What is your previous work experience?
As an undergraduate, I spent two years working as a field and research assistant on a long-term study assessing the effects of increasing global temperatures on the carbon storage potential of permafrost peatlands. After graduating, I worked as a GIS/field technician examining coastal hazards (including sea level rise, storm surge, and shoreline erosion) with the Maine Geological Survey. I continued my time in state government as an environmental specialist at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. In this role, I was responsible for administering and enforcing Maine’s natural resource protection laws in some of the most developed and vulnerable coastal communities in the state.

Why did you choose the Nicholas School?
It was clear to me that the Nicholas School has one of the strongest programs focusing on training coastal environmental managers. The faculty and resources associated with the CEM concentration and the Duke Marine Lab made the Nic School the obvious choice for me to fulfill my education goals. Additionally, the program was the most financially viable option I had thanks to the aid I received from the school.

Do you have any areas of interest or special focus you will undertake during your time at the Nicholas School?
I would like to improve my knowledge and personal skill set related to climate adaptation and the process of building more resilient coastal communities. I am planning to pursue the Geospatial Analysis Certificate to hone my GIS skills and apply them to this research area. I am also interested in working more with the Marine Robotics and Remote Sensing lab in Beaufort.

What are you looking forward to as a new Nicholas School student?
I am most excited about meeting and spending time with my peers and the faculty at the Nicholas School. It‚Äôs exciting to imagine being surrounded by so many like-minded people who share similar goals in environmentalism, while still offering a diversity of backgrounds and perspectives. 

What future plans do you have for your career after the Nicholas School?
Broadly speaking, I would like to apply my degree to a career that focuses on preparing for a future defined by climate change. I hope to be able to wield both my scientific background and the management skills I will acquire at the Nic School to become an effective communicator, decision maker, and technical advisor.  Based on my experience and education goals, I can envision occupying a role that that aims to deepen our scientific understanding of the coastal environment, with the hope of improving decision making and policies to build more resilient coastal communities.

Personal thanks:
I would like to thank the donors who made my time at the Nicholas School a reality. It is unlikely that I would have been able to attend the program without this incredible financial support, so I am deeply grateful!