Melissa is the social science liaison between the Northwest Fisheries Science Center and Washington Sea Grant. Joining NWFSC in 2012, Melissa brings over fifteen years of applied research on community-based natural resource management in the Pacific Northwest. Melissa earned Ph.D. (2009) and M.A. (2004) in Environmental Anthropology at the University of Washington; with additional training in geography and sociology (B.A).
Melissa is currently collaborating with other staff scientists in the Conservation Biology division to define, identify, and assess social and cultural interactions with coastal and marine ecosystems. She leads three key areas of research: (a) human well-being and sociocultural vulnerabilities associated with ocean change; (b) subsistence and cultural practices of marine food and fishing systems; and (c) methods for integrating indigenous and local knowledge and social information in ecosystem-based management.