Who we are

Contact email for prospective student inquiries:



Program Management


Denise Darling
Chief Administrative Officer

Academic Directors

MAS CSP Executive Director
Corey J. Gabriel, Ph.D., J.D.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
(858) 534-0748cjgabriel@ucsd.edu

MAS CSP Program Director
Mark Merrifield, Ph.D.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Professor, Climate, Atmospheric Science and Physical Oceanography 
(858) 246-2716, mamerrifield@ucsd.edu

MAS Program Coordinator
Risa Farrell
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
(858) 822-2886, rmfarrell@ucsd.edu

COAP Program Director
Sarah Gille, Ph.D.
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Professor, Climate, Atmospheric Science, and Physical Oceanography
(858) 822-4425, sgille@ucsd.edu

Current Students!

Melina Cunha
I am a born and raised Californian with a background in biology. I have experience in the medical and biotech industries and have studied and worked in San Diego for the past seven years. I love all things ocean-related and have been volunteering with the Birch Aquarium on whale watching tours. I believe climate change is the most important issue of our time and hope to make a positive impact on the world by communicating this to others and reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. This program is the best way to get me there!


Kristina Hancock
Kristina has spent over 25 years practicing law working with large and small NGOS, including public charities, family and corporate foundations, social welfare organizations, lobbying entities, universities and museums. She counsels clients on a wide variety of issues, including state and federal laws applicable to formation, organization, management, governance, and compliance. She is pursuing her MAS in Climate Science and Policy to better mitigate human impact on the environment and assist clients in achieving both state mandated regulations and their own ambitious climate and energy solutions. 

Seann Stoner
Seann is an experienced business development professional, conservationist free diver, and environmental, social, and governance data expert. Seann joined the MAS Climate Science and Policy program because, in his work with institutional investors on climate change related impact investing, he saw the need for a deeper understanding of the science of climate change within the financial services sector. Seann hopes to expand on his technical and scientific skills while at Scripps so he can return to the private sector after graduation to help guide managers in the alternative asset space to better include science based risk analytics into their investment methodologies. 

Michael Baker
Michael is a recent undergraduate from the Marine Science program at Florida Gulf Coast University. He is interested in marine invertebrates, in particular jellyfish and starfish, and loves visiting the local tide pools. Michael chose the Climate Science and Policy program because he is interested in taking data and implementing policy towards positive change.

Audrey Tan
As the environment correspondent with The Straits Times, Singapore's national newspaper, Audrey often interviews scientists and policy-makers about climate change. Audrey decided to apply to the Climate Science and Policy program as she felt it would help her get a better grasp on both aspects of climate change: the science behind it, as well as the political considerations of acting on the data. She believes this institutional knowledge would help her tell scientifically-sound, compelling stories that would inspire people to take action for a greener earth. 

Takuma Otaki
I worked for the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan for 7 years before I came to San Diego. As a Japanese government officer, I eagerly desire to become a key player in forming public policies related to energy and climate problems in Asia that are more efficient and effective. To improve my skills, I want to study scientific aspects of energy and climate problems more deeply and improve my performance dramatically through the Climate Science and Policy program. 

Kai Atkinson
I want to have the difficult conversations.
For better of worse, science is heavily politicized in today's world, especially here in the United States. In my handful of years as a professional biologist, I have been a frog-catcher, a fish-killer, an educator, a plant-surveyor, a data analyst, and too many other roles to count. But the one constant has been the difficult conversations; the conflicts between differing opinions and values, disagreements on the role that science should play in society, the ideological differences that create a national atmosphere of heated debate and an ever-more-complex political landscape in which science plays an increasingly central role.
The conversations are only going to get more difficult, and that is why I chose to study a MAS in Climate Science and Policy at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. There are countless success stories about science-based solutions to critical social issues. Those stories need to be heard, both on the local level and in the national realm. I want to be a voice in those conversations. I want to be there. 

MacKenzie Elmer
As a professional journalist, MacKenzie observed and analyzed policymaking (and breaking) within legislatures, council chambers, boardrooms, courtrooms and crime scenes. She vehemently believes in the role of reporters as watchdogs and allies of the people. During her six reporting years, she noticed a gaping hole in daily U.S. news digest: the threat of climate change and what elected leaders are doing (or not doing) to protect future generations. 
Scripps' Climate Science and Policy program offers non-scientists the chance to walk among giants in those fields and the tools to parse politicized "fake news" from scientific consensus of fact. Climate change is happening, faster than we thought, and MacKenzie's quest is to ensure elected leaders can't ignore those who are suffering. 

Filippo Radice-Fossati
After getting his MS in Environmental Economics at the University of Turin, Italy, Filippo has worked for several years in both research and development and the operation department at one of the largest renewable energy companies in Italy.
Filippo is a creative and enthusiastic professional who is always trying to bring new perspective to business, generate ideas, and take on new challenges. Since climate change could play a crucial role in enhancing food insecurity in developing countries, with the Master of Advanced Studies in Climate Science and Policy, Filippo wants to design climate adaptation policies as part of corporate social responsibility strategies within the agro-food industry.