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Marine Science Graduate Student Part of a Rising Tide for Diversity and Inclusion in the Field

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A master’s student in marine science and her USD mentor were honored this fall by the Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation (CERF).

Katie Robinson was chosen for CERF’s 2017 Rising TIDES (Toward and Inclusive, Diverse, and Enriched Society) Conference while Environmental and Ocean Sciences Associate Professor Drew Talley received the association’s Outstanding Educator Award.

Attending the conference and meeting students and professors with similar backgrounds and aspirations was an “amazing experience,” said Robinson. The conference in early November included workshops and presentations focused on promoting inclusion and diversity in the coastal and estuarine sciences.

Robinson was one of 11 honorees selected from some 75 nominations of students around the world.

“Even among the most motivated and compelling students, Katie stands out as simply exceptional,” Talley wrote in nominating her for the award. “She approaches problems with a maturity I rarely see in my PhD students and keeps the big pictures issues in mind at the same time that she tracks detailed aspects of her work.”

Growing up in a single-parent family with her mother in Waco, Texas was a “motivational factor,” she recalled. “It gave me a little determination and my stubborn attitude for success.”

Her research at USD currently focuses on comparing the dietary habits and health of the California killifish in natural and man-made marsh habitats. She hopes to complete her master’s in the fall of 2018 and then go on for a PhD and possibly work in public advocacy for marine and environmental protection.

Talley predicts Robinson will go far with her determination to make a difference in the field. “So driven by her passion for science and serving the underserved, she cannot help but influence our future generation of scientists.”

In fact, she’s already making a difference. This fall, she began working with the San Diego Refugee Tutoring program at Ibarra Elementary School in the City Heights neighborhood. Assisting 3rd to 5th grade students who have recently arrived in the U.S. with their homework “is a nice way to become involved in the San Diego community,” she said. “They really want to learn all they can so they catch up to their grade level” with other students their own age.

Contact:

Liz Harman
eharman@sandiego.edu
6192604682