4th International Marine Conservation Congress Plenaries: Julia Parrish

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One of the highlights of the International Marine Conservation Congress (IMCC) is always the amazing plenary speakers. Over the next week and a bit we’ll be featuring all the plenary speakers on this blog. If you’re excited to hear them speak in person, make sure you register now for IMCC4. Discounted registration is available until May 8th.

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Plenary Speech: Real people, science literacy, sense of place, and saving the world

Julia K. Parrish is the Lowell A. and Frankie L. Wakefield Professor of Ocean Fishery Sciences at the University of Washington, where she also serves as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the College of the Environment.  As Associate Dean, she helped bring two exciting efforts to increase inclusion in science into the College: Seattle MESA, a pipeline program providing hands-on science, math, and engineering opportunities for middle and high school students; and the Doris Duke Conservation Scholar’s Program at UW, a national summer program for undergraduates fusing the concerns of ecosystem conservation, equity and inclusion.
Julia is a marine biologist, a conservation biologist, and a specialist in animal aggregation.  For more than 25 years, Julia has conducted field research on seabirds, focused on the natural and human-caused factors causing population decline.  Julia is also the Executive Director of the Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COASST), a 17 year old citizen science program responsible for training more than 3,000 participants to collect monthly data on the identity and abundance of beach-cast birds from northern California north to the Arctic Circle and west to the Commander Islands in Russia.  With the goal of creating the definitive baseline against which the impacts of any near-shore catastrophe can be measured, COASST data have been used to assess the impacts of oil spills, harmful algal blooms, fishery bycatch, and a changing climate.
In 1998, Julia was honored as a NOAA Year of the Oceans Environmental Hero by Vice President Al Gore for the development of the COASST project.  In 2013, Julia was recognized by The White House Office of Science Technology Policy (OSTP) as a Champion of Change for her citizen science work with COASST. In 2015, COASST was cited by the OSTP and the National Science Foundation as an exemplary example of rigorous citizen science. She is an Elected Fellow of the American Ornithological Union, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow and has been honored with the UW Distinguished Teaching Award for her excellence in the classroom.  She received her undergraduate degree from Carnegie-Mellon University, her PhD from Duke University, where she studied the schooling behavior of fish, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at UCLA.
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