Felicity is a graduate student studying Marine Conservation at the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science, University of Miami. She is passionate about the environment and fascinated by the relationship between people and their surroundings, especially the dynamic between coastal communities and marine ecosystems. She has her B.A. from the University of San Francisco in Architecture and Community Design, where she wrote her senior dissertation on food insecurity. Her thesis, "MacArthur Farm, Bridging the Gap between the Built Environment and Social Justice," examined how food deserts are designed and how to reverse the harmful effects using integrated community-designed spaces. She has an extensive background in the food industry, with experience as an assistant to a private chef and starting her own baking business. She also has experience working with wildlife as a volunteer for the California Wildlife Center, where she was responsible for caring for native birds, sea lions, and seals.
Currently, Felicity is interning with the FCOLC's Sea Turtle Conservation and Women Empowerment Program. She will be working remote with planned fieldwork at the sites in Nicaragua in the Fall. Her research aims to evaluate the program's participant training workshops and sea turtle monitoring data collection methodology. The findings from her study will be used to create a well-rounded and informative guide for successful sea turtle monitoring and tagging protocols as well as a manual for best management and training practices for community members.
She hopes to pursue a career in conservation, working with coastal communities. In her free time, you can find her cooking, gardening, or surfing.
Kellie is pursuing her Master of Science degree in marine biology and ecology at the Rosenstiel School of Marine, Atmospheric, and Earth Science at the University of Miami. Before working towards her degree, she and a group of Manhattan Beach, CA residents founded an organization that promoted sustainability and raised awareness about the ocean and environmental issues. In this organization, she planned beach cleanups, gained community support to ban single-use plastics, and spoke at city hall to strengthen policy around composting programs. She also worked with locally owned businesses to host events aimed at educating people on ways to be more environmentally friendly and care for our planet. After this became her true passion, she quit her career and went back to school to dedicate her life to ocean conservation.
As an intern at FCOLC and a member of the Sustainability Initiative at UM, she has continued her environmental advocacy by organizing and volunteering at outreach events including mangrove cleanups at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. Her current research entails characterizing the internal morphology and infauna of loggerhead sponges from the nearshore habitats of the Florida Keys. This work is in collaboration with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission which has been refining restoration methods to aid in the recovery of nearshore sponge communities.
Her long-term aspirations are to continue to promote awareness and environmental advocacy and pursue a career in ocean restoration. If she is not working on her sponge project or running an outreach event, you can find her at beach cleanups, doing yoga, finding an animal to love, or cooking creative plant-based meals for friends.