Melissa Watkinson, '15

Melissa WatkinsonMelissa Watkinson (Master of Arts in Policy Studies ’15 and Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Society, Ethics, and Human Behavior ‘11) has lived most of her life in the Pacific Northwest, and her passion for her community led her to three degrees from the School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences at the University of Washington Bothell. Following, her dual major bachelor’s, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the UW Bothell Office of Community-Based Learning and Research. She also volunteered with Oxfam America working on food aid and climate change issues.

Melissa enrolled in the Policy Studies program in the fall of 2013, and published her first article in the 2014 Policy Journal. As a graduate student, Melissa worked as a student assistant with the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute. In the winter of 2015 she began a Research Assistantship with Washington Sea Grant to collaborate on a social indicators project for the Washington Marine Spatial Plan. Her capstone research employed cross disciplinary research methods to better understand the impacts of historical land policies and more recent land consolidation programs on climate change adaptation for tribal communities who are experiencing a loss of coastal land.

Melissa began working with The Nature Conservancy in Fall 2015 on coastal climate resiliency and policies as the first UWB Marc Hershman Marine Policy Fellow. Her professional and research opportunities have now led her to pursue a career working with coastal tribal communities who are impacted by changing environments and to contribute research on adaptation strategies.

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