Eleanor Bent: Protecting a High-Seas Biodiversity Hotspot

Working remotely from Pacific Grove, California, USA and in-person with teams in El Salvador and Costa Rica
June 1st – August 1st, 2023

Eleanor will join the SARGADOM Project at MarViva this summer in the Costa Rican office. She will further Marviva’s efforts to implement conservation and sustainable management actions for the Thermal Dome, a marine biodiversity hotspot in the high seas —by completing a research project on shipping routes in the context of the new high seas treaty. Her project will consist of interviewing members of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and Comisión Centroamericana de Transporte Marítimo (COCATRAM) to determine perceptions and understanding of how the high seas treaty will influence maritime shipping activities, as well as how these organizations plan to adapt their activities and collaborate. Eleanor will travel to El Salvador and Costa Rica in mid-June to identify stakeholders in both organizations, begin the interview process, and meet with members of Marviva. At the end of her internship, Eleanor will write a research paper summarizing her findings and submit it to be published in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

Hannah Ditty: Blue Carbon and Nature-based Solutions in the Mekong Delta

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Hanoi, Vietnam
June 5th – September 1st, 2023

Coastal ecosystems – mangroves, coral reefs, seagrasses, and tidal marshes – are some of the most productive on Earth. In recent years, their significant role in sequestering and storing ‘blue carbon’ is also increasingly being recognized by policymakers. In addition to mitigation benefits, these coastal ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems are home to a wealth of biodiversity and provide communities with essential ecosystem services, such as coastal protection from storms and land erosion, and nursery grounds for fish. As such, they provide a full spectrum of mitigation, adaptation, and protection benefits. The conservation, protection, restoration, and sustainable management of these important ‘blue carbon’ ecosystems are therefore valuable climate actions, which can be achieved from the application of nature-based solutions (NbS).

Continue reading

Maya Hoffman: Sailors for the Sea

Sailors for the Sea
Working remotely from Monterey, California, USA with team in Newport, Rhode Island, USA
June 8th – August 24th, 2023

Maya will be working with Sailors for the Sea Powered by Oceana to develop and test sustainability best practices for offshore sailors, including racers, delivery crews, and cruisers. She will be speaking with sailors to determine effective and realistic sustainability practices that will be achievable for sailors, regardless of boat differences, offshore conditions, and port capabilities. She will help sailors test these practices on the water to ultimately develop an official guidance document for boaters everywhere.

Maya is an accomplished sailor herself, check out her “Skippers Corner” blog on the Sailors for the Sea website: https://www.sailorsforthesea.org/blog/skippers-corner-team-leading-change

Libby Mohn: High Seas Marine Protected Areas

High Seas Specialist Group of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Commission on Protected Areas (WCPA)
Working remotely from Monterey, California, USA with teams in San Diego, California & Gland, Switzerland
In-person team meeting in Gland, Switzerland
June 12th – August 11th, 2023

Libby Mohn will be working with the IUCN WCPA’s High Seas Specialist Group (HSSG) this summer to write a report on high seas marine protected areas (MPAs). The purpose of this report will be to aggregate lessons learned from big ocean MPA managers to inform the future establishment of MPAs in the high seas. To complete this, Libby will interview experts in the field regarding three specific case study areas: the Ross Sea MPA in Antarctic waters, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, and the Papahānaumokuākea MPA off the coast of Hawaii. Ultimately, the report will focus on the implementation stage of large-scale MPAs (LSMPAs) to help the IUCN WCPA roll out support for MPAs in the high seas and ensure their effectiveness in these large spaces lacking logical governance structures.

Diego Tabilo: Ocean Risk and Resilience

Oceans Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA)
Working remotely from Monterey, California, USA with team in Washington, DC, USA
In-person team meeting in Poole, UK
June 15th – September 15th, 2023

A resilient, Net-Zero, and economically secure world is not possible without a healthy, regenerating ocean. However, one of the planet’s greatest assets is in crisis. Because immediate and scaled action is needed to build resilience to change, the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (ORRAA) , a multi-stakeholder platform working in ocean finance, aims to drive at least USD$500 million of investment into coastal and ocean nature, positively impacting the resilience of at least 250 million climate vulnerable people in coastal areas around the world. ORRAA is actively engaged in the development and scaling of tools and initiatives that fill this gap.

Continue reading
Marissa Castro in a woodlen meadow

Marissa Castro: EDF Fisheries Solutions Center

Environmental Defense Fund
San Francisco, California, USA
June 14-August 16, 2022

Marissa will be a fully embedded member of EDF’s Fishery Solutions Center. She will be supporting the development of innovative tools that will provide fishery decision makers with the ability to advance climate resilience. Projects include working with regional staff to develop and refine technical tools, conducting research and interviews to ensure science-based tools reflect best practices while promoting just and equitable fisheries, and delivering presentations and trainings to EDF Staff and other partners to facilitate uptake of EDF tools.

Kacy Cooper: California Kelp Restoration Corps, Giant Giant Kelp Restoration Project

California Kelp Restoration Corps/Giant Giant Kelp Restoration Project
June 1-September 3, 2022
Monterey, California, USA

The California Kelp Restoration Corps (CKRC) is a 501(c)3 organization in Monterey, California with the mission to protect and actively restore California’s kelp. It was incorporated in February 2022 and oversees the implementation of the Giant Giant Kelp Restoration Project at Tankers Reef (G2KR). G2KR is a citizen-science kelp restoration project in Monterey, that has been permitted to cull urchins on a two-acre project area and document the regrowth of kelp.

Continue reading

Benjamin Dorfman: Blue Carbon and Equity in Climate Solutions

Environmental Defense Fund
May 25th-August 12th, 2022
San Francisco, California, USA

The goal is to determine the feasibility of quantifying blue carbon within the territorial waters of less developed countries that have contributed little to climate change yet are bearing the brunt of the adverse impacts of climate change to reduce the financial burden on these countries of complying with their climate stabilization commitments.

Continue reading

Elizabeth (Liz) Hofius: Marine Managed Areas with Surfing in Mind

Save the Waves
June 7-August 31, 2022
Santa Cruz, California, USA

Liz will be assisting with two projects with the Save the Waves Coalition. The first project is aimed at informing policy and management around climate vulnerability of California’s natural surfing capital. There is a pressing need to estimate the value of California’s surfing economy, its vulnerability to climate change, and the policy choices that will maintain its value when making policy and planning for sea level rise and coastal adaptation across the state. Importantly, it is necessary to understand not just the physical changes in these natural resources, but the behavioral responses of local communities and coastal tourists to these changes, and the socioeconomic impacts that result. Liz will assist with examining and collecting data from many sources including, but not limited to, historically observed conditions and climate change vulnerability projections, existing management frameworks, and economic survey instruments.  From the valuation data, a functional benefit transfer model will be developed, by which coastal managers and policy experts can derive credible estimates of the value of surfing in alternative locations, and at the state level (Project Tasks 5 and 6 – aligned with OPC Goal 4). Integrating the economic information with estimates of surf break vulnerability will enable further exploration of key policy considerations, including potential measures to reduce vulnerability of individual surfing destinations, at both the site and locality level (Project Task 6 – OPC Goals 4 and 2), as well as policy recommendations to improve access to surf amenities to benefit disadvantaged communities.  

Continue reading

Prati Rosen: Marine Carbon Dioxide Removal (mCDR)

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Marine Protected Areas Center
June 6, 2022 – August 19, 2022
Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

Working with the National Marine Protected Areas Center and Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, the intern will explore if, how, and where, marine carbon dioxide removal (mCDR) could be deployed in National Marine Sanctuary waters and the authorities that sanctuaries have in regulating, permitting, and deploying such technologies. Participant will gain practical and technical experience in the application of marine carbon dioxide removal technology and planning to marine protected areas, as well as developing skills in policy applications, protected area manager engagement and leadership support.

Molly Ryan: Climate Change and Human Rights in Vanuatu

Permanent Mission of Vanuatu to the United Nations
June 13-September 5, 2022
New York, New York, USA

Vanuatu has announced its intentions to take on the campaign to seek an Advisory Opinion from the International Court of Justice on the issue of climate change and human rights, specifically to seek clarification of the legal duties of large emitters of greenhouse gases with respect to present and future generations. The campaign seeks to put this as a resolution to the United Nations General Assembly where all countries will be asked to vote on the Vanuatu proposal. Seeing greater leadership from states in supporting this resolution will be crucial for success. The Fellow will assist the Vanuatu legal and communications team on this campaign.

Megan Spitzer: Promoting Sustainable Diving and Fishing in the Florida Keys

NOAA Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary
May 30-August 16, 2022
Key Largo, Florida, USA

Megan is working with Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary to conduct a Needs Based Assessment of their Blue Star Program. Blue Star partners with local diving and fishing operators in order to implement more sustainable practices and education through their certification voluntary recognition program. Megan will be conducting interviews with both Sanctuary staff and partnering operators in order to evaluate the program and make any recommendations for its continued success.

Madison Springfield: Empowering youth to become ocean stewards

The Wahine Project
June 6th- August 12th, 2022
Sand City, California, USA

The Wahine Project is a non-profit based in Monterey Bay, CA which seeks to inspire a global response that eliminates the barriers preventing a diversity of youth from a personal relationship with the ocean and with one another. This summer, Maddy will work as the Education Outreach Coordinator and will develop and design a marine education curriculum for grades 2-12 to be used during camp programming. Maddy will also implement and teach the curriculum with the campers. Marine lessons will be presented to every age group during the week and topics will range from climate change’s impact on the ocean, to plastic pollution, to marine biology. The overall goal of this summer project is to increase camp participants’ awareness of the problems impacting the ocean, ways to address these problems, and empower them to become ocean stewards in their own lives. The Education Outreach Coordinator will also be a camp instructor, working with the campers in the ocean through various ocean sports including surfing, boogie boarding, and more.