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Peggy Lynch, 2006 Summer Student Fellow

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Peggy Lynch

Summer Student Fellow

Project: Appropriate spatial scales for ocean
Department: Marine Policy Center, WHOI
Advisors: Hauke Kite-Powell, Porter Hoagland

B.S. Biological Sciences, Stanford University, 2006

Related NOAA Strategic Plan Goal:
Goal 1: Protect, restore and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources through ecosystembased

Research Overview:
This summer I’m investigating the role of spatial scale in designing intelligent ocean
management schemes. For ecological, economic, and sociopolitical reasons, the scale at which
natural resources are managed can make a tremendous difference in the success of a
management scheme, ecosystem health, and resource sustainability. The choice of appropriate
management scale is particularly challenging and relevant in the marine environment, where
ecological, physical, and political boundaries are often not easily apparent. I’m focusing
specifically on the design of marine reserves and marine protected areas, their role in ecosystembased
management, and how to best integrate the optimal scales of reserve networks, as
determined by physical and biological factors such as current patterns and life-history
characteristics, with social and economic concerns and existing management frameworks.

I’m also contributing, along with Merrielle Macleod, a graduate student at Brown, to the research
and writing of an article Dr. Hoagland is preparing on ocean zoning for the upcoming edition of
the Encyclopedia of Ocean Sciences. Ocean zoning is a relatively new approach to ocean
management, based on the established practice of land zoning, involving the designation of
particular areas of the ocean for particular uses. We plan to incorporate the ongoing discussions
on comprehensive ocean management in Massachusetts (related to SB 529: An Act Relative to
Oceans, currently pending approval in the Senate) as a case study in the piece, so I’ve had the
opportunity to interview representatives of various state agencies, businesses, and non-profit
organizations with have interests in the outcome of this process, such as the Department of
Marine Fisheries, Office of Coastal Zone Management, and the Conservation Law Foundation.

I’ve truly enjoyed my research this summer, especially the opportunity to work so closely with
my advisors, and I know the knowledge I’ve gained of the policy realm will serve me well in my
future studies of marine systems.

Last updated: August 19, 2008

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