Washington Sea Grant

Hello, Fellow Fellows

Written by Melissa Watkinson (2015-16 TNC Hershman Fellow), Mike Chang (2015-16 Makah/TNC Hershman Fellow), and Kara Cardinal (Marine Projects Manager)

It’s no secret that The Nature Conservancy has many partners across Washington State and the Pacific Northwest. One partnership that has furthered The Conservancy’s efforts in marine and coastal work, and builds on the legacy of Washington’s leadership in the development of sound policies for the conservation and use of ocean and coastal resources is with Washington Sea Grant’s Marc Hershman Marine Policy Fellowship program. The program matches outstanding, highly motivated marine science, law and policy graduate students with agency, NGO and tribal host offices, offering each fellow first-hand experience in crafting policies and enabling fellows to share their academic expertise with state decision-makers. The program is named after Marc Hershman, a leader in the study of ocean and coastal policy for 30 years, who passed away in February 2008. Dr. Hershman served in several marine leadership capacities and played a key role in efforts to develop more comprehensive and coherent policies for Washington’s coasts. The facilitation and support of the Marc Hershman Marine Policy Fellowship program is an outstanding example of the commitment to education and outreach by Washington Sea Grant.

The opportunity to host a Hershman fellow has strengthened The Conservancy’s ability to achieve its goals to conserve marine habitats and support healthy and sustainable communities and, at the same time, educate and empower the next generation of environmental leaders. This year the fellowship program has brought in its fourth generation of Hershman fellows to The Conservancy. Each fellow has worked closely with the marine team to tackle projects addressing marine conservation and stewardship, and has continued to work with the Conservancy on a variety of different capacities even after their fellowship term.

Hershman Fellows at TNC have strengthened and developed an exciting breadth and depth of projects with the marine team. The Conservancy’s first Hershman fellow is our very own marine projects manager, Kara Cardinal, where she led TNC’s MSP outreach efforts throughout the Washington Coast and helped the state develop the MSP data viewer. Katie Wrubel was the second fellow at TNC and was instrumental in helping Washington Coast tribes begin their tribal marine planning efforts. Katie is now working with the Makah Tribe as their Natural Resource Policy Analyst. Molly Bogeberg, the third fellow at TNC, worked closely with coastal communities in Grays Harbor and Pacific counties to bring habitat conservation as a priority within their Shoreline Master Programs. Molly finished her fellowship last September and continued working with TNC as the temporary marine projects manager. Melissa Watkinson is the newest TNC Hershman Fellow and she is engaging with partners and stakeholders to improve project proposals and future socio-economic policy responses in relation to environmental restoration for the Washington Coast Restoration Initiative.

Starting in 2014, the partnership between the Conservancy and the Makah Tribe led to new Marine Policy Fellowship with the Makah Tribe in an effort to further joint efforts on vessel traffic safety and climate resilience. Laura Nelson, the first fellow with the Makah Tribe, worked out of Washington TNC’s Seattle office to collaborate between both entities and is currently working a marine policy contractor with the Makah Tribe. This year, Michael Chang is fulfilling this role with Makah and TNC. Laura and Michael led efforts with the Makah Tribe on issues of vessel traffic safety and oil spill preparedness, adaptation to climate change and ocean acidification and protecting treaty-rights at risk.

The Sea Grant College Program is celebrating its 50th year anniversary this year, and this month they are focused on highlighting all of their current and past sea grant fellows while also recruiting its next class of Hershman fellows. The partnership TNC has built with Washington Sea Grant and the Hershman Fellowship, and the relationships that four generations of fellows sustain, is a testament to the quality of people that TNC attracts, and is a wonderful example of the power of achieving success through strong partnerships. 


When The Ship Sets Sail

Written by Jodie Toft, Senior Marine Ecologist; Kara Cardinal, Marine Projects Manager
Photographed by various members of the Conservancy staff

Last week, we brought out our best marine metaphors for a send-off of our (now former) Director of Marine Conservation, Paul Dye.  Paul recently joined Washington Sea Grant as the Assistant Director for Outreach. Paul was beloved across the chapter, as a leader, mentor and friend.  He was wise to keep us from eulogizing him, by reminding us that "I'm Paul Dye, not Paul Dead."  The evening was just right - a balance of roast and toast, with a custom-crafted song just for Paul.  And in fine form, the fabulous tribute below to "Paulisms" - sayings or phrases that Paul has deployed over the years - from our Marine Projects Manager, Kara Cardinal.  Thank you, Paul, to your contributions to conservation and conversation. You are already missed.


Alright everyone, gather ‘round as we share a few stories about the great Paul Dye.  Now as much as we don’t want to believe it, it’s time to pull the rat out of the wood pile and say our goodbyes.  Paul – I apologize in advance but I may step on your toes here a little bit, so just scream when it hurts.  I’m not mean, I’m just crafty.

We all know you can hear the steak sizzling over at Sea Grant, but let’s not go putting the cart before the horse. Today is the cart, and we might be throwing a lot of sh*t in it this afternoon. 

It’s been an exciting adventure hearing your stories about working for TNC - from the prairies of Illinois to the reefs of the Florida Keys to the rocky shores of the Washington coast. Man, with that kinda background, you must really know the ins and outs and ups and downs of TNC, or in Chicago speak, where all those bodies are buried.  Sometimes hearing you talk about your times down in Key West, I often wondered to myself if your role as Director of Marine Conservation wasn’t just a stalking horse for an excuse to search for buried pirate treasures

We’ve all learned many things from you, Paul.  You’ve taught us how to run the trap lines and create change for the better.

You’ve taught us how to think big picture.  To not get mired in district level mischief, but to not be afraid to throw some short circuit switches every now and then, as it never hurts to ruffle a few feathers.  I don’t know what your fairy dust is, but you have made an impact on all of our lives for certain. 

Now I don’t want to go being the banty rooster, but even though you are leaving, I know our team is going to be just fine without you.   I’m betting on the draw here, but it seems like you may have been preparing us all along.  Pushing us to dream big and believe in our innate abilities. That was your shell-game I guess, and it proved to be successful.

Well, I feel like I’ve gotten my licks in, so I will pass it on.  Paul, we know that you will be our cheerleader and our catalyst.  Our watchdog.  Even though you will be moving on to work with Sea Grant, your spirit and your optimism will continue to be felt throughout our team and I know that together, we can create a new truth.  Together we can keep reaching for that brass ring of marine conservation.  And you know the old saying, you really CAN teach an old dog new tricks.