Cina Loarie and Hugo Selbie, both recent graduates of Scripps Institution of Oceanography's Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation (CMBC) masters program, have been selected as California Sea Grant State Fellows.
California Sea Grant's State Fellows Program provides a unique educational opportunity for graduate students who are interested both in marine resources and in the policy decisions affecting those resources. The program matches highly motivated and qualified graduate students with hosts in California state agencies for a 9-month paid fellowship.
Loarie's fellowship assignment takes her to Oakland, Calif., where she's been working since Oct. 9 at the Ocean Protection Council (OPC) of the Coastal Conservancy.
"As a California native, I am thrilled about this opportunity because it gives me the chance to be a part of an effective and exciting organization at the forefront of protecting the state's valuable marine resources," said Loarie. "I am looking forward to working with OPC's talented team, learning from past Sea Grant Fellows, and taking on incredible and immediate responsibilities."
Loarie, who received her CMBC masters degree in June 2007, grew up in Northern California near Palo Alto, and received her B.S. in biology from Duke University in 2001. For the last three years, Loarie has been working as an assistant scientist with Sea Education Association (SEA) based in Woods Hole, Mass.
At SEA, Loarie taught basic physical, chemical, biological, and geological oceanography concepts to college students aboard one of their two 135-foot sailing research vessels on six-week semester voyages. The vessels travel throughout the western North Atlantic, Caribbean, South Pacific, and Pacific Northwest. Before working for SEA, Loarie worked as a fisheries biologist/observer in the groundfish industry for the National Marine Fisheries Service in the Bering Sea/Gulf of Alaska aboard commercial fishing vessels. She also completed three research cruises aboard Scripps's R/V New Horizon. In June 2006, Cina received her 100-ton Master's License, a captain's certificate from the U.S. Coast Guard.
Selbie's fellowship, which began Oct. 22, will be at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary working with the Sanctuary Integrated Monitoring Network (SIMoN).
"I'm very honored to have been selected for such a great fellowship that seems to follow many of the multi-disciplinary roles that I developed and honed with the masters program offered by CMBC," said Selbie, who also received his CMBC masters degree this summer. "I plan to work primarily on the communication interface of conservation informing policy and science, and hope to gain a better understanding of the government interplay that is necessary to form effective conservation strategies. I'm also looking forward to working in an area so famous for its marine research and exploring some of the Northern California waves and mountain bike trails."
Selbie, who spent most of his childhood in the United Kingdom, earned a B.S. in marine geography from Cardiff University in Wales in 2003. As part of his studies, he spent one year working as a water quality analyst in Zimbabwe on an aquaculture farm. While there, he developed aquaculture techniques for removing off-flavor in fish caused by phytoplankton blooms. He also conducted the first water quality survey of the earth rearing ponds in the farm's history.
Upon graduation from Cardiff, Selbie was selected for an internship with Blue Ventures Conservation, a small U.K.-based non-governmental organization that carries out tropical marine research in southwest Madagascar. During this time, he assisted in developing a training guide for volunteers about coral reef conservation and ecology, mapped sub-aqua reef habitats, conducted fisheries monitoring of local species, and conducted some of the first baseline habitat mapping of the local sea grass meadows.
Selbie is also project manager of an online species database, one of the first of its kind for the Western Indian Ocean.