Master of Environmental Management student Juliette Lee worked with the Global Alliance for Managing Ocean Noise (GAMeON) to explore data-informed strategies to minimize anthropogenic ocean noise for her Master's Project (MP). Three different approaches are presented that explore ways to proactively identify emerging concerns and solutions, to create inclusive multi-sectoral dialogues, and to map existing and emerging technologies to solve the pressing ocean challenge of human-produced noise. These three approaches include evidence synthesis, multi-sectoral dialogues, and ‘smart shipping’ geospatial technology. 

Duke Environment recently corresponded with Lee to discuss the key findings of her MP and some of the skills she will carry forward into her career. 

What are the key findings of your MP? 

I took an unconventional approach to my Master’s Project so my work is not in the form of findings like the results of a Master of Science dissertation. I identified practical approaches for reducing ocean noise via systemic evidence synthesis, multi-sectoral dialogues, and ‘Smart Shipping’ technology. Within chapter 1, which focused on utilizing system evidence synthesis, I identified the most prominent intervention categories for reducing ocean noise from the literature. This included research and monitoring and legal and policy frameworks. For chapter 2, which focused on multi-sectoral dialogues, I hosted a workshop focused on reducing ocean noise from offshore renewable energy development. Patterns of barriers and opportunities arose, including conflicts between sectors and cost and logistical feasibility. For chapter 3, on ‘Smart Shipping’ technology, I produced a user interactive geoprocessing tool that identifies the least cost shipping path to avoid acoustically sensitive areas. 

How will having practical work experience in this project help you in your career? 

Ocean challenges can no longer be solved in an echo chamber relying solely on scientific research. My Master’s Project has provided me the tools to collaborate with experts across sectors, from industry to academia, from government to non-profit. I hope to re-enter the workforce in a meaningful position where I can work at the intersection, developing innovative solutions to our grand ocean challenges.  

Global Alliance for Managing Ocean Noise logo

What drew you to this project/client? 

My client, the Global Alliance for Managing Ocean Noise, (GAMeON) is a worldwide collaborative of ocean noise experts across sectors. Their approach to the challenge of

ocean noise exhibits a model of how to identify a challenge and develop a solution: through collaboration. We live in a world where the blue acceleration is inevitable-- we must embrace all stakeholders of the blue economy, create space for constructive dialogue in order to set the stage for a sustainable ocean future. The GAMeON sounding board allowed me to approach the challenge of ocean noise in such a way.

The Master’s Project combines the academic rigor of a thesis with the practical experience of an internship, allowing students to apply the skills and knowledge they’ve acquired in the classroom to projects that tackle real-world environmental challenges.