M.S. STUDENTS 2022-01-14T13:21:59-08:00

Faculty Advisors:

Anne Kapuscinski

Elena Finkbeiner

Partner Organizations:

Green 2.0

Ocean Conservancy

Kalina Browne

Villa, St. Vincent and the Grenadines & New York, United States

Kalina Browne (she/her) is passionate about addressing Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) in the conservation field with a specific focus on nonprofits. After completing her bachelors in Environmental Geoscience from the University of Buffalo in 2018, Kalina returned to her island home nation of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines in Caribbean to work with the government where she was a procurement intern where she gained insight into project management by assisting on the Regional Development Vulnerability Reduction Project funded by the World Bank.

As an islander, she has a strong interest in the effects of climate change and the intersection with justice which was her focus when she worked with Ocean Conservancy’s (OC) Climate Program as a Roger Arliner Young (RAY) fellow from the summer of 2019 to summer of 2020. During her time at OC she participated at both the state and international level. She was engaged with California’s Ocean Protection Council and had the opportunity to attend the United Nations Framework on Climate Change 25th Conference of Parties in Madrid, Spain in December 2019.

Read about Kalina's Summer Placement and Year 2 Capstone

Kalina will be working with the non-profit Green 2.0 on a project funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to explore the relationship between coastal communities and NGOs. As a watchdog and recordkeeper in the environmental sector, Green 2.0 seeks to better understand how NGOs are working in and with the communities they vow to support. The project will focus three geographic areas; California, Florida, and Louisiana while also conducting a more in depth analysis by engaging with six to eight NGOs as case-studies. While working with them, Kalina hopes to further her knowledge in the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) sphere while helping Green 2.0 accomplish their goals. Beginning in the fall, she will work with the Ocean Conservancy to address JEDI. She wishes to be an inspiration for other young, Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) in environmental and conservation fields.

Faculty Advisor:

Borja Requero (Spring/Summer)

Lindsey Dillon

Kristy Kroeker

Partner Organization:

UC Coastal Resilience and Climate Adaptation Initiative (Spring/Summer)

San Francisco Estuary Partnership

Diana Fu

California, United States

As an educator, critical race scholar, and cultural worker, Diana is committed to working with low-income communities of color to address historic environmental injustices and equitably prepare for the impacts of climate change.

Diana’s passion for environmental and climate justice began when she participated in a youth empowerment program with Rising Sun Center for Opportunity in Oakland, CA. She went on to nurture her interests in racial justice and the environment at Northwestern University, where she received her B.A.’s in Asian American Studies and Environmental Science. After completing her bachelors, she began her early career in New York City by living and working in the South Bronx as an environmental educator and citizen science coordinator. Diana later expanded her work to all five boroughs of New York City by coordinating Billion Oyster Project’s flagship educational initiative, the Oyster Research Station (ORS) program, which brought thousands of students, teachers, and community members to the New York Harbor waterfront to monitor the restoration of native Eastern Oysters.

Diana is also a playwright, essayist, and Pushcart-nominated poet interested in the use of storytelling to build inclusive environmental movements that center minority voices. In February 2021, she published her first chapbook titled “In All Spaces Liminal”. She has been the recipient of many notable scholarships and fellowships for her writing, including the 2020 Superhero Clubhouse Eco-Playwriting Fellowship, Leonard A. Slade, Jr. Poetry Fellowship for Writers of Color, and the Katharine Bakeless Nason Scholarship for her attendance at Bread Loaf Environmental Writers’ Conference. Diana is also a recipient of the 2021-2022 Switzer Fellowship.

Read about Diana's Summer Placement and Year 2 Capstone

For her capstone, Diana will be working with two separate organizations: San Francisco Estuary Partnership (SFEP) and UC Climate Resilience and Adaptation Initiative (UC Climate Resilience Project). For the first 6 months with SFEP, she will primarily work on their Clean Vessel Act Program (CVAP), which focuses on decreasing untreated sewage discharge from recreational boaters in the Lower and Upper San Francisco Estuaries. For CVAP, she will be managing a boater outreach/education and water quality monitoring program. In Summer 2021, she will also be working part-time with UC Climate Resilience Project to synthesize pre-existing vulnerability assessments and adaptation plans put forth by Californian cities and counties. Her part-time work with UC Climate Resilience Project will feed into her position with SFEP, which she intends to shift towards engaging disadvantaged communities in climate adaptation planning to prioritize social equity in climate adaptation and resilience.

Faculty Advisor:

Kristy Kroeker

Partner Organization:

Ocean Visions (Summer)
Blue Ocean Barns (Capstone)

Sarah Mastroni

California, United States

Sarah’s interest in oceans and marine biology was cultivated at an early age along the coasts of Northern California before she went to UCLA to study Marine Biology. Sarah has extensive field experience working on marine science projects in the Great Barrier reef and more recently on NSF-funded projects of climate change on intertidal zones in Alaska. She has also engaged in science education and interpretation roles in California and Alaska. She’s particularly interested in macroalgae as it relates to healthily functioning ecosystems and ocean-based communities.

Read about Sarah's Summer Placement and Year 2 Capstone

In Summer 2021, Sarah will be joining Ocean Visions, a research consortium and network for ocean solutions, as a Fellow. Over the course of the summer, she will create a network inventory, an interactive database that will allow Ocean Visions to move against identified “grand challenges” by catalyzing connections and resources. This will build on her previous work with Ocean Visions where she helped to create three interactive roadmaps for ocean-based carbon dioxide removal pathways.

During the summer, Sarah will be working full-time as an Ocean Visions Fellow and creating an “Oceans Solutions Network” inventory. The purpose of this work will be to systematically map the talent and resources in the Ocean Visions network in order to catalyze progress on scaling ocean solutions.

For her capstone, Sarah will be working with Blue Ocean Barns, under the mentorship of CEO Joan Salwen, to develop a policy or incentive-based program that will encourage the inclusion of red alga Asparagopsis taxiformis in cattle feed to reduce methane emissions in California and the broader US. She is excited by the opportunity to dive into climate policy and work on a project with such meaningful impacts.

Faculty Advisors:

Mark Carr

Pete Raimondi

Partner Organization:

The Nature Conservancy (capstone)

UC Irvine (summer)

Andrea Paz Lacavex

Ensenada, Mexico

As an interdisciplinary scientist, Andrea is keenly interested in strengthening management of marine areas. She has supported coastal ecosystem monitoring efforts in the Mexican Pacific and brings extensive experience working with multiple universities and NGOs on scientific projects in marine and terrestrial environments. In addition, Andrea has lead workshops on climate change and oceans for fishing communities in Baja California. For her capstone, Andrea wants to explore innovative techniques for restoring kelp forests and temperate reef habitats that also support resilient coastal communities.

Read about Andrea's Summer Placement and Year 2 Capstone

For her capstone, Andrea will be exploring the use of the innovative kelp restoration technique, “green gravel,” as an effective way to restore kelp forests in Baja California, Mexico. In Summer 2021, she will work with researchers at UC Irvine to learn more about the culturing and implementation of this innovative technique and in the second year as part of her capstone work, she will partner with The Nature Conservancy’s Kelp Restoration team to link similar innovative work in California to restoration in Baja California, Mexico.

Faculty Advisors:

Don Croll

Elena Finkbeiner

Partner Organization:

In Refinement

Niomi Pridina

Jakarta Selatan, Indonesia

Niomi began her career in marine conservation in 2015, while she was working at MantaWatch, a manta ray conservation organization. In this position, she designed and implemented an internship program in collaboration with local dive tourism operators to improve manta ray conservation at Komodo National Park. In 2016, she was selected to participate in the East-West Center Fellowship in Hawai’i to develop collaborative relationships around environmental issues with other ASEAN leaders. Since then, she has worked with various international non-governmental organizations, including, RARE and Conservation International Indonesia, where she supported programs that focused on the improvement of small-scale fisheries management in coastal communities around Indonesia. These experiences have informed her understanding of the importance of policy-making in biodiversity conservation. She is particularly interested in how governance and stakeholder engagement improve local community livelihoods.

Coming Read about Niomi's Summer Placement and Year 2 Capstone

Niomi’s capstone will be supported by the Misool Foundation and the University of Oxford to improve alternative livelihood interventions in Lamakera’s coastal community as a part of the approach in improving the mobulid rays conservation. She will conduct a series of social-economic surveys to understand how the conservation measures has impacted the community’s current conditions and human wellbeing. Understanding how these interventions have impacted the community will be essential to improve current and future alternative livelihood and ensure that conservation is ethical and respects the rights of local people and vulnerable communities. Thus, the lessons and approach documented in this capstone can be replicated in other places with similar issues, potentially increasing the adoption of successful interventions for reducing mobulid ray utilization.

Faculty Advisor:

Eric Palkovacs

Partner Organization:

Ocean Science Trust

Timothy Scully

Repass-Rodgers Fellowship on California Salmon Restoration Policy

California, United States

Timothy currently works for the US Fish & Wildlife Service in Lodi, California on a monitoring program for native salmon and delta smelt in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, which has informed his particular interest in the Repass-Rodgers Fellowship at CSP. Timothy believes the CSP program will help him develop his goal of designing creative solutions that will help solve the water wars in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and save its endangered aquatic species. Timothy has previously served as an AmeriCorps Watershed Stewards Program Member with the San Luis Obispo Steelhead Initiative, working on various restoration projects and monitoring programs with the goal of enhancing the South-Central California Coast steelhead population. Timothy graduated from Humboldt State University with a B.S. in Environmental Management & Protection, and was awarded the Humboldt Leadership Scholarship in 2016.

Read about Tim's Year 2 Capstone

For his capstone, Tim is focusing on salmon restoration policy in California’s Central Valley with an emphasis on hatchery, habitat, and water management. Tim is engaging with two different practitioner partners for his capstone: the California Ocean Science Trust (OST) and the California Assembly Committee on Water, Parks, and Wildlife. For the Ocean Science Trust, Tim will be working with the Legislative Science Services program and exploring how OST can get more involved with salmon issues in California. Tim is also excited to develop and vet legislation to advance salmon restoration policy and science with the Assembly Committee. He is excited to learn more about the legislative process and to work at the forefront of California salmon policy.

Faculty Advisors:

Mike Beck

Partner Organization:

The Nature Conservancy

Austen Stovall

North Carolina, United States

Originally from the town of Kill Devil Hills on the coast of North Carolina, Austen has a deep connection to the coastal zone.  Post undergraduate, Austen worked for a diverse array of conservation nonprofits focused on coral reef conservation. Austen has extensive field experience working on coral reefs and with coastal communities in the US Virgin Islands, Panama, Florida, and the Turks and Caicos. Most recently, Austen served as the 2018-2020 National Coral Reef Management Fellow in the US Virgin Islands under the Division of Coastal Zone Management at the St. Croix East End Marine Park. Working on the ground in coastal resource management solidified Austen’s desire to work in coastal management and policy. Additionally, Austen’s experience working on St. Croix just months after the devastating Hurricanes Irma and Maria reinforced her interest not just in studying marine systems, but societal and environmental vulnerabilities to climate change. Austen has two outlined goals in the CSP program: “to advocate for coastal adaptation and resilience in the coastal planning process, and to build community capacity to advocate for systematic changes that will prepare them for the threats that climate change poses to their coastal livelihoods”. Austen is excited to strengthen her skills and discover actionable coastal management solutions through the CSP Program.

Read about Austen's Year 2 Capstone

Austen will be working with The Nature Conservancy to conduct a Feasibility Assessment for Hazard Mitigation funding of a reef restoration project within FEMA Region IX and will work with industry experts to advance the field of funding reef restoration for risk reduction projects within U.S. coral reef jurisdictions. During summer 2021, Austen will participate in the Blackstone LaunchPad powered by Techstars program where she will receive mentorship and guidance to cultivate her capstone project idea.

Faculty Advisor:

Erika Zavaleta

Sikina Jinnah

Partner Organizations:

City of Oakland

Environmental Science Associates

Chinonso Uzowihe

Washington D.C., United States and Nigeria

Chinonso is particularly interested in the CSP program because of its focus on coastal communities and climate change, location, and partnerships. Furthermore, he points out that being in California would be an opportunity to learn how the state and local cities are taking steps to combat environmental change, carbon emissions, sea level rise, and generally acting as a global leader in environmental policy. While at CSP, Chinonso would like to explore stakeholder engagement in coastal climate action, in addition to how current environmental policy impacts local communities and coastal health. He has participated in multiple NSF funded field opportunities, including the STEM Student Experiences Aboard Ships (STEMSEAS) and an REU in Belize.

Read about Chino's Year 2 Capstone

For his capstone, Chino is working with two partners to address equity and environmental justice in Climate Action Plan (CAP) development and implementation. During the summer and fall, he worked as an intern with a consulting firm, Environmental Science Associates, to identify best practices in incorporating equity and EJ into CAPs they develop in the future. This time with them was also spent independently evaluating the environmental justice policies of California state agencies and expanding his technical and management skills. The duration of his capstone year is being spent working with the City of Oakland to implement their Equitable Climate Action Plan; he is excited to be engaging with a suite of stakeholders and experts in the field of climate action planning to directly affect change in a real-world setting.

Faculty Advisors:

Carrie Pomeroy

Eric Palkovacs

Partner Organization:


William Ware

Georgia, United States

Will endeavors to help both fisheries and water managers assess how natural resource policies affect diverse stakeholders. This career-long pursuit is fueled by his interest in fish and fishers. He explored connections between fish and people as an interdisciplinary marine science major in Florida where he engaged fishers, government researchers, and university scientists situated in coastal and inland waters. In California Will continues to investigate how fisheries and water management affect human wellbeing in the San Francisco Estuary and Central Valley of California through his work on the state’s striped bass (Morone saxatilis) fishery and its complex interaction with salmonid restoration (read more below). He is an M.Sc. candidate at UC Santa Cruz, a fisheries biologist at FISHBIO, and an inaugural “Ocean and Climate Justice Fellow” at Save Our Shores and the Resource Center for Nonviolence.

Read about Will's Summer Placement and Year 2 Capstone

Will is contributing to the striped bass management solution pathway by developing models of when and where striped bass are likely to be present on the Stanislaus River, which will improve the scientific knowledge needed to inform resource management decisions. During the summer, he completed work on a variety of projects related to striped bass including reviewing literature and analyzing data on striped bass in California (e.g., coastal recreational fishers catch records, monitoring programs in the San Francisco Estuary). The broad review narrowed his research to the lower Stanislaus River, a forty-mile river segment stretching from the Oakdale Recreation Area downstream to the confluence with the San Joaquin River. Will’s statistical analyses and visuals revealed clear differences in the sizes of striped bass sampled at different times within sampling seasons, yet the factors driving these size differences in seasonal presence remain unknown.

During his Year 2 Capstone, Will is using dynamic, multi-season occupancy models to estimate when and where two size classes of striped bass are likely to be present in the lower Stanislaus River, over annual sampling seasons from 2019 to 2021. He is modeling with input from FISHBIO researchers, Tyler Pilger, Ph.D., and Matt Peterson, as well as UC Santa Cruz researchers, Chris Wilmers, Ph.D., and John Morgan. The overarching project goal is to understand when and where striped bass are in the lower Stanislaus River during sampling events from 2019-2021. Will’s capstone project explicitly compares the seasonal occurrence of subadult and adult striped bass along an understudied Central Valley river using novel methods that leverage standardized monitoring data collected over multiple years. The project outcome is to show water and fisheries managers how body size, river flow (cfs), site, and sampling day correlate with annual striped bass presence in the Stanislaus River.

Faculty Advisors:

Partner Organization:

Niza Contreras

San Francisco, California

Niza is passionate about studying community-based fisheries management, particularly in Latin America, with a focus on using traditional conservation practices to develop adaptive solutions to the effects of climate change on marine ecosystems. She is bilingual in Spanish and English with dual US-Mexican citizenship. Niza hopes to bring both a transdisciplinary and a transnational perspective to these complex socio-ecological systems, with the recognition that climate change is breaking barriers and forcing us to reimagine our conventional divisions and definitions. Niza graduated from Stanford University as an Earth Systems major in 2020 with a focus on Oceans, Climate, and Atmosphere.

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Partner Organization:

Craig Dudenhoeffer

Santa Cruz, California

Craig is extremely passionate about supporting entrepreneurs that use scalable technologies to positively impact ocean health. He is influenced by an early career realization that as one scientist he might only make an incremental impact, but if he helped entrepreneurs develop and apply scalable new technologies, he could bring about exponential positive change.

Currently, he is the Chief Innovation Officer at Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) and the Co-founder of the Ocean Solutions Accelerator (the first accelerator program created to support ocean tech entrepreneurs and their startup companies). Craig also co-founded a Venture Capital fund in 2019 called SOA Seabird Ventures that invests in “Seed” to “Series A” ocean impact startups.

Craig brings experience to the CSP program from working in both tech and for the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS). Including supporting the launch of the world’s first Internet of Things (IoT) accelerator program in San Francisco for ReadWrite where he worked closely with 115 early-stage frontier technology startups from a variety of industries and functioned as a key liaison between these startups and ReadWrite’s investor network. He also received his Bachelors from UCSC in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.

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Daniela Font

Buenos Aires, Argentina

From a young age, Daniela has been interested in biodiversity conservation. Daniela graduated from the University of Buenos Aires (Argentina) with a Bachelor’s in Biological Sciences and an emphasis on Aquatic Biology. For six years, she studied the genetic status of the largest cat in the Americas, the jaguar, for conservation purposes as an assistant researcher at the Argentinean Museum of Natural History. Her close collaboration with local government authorities and NGOs, allowed her to connect scientific research with policy and local action.

For her capstone project, Daniela is interested in applying her knowledge of working to save the endangered jaguar to addressing marine turtle bycatch in small-scale, artisanal fisheries in collaboration with coastal Argentinian communities. Through the Coastal Science and Policy program, Daniela’s goal is to protect marine turtles by studying their interaction with local fisheries through an integrative approach that includes the study of the socio-economic context. She wants to make a difference in the way endangered populations are managed, fostering their coexistence with sustainable local economies.

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Jamal Galves


Jamal has been committed to manatee conservation in Belize from an early age. He was first inspired to pursue this path whilst working with the Clearwater Marine Aquarium Research Institute, where he is currently a Program Coordinator and Research Biologist. Jamal has received many awards and commendations for his work with manatees, including a 2018 National Geographic Photo Ark EDGE Fellowship, an Oceana Ocean Hero award, a Belize National Hero Award, and a World Wildlife Fund Planet Hero award among others. In addition, Jamal was featured in a Disney Earth Day video. Jamal is a proud recipient of the 2021  Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Christensen Conservation Leaders Scholarship, provided by the WCS Graduate Scholarship Program.

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Trevor Kumec

Washington & Santa Cruz, California

Trevor is passionate about river system management and salmonid conservation and he has participated in steelhead and salmon monitoring projects across the Pacific Northwest. Working with the Washington National Park Service, Trevor was exposed to river management’s complex and sometimes conflicting social, environmental, and economic dimensions. As a Repass-Rodgers Fellow with the CSP program, he will explore these themes while restoring salmon populations in the Sacramento River.

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Karlee Liddy

Newton, New Jersey

After graduating from the University of South Carolina with an Environmental Science B.S., Karlee volunteered with Peace Corps, Nicaragua as an Environmental Educator. She worked with salmonids as a Watershed Stewards Program member and now monitors salmonid populations in the Carmel River with NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service and UCSC. As a CSP graduate student, Karlee will improve policies to protect and restore Central Valley salmonids as a Repass-Rodgers Fellow.

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Xiaohui “Ivy” Lin

Shenzhen, China

Xiaohui (Ivy) Lin is the co-founder of BlueFins, a Chinese ocean conservation organization and leads the Citizen Nature Challenge Competition and Ocean Explorer Plan, which promote citizen science conservation methods. Ivy has used her public relations undergraduate background to produce and direct ‘Searching for the Coral Paradise’, a documentary about coral conservation. She also monitors corals with a team in China. As a CSP student, Ivy will explore community conservation methods that balance sustainability and cultural preservation. Ivy is also a 2021 Blue Pioneer in the Blue Pioneer Accelerator program.

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Kevin Lunzalu

Busia, Kenya

Kevin Lunzalu is very passionate about transformative biodiversity governance, fostering youth-led practical solutions to pressing conservation challenges, and intergenerational equity. This interest first developed while completing his Bachelor’s in Wildlife Conservation and Enterprise Management at Egerton University. 

He is the co-founder and national coordinator of the Kenyan Youth Biodiversity Network, one of Kenya’s largest youth-led conservation organizations by membership, building the capacity of young people to address biodiversity loss through policy advocacy, ecosystem restoration, marine action, and awareness creation.

Kevin has received several recognitions for his work on biodiversity conservation, including being listed among the Top 100 Young Conservation Leaders in Africa 2021, Youth of the Year 2021 Award of the Youth Agenda 254, World Bank’s #Blog4Dev 2021 Winner, and Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) Fellowship. He was an invited delegate and speaker at IUCN World Conservation Congress 2021 to promote stronger youth voices in biodiversity governance. 

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Naseeba Jamil Sidat

Maputo, Mozambique

Naseeba has a passion for nature and understands the importance of ecosystem connectedness for conservation. She started her conservation career volunteering with marine biodiversity programs in 2012 and graduated with a Marine, Aquatic and Coastal Biology degree in 2016. She joined the Wildlife Conservation Society, Mozambique as a Technical Project Team Member in 2017. She is a Wildlife Conservation Society Beinecke African Scholar and hopes to use her graduate studies to improve her leadership and communication skills to advance biodiversity conservation and management in Mozambique and worldwide.

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Olivia Won

Oakland, CA

Born and raised in Oakland, California, Olivia Won is a plant ecologist committed to interdisciplinary stewardship solutions for California’s coastal areas. As a Doris Duke Conservation Scholar at the University of Washington and intern with the Elwha Revegetation Project, she fell in love with the power of plants and socio-ecological restoration. Since graduating from Wesleyan University, she has worked with botanists at the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission on an array of watershed improvement projects, leading seed amplification and conservation projects for special status species and growing plants at the Sunol Native Plant Nursery. With her graduate studies, Olivia hopes to pair her passion for plants and people with further training in coastal climate change adaptation, biocultural restoration, and resilience planning.

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Partner Organization:

Healthy Fire/Anega Energies

Seblua Abebe

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Deferred to Fall 2022

As a CSP student, Seblua is excited to sharpen her analytical skills and broaden her understanding of sustainability science, especially at the interface of land-water ecosystems and application to policy. Seblua’s passion for and current work developing clean, effective cookstoves and fuel pellets is helping curb indoor air pollution, protect the environment, and uplift poor communities in Ethiopia.

Sebula currently works with Anega Energies Manufacturing (Anega) to advance new clean cookstove and fuel pellet technologies for households and institutions. The company applies principles of circular economy to reduce deforestation and resource consumption. For her capstone, Seblua will apply the skills she learns on the CSP program to help to further Anega’s work. Seblua and the team she works with at Anega have received numerous innovation awards. They are now launching a project to support more than 250,000 students through a school feeding program. Prior to joining Anega, Seblua served as an office and site civil engineer for several companies.

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