Ulithi Youth Action Project: Current & Previous Participants

Ashley

Ashley

I’m Ashley Diaz. I attend Cabrillo College and major in biology. I am a student of Nicole and Eva. I’ve been participating in the 80 S genetic class in barcoding DNA samples that we’ve gotten from Ulithi. I grew up in Santa Cruz, CA and fell in love with the fact that we get the best of both worlds with having an ocean to swim in and forests to hike in. Ever since, I was young I’ve been fascinated with marine and plant biology. Enjoying our local tidepools and witnessing their transformations overtime. (I got quite the shock when our coast got hit by the starfish epidemic, but I am happy to say that the starfish population is recovering.) I also take interest in raising native plants for local wildlife. Currently, I am working on remodeling my family’s garden to aid in providing year-round nectar resources for native pollinators specifically, the monarch butterfly since Santa Cruz is one of their over wintering sites. I am honored to be part of this amazing opportunity with the Ulithi Youth Program to make a difference in ocean conservation and look forward working together to create a sustainable future.

Natalie Ordway

Natalie Ordway

Hi there! I‘m an artist, nerd, and octopus enthusiast from San Ramon, California in the Bay Area. I’ve had a fascination with the ocean from a young age and I‘m excited by the opportunity to learn about and help study the marine environment in Micronesia. I’m also honored to get to participate in a multicultural conservation effort like this and can’t wait to get started!

Emily Barney

Emily Barney

My name is Emily Barney, and I just finished up my time at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California. I will be transferring in the fall to Santa Clara University and will also be moving to the big city - San Francisco! However, before all the changes to come, I am beyond excited about the chance to go to Ulithi with this incredible, and diverse team of scientists and students. I have fallen in love with Ecology and conservation after having taken Nicole Crane’s class, and this experience will only solidify my interest in the field (hopefully). Not to mention having the opportunity to experience such a different culture than my own, and help improve the lives of all these wonderful people. The countdown is on!! And I cannot wait to meet everyone, and make some memories that will be sure to last a lifetime!

Cole Charlton

Cole Charlton

I was born in San Francisco, California and was raised in cold waters of Northern California. The ocean is my passion and my escape. I am an avid surfer and diver and a certified saltwater addict. I am currently a marine biology student at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz and a student of Nicole Crane. I am very excited about the opportunity we have to make a difference in Ulithi and so grateful to be a part of this amazing opportunity.

Shanthi Russell

Shanthi Russell

Hello, there! I am a dog-loving, beach-going, pie-eating, forest-hiking, piano-playing girl from Davis, California. The environment, both terrestrial and marine, has always dazzled me. Living in Santa Cruz really established my love for the ocean and its systems. Although the way that most humans treat the oceans makes me disheartened, I find my inspiration and passion through the strength of others, like the Ulithians. I am honored to have the opportunity to learn about their tight-knit society, their traditions, and to understand how to coexist with the other 71% of our planet.

Charlotte Grenier

Charlotte Grenier

Hello all! I’m from Long Beach and I’m currently a 2nd year UCSC student with a double major in art and environmental studies. I am super excited to meet you all, and even more excited to be going on such a fantastic trip studying in one of the most beautiful places with some of the most beautiful people in the world!!! I‘m very passionate about both of my majors, specifically the overlap between them. While in Ulithi, I’ll be doing lots of illustrations both for my own enjoyment and also as part of a science/art residency at the Norris Center for Natural History (at UCSC). I’m also a musician, a hiker & camper, a radical feminist, and a lover of all things part of nature.

Fuller Gerbl

Fuller Gerbl

My name is Fuller and I‘m really looking forward to being a member of the Ulithi Youth Program this summer. I really enjoy being in the water whether its surfing, Scuba , or free diving. I am an undergraduate marine science major and statistics minor at California State University Monterey Bay. I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work with like-minded individuals with the intentions of understanding ecological, and anthropogenic changes in this remote part of the world. It is essential to understand how to work with traditional communities, and provide information that will allow the community to make beneficial decisions for their home islands. I’m really looking forward to collaborating and learning with members of the Youth Program and the community. Through my personal experiences travel has been the most effective form education. There are various aspects of this program that I am extremely eager to participate in, but my personal focus on this trip will be marine debris. I will be providing as much information to the community as possible during our time, and conducting marine debris accumulation surveys to extrapolate information about the source, types, locations of geographic hotspots for marine debris around Falalop and potentially Mogmog.

Vanessa Howland

Vanessa Howland

Hello! I‘m Vanessa Howland, a 21-year-old biology major at Cabrillo College. The 17-18 school year is my last at Cabrillo and I am looking to transfer to one of California’s wonderful UC‘s to get my bachelor’s degree and pursue my dream of applying to medical school. My lifelong fascination with biology and the natural world has culminated in the opportunity to travel to one of the most isolated environments in the world, Micronesia! I am beyond honored to be one of the students able to participate in the 2017 Youth Action Plan Project, and my hope is that my contribution will be a small part of the wave of outreach that lifts up the wonderful people of the Islands of Micronesia. Hachigchig, Ulithi!

Karina

Karina

I’m Karina and I am a marine biology student at Cabrillo College and a volunteer at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I am extremely excited to get the chance to get some hands on research experience and learn more about conservation as well as be immersed in a beautiful new culture and meet you all and work alongside you guys!

Deena Brabant

Deena Brabant

Hey, good to meet you! My name is Deena Brabant and I am beyond excited to be participating in this research with OPOR. As a student of fisheries and wildlife science, it is my dream to work towards long-term ecological solutions that benefit both people and wildlife. The skills I am working towards are those that will enable me to obtain and analyze data in order to implement conservation programs in biologically diverse and sensitive ecosystems whose futures are interwoven with their local human communities. Where human success is synonymous with ecological success, I will know my goals have been achieved!

I also really like painting, biking, adventures, and snacks. Cheers!

Richard

Richard

Hey guys, I‘m Richard! Looking forward to meeting you all. I’m from Yorba Linda in the OC, AKA land locked and extremely boring. Currently I‘m finishing up finals at Santa Barbara City College and I’m transferring to University of Hawaii at Manoa next fall. I‘m interested in conservation of reefs, and hope to accomplish that through sustainable aqua culture. I’ve been diving for 3 years now, and I’m super excited to go to Ulithi to meet new people and add another notch to my dive experiences!

Rick Saber

Rick Saber

I’m a former Navy pilot and retired airline Captain, former Chair of the N. CA Explorers Club Chapter and former Commander in the USCG-Aux with focus on Marine Safety or incident command operation. An avid explorer, I have been an expedition leader in the Himalayas and done advanced diving worldwide. Ocean conservation is my passion. I look forward to sharing a lifetime of leadership experience with fellow Team Members, assisting in documenting reef inhabitants, data collection and other
assigned tasks. I’m a team player with a strong sense of humor. I to learn much from both the young Team scientists on our Expedition and from the Ulithi people with whom we work as we look into the challenges they face.

Martina Mueller

Martina Mueller

My name is Martina and I am a biology student at Cabrillo. Before going back to school I had been in the US Coast Guard for 11 years, and my duties took me to Central and South America and Alaska for law enforcement and search rescue operations. I volunteer for a foster youth program and also at The Marine Mammal Center. I love studying the language of nature, animal behavior, and spending time outdoors. I look forward to meeting everyone.

Emma Lassiter

Emma Lassiter

Hi, I’m Emma,I have loved the ocean since a childhood spent playing in the waves, via scuba diving adventures on coral reefs and in kelp forests, and scooping walrus poop in the New York Aquarium. I believe that people are a part of nature, and that marine conservation requires community-led marine management. The One People One Reef project is a hugely inspiring example of how this can work. The youth program was incredible - an opportunity to experience a gorgeous community and a magical ocean - while doing some science and learning more about the project. Since we got back, I am assisting Eva with the Cabrillo College genetics class, where we are DNA barcoding samples collected in Ulithi.

Lucas Batties

Lucas Batties

I am 17 years old, live in Palo Alto, and I am half Swiss half African American. Nature has always been my passion, I love scuba diving, hiking, outdoor adventures, skiing, and my favorite subject is Biology. I plan to focus my studies in the Bio field. I am excited to go on this trip and to take part in a real research project. Last year I attended Nicole Crane‘s talk about past trips and ever since I have wanted to participate. I am very lucky to be able to go on this trip, and I am super excited. This will be an amazing experience and I can’t wait.

Savannah

Savannah

Hi everyone! My name is Savannah. I live in Santa Cruz, California and I go to Mount Madonna School with my three younger sisters. I am rescue diver certified and also lifeguard certified. I also do judo and when I am older I want to be a marine biologist. I am very excited to be going to Ulithi so I lean more about the coral reefs and how to conserve them. I also hope to broaden my perspectives on the world by learning about the different culture. I can’t wait to meet you all!

Kelsey Doyle

Kelsey Doyle

I am documentary filmmaker from the stunning redwood mountains of Santa Cruz, California. My work focuses on pertinent environmental and social issues around the world. Though my passion takes me abroad, I am deeply rooted in my community and honored to be on the board of the Santa Cruz Film Festival where I oversee filmmaking relations, production, programming, and content development. I have produced pieces for platforms such as PBS Newshour, NYC Life, NYMagazine, and am currently working on documentary projects in Morocco, Sumatra, and Micronesia. I hold a B.A. in Film and Digital Media from UCSC and am completing my Master’s in Documentary Journalism from NYU. and in my spare time I am an adjunct faculty for Law & Media Ethics.

Samantha Stone

Samantha Stone

I grew up among the redwoods of the northern San Francisco Bay, and moved to Santa Cruz in 2012 to study marine ecology in Cabrillo College classrooms and in Monterey Bay‘s sublime kelp forests. Here, my love for visual art and music ripened and cultivated strong community. Profoundly inspired by my peers and college experience, I plan to transfer to UC Santa Cruz next year to develop my skills in community empowerment through sustainable practices to help preserve nature’s processes that work like miracles all around us.