Center for the Blue Economy Professional education and research to promote ocean and coastal sustainability

Summer Fellows 2015

Students pursue fully-funded fellowships
with top ocean and coastal resource management organizations

Students enrolled in the International Environmental Policy (IEP) program pursuing the concentration in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management are eligible for fully-funded fellowships. 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.  Below is a look at our 2015 summer fellows and their focus areas.  2015 individual student blogs coming soon!


Jennifer Adams

UNESCO’s World Heritage Marine Programme

Paris, France

UNESCO’s Marine World Heritage

Jennifer will assist with the preparation of the High Seas Expert Working Meeting and follow-up during the meeting--a major event.   She will help develop an overview of World Heritage related decisions for marine World Heritage sites and their status of implementation.  Finally, she will  develop a media-kit:  “10 years of Marine World Heritage” for outreach to US press.


Heather Benko

Environmental Defense Fund

San Francisco, CA

Finding Transition Opportunities in Fisheries

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 is aimed at finding ways for such fisheries to transition to sustainable operations while catches are depressed.  It will include 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.   


Whitney Berry

One Reef

Pohnpei, Micronesia

Capacity building and community engagement

Whitney will work with One Reef to broker marine conservation agreements with local reef owners and enable sustainably financed conservation projects.  She will engage in community outreach within the greater Pohnpei community, primarily the Enipein and Ant Atoll communities.  She will assist 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.


Marina Binsack

California State Coastal Conservancy

Oakland, CA

San Francisco Bay Vulnerability Assessment and Adaption Planning

Marina will work on various 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. 


Christie Heyer

Conservation International

Dili, Timor-Leste

Updating Guidelines for Co-Management of Natural Resources in Timor-Leste

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 will perform 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.


Chelsea Jordan

Maersk Drilling and Shipping

Copenhagen, Denmark

Environmental Management and Compliance

Chelsea will work with Maersk to streamline the ISO 50001 voluntary international energy standard aboard offshore rigs, which incorporates energy use and consumption.  She will engage 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 will assist in the development of an energy management plan and other factors affecting energy performance that can be monitored and influenced by the organization. She will assist 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.


Melis Okter

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Silver Springs, MD

Planning for a Changing Arctic – Marine Protected Areas and Safe Shipping

Melis will assist NOAA in various tasks related to NOAA’s mission of environmental stewardship and resource conservation in the Arctic.  These tasks also support U.S. priorities as it assumes chairmanship of the Arctic Council in April 2015.  She will support 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 will also assist in developing outreach materials on resource conservation in the Arctic and support 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. 


Matthew Shipley

The Both Company

Del Rey Oaks, CA

Director of Policy and Programs

Matt will be learning the science of aquaponics, and directing the development of policy impacting the emergence of the modern aquaponics industry.  He 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. 


Emma Tonge

UNEP’s Global Programme of Action

Nairobi, Kenya

Emma will be spending 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) which is part of the Freshwater and Marine Ecosystems Branch (FMEB), within the Department of Environmental Policy Implementation (DEPI).


Heidi Williams

National University of Galway

Socio-Economic Marine Research Unit

Galway, Ireland

Meta-Analysis of Recreational Service Values provided by the Marine Environment in Ireland

Building on previous EPA STRIVE funded survey information that identified the major marine and coastal recreation activities undertaken by the Irish general public, Heidi will use 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 will also be 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 will use GIS to produce maps of the quantified ecosystem service benefit values.