NOAA National Environmental Satellite
and Information Service
Nikelene is serving as the GEO Blue Planet Policy fellow in the Satellite Oceanography and Climatology Division of NOAA NESDIS/STAR. She grew up on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, where she developed her passion for the coastal environment. She is currently a PhD candidate at Morgan State University in the Bioenvironmental Sciences Program. Her research focuses on characterizing the population dynamics of the Atlantic bay nettle (Chrysaora chesapeakei) in the Patuxent River, a sub-estuary of the Chesapeake Bay. She aims to use her findings to help stakeholders develop measures and management strategies to mitigate the impact of the bay nettle’s disruptive blooms in the Chesapeake Bay.
Nikelene has also been actively involved in other research projects which served to investigate measures that can be taken to sustain coastal resources. She has worked on projects related to sustainable shellfish and finfish aquaculture, oyster and coral reef restoration as well as marine wildlife conservation. She has also worked on coastal/marine governance projects involving stakeholder engagement and outreach in Central America, the Caribbean and the Chesapeake Bay.
Knauss legislative fellowships in Congress help build careers — and they're fun and educational. See our video and fact sheet for details.
Maryland Sea Grant has program development funds for start-up efforts, graduate student research, or strategic support for emerging areas of research. Apply here.
Smithville is a community on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, on the edge of the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge. A century ago, Smithville had more than 100 residents. Today, it has four, in two homes: an elderly couple, and one elderly woman and her son, who cares for her.
Leone Yisrael is a cephalopod-loving scuba diver, cook, and loves to try new activities. She conducts genetic analysis and fieldwork at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center through the Coastal Disease Ecology Lab.
Oyster aquaculture is a rapidly growing industry in Maryland’s Chesapeake waters which stimulates economic activity and may provide a host of ecosystem benefits. A potential concern associated with the intensification of the oyster aquaculture is the local production and accumulation of oyster biodeposits, which can lead to a porewater sulfide accumulation and declining bioturbation, symptoms of declining ecosystem function. Sulfide is naturally removed from the seafloor by the interactions between bioturbating infauna and sulfide oxidizing bacteria.