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Making Future Coastal Managers from NC Graduates
Posted Wednesday, August 15, 2012
In August, Nicole Carlozo and Laura Flessner will begin appointments with the Coastal Management Fellowship Program sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Coastal Services Center, or CSC. The two-year fellowship provides valuable on-the-job education and training opportunities in coastal resource management and policy.
Carlozo will work for the Maryland Chesapeake and Coastal Program in Annapolis, Md. Her project goal is to integrate water quality and coastal resources into a marine spatial plan for Maryland's Chesapeake and Atlantic coastal bays to target restoration and conservation activities.
"This project will contribute to the revitalization of the Chesapeake Bay's fisheries and wildlife habitats," she says. "I'm also looking forward to integrating water quality goals with aquaculture development. Using shellfish to filter and meet water quality goals is a very novel and out-of-the-box idea that I'm thrilled to be working on, especially since it involves the participation of watermen and other stakeholders."
Carlozo has a master of environmental management and a certificate of geospatial analysis from Duke University's Nicholas School of the Environment. She studied coastal climate adaptation and natural shoreline stabilization. Her work with managers at The Nature Conservancy's Nags Head Woods Ecological Preserve led to the development of habitat suitability indices to guide oyster reef and submerged aquatic vegetation bed restoration within North Carolina's Albemarle and Pamlico sounds.
She holds bachelor's degrees in biology and English from St. Mary's College of Maryland in St. Mary's City.
Flessner is one of three post-graduates to embark on a new fellowship that is hosted by the Digital Coast Partnership. The Digital Coast is a collection of data, tools, training and information for those working to preserve our coastal communities and natural resources.
Her position, jointly funded by the Association of State Flood Plain Managers and The Nature Conservancy, will entail integrating watershed and coastal strategies that support disaster risk reduction and adaptation solutions to enhance community resilience. She will be based at The Nature Conservancy in Seattle.
"I'm very excited to take part in expanding the Coastal Resilience Initiative. As a coastal resident myself, I appreciate the value of proactive and adaptive decision making when dealing with potential coastal hazards. Programs like this can help coastal managers make more ecologically and socioeconomically sustainable decisions to help prolong the health of our coastlines," she says.
Flessner received her master's degree in environmental studies and a certification in geographic information systems from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She was responsible for directing a graduate thesis project to model the combined impacts of various sea-level rise scenarios and barrier island development on known endangered sea turtle nesting habitats on Bald Head Island, N.C.
A native of Virginia, Flessner has a bachelor of fine arts in design with a psychology minor from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg.
"We hope the experience will provide them with valuable skills on how to develop comprehensive programs to manage and balance competing uses of, and impacts to, coastal resources," says Sara Mirabilio, fisheries specialist at North Carolina Sea Grant.
Mirabilio is the fellowship program contact for North Carolina applicants. Sea Grant recommends finalists from a state applicant pool for the national selection process. For more information about the Coastal Management Fellowship Program, visit: www.csc.noaa.gov/cms/fellows.html.
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