Latin America Ocean Observing Systems Researcher at EDF

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

In their commitment to improve livelihoods and safeguard the oceans, the work of the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) Oceans Program reflected my values and professional motivations.

My summer internship officially started with EDF on June 8th and I am excited to be working with such a lively and wonderful group of people in my EDF Humboldt Oceans team–Erica Cunningham, Brad Parks, Sergio Palma, Samuel Amoros, Nina Pardo, Ana Suárez, our EDF partners in Mexico and our scientific partners at Chile’s Fisheries Development Institute (IFOP), Peru’s Marine Research Institute (IMARPE) and Ecuador’s National Fisheries Institute (INP). A special shoutout to all of them who welcomed me to the team with overwhelming warmth and enthusiasm.

Humboldt Current System-SAPO Part I.

In my work at EDF I get to collaborate across borders with many amazing people to help improve one of the planet’s most productive marine ecosystems–The Humboldt Current. The team focuses on fostering innovative and adaptive policies in fisheries, aiding local communities and as a result helping the marine wildlife that has been severely affected by climate changes in the area. A special focus of my work is The SAPO project (Sistema de Alerta, Predicción y Observación) which creates the Humboldt’s first ever Observation, Prediction and Early Warning System for climate impacts on fisheries. This project looks to pave the way for more cohesive and collaborative fishery management practices across the Humboldt Current System.

So far, what I like most about my work is the SAPO project’s multidisciplinary approach to climate adaptations and fisheries management, as well as its connection to a diversity of people in achieving its conservation goals. Among my responsibilities is to help assess the present data being collected and existing fisheries technologies in Chile, Peru and Ecuador to address any gaps in understanding about climate change affecting fisheries in the region.

Accordingly, I had to dive head first into the world of physical oceanography, which has been both a challenging and rewarding experience but also one I have already learned much from to complement my experience in ocean and coastal resource management. My assigned first task is to research and filter metadata from Ecuador’s National fisheries organization ( to assess a summary of the Ecuadorian efforts on ocean data platforms, parameters, and variables of interest for our development of a collaborative oceanographic observation system (SAPO) in the region. Likewise, I get to collaborate with all of our partners in Latin America to organize and mediate a nascent on-line fisheries conference about emerging fisheries technologies and management for the Latin America region, which is led by my mentor and oceanographer Brad Parks at EDF.

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As the summer progresses, I look forward to continuing my work with EDF in safeguarding the oceans and helping translate science into policy for better management of critical marine ecosystems like the Humboldt current, helping unite communities and nature while adapting to a changing world.

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