Upon moving to Monterey earlier this month, I officially completed both of my summer fellowships! After spending months researching blue carbon for The Nature Conservancy, I compiled the information into a 17-page report. This outlined the key aspects of my research including
- What is defined as blue carbon and different sequestration rates
- Types of wetlands in central/coastal California
- Effects of sea level rise on blue carbon sinks
- Incorporating blue carbon projects into existing carbon markets in California
- Explaining how blue carbon projects will help California achieve its ambitious climate policies
- Analyzing pre-existing blue carbon studies
- Understanding how insurance mechanisms can protect coastlines
This work helps the Coastal Team at TNC with basic information and background on blue carbon. As they continue to tackle many projects, blue carbon is scheduled to begin sometime in 2022.
My research with Dr. Charlie Colgan and MARCO also provided a unique opportunity for my professional career. I looked at various carbon stocks and sequestration rates to estimate the amount of stored carbon in 5 Mid-Atlantic region states. This project gave me a basic understanding of different organizations working together to achieve a common goal.
Both of my experiences this summer have advanced me from a professional and personal standpoint. I believe these fellowships allowed me to better my research skills and writing techniques. When writing the blue carbon report for TNC, I was very careful about using jargon. My mentor has a background in physics while I am an environmental policy student. I had to be more aware of my intended audience throughout the writing process in order to ensure proper understanding from various backgrounds. This is extremely useful moving forward in my professional career as I will be working with individuals from many different disciplines.
My fellowship with MARCO and CBE allowed me to practice skills I had learned the previous school year such as GIS. I also assisted Dr. Charlie Colgan in writing the draft of the blue carbon section. This is likely to be published within the next several months which will be a great achievement for my resume!
From a personal standpoint, I found that I really enjoy researching. I believe I am closer to perfecting my skills in this area as well as writing. I also practiced time management in a way I was not always familiar with. As a college athlete in my undergraduate studies, I was equipped with balancing school work and swim practice. Both of these fellowships allowed me to practice balancing two professional projects. This will be very beneficial in my career after MIIS.
I highly recommend this experience through the CBE Summer Fellowship program to all incoming or current OCRM students. This was an amazing opportunity I would not have been able to do without this program. I am truly grateful for all of the fellows before me who helped pave the way for me. I am proud to say I believe I did the same for the fellows to come over the next several years.