Five distinguished scientists and conservationists from Costa Rica, South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the United States are the 2016 recipients of the Pew fellowship in marine conservation. The fellowships support research to improve ocean conservation and management.
The new fellows will work to investigate the possibility of closing the high seas to fishing, to establish marine protected areas in the waters off South Africa, to develop Sri Lanka’s first marine conservation organization focused on education and public engagement, strengthen the sustainability of marine protected areas, and to foster shark conservation in Central America.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation. Since 1996, the program has recognized 132 marine experts in 32 countries. Recipients receive US$150,000 each for a three-year project designed to address ocean conservation challenges.
Many world-renowned scientists, photographers, and writers have been honored. Recipients have included Jane Lubchenco, a marine biologist and former administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Steve Palumbi, a Stanford University marine biologist and genetics expert; Callum Roberts, a marine conservation biologist; John Weller, a nature photographer and filmmaker; and Barbara Block, a shark, billfish, and tuna biologist.
“The Pew marine fellows program has evolved to become so much more than simply a three-year fellowship,” said Joshua S. Reichert, executive vice president and head of environment initiatives at The Pew Charitable Trusts. “As individuals, recipients continue making contributions long after their fellowships have concluded. Working together, the fellows continue to pursue solutions to the world’s most pressing ocean threats.”
“This new class of dedicated experts is representative of the great potential and hope that this program brings to ocean conservation,” said Polita Glynn, director of the Pew Fellows Program in Marine Conservation. “Supporting innovative efforts that benefit our oceans has never been more important.”
Using a rigorous nomination and review process, a committee of marine specialists from around the world selects the fellows based on the strength of their proposed projects. That process includes an assessment of the projects’ potential to protect ocean environments. Five unique and timely proposals by outstanding midcareer professionals are chosen annually.
For additional photos or video, or to reach one of the 2016 fellows, please email Kymberly Escobar at [email protected].
Randall Arauz studies a hawksbill sea turtle in Punta Coyote, Costa Rica, as part of his work to design integrated coastal management policies.
Through stories and hands-on experiences, Asha de Vos gets people excited about the ocean and helps them understand its importance to their very survival.
Jennifer Jacquet takes a look at Pisaster ochraceus, the purple sea star, in the intertidal zone off Quadra Island, British Columbia. Protecting the high seas poses a unique challenge because, unlike the intertidal zone, the high seas lie beyond national jurisdiction.
Jennifer O'Leary holds a cabezon during a project with fishermen to assess central California marine protected areas.
Using a remotely operated vehicle to explore a submarine canyon off South Africa, Kerry Sink finds cold-water corals in a proposed marine protected area.