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 2021 Summer Scholars

Charlotte Klein

Charlotte Klein will be working as part of a team at the Oregon Coastal and Ocean Information Network to lead ongoing stakeholder engagement efforts, and optimize their survey and mapping tool. 

Charlotte just finished her junior year at the University of Oregon where she is double majoring in Environmental Science and Spatial Data Science and Technology. As an undergraduate researcher with Dr. Matt Polizzotto in the Soil and Water lab, she conducts research for the Metro Clean Water Partners, a coalition of officials from Oregon’s Lane County and the Cities of Eugene and Springfield, to identify sources of zinc contamination in waterways in the Eugene-Springfield metro area.

At OCOIN, Charlotte is looking forward to working with maps all day and facilitating collaboration between researchers, managers, and policymakers. Charlotte’s graduate school and career aspirations involve using spatial data analysis to inform policy and management decisions in aquatic environments.

Phoenix McFarland

Phoenix McFarlane will be working as part of the Human Dimensions team at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to assess the socioeconomic impacts of Marine Reserve implementation on coastal communities. Here’s a bit more from Phoenix:

I am a sophomore at the University of Idaho. I am majoring in Environmental Science and minoring in Geography. My childhood was spent in the mountains of the Boise National Forest near Idaho City, Idaho. Growing up in a rural town allowed me to find the outdoors at a very early age. To escape boredom, the backyard became my battlefield and crisp leaves the key ingredient to my potions (my younger brother was always the taste tester). This simply morphed into a love of enjoying my time outside. Today, I participate in many forms of outdoor recreation. Backpacking into alpine lakes has been my new obsession, but anything related to a blistering day with the comfort of a lake a few yards ahead is pretty ideal. Lastly, I am fascinated by the flora and fauna on earth and hope to spend my days appreciating and valuing the interconnectedness of our natural world.

My future professional goals are still undefined and quite broad. However, I see the next few years after receiving my bachelor’s degree as a period to decide what I would want to pursue for a master’s degree. Practically every topic regarding the environment or conservation interests me currently. Through hands-on experiences and the tackling of various research projects, I will hopefully have a better understanding of where I want my long term professional interests to develop. I hope to travel to new places around the United States, getting a better feel for where I would one day like to settle. Many years down the road, I would like to teach at the college level. Overall, when it comes to my professional goals I just want to wake up knowing I get to do what I love, and that in doing what I love, hopefully I can help save the planet and the beautiful life that resides upon it. During my time with the Summers Scholars program, I would like to get to know a group of diverse individuals on a personal level and discover how all our paths led us to pursue a career in conservation. Also, I have high hopes that this experience will assist me in narrowing down my professional interests and whether I could see myself living in Oregon in the future.

Lisette Perez will be working as part of the Human Dimensions team at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to assess the socioeconomic impacts of Marine Reserve implementation on coastal communities.

Lisette is originally from the Southside of Chicago and attends the University of Missouri-Columbia. Lisette will be taking an additional semester and will be graduating in December 2021. She will obtain a Bachelor of Science in Natural Resources Science and Management and a Sustainability Certificate. She plans to attend graduate school to receive her Master of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation. Lisette is interested in natural history, national parks, and conservation. Her dream job would be to work as a Park Ranger. Some of her other career goals also include working for the National Geographic or the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.

Andrea Vega

Andrea Vega will be working with the education and outreach team at the Haystack Rock Awareness Program to do primary school educational outreach, curriculum design, and create an online education center. Here’s a bit more from Andrea:

I am a recent graduate of the class of 2021 at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I received a B.A in Environmental Studies. Ever since my freshman year, I’ve been trying to get experience wherever possible, whether it was interning at city hall or working in geochemistry labs. Through my different internships and lab positions, I have found that I love the application of knowledge. 

Being raised in Southern California has exposed me to a lot of beautiful landscapes and ecosystems, but best of all has always encouraged me to experience the world through my curiosity. I attribute a lot of my successes to my ability to cultivate my curiosity. Along with past experiences, I am very excited to see how I can immerse myself into this program and all the questions that will come to mind. 

In the future, I’d like to pursue a masters in coastal science and policy. My main career interests lie in marine conservation, sustainable aquaculture, and coastal erosion. Through this program, I’d like to broaden my network and work on my skills as a professional. 

Amishi Singh

Amishi Singh will be working with the education and outreach team at the Haystack Rock Awareness Program to do primary school educational outreach, curriculum design, and create an online education center. Here’s a bit more from Amishi:

I am a junior at the University of Washington studying Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management. I hope to combine the science background of a degree in environmental science with my experience in education and love of the outdoors to make sustainability and environmental education more accessible to the communities that will be the most impacted by our changing planet.

After graduating I plan to either go to law school and work in environmental law or to work with organizations that work in environmental advocacy and education. My goals for this summer are to get more experience and exposure to working in environmental advocacy as well as learning how to push for change on environmental issues.

Grace Roa

Grace Roa will be working with Oregon State University’s Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service to conduct host parasite challenge experiments on mud shrimp. Here’s a bit more from Grace:

I grew up being a water bug on Lake Lanier in Georgia, but spent every summer that I can remember on the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. That’s where my love of the ocean comes from. My academic and professional goals relate to increasing awareness of marine environmental issues and promoting effective protection and management of marine resources. I would love most of all to do field research that can inform management decisions and educate others on strategies for protecting the marine environment. 

I graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of North Georgia in December 2020. I will be starting as a Master’s student in Marine Resource Management at Oregon State University in the fall. I’m excited for my first opportunity to do marine field work as part of the Sea Grant Summer Scholars program!

Mikay Reuter

Mikayla Reuter will be working with Oregon Sea Grant on the Eat Oregon Seafood initiative and programming for new fishers. Here’s a bit more from Mikay:

I am a recent graduate from Oregon State University where I majored in Oceanography with a minor in Environmental Science. One of the most memorable experiences of my undergrad was working as a commercial fisherman for a summer off the coast of Newport. I plan to draw on that experiences, alongside my research experiences, when working for the EAT seafood initiative this summer. My hope is to use the position to improve resilience in the Oregon fishing community as well as in Oregon ecosystems.

Next year I will be starting my masters degree at the University of Guam where I will be helping with ongoing coral restoration genetics research. This experience will build off my positions as a volunteer in the Dr. Vega-Thurber coral lab at Oregon State and as a student researcher for coral ecosystems in Thailand and Indonesia. Once I finish my masters I plan to pursue a Ph.D. in coral restoration. Through my work, I wish to help restore these fragile ecosystems, especially in locations with fewer resources to adapt to the changing environment.

Yalin Li

Yalin Li will be working the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Coordinating Council on Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia to develop outreach for stakeholders regarding hypoxia vulnerability. Here’s a bit more from Yalin:

I will be graduated from the University of Oregon in the Spring of 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science and continuing my education at the University of California Davis in their Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management (EPM) program in Fall of 2021. During my time at the UO, I’ve been working as a research assistant in Dr. Kelly Sutherland’s Lab on a research project that focuses on how seasonal variations along the Pacific Northwest coast affect the nutritional state of jellyfish.

My interest lies in conservation management and policy, specifically around apex predators and reptiles, as well as helping make scientific knowledge more accessible and understandable to a wider audience. Through this opportunity, I hope to gain more knowledge about marine policy and resource management, as well as strengthen my skills in science communication.

Joshua Fackrel

Joshua Fackrell will be working as part of a team at the Oregon Coastal and Ocean Information Network to lead ongoing stakeholder engagement efforts, and optimize their survey and mapping tool. Here’s a bit more from Joshua:

I am a post-baccalaureate student at Portland State University graduating this Spring with an interdisciplinary science degree and minors in environmental science and biology. My first degree is in economics, where environmental economics piqued my interest. After returning from some time away from school, a deeper incorporation of environmentalism with my education is providing a feeling of wholeness as my values become more deeply rooted. After this degree, I plan to continue my education in graduate school, where I would like to research marine contaminants.

Like all of us, my journey with environmentalism started at a personal level, where the changes I’ve made compound my motivation to change and grow. This growth invariably extends beyond myself, and as my influential boundary moves beyond family and friends I feel even more fulfilled. Working with Oregon Sea Grant and OCOIN this summer is an amazing opportunity to expand my love for the environment. My goal is to do work at the macro-community level to foster the improvement of life on our planet.

Jessica Fench

Jessica French will be working as part of the Human Dimensions team at the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife to assess the socioeconomic impacts of Marine Reserve implementation on coastal communities. Here’s a bit more from Jessica:

I grew up on the Oregon Coast going to the beach and exploring tide pools. I studied archaeology at the University of Oregon before serving in the Coast Guard for four years. I love SCUBA diving and hope to incorporate that into a future career or research. I am currently studying marine biology at Oregon State University and am fascinated by human’s interactions with the marine environment.

The internship with the Human Dimensions Project will give me the opportunity to gain experience conducting research in the field while expanding my professional network and developing skills that will help me start a career in marine science. I also hope this experience will help me narrow down my career goals and decide if graduate school is the right choice for me.

Lucas Parvin

Lucas Parvin will be working with the education and outreach team at the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve to implement summer camp programs and enhance education and outreach materials. Here’s a bit more from Lucas:

I am majoring in zoology and minoring in chemistry and psychology at Oregon State University. I’m currently working on the completion of my honors thesis (which is centered around investigating how bee movement and foraging behavior can be manipulated for conservation and agricultural purposes using visual attractants) through the Forest Animal Ecology Lab under the mentorship of Dr. Jim Rivers. I am also a new member to the Cornelius Bird Lab at OSU, where I assist in caring for red crossbills and will be trained to help conduct physiological research. I recently finished and presented research that I conducted in the Hacker Lab through the URSA (Undergraduate Research, Scholarship and the Arts) Engage program, in which I found nitrate concentrations in sand samples from the East Coast and compared them to samples from the West Coast. 

My greatest academic interests are in ecology and animal behavior; specifically, I am interested in how understanding ecological processes and animal behavior can lead to more effective wildlife management and community outreach strategies. I will be graduating next spring and pursuing a Ph.D. in a related field. I am in the process of finding prospective Ph.D. mentors and will begin applying for graduate programs this coming fall. I would like to eventually conduct research, profess, and be involved in wilderness management.

Meet Last year’s 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.


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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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