Class of 2013: I’ve worked with a lot of students this year but just two of them were advisees, Jane Nurse and Sam Rosen. Below is an edited version of what they put up when they had student pages for me, and a summary of their senior projects and where they are now.
Jane Nurse. I am a German Grenadian globetrotting College of the Atlantic graduate. During my time here the school has offered me a great amount of flexibility and freedom to pursue my various interests. Starting from an interest in marine biology, I have ventured through such other fields as intercultural education, gender studies, middles east studies, political theory, philosophy, and economics, to end up being firmly rooted in environmental law and policy. Pretty much anything I get engaged with includes some international component. In this regard COA has been amazing in opening up various avenues for me to explore different modes of learning, for instance by allowing me to study abroad at Queen Mary University College of London for a semester. In my second year I undertook my internship as field assistant on a coral reef study in the Comoros, Indian Ocean. In the very same year I also went back to Grenada, my Caribbean home, and worked as Team Technical Analyst on a World Bank sponsored Regional Disaster Vulnerability and Climate Risk Reduction Project. This experience arose directly out of knowledge absorbed from the opportunity CoA gives its students to attend and engage in the negotiations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Since 2009 I have been learning intensely about climate change policy and have been going to these annual negotiations very regularly since my first activist experience in Copenhagen. In the last year I have had the chance to work with the Grenadian delegation and especially learn from our permanent Ambassador to the U.N. Dr. Dessima Williams.
For her senior project, Jane developed a short documentary video for the government of Grenada focusing on biodiversity and ecosystem services provided by the forested areas on the island. That video can be seen here. Jane is a great example of a student that can succeed as both a biologist and a policy person, and has been brilliant at both.
I have had a deep fascination for the ocean and its inhabitants since I learned to walk. Growing up on Vinalhaven, a small Maine island, I have spent 16 of my 21 years lobstering. I own my own boat and fish 800 traps in the summer to support myself. Four years ago my connection to the marine environment was further strengthened when I became SCUBA certified. Diving allowed me to connect with the ocean on an entirely new and different level. The ocean became less a source of bounty and more a wealth of knowledge home to intricately fascinating ecosystems. From those first breaths underwater, I was hooked.
While spending my gap year backpacking, fishing on a rocklobster boat in the Southern Tasman Sea, and diving the South Coast of Tasmania. While is Tasmania, I also worked as an intern with TAFI (Tasmanian Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute) for over a month. I worked primarily as a fisheries observer for 3 week fishing trips. I gathered environmental and biological data on Tasmanian Rock Lobster.
In 2009, I spent a year at New College of Florida. While at New College of Florida, I also \worked with Cape Eleuthera Research Institute for over a month as a part of their Sustainable Offshore Aquaculture Program (http://www.ceibahamas.org).
In 2010, I transferred to CoA. My courses here have also been strongly marine focused: Marine Biology, Biology I, Marine Policy, Chemistry I & II, and Calculus I & II. I am currently getting my Dive Master Certification. I have done extensive diving for recreation, research, and some commercial work. I went to Belize as part of a COA Tropical Marine Ecology Class.
For his senior project, Sam worked with the Maine Department of Marine Resources on the biology and policy surrounding the state scallop fishery, and focused on the implementation and management of rotating marine protected areas for scallops. He worked closely with staff from DMR as well as members of the state scallop advisory council. Sam produced a very large document (close to 100pp) that is now going through a final edit before being put out or public and agency use.