Turning the Tide for Seagrass Conservation
Educating coastal communities about the value of eelgrass to ensure sustained conservation and preservation
Though seagrasses cover a fraction of oceans, they are crucial for the planet. By sequestering carbon, buffering coasts and filtering pathogens, seagrasses help shape global oceans and form biodiverse habitats. Olivia J. Graham’s dissertation research focuses on eelgrass, the seagrass that is the proverbial canary in the coal mine due to its sensitivity to environmental changes. With this grant, Graham is collaborating with community partners to offer hands-on workshops for teachers and students in coastal Washington communities, empowering them to take an active role in eelgrass conservation. This project raises awareness about the importance of eelgrass, while establishing baseline surveys about seagrass wasting disease (SWD) and examining the ways the environment and genetic diversity affect SWD in the region.
- Graduate student: Olivia J. Graham, ecology and evolutionary biology
- Special committee chair: Drew Harvell, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; College of Arts and Sciences
- Community partner: Pacific Education Institute
- Community partner: Washington Sea Grant
- Community partner: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) – Alaska Fisheries Science Center
- Community partner: NOAA – Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
- Community partner: Quileute Tribal School
Engaged Graduate Student Grants
Supporting Ph.D. students in any field — whether they are experienced in community-engaged research and scholarship or just getting started.