As an ecologist and marine scientist, I am passionate about advocating for the environment and doing what I can to make my local community more sustainable and equitable. I first became actively engaged with environmental advocacy during my time in Germany, where I witnessed the momentum of the Fridays for Future movement in Europe and felt inspired to get involved. In December 2019, I was invited to attend a workshop titled the "Green Transatlantic Dialogue," sponsored by the Deutsch-Amerikanische Institut Saarland. I served as one of three panelists representing American perspectives on environmentalism and had the opportunity to form international connections with other young activists passionate about helping the environment. Following my departure from Germany in spring 2020, I continued to work with DAI Saarland and Europäische Akademie Otzenhausen, another organization dedicated to promoting strong transatlantic relations, to discuss issues related to the environment with international audiences.
I built upon these experiences as a graduate student at UNC, where I joined Graduate and Professional Student Government as the organization's inaugural Director of Environmental Affairs. During my time as Director, I focused much of my efforts towards improving the effectiveness of student-led environmental advocacy on campus by promoting collaboration and communication between environmental organizations on campus.
In early 2022, I had the opportunity to extend my advocacy skills to the federal level as a recipient of the Ecological Society of America's Graduate Student Policy Award. Through this role, I had the opportunity to meet with lawmakers representing the Southeast on Capitol Hill to advocate for increased funding for the National Science Foundation and ecological research.
Following completion of my MS, I plan to pursue a career in the field of coastal management/policy, where I intend for advocacy to play a central role in my work as I work to support more equitable and effective management of coastal communities and ecosystems.