Meet the Scholars

Read about current Graduate Scholars on the Oregon Sea Grant website and Learn about recent scholars on the Oregon SEa Grant Scholars page.


Meet the Oregon Sea Grant 2020 Summer Scholars

Angela Arrington

Angela Arrington
Angela will serve as a 2020 Summer Scholar with the Oregon Coastal and Information Network (OCOIN). Here’s a bit more from Angela:

I was born and raised in Portland, OR and have had the privilege to enjoy clean beaches, full forests, and diverse deserts. I hope to use my science background to help influence positive environmental policy, especially for communities that have traditionally experienced environmental harm. I am very excited to start my position with OCOIN this summer and learn more about how we can incorporate science into policy-making!

I am a 2020 graduate from Portland State University, where I will have earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Science with minors in Environmental Science and Sustainability. In the fall, I will be starting a master’s program at the University of Oregon in public administration, with a focus on natural resource management.  

Emily Cook carrying a pack, hiking on a trail

Emily Cook
Emily will serve as a 2020 Summer Scholar with the Oregon Coastal and Information Network (OCOIN), working to help facilitate collaboration and promote the use of scientific data in decision making. Here’s more from Emily:

I am a senior at the University of Idaho studying Natural Resources Planning and Management.  I have lived on the Palouse River all of my life and was homeschooled until high school when I started online community college and simultaneously earned my associate’s degree and high school diploma.  I live with my family on a small farm with sheep, horses, cows, guinea pigs, rabbits, cats, chickens, a zebra finch, and a handful of fish.  I used to raise rabbits for 4H and have way more knowledge about them then I will ever need again!  I enjoy reading and drawing outside with my six cats and our various chickens.  

I have been involved in a venture crew for four years and my family has been involved in scouting for as long as I can remember.  I recently earned my summit award, which is the venturing equivalent of a boy scout earning their eagle.  My relationship with the outdoors has always been strong, and I have always been passionate about environmental issues.  My family is the same way, and my parents have taken my siblings and me to many national parks.  

My goals for this summer are to learn about outreach, education, and communication in the conservation field. I am interested in outreach and bridge-building between people and organizations and in educating people about environmental and conservation issues.  I also want to learn about developing and managing a professional network.

A fun fact about me, is that I love backpacking and have been on two and a half 50- mile week-long backpacking trips and one 12 day trip that was 70+ miles. 

Rachel Hilt sitting on a rock with a view of mountain peaks behind her.

Rachel Hilt
Rachel’s Summer Scholar position is still under development and more information will be available soon. Here’s how Rachel describes her academic and professional interests:

I recently graduated from the University of Miami with degrees in Marine Affairs and Anthropology. My experiences throughout undergrad have been centered on studying the complex interactions between coastal communities and their environmental impacts, and even involved completing a semester abroad in the Galapagos Islands. This has fostered my interest in learning how to address and solve environmental issues from a grass-roots level.  

In the future, I plan to go to graduate school to complete a master’s degree in Conservation Biology. I would like to continue to work with organizations that specialize in conducting research and educating the public to inspire action on environmental issues.

Natalie Holsclaw

Natalie Holsclaw
Natalie will be working as a 2020 Summer Scholar with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Newport, Oregon studying the habitat use of shellfish aquaculture by fish and invertebrates.

Natalie is finishing her last semester at Northern Kentucky University towards a degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. Last summer she worked as an intern with Mote Marine Laboratory studying the impacts of ocean acidification on corals. She hopes to go to graduate school to get a doctorate in marine science.

Natalie is interested in how climate change affects ocean ecosystems. More specifically, she is interested in how ocean acidification affects calcifying organisms like corals and shellfish as well as their ecosystems.

Jenna Livingston

Jenna Livingston
Jenna will also serve as a 2020 Summer Scholar with the Oregon Coastal and Information Network (OCOIN). Here’s a bit more from Jenna:

My name is Jenna Livingston and I am a senior at the University of Arizona studying Environmental Engineering and minoring in Mathematics and Chemical Engineering. I’m from Sahuarita, Arizona and live at home with my parents, older brother, and two dogs that I love more than anything. 

This summer, I hope to gain a larger network of members of the scientific community in order to further educate myself on emerging pollutants and environmental problems that I hope to have a hand in solving one day. Throughout my college experience, I have come to learn the importance of communication between scientists and engineers, because their research shapes how engineers modify and develop technology in order to keep people safe and healthy. I have a vested interest in water quality and am strongly considering pursuing water treatment once I have finished college, so it will be very interesting to learn about new findings in pharmaceutical and microplastic pollution, among other things.

I also have an interest in practicing any executive skills, as I one day hope to manage a regional branch in the Federal Government, particularly in the Environmental Protection Agency, Bureau of Land Management, or National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Any training I could have with communication, outreach, delegation, and leadership would be much appreciated. This summer I hope to develop my professional skills within the scientific community in order to prepare for a career I hope to start this time next year.

Lucas Parvin

Lucas Parvin
As a 2020 Summer Scholar, Lucas will be working with the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (SSNERR) on their outreach and education materials.  Here’s how Lucas describes his academic and professional interests:

Next year will be my 3rd year attending Oregon State University’s Honors College. I am majoring in zoology and am minoring in chemistry and psychology. I am involved in an undergraduate research lab through URSA (Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and the Arts) that studies how beach grass affects coastal ecology. I am extremely interested in animal behavior and ecology. I hope to begin my honors thesis research this coming school year; if all goes as planned, I will be studying the behavior of bees and relating their behaviors to ecological impacts.

 After my time at OSU, I plan to attend graduate school to earn a PhD in biology. I would like to eventually become a professor, conduct research of my own, and manage a wildlife reservation. I am particularly interested in how varying animal behaviors can lead to either ecological success or failure.

Rachael Peterson

Rachael Peterson
As a 2020 Summer Scholar, Rachael will be working with the Environmental Protection Agency analyzing ocean acidification datasets. Here’s how Rachael describes her academic and professional interests:

This is me in the Napier lab helping one of my lab mates prepare mice food for an experiment examining how diet affects sepsis severity. The Napier lab focuses on innate immunity, which has become a passion of mine since I joined the research team. Lately, I have been very interested in learning about how climate change and ocean acidification affect osmoconformers such as mollusks on a molecular level. I am particularly interested in how this affects their immune system, since they lack the adaptive immunity that we rely on for protection against many pathogens. I had a professor once describe ocean water as “pathogenic soup”, which sparked my interest in learning how these organisms are able to protect themselves when they are surrounded by microscopic killers. 

 After graduate school I hope to become a research professor so I can share my love for molecular biology. It is my goal to study the molecular effects of ocean acidification and climate change on soft-bodied invertebrates, such as gastropods and cephalopods. I am also very curious to see how extreme environmental changes alter their ability to protect themselves against pathogens. This is why I am very excited to work on Dr. Steve Pacella’s project with the EPA and see how ocean data relates to oyster health.

Kealohi Sabate

Kealohi Sabate
Kealohi was selected to work with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to determine the perceived impact of Oregon Marine Reserves implementation on local businesses and communities, but this opportunity has been postponed till 2021. Coming from Hawaii, the tourism industry makes up a big part of the state’s economy, and she is very interested in learning more about the visitors’ understanding of these areas in hopes to be able to implement this knowledge back home. 

Kealohi recently graduated from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa with a B.S in Global Environmental Science. Currently she is taking a year off to work on publishing her senior thesis and plans to apply for grad school this coming fall.

As a Native Hawaiian, lands are sacred in Kealohi’s culture, and with the continuous development occurring, a lot of the culture and natural environmental beauty of the islands is being lost. The Hawaiian tourism industry relies on strong cultural identity and a healthy environment, but also impacts traditional ways of life and the delicate island ecosystem. Tourism is something that will never change, but coming up with a better solution to safely incorporate tourism while still maintaining the integrity of the land is a challenge Kealohi wants to further explore.

Chris Schmokel

Christopher Schmokel
Chris is a post-baccalaureate student at Oregon State university majoring in Environmental Chemistry. He has been involved in a number of conservation field projects in Eastern Oregon, and most recently spent the summer of 2019 as part of a USGS team researching invasive small mammals in the Mariana Islands. Chris currently works at a wildlife population genetics lab on the OSU campus. 

Chris loves exploring on the water, whether sailing, scuba diving, or kayaking, and he is excited to be able to apply his education in chemistry to marine conservation issues. Chris is especially interested in studying the connections between marine ecosystems and ocean chemistry, and his career goal is to work for an agency like EPA whose mission focuses on the interrelationship between environmental chemistry and biology. Chris’ Summer Scholar position is still under development. 

Kelly Soluri
This photograph was taken during research activities permitted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, US National Marine Fisheries Service, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission under permit numbers SUP 16011 (USFWS), 19496 (NMFS), and MTP-19-243 (FWC) under conditions not detrimental to this animal. Please do not attempt to recreate the contents of this image without appropriate training and authorization.

Kelly Soluri
Kelly was selected to work with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife in their Shellfish and Estuarine Assessment of Coastal Oregon (SEACOR) program to create shellfish recreation outreach documents catered to the Spanish speaking communities in Oregon.

Kelly Soluri is a recent Florida State University graduate in Environmental Science with a minor in Biology. She has researched with Dr. Mariana Fuentes in the FSU Marine Turtle Research, Ecology, and Conservation Group helping with the surveying, in-water capture, sample collection, and data processing of sea turtles. Previously, Kelly was an intern for the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Science and Technology Cooperation in Washington D.C., where she worked toward furthering U.S. interest in international science diplomacy.

Kelly has strong interests in ecological and migration processes in oceanic and coastal systems as a result of climate change and anthropogenic pressures. As a Floridian, she wishes to support coastal communities globally that deal with sea level rise, resource insecurity, and intensifying natural disasters. She is also passionate about science literacy for all and the uplifting of minority communities in STEM.
Connect with Kelly: LinkedIn | Facebook

Essie Timofeyenko

Essie Timofeyenko

Essie’s 2020 Summer Scholar position is still be determined. Here’s a bit more from Essie: 

I just finished my senior year at Oregon State University, where I have been working on my B.S. in Environmental Sciences, with a specialization in Conservation, Resources, and Sustainability. I spent the summer of 2019 on a faculty-led program in Hawaii, which  explored the ecology and conservation of Hawaiian coral reefs. We compared our class data to data from previous years to evaluate the richness of diurnal fishes associated with coral reefs over time. 

I have always been drawn to marine biology and after finishing the program, my future professional interests lie in marine conservation/education/outreach.

Sophia Truempi

Sophia Truempi
Sophia was selected as a 2020 Summer Scholar to work with Travel Southern Oregon Coast in Bandon, OR. However, due to COVID restrictions this summer, Sophia’s position was canceled. Here is more from Sophia: 

I just finished my sophomore year at the University of Portland in Oregon, where I am studying Environmental Ethics and Policy. I spent the fall of 2019 studying abroad in Costa Rica. Afterward, I conducted field research monitoring and measuring sea turtles, sting rays, and skates in a Costa Rican fishing community. I am interested in studying the effects of ocean acidification and harmful algal blooms on marine species, while also contributing to conservation efforts through the use of policy development, outreach, journalism, and sustainable coastal tourism as mechanisms to preserve these marine species and vulnerable coastal communities.

Meet Last Year’s Oregon Sea Grant 2019 Summer Scholars

Erika Alvarado

Erika Alvarado
Erika worked the Wild Rivers Coastal Alliance to create short educational courses about the six marine reserves in Oregon, and an additional course about the ecology of the marine reserves in general. These courses will be used by all different types of people in varying demographics, for the purpose of gaining knowledge about the marine reserves. These courses will have an impact on the tourism industry and will be very community-oriented.

Erika recently graduated with a bachelor’s in science from the University of Idaho. Her degree is in ecology and conservation biology. For the next leg of her educational journey she will be obtaining her master’s degree at the University of Hawaiʻi at Manoa. Her project will involve studying macroalgal systematics in the mesophotic zone of the ocean.

Erika’s professional interest is to work in education, possibly at the community college level. She would like to teach classes about marine biology and ecology in a way that is meaningful and accessible.  Erika is interested in studying ecology and macroalgae. It would be her dream to teach others about the natural world in a unconventional multi-disciplinary way.

Honour Booth

Honour Booth
This summer, Honour contributed to the development of a Social Media Outreach Plan and Protocol with the Haystack Rock Awareness Program in Cannon Beach. She was especially eager to learn how tourism can be a positive influence on the environment and how social media can be used as a tool towards that positive influence.

Honour recently graduated from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa with a B.S. in Global Environmental Science and a B.A. in Chemistry. In the fall she will begin pursuing a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning, also at UH Mānoa.

Growing up a mile mauka (towards the mountains) from the iconic Waikīkī Beach, Honour has witnessed the environmental and economic impacts of the tourism industry on her home. Although climate change presents many challenges that will exacerbate those impacts, she sees these challenges as a reason to improve the urban landscape of Oʻahu. As sea level rise and sporadic flooding from rain have been identified as major challenges from climate change, Honour is interested in developing long-term land use planning that involve restoration of coastal areas, such as that of Waikīkī, and a carbon offset industry to supplement tourism in Hawaiʻi.

Suhn Brown

Suhn Brown
As a 2019 Summer Scholar, Suhn worked with the Oregon Coastal Management Program in Newport, OR to exhibit and promote awareness of the impact that climate change has had on the Oregon coast through public outreach via the Oregon King Tides Photography Project.

Suhn just finished his junior year at Whitman College, where he is studying Biology.  He is interested in studying the life-history traits of colossal squids in the Southern Ocean. He is also interested in marine life conservation.

Ariana deSouza

Ariana de Souza
Ariana worked as a 2019 Summer Scholar with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Newport, Oregon to quantify the impact of anthropogenic inputs on water quality in Tillamook Estuary.

Ariana has just completed her junior year at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is majoring in Biology. She has been working in the Paul Barber Lab at UCLA since 2018, conducting research on gut microbiomes of fish in the South Pacific to gain better insight into their trophic interactions. She is interested in evolution and ecological interactions within biological systems and the effects that humans can have on these processes.

Autumn Herrington

Autumn Herrington
As a 2019 Summer Scholar, Autumn worked with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Newport, OR to quantify the land-based input of carbon to Pacific Northwest estuaries and the role of macrophytes in sequestering carbon and moderating acidification.

Autumn just finished her sophomore year at the University of Idaho, where she is studying Wildlife Resources with a minor in Geographic Information Systems. She is also a Doris Duke Conservation Scholar.

Autumn is interested in studying the effects of climate change on coastal mammals and birds. She also hopes to use Geographic Information Systems as a research tool.

Naomi Scott

Naomi Scott
As a 2019 Summer Scholar, Naomi worked with the USDA Agricultural Research Service in Newport, Oregon to examine the habitat use of shellfish aquaculture by fish and invertebrates.

Naomi just completed a Bachelor of Science in Biology with a minor in Environmental Science from the University of Tampa. She plans to go to graduate school in the future to receive her doctorate in Marine Biology.

Naomi is interested in the behavior and physiology of sharks and other cartilaginous fish. She is also interested in the impact that human behavior and consumption has on marine life.

Hannah Sinclair

Hannah Sinclair
As a 2019 Summer Scholar, Hannah worked with the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve in Charleston, OR to create a digital media library for science education and outreach.

Hannah just finished her junior year at CUNY Medgar Evers College, where she is studying Biology with a minor in Special Education. Over the last few years she has worked for WCS New York Aquarium teaching marine education and conducting visitor data research on the acknowledgement of local species in New York.

Hannah is interested in examining the health and conditions of horseshoe crabs that are accumulated in zoos and aquariums.

Melissa Wood

Melissa Wood
As a 2019 Summer Scholar, Melissa worked with The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife through the Shellfish and Estuarine Assessment of Coastal Oregon (SEACOR) Shellfish program. As part of the SEACOR program, Melissa will work collaboratively on a team to collect shellfish and estuary habitat data in various intertidal regions of Coos Bay, OR.

Melissa recently graduated from the University of Texas of the Permian Basin with degrees in Biology and Chemistry. Melissa obtained funding for marine research at her university, completing a two year research project, and has presented at multiple conferences. She has traveled to Honduras twice for marine chemistry field research and has been involved in undergraduate marine research for several years.

Melissa has spent much of her undergraduate research working with nanoparticles to understand the impact on marine water chemistry and coral reefs, using analytical chemistry techniques. She is interested in incorporating both marine biology and chemistry to study the decline of coral reefs while contributing to preservation efforts.

Dominque Zuk

Dominique Zuk
As a 2019 Summer Scholar, Dominique worked with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to ecologically monitor the Oregon Marine Reserves via fish recruitment, urchin recruitment, sea star, and mussel bed surveys.

Dominique just finished her junior year at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is studying Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. She spent spring of 2019 conducting field research on fish herbivory behavior, macroalgae distribution, and continuous and patch reef systems at the UC Berkeley Gump Station in Mo’orea, French Polynesia.

Dominique is interested in studying aquatic veterinary medicine, as well as the control and prevention of aquatic animal diseases. She is also interested in marine conservation, and using policy development and outreach as a platform to preserve coastal communities.

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2 thoughts on “Meet the Scholars

  1. Hello, I am hoping to contact Ms. Stephan-LaBoeuf regarding some Tillamook Bay water quality permits and potential threats to the bay caused by recent ODEQ exemptions for a new facility. I thought it might come into the ares she is studying please contact me at this email or 210-527-7631. Thanks.

  2. Cheers to
    Arianna de Souza
    We all are so proud of you, your work and all your accomplishments.
    Good on you .
    Uncle Mike

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