Coral reefs are declining at an unprecedented rate and there is a great deal of scientific knowledge documenting what is happening and what may happen with the continuing changes. However, there is a disconnect in our ability to communicate these findings and develop plans to preserve and protect these fragile reefs. I feel we need to foster partnerships between scientists, policy makers and managers in order to develop lasting policies and management plans.
During my first year of graduate school, I began to explore options for my future career. I have always had a passion for coral reef conservation and management, and thus began to take classes to gain a better understanding of past, present and future management. I have become extremely interested in the intersection between science and policy and how we, as scientists, can help bridge this gap.
Graduate Certificate in Marine Resource Management
Oregon State University offers a graduate certificate in Marine Resource Management for those that are interested in management and policy for a variety of marine related careers. During my second year, I took a course in marine management and was quickly introduced to the certificate. I was immediately interested in the formal courses and the types of professional development the certificate offered. I have been introduced to marine policy and management tools, discussed the intersections between science and policy, and have had the opportunity to interact with a variety of Professors at Oregon State University and Professionals working in both governmental and non-governmental organizations.
As of Winter 2016, I have earned my Graduate Certificate and am looking for more ways to get involved!
Visit with Congress People to discuss Science Funding!
I was very fortunate to travel to Washington, D.C. April 2018 to meet with my local congressmen and women! Through the Society for the Study of Evolution (SSE) and in association with the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), I traveled to D.C. for three days to discuss the importance of science and science funding. Before our meetings, AIBS held a science communication workshop and informational sessions about how to talk with policymakers. It was an excellent introduction to how to make science relevant to policy, and was a great time to practice communicating our messages!
I met with Senators and Representatives, as well as their amazing staff, from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska. We had meaningful conversations about how science funding has contributed to our states, universities, as well as our personal research. I really enjoyed meeting everyone and hope to be back in D.C. soon!