Mary will develop and refine data tools on coastal wetland migration pathways and identify what end-users need to protect these pathways.
“Protecting the spaces where we predict marshes will migrate is a proactive coastal resilience strategy with numerous environmental, economic, and cultural benefits,” she says. “I’m thrilled to put my scientific understanding of the subject into action and to help ensure that marsh migration modeling tools can be understood and implemented by those who make on-the-ground changes to protect our coastal ecosystems.”
“I’m also incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work within the NERRS,” she adds. “A collaborative program that combines research, education, and stewardship is an amazing balance of what I’m looking for in a career in coastal management.”
Mary grew up in the rural town of East Haddam, Connecticut, which shaped her love and appreciation for the natural world. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree at the University of Connecticut, she worked for three years on a salt marsh restoration project with the US EPA’s Atlantic Coastal Environmental Sciences Division in Narragansett.
Mary earned her master’s in Environmental Science from the Yale School of the Environment last May. There she studied the effects of sea-level rise and storm surge on salt marsh migration into coastal forests along Long Island Sound. Through a forestry technique known as dendrochronology, she explored the timescale in which salt water inundation drives tree stress, tree death, and marsh migration. She is excited to act on the broader land use management implications of this research through her NOAA Digital Coast Fellowship.