First week as a postdoc at SESYNC

I’m excited to announce that I’ve started a postdoc position at the National Center for Socio-Environmental Synthesis (SESYNC). In my two years here, I’ll be working with mentors at SESYNC, collaborators and funders at The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and an extremely knowledgeable working group of experts on marine spatial planning from around the world. In the first year, we’ll finalize development of an evaluative framework that allows us to ask whether marine spatial planning has delivered social, ecological and/or economic benefits relative to stated objectives of the plan and to broader expectations of what ocean planning should achieve. From there, I’ll lead efforts to test the framework using marine spatial planning case studies that can help us understand the role that marine spatial planning might play in ocean governance moving forward, and the conditions that lead to positive socio-environmental outcomes for ocean ecosystems and coastal communities. 

I was drawn to this job for several reasons. First, while fisheries certainly play a major role in marine spatial planning, this project will allow me to expand my research and thinking beyond fisheries to more uses and users of the ocean environment. And second, I’ve wanted to work at SESYNC since I learned about their existence in 2014. It is a truly unique research center, at the cutting edge of interdisciplinary research and synthesis. While I’ll absolutely miss being part of a fish ecology lab, at SESYNC my colleagues and officemates are in public health, anthropology, political science and a wide range of other disciplines. The opportunity to be surrounded by such a diverse group of thinkers, and to further develop my skills doing synthetic research drew me here and have me very hopeful about what the next two years will bring.