Meg Gardner, a 2013 graduate of the University of New Hampshire's (UNH) TIDES program, has been selected as one of six recipients of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's (NOAA) Coastal Management Fellowship. She will be working on the Beaches in Crisis project in Newport, Oregon, starting in August, the goal of which is to update, improve and map a database of shoreline armoring projects along the coast of Oregon, enabling better management of such projects and future shore protection projects.
Gardner grew up in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J., and says growing up on the coast contributed to her decision to study Marine Biology at Roger Williams University, knowing that she wanted to eventually work in the field of environmental protection. She then participated in the TIDES (Training for the Integration of Decision-Making and Ecosystem Science) Master's program at UNH. She has also worked with several outreach and advocacy organizations, but decided to get a different perspective of coastal resource management, which led her to the TIDES program.
Gardner says she enjoys "being at the intersection of coastal policy and management" and wants to work with people who have differing views of the coast, balancing their interests. She anticipates this fellowship will help her gain experience in state-level management and looks forward to getting a "West Coast perspective" on coastal policy and to working with the towns and local citizens.
Ultimately, Gardner hopes to "stay in a balanced seat, helping people work together to manage [coastal areas] effectively and build resilient communities."
The Coastal Management Fellowship is a program for postgraduate students sponsored by the NOAA Coastal Services Center (CSC), which provides experience in coastal resource management and policy by putting students together with coastal zone projects put forward by the states for selection by CSC. The program was established in 1996. Six fellows are selected each year to work at two-year opportunities on different projects across the country; the projects selected for the 2013 fellowship include three in New England, one in New York, and two on the West Coast.