Graduate Students

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Current Graduate Students

Winter 2017  

Melanie Magnan​


I am from France and actually in my 1st year master’s degree program in biodiversity with a focus on marine biology in the University of Perpignan. A requirement for my program is an internship, and as travelling is my passion along with marine biology I immediately tried to find some intern programs in this field abroad. Being fluent in English, and also particularly interested in seals and whales, America seemed like the best place to find one. I am thrilled to intern with Cascadia Research, as this will allow me to get practical knowledge and skills in marine biology for my future career. This will also help to improve my English as it is mandatory in the Science world. 


Past Graduate Students

Fall 2015  

Caroline Coster

I am a master’s student at The Evergreen State College's Graduate Program on the Environment. I am interning with Cascadia focusing on public outreach primarily focusing on gray whale education, preparing materials to exhibit in the Langley Whale Museum on Whidbey Island. I am currently working on my thesis which is examining public outreach/advocacy methods for non-profits focusing on whales.  My goal is to encourage public knowledge of cetaceans through education as opposed to entertainment settings such as Seaworld, Seaquariums and whale watching.

Elske Rotshuizen

My passion for cetaceans has been the reason to start the MSc Marine Resource Management & Ecology, for which I am doing my final thesis at Cascadia Research Collective. After finishing my Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Wildlife Management, I wanted to do a master to get more experienced in doing scientific research. My goal is to pursue a career in cetacean research and contribute to the conservation of these magnificent animals. I grew up in The Netherlands, and after working with whales in Australia and South Africa, I am very excited to get the opportunity to work in the USA. I am confident that I will learn a lot about doing research in the brief time that I am here. 

Paula Cracknell

My lifelong passion for marine ecology and the conservation of marine mammals is what led me to Cascadia Research. For my internship, I am assisting in assessing how implant tagging affects the body condition of blue whales. I graduated in 2013 from the Evergreen State College with a dual BSc in Ecology and BA in Environmental Science. I am currently a graduate student working on an MS in Environmental Studies. I am fascinated with baleen whales, zooplankton, ocean chemistry, diving research and climate change. I am particularly interested in studying anthropogenic impacts on the marine food web.
Fall 2014  

Natasha Milne

I am currently working on a Marine & Freshwater Biology Work Placement Masters (Msci) at the University of Glasgow.  I am here at Cascadia working on the Hawaiian Pilot Whale ID catalog in order to investigate the seasonality of Cookie Cutter Shark foraging before travelling on to the University of St Andrews to complete my Masters placement.  My main interests are in elasmobranchii and marine mammal ecology and conservation.

Spring 2014  

Rachel Stendahl

Rachel is a graduate student in the Masters of Environmental Studies Program at Evergreen State College. She is collaborating with Cascadia Research Collective to finish her thesis titled “Examining Humpback Whale Ship Strike Risk in Northern Washington State”.  She has always been passionate about marine biology and conservation which led her to receive a B.S. in environmental science with an emphasis in marine ecology from Western Washington University, in Bellingham, Washington. After graduation from Evergreen, she plans on continuing to work on marine conservation issues with a state agency or non-profit.
Fall 2013  

Eric Keen

Eric Keen is at Cascadia for the autumn of 2013.  He grew up in Florida, went to undergrad at Sewanee: the University of the South in Tennessee, and then pursued a variety of projects for a few years: bike tours, long hikes, a Fulbright in Indonesia, outdoor education, a season as a fire-tower lookout, and volunteering with whale research outfits around the world. He is now heading into his third year at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego, but his dissertation fieldwork takes him to the Great Bear Fjordland of northern British Columbia. Eric is interested in the largest whales, specifically their foraging strategies, particularly in fjords. He hopes to write, teach, and mentor students in a small town someday. He also writes corny kids songs!

Kelly Beach

Kelly Beach is from Pennsylvania and graduated with a BS from the University of Delaware and is currently a graduate student at the Evergreen State College’s Masters of Environmental Studies program. This past summer she interned at Cape May Whale Watch and Research Center, photographing and cataloging the local Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin population. She is interested in marine ecosystems and hopes to pursue a career in marine mammal conservation and protection. Kelly is excited to be participating in Hawaiian odontocete photo ID at Cascadia Research!

Britt O'Leary

Britt O'Leary is a student at Evergreen State College in the Masters of Environmental Studies program. She is interested in all forms of animal life particularly marine organisms and birds.