By Paige Welsh

For this newsletter issue, I sat down with Lucie Hazen, a COS Research Analyst. Lucie's career has embraced the connection between science and practical application. Since her undergraduate work, she's been thinking about the interplay between people and the ocean they use for ecosystem services. In our interview, I learned about how Lucie's well-rounded experience contributes to the Center's mission and the depth of her tenacity when she sets her mind on a goal.

Lucie's current work focuses primarily on developing guidance for tracking implementation of California’s Marine Life Management Act (MLMA). This work involves building an assessment tool that would allow the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and other entities to clearly identify strengths and weaknesses in existing fisheries management approaches and more easily prioritize their limited resources. She is also generating an inventory of ecosystem and human activities assessments of the California Current in collaboration with the West Coast Regional Planning Body and contributing to a federal, coast wide management plan.

Your current work is focused on California Fisheries and the implementation of the Marine Life Management Act. Why do we need a project focusing on this?

The Marine Life Management Act is one of the most progressive examples of ecosystem-based fisheries management law. In principle, it is impressively sweeping, but in practice it is challenging to implement to its full potential. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) and the California Fish and Game Commission (FGC) manage the state’s expansive ocean waters well, but due to data gaps, high compliance costs and funding and capacity constraints, managers may lack access to the best available knowledge, data and technologies. One of the clearest examples of that gap between theory and practice is that the law calls for fishery management plans (FMPs) for each fishery managed by the state. Yet after 17 years on the books, only six FMPs exist today even though there are approximately 200 species in state waters. Everything from the species’ life history and ecology to the fishery history and socioeconomics, management alternatives, environmental impact analysis and research protocols goes into a fishery management plan. Producing comprehensive plans is resource intensive, and given the other regular urgent issues that must be addressed, the Department is not always able to focus on these data-intensive management plans. We have a unique opportunity to help the Department prioritize their competing demands by developing a novel assessment tool. We are doing this in collaboration with California fisheries managers at an exciting time, as the CDFW and FGC are in the process of revising the guidance for the MLMA.

How did you come to be involved in ocean sciences?

I earned my Masters in aquatic and fisheries sciences from the University of Washington in 2003. Since then, I've done a variety of field research in rocky and sandy intertidal and river systems as well as marine mammal surveys on the west and east coasts. I also spent a few years at Duke University focusing on project and grant management work in the realm of fisheries and marine science. I got hooked on marine ecology and international travel in my undergraduate years, when I joined an NSF-funded biological survey aboard a Russian research vessel going to the Kuril Islands. I also spent a few months after graduation as a fisheries observer for the long-line tuna fishery based in Hawaii. I was the onboard biologist recording and measuring the catch from every 20+ mile haul, watching for Pacific loggerhead and leatherback turtle by-catch because of their endangered status. That was a pivotal experience because it exposed me to commercial fishing and made me think more in-depth about the interaction between the ocean and the people who depend on it.

What challenges have you encountered in your work?

As I think many Master’s level scientists have done, I struggled with whether to get a PhD or not. It seemed like something everybody does, and the academic system generally guides people in that direction. However, the job prospects following a PhD were not as good of a fit for me. There are professional opportunities without a PhD, and I am fortunate to have this one. I like working in in the science-policy space in which COS operates. To this date, I have been able to carve a career path that does not require a PhD, which has worked well for me. In retrospect, I'm happy with my decision.

Do you have a memorable COS experience?

I have had a series of positive interactions and opportunities to learn from many talented people during the five years I’ve been here. It's all contributed to an outstanding set of professional opportunities and growth as well as great relationships.

What is an accomplishment you are particularly proud of?

I led authorship on a paper this past year in Fisheries Research titled, “Translating sustainable seafood frameworks to assess the implementation of ecosystem-based fisheries management.” I have been a coauthor on several papers, but this was my first primary authorship. Honestly, the process was quite frustrating, including multiple back and forths with the journal and reviewers, and multiple revisions, but ultimately the paper was stronger and we were successful.

What would you be doing if you weren't working in marine science?

I have an alternative career reality in my mind about being involved in exercise physiology, or the health and wellness field. I run, hike and occasionally do triathlons. Outside of work, I try to keep myself fit and my family healthy.

Lucie and her family at the Grand Canyon.

What is something people may not know about you?

I taught myself to swim from a book at the age of thirty. It was a great book, and I was really committed. I thought it was ridiculous that I was thirty and a marine scientist, but I didn’t know how to properly swim. There's this how-to book called Total Immersion about improving your swimming skills. It shows what to do with your body step-by-step, which worked well for me.

What do you find more rewarding about your work?

I've always been drawn more to the applied side of science and research. I feel like we do our best at COS to advance meaningful change in the policy and management world. It's not just about interesting scientific questions or cutting edge research. It's being in that boundary space and influencing sustainability and stewardship.

If you could be anywhere doing anything right now, where would you be?

I would either be diving in the Maldives, given the incredible diversity and likely decline due to climate change. Or I might be sleeping, as I don’t get to do enough of that as a parent of two young kids.


By Paige Welsh

This summer, we had the privilege of working with many talented visiting interns and scholars. Plus, two new staff members joined the team. We hope you enjoy getting to know them and their work as much as we did.

Stephanie Green, early career science fellow

Stephanie Green is an early career science fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions where she leads research on the effects of climate change on ocean food webs. She is also a Banting Postdoctoral Fellow. Her research focuses on issues ranging from invasive species and climate change to energy development and science policy. Stephanie received her PhD from Simon Fraser University and BS from the University of British Columbia. During her dissertation, she developed trait and size-based foraging models that are used across the Caribbean region to set targets for managing the impacts of invasive Indo- Pacific lionfish on native marine species. In 2013, she was awarded a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship to develop optimal approaches for managing the impacts of invasions within marine protected areas in collaboration with the US National Park Service, NOAA and Oregon State University.

"As a kid I remember wading knee deep into a sandy bay off the British Columbia coast where I grew up to pluck lumpy oysters up off the bottom. We haven't seen oysters there for over a decade, and their return is unlikely as the waters acidify there. Seeing changes like this in my own short lifetime are what inspire me to study and protect the oceans so that others have the chance to experience the amazing creatures in it," said Stephanie.

Even when she's not working, the ocean is always on her mind.

"Some people are 'bird watchers'; I consider myself a 'fish watcher.' When I'm not in the office, I prefer to be on or in the water. My happy place is on a scuba dive searching for unusual critters or watching fish hunt and hide. I'm embarrassed to admit that only a handful of the thousands of dives I've done have been in cold water, but I'm hoping to change that."

Stephanie has also served as an affiliate scientist with the Reef Environmental Education Foundation since 2009 where she designs trainings in marine research and monitoring for international governments and NGOs. She also develops and leads training in storytelling and science communication. Her research and teaching has taken her to more than 20 countries bordering the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.

Jessica Williams, geospatial research assistant

Jessica Williams completed her B.S. in Biology at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and then quickly went on to work at the education department of the California Academy of Sciences where she developed a new ocean acidification program. This program educated the public on the science of pH and what community members could do about ocean acidification. Afterwards, she started working on her master's degree in the Applied Marine and Watershed Science program at CSUMB. There she discovered the world of GIS and mapping. She followed her education on GIS with an internship at the Ocean Science Trust.

“I think that GIS is such a powerful data communication tool. To show people on a map where they live and what resources are there is such an engaging and valuable way to communicate data,” said Jessica.

Currently, she is working with the Ocean Tipping Points team to communicate a case study done in Hawaii. A desire to communicate science effectively has guided Jessica’s career. She says that going to aquariums in her youth was very influential on her goals because they exemplified how people can be changed by a personal connection to the ocean.

“It’s really hard for me to just sit back and watch what’s happening to the world. I want to feel like I have some part in making the world a better place. I know that’s so cliché, but I would get restless doing something that wasn’t making progress on solving the environmental issues in the world,” said Jessica.

Héloïse Berkowitz, PhD student at Ecole Polytechnique, visiting student researcher at COS

Héloïse Berkowitz is a visiting researcher from Ecole polytechnique, CNRS, Université Paris Saclay. She is working on her PhD in management science, specializing in organization theory. Héloïse has master's degrees in international business and history and geopolitics. As an undergraduate at University Paris Sorbonne, she majored in history and geography. Her research currently focuses on meta-organizations - organizations which members are themselves organizations - that strive to achieve wider goals (examples include everything from trade associations to international collectives like the European Union). She has worked primarily in the oil and gas industry to see how the sector collectively responds to pressures for sustainability.

“I am confident that businesses are also part of the solution. Interviewing people [in the industry] gives me hope. At first, everyone was laughing at me because my main field was oil and gas and sustainability. They said, ‘That’s an oxymoron.’ Most would imagine [members of the industry] as indifferent to the planet, but I’ve only met people who’ve truly cared both about their organization and the environment. They wanted to make their organizations better,” said Héloïse.

In her short stint at COS, Héloïse hopes to learn as much as possible about the role cross-sectoral meta-organizations play in ocean governance, and to start interdisciplinary collaborations on the issue. She is drafting a collaborative paper on the topic that she hopes to publish. She also has experience in Big Data and will consult with COS researchers to provide insights.

Isabella (Isa) Badia Bellinger, Stanford in government fellow and COS summer intern

Isabella (Isa) Badia Bellinger is a Stanford in Government Fellow and current Stanford undergraduate studying Earth Systems. Her focus on the ocean was spurred by her research experience in Hawaii which included a project on traditional fishponds. Isa has a strong interest in the human side of environmental issues. As an intern at COS, she has been working on a variety of projects including assisting the communications team with video production, developing management tools with the California fisheries team and writing a paper which focuses on how graduate programs can prepare ocean leaders.

“The education project is particularly interesting because it applies so much to myself and my educational path,” said Isa.

On the California fisheries project, she is testing a survey tool for the market squid fishery that hopes to assist fishery managers with assessing their progress with the Marine Life Management Act. Her work with the communications department has also exposed her to other projects such as the coastal adaptation project.

“I like the balance. For the videos, I get to get out and see what people are doing first hand on a variety of projects.”

Isa loves being by the ocean. She's happy whenever she's swimming, surfing or boating in it. She is also involved in Stanford's NAACP chapter and passionate about increasing the representation of women of color in environmental/conservation science.

Allison (Alli) Nicole Cutting, small-scale fisheries intern

Allison (Alli) Cutting graduated from Seattle Pacific University in March of 2015, with a Bachelors in ecology and a minor in sociology. COS’ blend of social and natural science attracted her to the internship. She was also interested in the emphasis on small-scale fisheries and food security because of her background in fisheries research. She completed her senior project on integrative knowledge and cooperation in small-scale fisheries.

“I looked at the link between degraded fisheries and threatened communities. I also investigated different ways of knowing, like traditional ecological knowledge, and how that fits with Western science," Alli said about her project. "That’s where I saw my two areas of study fit together.”

As an intern with the small-scale fisheries team, Alli will work on a literature review of the best practices for small-scale fisheries governance. She will also look at reports from NGOs, practitioners and funders to elucidate what works and what doesn’t work in fisheries management. In the long term, Alli hopes to craft a career where she can be a “practitioner of the ocean.”

“I would love to explore the relationship between man and the sea, then bring what I find back to the public so it can be used in a tangible way.”

When Alli isn’t doing ocean research, she likes to backpack and sail. She is also dabbling in surfing.

Monica Moritsch, science and policy summer intern

Monica Moritsch, a PhD student at UC Santa Cruz, is this year’s Science and Policy Summer Intern. She is an alumni of both the Ocean Policy Course and MARINE’s campus liaison program. She says COS has played a key role in her professional development journey.

“I’m trying to figure out what to do with my life after grad school, and I’ve been really involved with MARINE. Through their events, I’ve gotten to see glimpses of what COS does. I was really curious about what it would be like to work here,” said Monica.

In her internship, she has been working with the geospatial team by creating maps of coastal vulnerability in Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Cruz, creating figures and ensuring the figures are clear to future readers. In her work, she has been making connections to the kelp depletion she’s seen in the mapping, and the consequences of sea star mass mortality, which is the focus of her PhD research.

"The most important thing I have learned so far is to tell your audience what they need to know. People at a coastal planning agency have very different information needs, prior knowledge and ways of acting on that information than people who are conducting ocean research," said Monica.

When Monica isn't working on ocean issues she likes to kayak and swing dance.

Giselle Schmitz, law and policy summer intern

Giselle Schmitz is the Center’s 2016 law and policy intern. She is a current law student at the University of Oregon who hopes to pursue a career in ocean related law. In her undergraduate career, Giselle gained a diverse educational experience studying both biology and literature. She has experience doing scientific and recreational dives along the Washington coast and in the San Juan Islands. She continues to explore uncharted waters by diving in Oregon’s lakes.

“I found policy as a natural way to use my writing abilities and segue them into ocean science,” said Giselle.

In her position as an intern, she has been researching legal questions and editing written materials. She is learning about public trust doctrine which meshes well with her interests in coastal issues related to climate change such as sea level rise and the depletion of resources.




Stephanie Green is an Early Career Science Fellow at the Center for Ocean Solutions where she leads research on the effects of climate change on ocean food webs. She is also a CIHR Banting Fellow. Her research focuses on issues ranging from invasive species and climate change to energy development and science policy.

Stephanie received her PhD from Simon Fraser University and BS from the University of British Columbia. During her dissertation, she developed trait and size-based foraging models that are used across the Caribbean region to set targets for managing the impacts of invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish on native marine species. In 2013, she was awarded a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellowship to develop optimal approaches for managing the impacts of invasions within marine protected areas in collaboration with the US National Park Service, NOAA and Oregon State University.

Stephanie has served as an Affiliate Scientist with the Reef Environmental Education Foundation since 2009 where she designs training in marine research and monitoring for international governments and NGOs. She also develops and leads training in storytelling and science communication. Her research and teaching has taken her to more than 20 countries bordering the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic Ocean.





UCSC Liaison Since

Meredith began as a PhD student in the Kudela lab at UCSC in the fall of 2015.  She completed her BS and MS research under Richard Zimmerman at Old Dominion University studying in situ optical properties of coastal waters as an undergrad student, and developed a mechanistic model to predict the impact of environmental conditions on carbon uptake and isotope discrimination in Eelgrass (Zostera marina) as a graduate student.  While in the Kudela lab, Meredith plans to build on her previous experiences by broadly focusing on remote sensing as a tool for understand the biogeochemistry of coastal eelgrass and kelp systems.  Prior to starting her PhD at UCSC, Meredith worked for 2 years at California Maritime Academy as the Science Coordinator for Golden Bear Facility, a ballast water management system testing facility to the USCG and IMO.




UCSC Liaison Since

Anna Lowe is PhD candidate starting her fourth year in the Ocean Science department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her research focuses on nearshore dynamics that transport larvae along the central California coast. This interdisciplinary research on dispersal patterns provides insight into population connectivity, which can be used to inform conservation efforts (e.g. design of interconnected network of marine protected areas). Additionally, she is interested in scientific communication and inquiry-based teaching methods. Prior to UCSC, Anna studied marine science with minors in applied-mathematics and physics from Coastal Carolina University. Then, she was a summer intern in the Water Power Technology Department at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She enjoys scuba diving and swimming in the ocean!




NPS Liaison Since

Lieutenant Tucker Freismuth is a Naval Oceanographer at Naval Postgraduate School (NPS).  He is a PhD candidate in Physical Oceanography.  His research focuses on nearshore processes and dynamics, and he has an interest in geophysical modeling.  Prior to NPS, Tucker served as a math and physics instructor at Naval Nuclear Power Training Command and conducted bathymetric and hydrographic surveys with the Naval Oceanographic Office.  Tucker received a BS in Physics from the College of Charleston, a MS in Astronomy from the University of Iowa, and a MS in Meteorology and Physical Oceanography from NPS.




CSUMB Liaison From

Erika Senyk is from Shoreview, Minnesota, where she graduated from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities with a B.S. in Fisheries and Wildlife Conservation Biology. While at the University, Erika worked with a couple faculty members to help establish the first Marine Biology minor and club on campus. Erika is currently a graduate student in the Applied Marine and Watershed Science program at California State University Monterey Bay aiming to receive her M.S. in Applied Marine Science during the spring of 2017. She has always been passionate about marine conservation, but is particularly interested in the protection of coral reef habitats from anthropogenic impacts. Erika is currently interning with Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, researching how seabird, shorebird, and marine mammal populations are impacted by anthropogenic activities within the reserve. In her free time, Erika enjoys playing music, tennis, and spending as much time in the ocean as possible!




Stanford Liaison From

Kate Lowry is a PhD Candidate in Earth System Science and a member of the Ocean Biogeochemistry Laboratory at Stanford University, where she investigates the impacts of climate change on phytoplankton in polar marine ecosystems.  Her research combines satellite remote sensing techniques with observational and experimental field sampling aboard oceanographic research vessels.  Kate has spent nearly a year at sea as part of eight scientific expeditions to the Arctic Ocean, the Southern Ocean (Antarctica), and the South Pacific Ocean.  In December 2016, Kate will begin as an interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Scholar at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.




NPS Liaison Since

Jeff Scooler is a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy and is studying physical oceanography and meteorology as a master’s degree student at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA. He has a bachelor’s degree in geosciences from Mississippi State University. Jeff has worked as a meteorological and oceanographic forecaster providing the Navy's ships and aircrafts weather products for safety of navigation. Most recently he worked with the REMUS 100 unmanned underwater vehicles doing mine hunting and hydrographic surveys. He has been stationed in Honolulu, Hi, Biloxi, MS, Yokosuka, Japan and San Diego, CA. 




UCSC Liaison From

Rachel is a Ph.D. Candidate at UC Santa Cruz in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology department, Raimondi-Carr Lab. She is broadly interested in both the ecology and management of small-scale fisheries. Rachel’s current work is two-pronged. The first focus of her dissertation is on trophic ecology of the nearshore kelp forest fish assemblage, especially as it relates to resource subsidies from the open ocean. The second focus is on social-ecological dynamics of the central California nearshore fishery, integrating methods from both the natural and social sciences. She also has an interest in teaching at the university level – especially expanding the reach of field courses and using case studies to improve learning objectives in the sciences. While no longer a liaison, Rachel remains active in the MARINE network. She received a B.S. from Valparaiso University and served with Peace Corps Fiji from 2007-2010. Rachel is originally from South Dakota. For more information about Rachel’s work, visit her website.