MCP alumna Sarah Bailey has been applying the skills that she learned at the School of Marine and Atmospheric Science to her career. She is currently at the Marine Field Station in Orono, ME employed as an Outreach and Communications Specialist for NOAA, NMFS in the Protected Resource Division. She has been focusing on the Atlantic salmon as part of NOAA’s Initiative to include the Atlantic Salmon in the “Species in the Spotlight” campaign and helping promote its 5 year action plan. The plan, which was just recently published, was developed to promote, target, and highlight the steps that need to be taken to change the download trajectory of the salmon population. Sarah is the first communications/outreach specialist in the past eight years to work within this office. She not only works on the communications for these new plans, but also is working on developing an office-wide communication plan. The plan promotes community engagement, not only with events like “World Fish Migration Day” and “Endangered Species Day”, but also encourages community understanding about involvement in licensing and restoration projects. Although her plate is full between these tasks, working with NGO partners, and promoting funding and grants opportunities, she manages her new responsibilities with grace and ease.
When asked about how the MCP program at SOMAS helped her she replied: “If it weren’t for the MCP program I would be a fish out of water, so to speak. The journalism classes helped with my understanding of how best to communicate science to audiences using various types of media. Without the MCP program, I would be clueless to the entire policy aspect of what is being communicated. I think many people in my current position have a background in communications or journalism, but my background in Marine Conservation and Policy has allowed me to have a more thorough understanding of the work being done by NMFS. Knowing what goes into the management and policy decisions has given me a unique perspective on how to better communicate the message.”