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Former Nancy Foster Scholars


Abigail J. Fusaro

Abigail J. Knee

Abigail J. Fusaro
Fremont, New Hampshire

Mrs. Fusaro completed her doctorate in Biological Oceanography from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/ Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program. Her research focused on host-symbiont specificity, co-evolution, and population connectivity between the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the Central Indian Ridge. Using her research, Mrs. Fusaro wants to forge international relations with the mid-ocean ridge scientific community at integrated study sites and use her training in ecology and evolutionary biology to direct research endeavors across marine disciplines.

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Aimee Lang

Amiee Lang
Aimee Lang

Ms. Lang is currently pursuing her doctorate in Marine Biology at the University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California. Ms lang has had an interest in nature conservation since childhood. She would like to become a scientist specializing in marine conservation and to work for NOAA or similar government agency responsible for the management of marine species. Her doctoral research focuses on genetic markers to examine differentiation between eastern and western gray whale populations. She will also focus on the use of molecular markers to examine the role that structure within populations, as influenced by dispersal, mating systems, and relatedness, may play in the population's persistence. The results from her research will be most directly applicable to the conservation of the western gray whale pollution and will also illustrate the importance of considering such structure in the design of management strategies.

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Alyssa Novak

Alyssa Novak

Alyssa Novak

Ms. Novak is pursuing her doctorate in Natural Resources and Earth Systems Science – Oceanography at the University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire.  Ms. Novak plans to study the effect of ultraviolet radiation (UVR) on seagrasses.  She first became interested in this topic after a visit to Summerland Key, Florida where she found patches of purple-colored Thalassia testudium and Halodule wrightii in both shallow non-turbid waters and intertidal zones.  Ms. Novak believes her research with UVR and seagrass will contribute not only to SeagrassNet, but also to the body of science studying global climate change. Ms. Novak has been involved in scientific research in both undergraduate and graduate school.  She believes that her research will provide her the foundation needed in the future to obtain a research scientist position in academia or a government agency.

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Amy Noel Van Buren

Amy Noel Van Buren

Amy Noel Van Buren
Seattle, Washington

Ms. Van Buren is currently pursuing her doctorate in marine biology from the University of Washington. Ms. Van Buren has conducted research of Megellanic penguins in Argentina and the Falkland Islands. It is this research that has influenced her academic and professional objectives. Ms. Van Buren is interested in reducing the conflicts between human activities and marine ecosystem integrity. Upon graduation, she would like to expand her research to encompass other seabird species and marine systems. Ms. Van Buren will continue pursuing her Ph.D.

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Autumn Oczkowski

Autumn Oczkowski

Autumn Oczkowski

Ms. Oczkowski is currently pursuing her doctorate in Biological Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, Narragansett, Rhode Island. Ms. Oczkowski is passionate about the research project which she is pursuing. She will focus on examing how the damming of the Nile River and subsequent population boom in the area may be dramatically affecting the nutrient chemistry of the coastal region and possibly controlling the productivity of the offshore fishery. Ms. Oczkowski believes the Nile River story is an important and unexplored key to understanding many of the linkages between large-scale human modifications of hydrologic and terrestrial systems and the coastal environment. Her future goals are to conduct research and teach in the field of coastal ecology at the college/university level.

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Danielle Staaf

Danielle Staaf

Danielle Shulman Staaf
Pacific Grove, CA

Ms. Staaf is pursuing a doctorate in biology at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station in Pacific Grove, California. Her dissertation is focused on the recent range expansion of the Humboldt squid, Dosidicus gigas, from its historical home off South America and Mexico into the waters of the California Current. She is interested in relating reproductive and developmental biology to ecologically relevant factors in the geographical distribution of organisms. In addition to conducting her research, she loves infecting others with her excitement about biology through traditional teaching environments as well as through the development of creative outreach approaches. Ms. Staaf believes that children and adults learn best when they are engaged and entertained. She plans to apply her skills and interests in writing, art, and design to the presentation of science in novel ways, with the ultimate goals of promoting conservation through increased awareness and training new generations of curious minds.

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Deborah L. Howard
Deborah L. Howard

Deborah L. Howard
Baltimore, Maryland

Deborah L. Howard is currently pursuing her doctorate in Marine Biology at the University of Maryland. She also holds a bachelor’s and master’s in marine science. Howard decided to pursue her doctorate in marine science because of her passion for working with the marine environment and to impress upon her children the importance of setting goals. Upon graduation, Howard is interested in pursuing the concept of lateral gene transfer within marine microbiological communities, with an emphasis on toxic species. Ms. Howard will continue to pursue the completion of her Ph.D.

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Diego F. Figueroa

Diego F. Figueroa

Diego F. Figueroa

Mr. Figueroa is currently pursuing his doctorate in Biological Oceanography at Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon. Mr. Figueroa has been working on his thesis project in the Galapagos and, despite having to overcome many hurdles, completed his field work in August 2005. His research started with a simple idea of wanting to look at the community composition and distribution of zooplankton around the Archipelago. The data acquired in his research will provide insight into oceanographic processes governing Galapagos and will be essential for assessing biological changes due to climatic variations or management policies in the Archipelago. Upon finishing his doctorate, Mr. Figueroa would like to become a researcher and teacher at the university level.

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Eric E. Cordes

Eric Cordes

Erik E. Cordes
Pine Grove Mills, Pennsylvania

Erik E. Cordes received his doctorate in Marine Biology in January 2005 from Penn State University. Cordes is interested in researching ways to conserve and protect deep sea corals. His research goals include expanding current ecological theory on foundation species to include their significant role in providing habitat which affects community structure in the deep-sea.

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Erinn Muller

Erinn Muller

Erinn Muller
Sebastian, FL

Ms. Muller is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in marine biology at Florida Institute of Technology.   Her research focuses on understanding the link between coral-bleaching events and disease outbreaks.  Anomalously high-water temperatures can increase coral-disease prevalence by either influencing pathogen concentrations or virulence, or by increasing host susceptibility through bleaching.  Ms. Muller’s previous research showed that bleached colonies of the threatened species, Acropora palmata, lost more tissue from disease than unbleached colonies. The resulting publication introduced the novel ‘compromised-host hypothesis’, which states that corals stressed from bleaching are more susceptible to disease than corals that do not bleach. Under the threat of future global climate change and rising ocean temperatures, coral-bleaching events are predicted to increase in frequency and severity making corals more susceptible to infectious diseases.  Ms. Muller’s research examines the connection between environmental stress, host-susceptibility, and disease by analyzing the spatial and temporal dynamics of coral diseases using a Bayesian modeling approach.  Environmental stressors are also being applied to corals within a laboratory setting to test the compromised-host hypothesis.  Ultimately, her research will provide policy makers and managers the tools to prevent the future loss of coral from disease outbreaks.

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Gregory Zychowski

Gregory Zychowski

Gregory Zychowski
Lubbock, TX

Gregory Zychowski is pursuing a Master's degree in Environmental Toxicology at The Institute of Environmental and Human Health (TIEHH), Texas Tech University. His research focuses on loggerhead sea turtle fibroblast cell line characterization and toxicity testing with benzo[a]pyrene, a pervasive polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon toxicant. Loggerhead sea turtles are currently of threatened status, and the threat of chemical pollution could be better understood through this research. The in vitro approach used in the study is minimally invasive, addresses environmentally relevant concerns, and acknowledges the innate value of a fascinating species. It will also provide future research with a solid reference for the development and maintenance of a cell line on which little information is currently available. As he continues his research, Greg will be seeking and considering career opportunities that specifically embrace an ethic of environmental stewardship.

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Jennifer C. McCabe

Jennifer C. McCabe

Jennifer C. McCabe

Ms. McCabe is currently pursuing her doctorate in Marine Biology/Marine Convervation at the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. She is specifically interested in studying coral reef conservation. Her interest in corals comes naturally through family associations and activities in which she participated over her young life. Ms. McCabe's research will center around the coral-zooxanthellae symbiosis with emphasis on the physiological mechanisms for photoprotection in certain clades of zooxanthellae. The hypothesis is that the corals that harbor zooxanthellae with photoprotective capabilities may be more resistant to bleaching. Her ultimate goal is to be a program director of a conservation organization or government agency that focuses on coral reef conservation and education. She believes that there is a great need for society to understand the value of nature and its importance to their lives.

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Jennifer E. Magussen

Jennifer E. Mangussen

Jennifer E. Magnussen
Weston, Florida

Jennifer E. Magnussen is currently pursuing her doctorate in Marine Biology from Nova Southeastern University. Magnussen has always had a strong interest in marine biology, particularly the deteriorating state of our ocean’s biological resources. It is this concern that has compelled Magnussen to dedicate her efforts toward objectives to overcoming obstacles that reduce the effectiveness of fisheries management. Magnussen is interested in publishing research on the development and use of genetic markers and novel methods for forensic identification of shark species, and apply these tools to survey the extent of the Asian shark fin-trade for better conservation and management planning. After graduation, Ms. Magnussen plans to continue research with the Guy Harvey Research Institute at Southeastern university.

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Jennifer Miselis

Jennifer Miselis

Jennifer Miselis

Ms. Miselis completed her doctorate in Oceanography at the College of William and Mary, Gloucester Point, Virginia. Ms. Miselis is intertested in better understanding coastal geologic processes and the role societies play in altering the coastal environment. Coastal populations are controlled by the dynamic forces that shape the shoreline, but also modify their surroundings. Her research addresses both aspects of this interaction through the investigation of the influence of framework geology on shoreline behavior and coastal hydrology. Her research has both scientific and societal implications, and embodies many of NOAA's interdisciplinary research priorities, and will support a career in governmental research or academia. Ms. Miserlis hopes to promote international scientific and policy exchange upon graduation. She is also interested in mentoring women who are interested in pursuing a career in the geosciences.

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Jennifer Wagner Whiteis

Jennifer Wagner Whiteis

Jennifer Wagner Whiteis
Trumansburg, New York

Jennifer Whiteis received a M.S. degree in Oceanography from Cornell University. She started her academic career at the University of North Carolina in Wilmington where she studied Earth Sciences and she then transferred to Cornell University where she graduated with a B.S. degree in Geology. As an undergraduate, she was awarded a NASA Space Grant Fellowship to carry out a project using remote sensing techniques to study physical ocean parameters that impact coral disease in the Caribbean Sea. This experience motivated Whiteis to continue studies with a more detailed, in-depth research project using a combination of multiple satellite sensors and in situ data to examine the impact of global climate change on Caribbean corals. Her graduate thesis focused on Caribbean Coral Reef Studies. After graduation, Ms. Whiteis will pursue a Ph.D. in Paleo Climate.

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Jessica M. Dutton

Jessica M. Dutton
Jessica M. Dutton
Goleta, California

Ms. Dutton completed her doctorate in Marine Biology from the University of California. Ms. Dutton is eager to continue her research on the changing environmental conditions in the physiology and ecology of marine organisms. She is especially interested in how environmental disturbances can open the door to biological invasions by physiologically advantaging or disadvantaging native and non-native organisms. Ms. Dutton is dedicated to pursuing a scientific career studying the resistance and resilience of organisms to environmental perturbations.

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Jessica Lopez

Jessica Lopez

Jessica Lopez
Honolulu, HI

Jessica grew up in Santa Fe, NM, where she developed a fascination with the big, faraway, foreign thing called the ocean. She obtained a B.S. in Marine Biology with a minor in Pyschology at the University of California, Santa Cruz (UCSC). While at UCSC Jessica worked with the marine mammal physiology project at Long Marine Lab, where she worked closely with bottlenose dolphins, California sea lions, and Southern sea otters and became interested in marine mammal conservation issues. After graduating, Ms. Lopez moved to Hawaii where she worked for NOAA's Hawaiian monk seal research program. She spent five summer field seasons in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands studying the Hawaiian monk seal in an effort to understand the threats to this highly endangered species. Jessica is now working on a M.S. at Hawaii Pacific University. Her project involves studying contaminants in Hawaiian monk seal tissue from the Main Hawaiian Islands, the only area in which the Hawaiian monk seal population is not in decline. However it is also an area with the potential for a high amount of environmental contamination which could have a direct impact on the reproductive potential and immune response of the seals. Jessica will be analyzing contaminants in the Hawaiian monk seal population from the Main Hawaiian Islands in relation to life-history traits of the seals and geographic patterns of contamination to identify specific risk factors to this important Hawaiian monk seal population. Jessica plans to pursue a career in conservation research with an emphasis on endangered species.

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Kathleen Morrow

Kathleen Morrow

Kathleen Morrow
Auburn, AL

Ms. Morrow has been inspired by the complexity of coral reef ecosystems since childhood and has extensively studied the ecology of cnidarians for the past 9 years.  She completed her B.S. degree with a minor in chemistry from The University of North Carolina at Wilmington (UNCW) in May 2003.  She completed an undergraduate honors thesis on the effect of Diadema antillarum, long-spined sea urchins, on coral-algal interactions.  Ms. Morrow completed a Master’s degree in August 2006 from California State University at Northridge.  Her Master’s research was conducted along Santa Catalina Island and primarily focused on the study of kelp forest community ecology and biomechanics. These studies examined the interactions between a common corallimorpharian anemone and macroalgae, and are applicable to her current research on coral-algal competition on Caribbean coral reefs.  Ms. Morrow has recently completed her second year as a Ph.D. student at Auburn University.  Her dissertation research examines the community structure and stability of coral-algal-microbial associations.  Ms. Morrow’s doctoral research will quantify the natural microbial community associated with non-diseased corals and those exposed to physical and chemical interactions with macroalgae using culture-dependent and -independent methods (e.g. molecular analysis of bacterial community fingerprints). She hopes to develop a baseline for comparison so that researchers may better determine the mechanisms leading to the initiation and progression of coral disease.  These studies are currently conducted off the coast of Summerland Key, Florida and St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

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Kelly Ann Gleason

Kelly Ann Gleason

Kelly Ann Gleason
Greenville, North Carolina

Kelly Gleason received her doctorate in Coastal Resources Management from East Carolina University in 2006 focusing on the multidisciplinary documentation and management of the British warship HMS Santa Monica, wrecked in the 18th century in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Gleason’s background is in nautical archaeology and maritime history with a master's degree in nautical archaeology from St. Andrews University in Scotland. She is currently working as a maritime archaeologist for the Pacific Islands Region of the National Marine Sanctuary Program in Honolulu, Hawaii. Her work takes place in the NMSP's three Pacific Islands Region sites including the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument.

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Kelly Jones
Charleston, SC

Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones

Kelly Jones will enter the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences at the University of Washington to pursue a Master’s degree in Environmental Health. Her graduate research will focus on advancing technologies for detection of enteric pathogens associated with non-point source pollution (NPS) in marine environments, with an added emphasis on improving risk assessment strategies by evaluating new viability approaches for these organisms. As a researcher at NOAA’s Center for Coastal Environmental Health and Biomolecular Research in Charleston, South Carolina, she helped local and international colleagues develop detection methods for harmful algae and marine biotoxins, thus laying the foundation for her current interests in molecular detection methodology and coastal health management.  She hopes the tools developed during her graduate work will supplement the limitations of the NPS monitoring protocols currently in practice, and will ultimately improve coastal waters for the public, as well as for species within vulnerable marine environments.

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Kelly Kearney

Kelly Kearney

Kelly Kearney
Princeton, NJ

Ms. Kearney is currently pursuing her doctoral degree at Princeton University, working with Jorge Sarmiento in the Department of Geosciences.  Her research focuses on incorporating upper trophic level species (i.e. anything above the level of zooplankton) and top-down forcing factors into traditional ocean biogeochemical models that focus on nutrient cycling and primary production.  With this model, Kelly hopes to investigate and assess the importance of the various factors affecting oceanic food webs, including both bottom-up climate forcing and top-down anthropogenic effects.

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Kimberly Tenggardjaja

Kimberly Tenggardjaja

Kimbery Tenggardjaja
Northridge, CA

Ms. Tenggardjaja is pursuing her doctorate in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California at Santa Cruz, where she plans on studying the nature and scale of connectivity and larval dispersal in marine populations.  During a post-college internship at Boston University, she examined the phylogeographic structure and gene flow of a seastar (Acanthaster plancii ) and a stomatopod (Haptosquilla glyptocercus) across Indonesia and the Western Pacific, and these projects kindled her interest in understanding connectivity in marine populations and how patterns of larval dispersal can lead to genetic differentiation among populations.  Ms. Tenggardjaja is especially interested in studying coral reef organisms because, while coral reefs are among the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet, more than half of them are significantly threatened by human activity.   By contributing to a better understanding of marine larval dispersal and connectivity, she hopes to conduct research that will be useful in the management of marine sanctuaries and the conservation of coral reef ecosystems.  She believes that the education and training she receives from her graduate studies will prepare her for a future career in conservation.

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Kurt Bretsch

kurt bretsch

Kurt Bretsch
Columbia, South Carolina

Kurt Bretsch received his doctorate in Marine Biology August 2005 from the University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Bretsch has created and successfully used a technique that demonstrates clear, fine-scale patterns to the tidal migrations of fishes, shrimps, and crabs in intertidal creeks. He would like to continue his research by conducting a series of experiments investigating the effects of biological factors on migration patterns of intertidal creek organisms.

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Ku'ulei S. Rodgers

Ku'ulei S. Rodgers

Ku'ulei S. Rodgers
Waimanalo, Hawaii

Ku'ulei Rodgers received her Ph.D in May 2005 in Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii. She was born and raised on the island of O’ahu, the main island in the Hawaiian chain. She has always been employed in the marine field, spending several years working as an ocean recreation specialist teaching drownproofing to public school children and as a marine mammal trainer at an oceanarium. Her education career in marine biology began at Windward Community College where she quickly developed a strong background in marine science. She continued her education by earning her masters degree at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where she narrowed her focus to coral reef research. As a Ph.D student, her work focused on coral reef research, specifically working to identify bioindicators that may serve as an early warning of coral reef decline. Since graduation, she has taken a position as a full time faculty member (Assistant Researcher) at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. She also continues in full time research on the impact of human activity on Coral Reef ecosystems.

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Laurie Ann Sorabella

Laurie Ann Sorabella

Laurie Ann Sorabella
Gloucester, Virginia

Laurie Ann Sorabella received a M.S. degree in Marine Biology at the College of William and Mary. Her thesis, entitled “Oyster Reef Restoration in Virginia Broodstock Addition and Nutrient Exchange” has two objectives. The first objective was to compare the performance of two oyster stocks after deployment onto sanctuary reefs to establish which stock was most desirable for use as broodstock in reef restoration. The second objective was to characterize the water quality changes associated with a developed oyster reef and to estimate the potential for oyster reefs to create a more habitable environment for seagrasses on a local scale. Since graduation, Ms. Sorabella has been employed as the Oyster Restoration Coordinator by the Fisheries Department at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science.

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Lisa Michele Wall

Lisa Michele Wall

Lisa Michele Wall
Satellite Beach, Florida

Lisa Michele Wall received her M.S. degree in Biology in June 2004 from University of Central Florida. Upon completion of her Master’s, Wall plans to pursue her doctorate in conservation biology, focusing on marine ecology in the Indian River Lagoon in Florida. Wall’s fascination with the marine environment began as a young girl living near the Indian River Lagoon system. Wall is a full-time high school science teacher and tries to relate her passion for the marine environment to her biology, chemistry, physics, and fundamentals of scientific research classes.

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Mariah Meek
Mariah Meek

Mariah Meek

Ms. Meek is currently pursuing her doctorate in Marine Ecology at the University of California at Davis, Davis, California.  Ms Meek believes that science can and must play an integral role in informing policy decisions to improve the management of our country’s resources.  Her goal is to increase the understanding of population ecology of marine species so that well informed management decisions can be made.  Ms. Meek’s previous research experience has provided her with a solid foundation in the scientific process as well as an understanding of the relationship between science and policy.  She believes that her thesis research will further support her goals.  Ms. Meek’s thesis research is an investigation of the invasion biology of three species of invasive hydromedusae in San Francisco Estuary (Maoetias marginata, Blackfordia  virginica, and Moerisia sp.).  In her research, she will investigate the effect these species are having on the native trophic food web, as well as the geographic pathway of invasion.  Ms. Meek endeavors to become a leader in marine ecology and to work as faculty at a research university.

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Michelle S.T. Meadows

Michelle S.T. Meadows

Michelle S.T. Meadows
Melbourne, FL

Michelle Meadows earned a B.S. from the University of Florida (UF) in 2008 in Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, and minored in Fisheries & Aquatic Sciences. Michelle is primarily interested in conserving and managing sport fish and associated habitats. She grew up in the Florida Keys (Islamorada) where her daily interactions with the marine environment sparked her interest in conservation and management. Ms. Meadows is pursuing a M.S. in Marine Biology at the Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) in Melbourne, FL. Michelle's current research focuses on the spawning of snapper species (Lutjanidae) along the Florida's east-central and northeast coast, with comparisons to spawning in southern populations. She plans to delineate current and historical spawning areas for further research and sustainable fishery management decisions in the region by surveying local commercial and recreational anglers and through existing databases and literature. Michelle anticipates continuing her research efforts on snappers and spawning after she completes her M.S. degree. Ms. Meadows believes successful conservation and management of our ocean's fishes depend on the integration of adaptive management practices, stakeholder collaboration, educational outreach, and proper scientific research. She hopes to eventually establish an on-going monitoring program between universities and local anglers to monitor local snapper spawning activity.

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Pamela E. Michael

Pamela E. Michael

Pamela E. Michael
Waimanalo, HI

Pamela's passion for the conservation of oceanic, particularly Procellariiform, birds was first sparked as an undergraduate, while studying-abroad in Adelaide, South Australia. After graduating from the University of Puget Sound, her interested was further nurtured through her field-work experiences on Isla Isabel (Mexico), the Juan Fernandez archipelago (Chile) and Southeast Farallon Island (USA), where she learned the importance of community-based and multi-national conservation of seabird habitats on land and at sea. Pamela is currently a master's student at Hawai'i Pacific University's Marine Science Program, in the Pelagicos lab group (http://pelagicos.net/), where she will develop a habitat model of the distribution and abundance of the Black-footed Albatross (Phoebastria nigripes; BFAL) off the central California coast with respect to bathymetric, hydrographic and wind conditions during the chick-rearing (April-June) and post-breeding (July - October) seasons. She will use vessel-based surveys and satellite telemetry data collected over five years (2004-2008), and will work closely with managers of the Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary (CBNMS) and researchers from PRBO Conservation Science. Because BFAL range widely across the waters of multiple nations, this habitat model will have direct management applications for international, national, and sanctuary resource managers, including the identification of albatross hotspots' and areas of potential overlap with longline fisheries.

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Rachel L. Horlings

rachel lynelle horlings

Rachel Lynelle Horlings, Tallahassee, Fla.

Rachel Lynelle Horlings completed her M.A. degree with a focus in maritime archaeology from Florida State University. Horlings has had a fascination with archaeology since her childhood and is especially interested in investigating the many facets of historic maritime trade in West Africa. She is currently involved in a shipwreck research project off the coast of Ghana, and plans to expand her work along the coast to include Nigeria as well. Ms. Horlings is in the process of completing her PhD in Anthropology at Syracuse University. She hopes through her research to bring a multidisciplinary, multifaceted approach to maritime archaeological and anthropological investigations in West Africa.

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Rachel Neuenhoff

Rachel Neuenhoff

Rachel Neuenhoff
Galveston, TX

Ms. Neuenhoff is pursuing her M.S. degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences at Texas A&M University.  She is investigating population parameters of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) stranded along coastal Texas by fitting growth curves to length-at-age data.  Currently, growth models are fit to cetacean length-at-age data with little regard to basic model assumptions or life history strategies that may influence growth.  Ms. Neuenhoff will address these issues by incorporating growth-modeling methodologies used among terrestrial mammalian taxa in an effort to improve population parameter estimation.  This will ultimately produce a growth curve suitable for direct demographic comparisons among multiple regions and will contribute to our overall understanding of bottlenose dolphin population dynamics.  Upon completion of her M.S. degree program, Ms. Neuenhoff plans to pursue a PhD in Fisheries Management or Quantitative Ecology.

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Rebecca R. Holyoke

rebecca holyoke

Rebecca R. Holyoke, Cambridge, Maryland

Ms. Holyoke completed her doctorate in Marine-estuarine Environmental Science (sediment biogeochemistry) at the University of Maryland, College Park. Ms. Holyoke’s interests include coastal zone management and the interpretation and implementation of environmental/marine policy; and eutrophication in marine and estuarine environments. While performing research involving sediment nutrients, she developed an interest in sediment biogeochemistry and plans to extend her current research to include the effects of microphytobenthos on nutrient regeneration in diverse marine environments. She wishes to pursue a career in environmental policy where she can offer insights into anthropogenic nutrient inputs and environmental degradation.

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Sarah E. Lester

Sarah E. Lester

Sarah E. Lester
Santa Barbara, California

Ms. Lester completed her doctorate in Marine Ecology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Ms. Lester’s research examined biogeographic patterns of reproduction in intertidal invertebrates and studying a sea urchin disease that infects a commercially harvested species. Serving on the leadership board of her campus organization Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), she is dedicated to enhancing the role of women in science. She would like to pursue teaching undergraduates and working in coastal resource management and conservation.

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Stacey Trevathan

Stacey Trevathan

Stacey Trevathan
Jacksonville, FL

Ms. Trevathan completed her B.S. in Marine Science and Biology from Coastal Carolina University in 2003. Drawn to the environmental conservation field, she spent the next two years working for Wildlife Action, Inc., a non-profit wildlife conservation organization. Ms. Trevathan is now pursuing a master's in Biology from University of North Florida's Coastal Biology Program. She is interested in understanding the cellular defense responses of Thalassia testudinum, turtle grass, when infected with pathogenic slime mold Labyrinthula sp. Sometimes individual infections can spread causing "wasting disease" outbreaks that can devastate whole beds. Ms. Trevathan hopes to establish the defense mechanisms of T.testudinum which can be used to obtain a baseline of information on wasting disease and aid in seagrass conservation efforts.

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Stefan Claesson

Stefan Claesson

Stefan Claesson
Biddeford, Maine

Stefan Claesson received his Ph.D. in Natural Resources and Environmental Studies at the University of New Hampshire (UNH) in 2008. Stefan's Ph.D. research focused on development of public policy for conservation of maritime cultural heritage. Born in Worcester, Massachusetts to Swedish immigrants, and raised in Cape Neddick, Maine, he has always had a strong connection to the sea and an interest in maritime history and archaeology. Stefan is currently a Research Scientist in marine historical ecology for the Ocean Process Analysis Laboratory at UNH.

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Winnie Wing Yee Lau

Winnie Wing Yee Lau

Winnie Wing Yee Lau
Seattle, Washington

Winnie Wing Yee Lau received her PhD in Oceanography from the University of Washington, studying the interactions between bacteria and phytoplankton in nutrient cycling. After receiving her Ph.D., Winnie received an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Science and Technology Policy Fellowship and served as an AAAS Diplomacy Fellow in the State Department working on international science collaboration and international marine policies. Winnie is currently the Program Manager for the Marine Ecosystem Services (MARES) Program at the non-profit organization Forest Trends, working at the intersection of marine science, social science, and economics for the conservation of our marine ecosystems.

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