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by Rachel Christopherson

Recent graduates Emma Ross (MAIEP OCRM '18), Clesi Bennett (MAIEP OCRM '18) and Melis Ökter (MAIEP OCRM '16) share updates on their professional positions, work and life. 

Emma Ross MAIEP OCRM '18 Center for the Blue Economy Summer Fellow, she is smiling, holding a frozen delight in the jungles of Belize
Emma Ross MAIEP OCRM '18 in the jungle of Belize

Emma Ross is a Regulatory Project Manager with the US Army Corps of Engineers in the Ventura field office. Regulatory Project Managers review applications from the general public for projects that may impact waters of the United States. Through the Regulatory process, Project Managers ensure applicants avoid and minimize impacts to aquatic resources to the maximum extent practicable, and require compensatory mitigation.

  Clesi Bennett (MAIEP OCRM '2017) Poster Session Cal Coastal Commission
Clesi Bennett (MAIEP OCRM '2017) at 13th Annual State of the San Francisco Estuary Conference, October 2017.

Clesi Bennett is a coastal planner at the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission (BCDC), California’s coastal zone management agency for the San Francisco Bay area. At BCDC, Clesi works on policy and long-range planning initiatives and is currently working on formulating an amendment to BCDC’s San Francisco Bay Plan to integrate environmental justice and social equity into BCDC’s regulatory and planning work.  Clesi will be coming back to campus to give a talk about her current work with BCDC, as part of the Center for the Blue Economy Speaker Series.  Catch her talk on  Tuesday, October 2nd, 6pm in McGowan 102.  

Melis Okter at work

Melis Ökter worked as a California Sea Grant Fellow for the California Coastal Commission in their Climate Change Department immediately after graduation. She conducted an exhaustive review of California’s coastal resources at risk to sea level rise and drafted the final statewide report that includes county-level data on climate change vulnerability, economic valuation studies, and Local Coastal Program participation. Melis is currently working at Dudek Environmental Consulting and Engineering in Oakland, California. She is an environmental specialist/coastal planner working on sea level rise updates for local governments, as well as doing some habitat restoration/mitigation work.  MIIS recently produced a video about her current work and the academic and professional path that led her there.   Watch the video:  Melis Ökter: Why the Institute: Professional experience before you graduate.