Internship Wrap Up

Last week my internship with NOAA officially ended. It feels like if flew by in a matter of weeks not months.

What did you accomplish with your host organization? What was the impact of your work?

By the end of my internship, I wrote an extensive research paper containing the following: a comprehensive literature review on coastal and oceanic blue carbon, threats to blue carbon habitats, case studies of blue carbon analysis and restoration, market mechanisms to protect blue carbon, an assessment of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary blue carbon sources, and recommendations for MPA managers to implement blue carbon work. My paper will be published in the Spring and will be the first article to summarize blue carbon work in this much detail and with recommendations.

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Blue Carbon Mapping and Carbon Markets

It is truly incredible how quickly time flies. I have recently moved onto the next phase of my internship mapping the seagrass, kelp, and salt marsh extents in the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. Most of my time has been spent trying to find alternative datasets to make sure all known habitat extents are included in my analysis. Based on the area I estimate through mapping I am calculating how much carbon is stored and sequestered in the sanctuary every year. Once my results are complete, I will determine how much money can be gained by entering into the voluntary carbon market and the social benefit to society by sequestering carbon. This analysis is vital for the sanctuary to understand how much carbon they have stored and how potential restoration projects of salt marsh and seagrass may increase that amount. Helping the sanctuary has expanded my knowledge of blue carbon and participated in a growing field that is essential to mitigate the impacts of climate change.

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Blue Carbon in Marine Protected Areas

At the start of the school year, I never would have guessed I would be working from my apartment in Monterey. I am interning for the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary (GFNMS) office working on blue carbon sequestration and storage within the sanctuary boundaries. The GFNMS office has been very welcoming and supportive as I begin work on Blue Carbon storage in the sanctuary. I have been working for three weeks and since the start I hit the ground running reading and writing for my comprehensive literature review on blue carbon in marine protected areas. This is a burgeoning field and there are considerable gaps in our knowledge and understanding of how much carbon can be sequestered by oceanic ecosystems, however I am excited to participate in the growing body of knowledge.

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Elizabeth Francis: Analyzing Blue Carbon

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary
San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
June 1 – August 21, 2020

Elizabeth will be working with the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary to analyze potential sources of blue carbon storage with a case study conducted on the Bolinas Lagoon. She will then analyze and assess the results of her findings in the Sanctuary and write international recommendations and guidelines for blue carbon storage in marine protected areas.