Where are they now?

Frank graduated and worked for nearly four years at Friends of the Sea Otter as Director of Programs and Development. As of April 2016, Frank is with the California State University, Monterey Bay as Director of Development for the College of Science. Congratulations Frank!


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Placement Location: Quito, Ecuador

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Amanda Sackett worked at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Quito, Ecuador, and attended the Convention on Biological Diversity conference.

Amanda’s Story

"I spent the summer working in Quito, Ecuador on documenting the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) on the South American continent. In the middle of the summer I had an amazing opportunity to attend a regional conference for the Convention on Biological Diversity. The conference was attended by representatives from every government from every country of South America. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) was invited to the conference as an “inter-governmental” organization and I was chosen to participate. This experience would not have been possible for me without the Center for Blue Economy."

Taking a Break From Research
"Thankful for a break from tirelessly collecting information on MPAs and reading hundreds of management plans, I participated in workshops where country representatives shared information on on the strengths and weakness of their biodiversity conservation efforts. The purpose of the meetings was to officially report on progress and collaborate on new ideas as to how to complete their commitments to the 2020 targets, such as designating 10 percent of their territorial waters as protected areas.

The conference was divided into themes. In the morning the topic was communication and Ana Puyol of TRAFFIC gave a great presentation on how to effectively relay the message of biodiversity loss to the public. She showed a short video entitled “Love not Loss,” which I highly recommend. She spoke about creating networks of communication and the importance of strategically conveying messages.
After the presentation, we were given group work and I was paired with a Bolivian woman representing the indigenous communities of her country and an official from Ecuador’s Ministry of the Environment. Everyone had insightful comments about how environmental communication could be improved.

Later, the topic changed to finances and Chile’s representatives gave a presentation on how their government has been funding its efforts to fulfill their commitments to the Convention on Biological Diversity. Once again, we were assigned group work and tasked with brainstorming ideas on how to diversify and increase the amount of funding for each country's National Strategy Plans. I had a discussion with the representatives from Suriname and Guyana and we came up with some novel approaches. One useful resource that was cited often during the finance talks was “The Little Biodiversity Finance Book.”

Proving My Spanish Skills
"Throughout the day, I was able to rely solely on my language skills and did not have to use the translation headphones. The classes at the Institute helped me improve my Spanish and bring me to a professional level. At the end of the summer, I left Ecuador feeling motivated that things were heading in the right direction for both my Spanish skills and towards meeting the Convention on Biological Diversity's goals."

Where are they now?

Amanda graduated and worked for the California Coastal Commission as a Coastal Program Analyst. As of April 2015, she is working for the Surfrider Foundation as the Chapter Manager for the San Diego, California chapter. Congratulations Amanda!

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Placement Location: San Francisco, CA

WildAid

Silvia Sanchez spent the summer working at WildAid in San Francisco, focused on researching and writing a publication on enforcement of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and planning a conference in February 2012, where the publication will be presented.

Silvia’s Story

Working with WildAid in San Francisco, Silvia focused on researching and writing a publication on enforcement of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and planning a conference in February 2012conference in February 2012, where the publication will be presented. Play the podcast below to learn more about Silvia's summer highlights, which included representing WildAid at a high-level MPA conference in Washington D.C.

Where are they now?

Silvia graduated and worked as a Marine Program Officer for WildAid, where she managed creation, submission, and translation of Standard Operating Procedures for Galapagos National Park (GNP) to be used by entire park service in current and future trainings. She also wrote a marine enforcement index tool for future enforcement assessments and a research paper using over 30 case studies from worldwide marine protected areas (MPA). She worked as a freelance marketer, then went on to serve as Corporate and Foundation Relations Officer for the Lindsay Wildlife Museum. As of January 2016, Silvia is once again a Marine Program Officer with WildAid, overseeing on-site implementation of MPA management assessments and enforcement trainings.

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