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Meet the Scholars

(coming soon: 2016 scholars)

Sea Grant Summer Scholars, 2015

Haley Epperly – A June 2015 graduate of Oregon State University, Haley worked with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife’s Newport lab looking at the human dimensions impacts of marine reserves.

Abby Fatland – A spring 2015 graduate of the University of Oregon, Abby assisted ODFW with a marine reserves ecological monitoring project.

Rosalyn Lam – A water quality evaluation intern with the U.S. EPA in Newport, Rosalyn spent the summer conducting research focused on ensuring the sustainability of water resources in the face of climate change and other human stressors. She is working toward a B.S. in wildlife, fish, and conservation biology from the University of California/Davis.

Laura Gray – A recent graduate of Oberlin College, Laura spent the summer working with OSG Director Shelby Walker on an evaluation of the program’s engaged research efforts.

Micaela S. Edelson – A junior at Gettysburg College, is helping the US EPA conduct research into the vulnerability of Pacific coast marine organisms to sea-level rise and ocean acidification.

Austin Prechtel – A senior at Purdue University with interests in freshwater systems and fish, Austin spent his summer assisting at the USDA Agricultural Research Lab in Newport.

Ronald Tardiff – A marine sciences/maritime studies senior at the University of Connecticut, Ronworked at the US EPA’s Pacific Coastal Ecology Branch, writing a case study demonstrating protocols for eco system service value transferability.

Oregon Sea Grant/West Coast Governors’ Association Fellow

Kelsey Adkisson  spent her 2014 fellowship working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of Land Conservation and Development, and the office of Governor Kitzhaber of Oregon on the application and analysis of the National Ocean Policy Implementation Plan, which provides a coordinated, nationwide framework for coastal and ocean stewardship.

John D. Knauss Marine Policy Fellow 2014

After serving his Knauss fellowship in Washington, DC with Representative Jared Huffman (CA-2) and his staff,  Zachary Penney was selected in 2105to lead the Fishery Science Department of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission. A Nez Perce tribal member, Zach holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources with an emphasis in fisheries from the University of Idaho

Sarah Close spent her 2014 Knauss Fellowship working as a Climate Adaptation Analyst for the Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program at NOAA’s Climate Program Office.  Sarah completed her PhD in marine ecology, working with Dr. Bruce Menge, at Oregon State University in 2014.

Sea Grant Legislative Fellow

Kessina Lee was our 2015 Legislative Fellow. She has spent the legislative session working with the members of Oregon Legislature’s coastal caucus on issues related to ocean and coastal policy. Kessina received her bachelor of science in Organismal Biology from Portland State University and has gone on to pursue a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems and a master of science in biology, also at Portland State University.

Laura Hagen was our 2013 Legislative Fellow, and spent the session in Salem working with members of the Oregon Coastal Caucus.  Laura received her juris doctor with a focus on environmental and natural resources law from Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland.

Sea Grant Natural Resources Policy Fellow 2014-2015

Rose Rimler was assigned to the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership in Garibaldi, OR., helping update the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan; convene a “State of the Bay” meeting and write a watershed health report card. She holds a M.S. from the University of Oregon’s Oregon Institute of Marine Biology and a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley, and is a former recipient of the Neil Richmond Scholarship, jointly awarded by OSG and the OIMB.

Kaity Goldsmith was assigned to the Governor’s Natural Resources Office in Salem, OR., to assist developing policy recommendations on coastal opportunities and challenges facing Oregon. She will engage in all facets of ocean policy development and implementation via: program and regulatory action; legislative action in the run up to and throughout the 2015 legislative session; intergovernmental coordination; media communications; and, stakeholder engagement. Kaity was a 2013-2014 OSG Malouf Scholar. She received her Master of Environmental Management, Environmental Studies from Portland State University in 2014.

Geoff Ostrove (2013-2014 Oregon Sea Grant Natural Resources Policy Fellow) worked with Oregon Infrastructure Finance Authority (“IFA”)  the Oregon Business Development Department on multiple natural resources related projects and programs. Tasks include work on the Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program and assisting in the planning, strategy development, and preparation of an IFA web-based communication platform. Geoff is currently attending the University of Oregon where he is pursuing a Master’s of Community & Regional Planning, as well as a PhD in Media Studies.  His terminal project for the Community & Regional Planning program will focus on the need to acknowledge the polyrational nature of our communities in order to implement effective public engagement campaigns.

Robert E. Malouf Marine Studies Scholar 2014-2015

Keats Conley is a second-year Ph.D. student in Biology at the University of Oregon. She is researching the feeding preferences of pelagic tunicates, animals that serve as a key link between lower food-chain organisms, such as bacteria, and commercially important fishes. An important component of the project is artistic and educational outreach that will bring the microscopic images to a wide public audience.

Laura Ferguson is studying the way in which research team members engage with diverse stakeholders to develop a relevant model of water in the Willamette Valley over the next 90 years. She is focusing on the experiences of the engagement process participants to identify the challenges and successes of the process. She is currently a second-year graduate student in Marine Resource Management at Oregon State University. In 2013, Laura served as an MRM Fellow assisting OSG’s Sam Chan in investigating how to involve scientists and policy makers in research on water quality and scarcity.

Joey Peters is assessing the effects of fluoxetine (i.e. Prozac) on the California mussel, Mytilus Californianus, to determine if environmentally relevant concentrations are affecting mussel physiology and their susceptibility to predation. He is currently a second year master’s student at Portland State University.

2014 Oregon Sea Grant Resilience and Adaptation Fellow

Sarah Allison’s research evaluates economic development plans from southern Oregon coastal counties for how they address economic vulnerabilities to hazards. By analyzing current plans and interviews with economic development professionals, Sarah will develop recommendations for how to improve economic resilience to hazards. Sarah is a graduate student of community and regional planning with a certificate in sustainability at the University of Oregon.

Sea Grant/Wild Rivers Coastal Alliance  South Coast Resilience Scholar 2014

Dacotah-Victoria Splichalova is an OSU undergrad philosophy/writing major who is working for Wild Rivers Coast Alliance (WRCA) to help communicate the stories of WRCA Grantees and the work of WRCA, as well as helping to tell the South Coast story, and collaborating with Travel Oregon and other partners to promote ecotourism in the Wild Rivers Coast region of Oregon’s southern coast. She is also a dedicated Oregon surfer and enjoys teaching free surf lessons on Saturdays in Newport.

NOAA Coastal Managment Fellowship

Liz Podowski (2013-2015 fellow) is working on the “Continuing New York’s Offshore Planning for the Ocean and Great Lakes” project at the Office of Planning and Development (OPD) with the New York State Department of State to develop and apply geo-spatial tools to assess the compatibility between different offshore uses, including areas for offshore wind development and locations of important offshore habitats. Liz also has a role in developing a new website that makes OPD’s geographic information publicly accessible. Liz graduated in 213 with a master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon.

Kelsey Gianou (2012-2014 fellow), MS, Marine Resource Management, OSU (2012).  Kelsey is working with the Washington State Department of Ecology Shorelands and Environmental Assistance in putting together guidance for landowners around the Puget Sound who are looking to replace their bulkheads and riprap with soft engineering, and green, living shorelines.

National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) – Sea Grant Joint Graduate Fellowship Program in Population Dynamics

Fellows work with NMFS personnel on their dissertation projects and meet annually as a group to present research results.

Starting in 2013, Katelyn Bosley was awarded three years of NMFS fellowship support for her PhD work.  Katelyn’s advisor is Dr. Brett Dumbauld (USDA-ARS), and her mentor is Dr. Thomas Wainwright with the Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Fish Ecology Division in Newport, Oregon.  With her advisor, Katelyn is developing an age-based population model for burrowing shrimp using the novel lipofuscin aging method.

In 2012, Susan (Hilber) Piacenza was awarded three years of fellowship support.  Susie’s advisor is Selina Heppell, and she is working with mentors at Southeast Fisheries Science Center, Southeast Turtle Program in Miami (Paul Richards), and Pacific Island Fisheries, Marine Turtle Research Group in Honolulu (George Balazs). She is studying the dynamics of two population of the green sea turtle, Chelonia mydas.  The green sea turtle is considered endangered in Florida and Mexico, and threatened elsewhere in US waters under the US Endangered Species Act (NOAA Fisheries).  The species is showing signs of recovery in some parts of its range.  Not only is this good news for green sea turtles, but it also represents an invaluable opportunity to study what happens to a large vertebrate population as it recovers after serious population decline.

Neil Richmond Award

The Neil Richmond Memorial Scholarship is awarded on the basis of merit and need to students attending the University of Oregon (UO) Oregon Institute of Marine Biology (OIMB) in Charleston, Oregon fall or spring session. The scholarship is funded by a grant from Oregon Sea Grant and honors the memory, spirit, curiosity, and love of learning of Neil Richmond, a marine scientist who worked for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Coleman Garner (2014)  is a junior at the University of Oregon studying marine biology and is studying the ecology of both intertidal and subtidal organisms to better understand them in their environment help their conservation.


Sea Grant Summer Scholars, 2013

Our 2013 undergraduate Summer Scholars were:

Samantha Thiede, Purdue University, was assigned to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in Coos Bay, assisting in research on Coos Bay clams.

James Kralj, the University of Wisconsin – Madison, is working with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Newport on wetlands ecosystems.

Catherine Courtier, University of California Santa Cruz, was assigned to work with the Wild Rivers Coast Alliance in Bandon, Oregon as a tourism intern.

Sarah Heidmann, Oregon State University, was assigned to the US Department of Agriculture office in Newport, looking at fish and invertebrate use of estuarine habitats.

Patrick Cousineau, Oregon State University, is working with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) at the Hatfield Marine Science in Newport where he will help conduct research in Oregon’s network of Marine Reserves.

Chelsi Burger, Michigan State University, was assigned to the ODFW’s Newport office, working on Rockfish Recompression Engagement with the local recreational fishers.

Read about other current and past Sea Grant Scholars

on the Oregon Sea Grant web site.

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