The purpose of this scholarship is to provide support for undergraduate students who are majoring in Environmental Studies and will enroll in the course Marine Ecology and Conservation, or one of three additional marine biology focused electives. The scholarship committee considered academic performance, financial need, and potential to advance marine conservation.
Katie is a senior in Environmental Studies pursuing the BA-MA track in Animal Studies. Growing up near the beach on Long Island, she became interested in marine animals and ocean stewardship at a young age. Since then, Katie has developed her interest further through the courses Marine Ecology and Conservation and People Versus the Sea. Additionally, through her internship at The River Project, Katie spent a summer collecting fish and water quality data in the Hudson River. After graduation, Katie will matriculate into the Animal Studies graduate program and intends on pursing a career in environmental and animal law and policy.
Makena Mugambi is a senior with a double major in Environmental Studies and Politics, and a minor in Spanish. She served as the campus leader for the Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) at NYU from 2018-2019 and spoke at the 2019 UN Peace Day Student Observance for “Climate Action for Peace” on behalf of CCL’s higher education network. Outside of NYU, Makena has demonstrated her dedication to the environment through her work with the Leave it Better Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides environmental education programming to schools in NYC. She believes that education and advocacy can be used to shape effective public policies. Makena is currently completing Where the City Meets the Sea, a course that focuses on the unique challenges coastal urban environments face. After graduation, she hopes to earn a J.D. and enter the legal field armed with the skills and passion to advance policy solutions that address today’s most pressing conservation issues.
Tess von Kleist
Tess von Kleist is a student pursuing an Environmental Studies major with a minor in Politics. Growing up in Monterey Bay, California-- always just a short walk from the beach-- Tess grew to have a fascination and love for the ocean and its ecology. After seeing what environmentalists and biologists had done to preserve the Bay, and bring back near extinct animals like the Otter, Tess knew that she wanted to be able to help. During her honors research in Environmental Studies, she looked at urban soil contamination, and its ability to pollute both water resources and outputs to the sea through leaching and runoff. Outside of school, she works jointly in NYU’s Office of Sustainability and the Provost’s Global Research Initiative. Her dual interest in the science behind anthropogenic ocean pollution, and the policy that can be used to fix it, has led her to apply to the American Conservation Experience to work in coastal watershed management. This will prepare her for the graduate research she hopes to do in Coastal Science and Policy at the University of Santa Cruz.
Luke is a senior in Environmental Studies with a minor in Environmental Biology from eastern Massachusetts. While working as a teacher naturalist educating school children about coastal and estuarine ecosystems for the Massachusetts Audubon Society, Luke developed a genuine passion for the ocean and marine ecology. As a research assistant in the Animal Studies department, Luke conducted experiments on fish learning behavior and contributed to reviews on play behavior and welfare in fish. While taking Marine Ecology and Conservation, his focus shifted to developing large-scale creative interventions to combat industrial fishing. His honors thesis research is focused on the development of cellular seafood as a potential solution to the destructive practices of the modern fishing industry. Following graduation, Luke will be working as a member of the salt marsh ecology team at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. He aims to ultimately devote his career to the pursuit of the large-scale systematic change that will be necessary for the conservation of marine ecosystems.
Patricia is an environmental studies major from the San Francisco Bay Area. As a child, stories of her father’s experiences living in Hawaii instilled in her an appreciation for and wonderment of Polynesian culture. It’s not surprising that swimming and surfing became some of her favorite activities. In the Fall semester of 2018 Patricia participated in a semester-long research project on the vulnerability of small island developing states (SIDS) towards impending sea-level rise. It ignited in her a sense of urgency for awareness, research, and action to this complex problem facing vulnerable islands and people. In the summer of 2019 Patricia will be sailing in the South Pacific where she'll study marine ecosystems and climate change while conducting an independent policy research project. Upon return she intends to obtain an internship within the marine ecology field to further her education and hands-on experience. Above all, she wants to keep asking important questions about climate change—balancing her desire to see meaningful change with the understanding that there are no easy answers.
Gabrielle Carmine is an Environmental Studies student with a minor in biology from New York City. Growing up as the daughter of a lifeguard at local NYC beaches inspired her love and stewardship for the ocean. Early on in her academic career, she became interested in marine ecology and the interdisciplinary measures needed to solve many of these environmental problems. Her research interests include fishery science and anthropogenic effects on marine ecology. She currently works as a research assistant in the Environmental Studies department examining high seas fisheries in addition to being a research associate for the Ocean Collectiv. After graduation, she will be working at Sarah Lawrence College's Center for the Urban River at Bezak. She intends to further her education and go on to graduate school for Marine Ecology and conservation.
Kelly Dooling is a senior in Environmental Studies from Boston, MA. Growing up on the coast, she has always had an interest in marine science especially marine biology, conservation, and the intersection of people and the ocean. Taking Marine Ecology and Conservation only
strengthened her drive to learn more about ocean ecosystems and the animals that inhabit them. Kelly is currently volunteering at the New York Aquarium and is a research assistant studying cephalopod cognition. After graduation, Kelly will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Marine Biology at Northeastern University and hopes to continue studying marine animals and how they interact with and are affected by people. Through this, she hopes to be able to more thoroughly protect marine animals and the environments in which they live.
Rainana Phuong Frey
Raiana is a senior Environmental Studies student with a minor in Game Design. Growing up along the Chattahoochee River, she first became interested in aquatic & marine biology and the effects of urbanization on local waterways. Since then, Raiana developed her interest further through her coursework such as her Capstone project focusing on Urban Ocean Conservation and GIS course focusing on the effects of light pollution on nesting sea turtles. Additionally, she has done conservation work in North Carolina and Australia, rescuing and rehabilitating marine animals. Currently, she works as a research associate for the Ocean Collectiv, an EcoReps Coordinator for NYU’s Office of Sustainability, and an intern at the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability. After graduation, she plans to pursue a Ph.D. in marine biology and work within the disciplines of environmental psychology, ocean conservation, and digital media.
The conservation of marine ecosystems is a significantly underrepresented aspect of the more general conservation movement. Due to this trivialization, the health of marine ecosystems is put at even greatest risk. After my marine ecology and conservation course I was fortunate enough to visit the Great Barrier Reef and witness the largest and one of the most diverse coral reef ecosystem on Earth. Observing the wonders and beauty of its ecology first hand reemphasized to me not only how important it is to maintain the health of marine ecosystems but also the need to redirect attention to the threats posed against them before it is too late.
Megan is a junior pursuing a double major in Environmental Studies and Studio Art with an emphasis on coastal and marine issues. Growing up beside the Puget Sound in Washington State, she personally witnessed the rapid transformation of the pacific rocky intertidal zone as the Sea Star Wasting Disease epidemic swept through the west coast, dramatically changing community structure. This experience inspired her interest in coastal marine issues and spurred a research project analyzing the prevalence of Sea Star Wasting Disease amongst a variety of sea star populations within the South Puget Sound and San Juan Islands. She currently works as a research assistant within the Environmental Studies department and continues to pursue her work with Sea Star Wasting Disease, among other research interests, in her free time. Upon graduation, she intends to continue her work with marine and coastal conservation in graduate school.
Jasmin Jimenez is an Environmental Studies student from Colorado. She is interested in marine, in particular estuarine and coastal, environments. Jasmin has always had an interest in wetlands for their very unique ecosystem services. After taking the course Marine Ecology and Conservation, Jasmin became interested in the role of mangroves in maintaining the rich biodiversity of the ocean by serving as nursery habitat. Jasmin has been involved in volunteer events with NYC Parks helping to plant trees in the Jamaica Bay wetlands. In the future, Jasmin is looking forward to pursuing a conservation based career focused on protecting coastal ecosystems and their valuable biodiversity.
Edin Thornton is a junior in Environmental Studies, and working on a cross-school minor in Public Policy and Management from Wagner and Stern. Edin works in the Office of Sustainability organizing the EcoReps program, which is an environmental education program based in residence halls. Edin believes strongly in the power of thoughtful environmental education as a tool for combating large-scale collective action issues, and she actively works to connect environmental organizations within and outside of the University. She would like to use the power of networks and thoughtful information delivery to help tackle some of the world's most pressing environmental issues, especially the impacts of waste and human activity on the world's oceans.
While interning with The River Project on the Hudson River, Rayleigh Toth developed an interest in the changing ecology of marine ecosystems and biodiversity conservation. Through her Senior Capstone project and Geographical Information System course, she is working on an analysis of the impact of tourism on coral reef integrity in popular vacation destinations. She is hoping to discover what is and what is not working ecologically in at the nexus of tourism and propose ocean conservation techniques that can be implemented globally. After graduation, Rayleigh wants to continue to pursue this interest in the vicious cycle that involves how humans affect the environment and vice versa.
Emiliana Tupper Carabano
Emiliana grew up exploring coastal ecosystems in northern Venezuela and Panama. After marine ecology and conservation coursework at NYU, her passion for the oceans deepened. Emiliana's work is focused on ocean conservation, particularly in the Eastern Tropical Pacific, South Pacific and the Caribbean. Most recently, she conducted a coral cover survey as part of her thesis, sponsored by a DURF grant. She surveyed ten coral reef sites at the Coiba National Park, off the Pacific coast of Panama, and modeled the impacts of climate change on the reefs. While studying in Berlin, she also participated in research on methane and carbon dioxide metabolism in freshwater ecosystems. Emiliana will continue doing research and seeks to develop effective policy for the sustainable coexistence of coastal communities and marine ecosystems.