Coastal & Marine Issues Leadership Stories

The latest episode of ESSENCE Magazine's UnBossed podcast features Fellow Ayana Johnson. She says, "I really strongly believe that one of the reasons that the environmental movement has not succeeded to the extent that it needs to so far is that it’s been dominated visibly by White people.”Read more >
How can we how can we learn from communities to understand risk and support resilience planning? Kristen Goodrich brings a social ecological approach to characterizing natural hazards when developing flood modeling by studying the human experience with and response to flooding. Before starting her...Read more >
At the end of October, a room full of politicians, biologists, and conservationists in Australia erupted in applause. After five years of negotiations, 24 countries and the European Union unanimously agreed to create a marine protected area (MPA) in Antarctica’s Ross Sea, which is considered the most pristine marine ecosystem in the world. Fellow Cassandra Brooks has worked in the region on this project for years, but says the agreement comes with some important caveats.Read more >
Fellow Marissa McMahan is working with Maine locals and Venetian fishermen to turn the invasive green crab into a gourmet dish known in Italy as moleche.Read more >
Earlier this spring, COMPASS led a policy communications training for the Switzer Fellows in Washington, D.C. that included practicing communication skills and learning about the world of policymakers, and was capped by meetings with policymakers on Capitol Hill. Marissa McMahan, a graduate student at Northeastern University who is studying the northern range expansion of black sea bass and how that affects both human and ecological systems in the Gulf of Maine, talks more about her experience in D.C.Read more >
Fellow Jennifer O’Leary recently received a prestigious Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation and is freshly back on California's Central Coast from management and conservation work she’s doing in East Africa and the Western Indian Ocean partially supported by a Switzer Leadership Grant.Read more >
Brad Keitt (1997) has already been working to prevent extinctions caused by non-native species introduced to islands for decades. His non-profit, Island Conservation, prevents extinctions of native species by removing invasive species from islands. But the challenge of climate change has Keitt rethinking how his organization plans its projects and communicates about them.Read more >
Brenda Zollitsch (2009), whose work as a policy analyst at the Association of State Wetland Managers (ASWM) is partially funded by a Switzer Leadership Grant, says one underappreciated challenge in addressing wetland loss is a chasm between the management of these issues between programs.Read more >
Marine ecosystems can take thousands, rather than hundreds, of years to recover from climate-related upheavals. 2013 Fellow Sarah Moffitt examined fossilized fauna on the seafloor to chart the changes. "There’s not a recovery we have to look forward to in my lifetime or my grandchildren's lifetime. It’s a gritty reality we need to face as scientists and people who care about the natural world and who make decisions about the natural world," she says.Read more >
To conservationist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, getting coastal communities involved in plans to protect their waters is critical for protecting the planet's oceans. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, she talks about her work in one Caribbean island and how it shows how such a strategy can get results.Read more >

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