What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?
This summer I was fortunate enough to work with the Giant Giant Kelp Restoration Project (G2KR) and Oceana, on kelp restoration and sustainable fisheries.
At G2KR it was a very eventful summer working with agencies, recreational divers, and other stakeholders to pursue a scientific collection permit (SCP) to expand the kelp restoration project to more sites on the Monterey Peninsula. Throughout the summer we drafted an SCP application and distributed it to other interested groups.
At Oceana, I did similar work which included drafting an Experimental Fishing Permit (EFP) application to expand the testing and implementation of pop-up fishing gear off the coast of California. I presented our approach in the EFP application to many different groups that included stakeholders from fishers, gear manufacturers, agencies, and many others.
Describe the benefits of this experience for you professionally and personally?
It was actually really interesting working within two separate ocean sectors but doing similar work. This demonstrated the power and necessity of collaboration, as well as the creativity involved in bringing new, innovative gear or techniques into the marine conservation space. I was able to meet with and present to an amazing number of folks in California – my network expanded greatly!
Did your experience provide any unexpected discovery, self-reflection, or epiphany?
There were quite a few unexpected roadblocks and discoveries throughout the summer. While I cannot elaborate on the specifics, I will note that they also highlighted the importance of effective team work and flexibility while working in this space.
I am so grateful for both opportunities and the MIIS CBE Fellowship.