Ricardo de Ycaza

PhD Student

Ricardo de Ycaza earned a BSc in Marine Biology from the College of Charleston in 2007. He holds a Post-Graduate degree in High Management and a Master’s degree in Business Administration (MBA) from the Latin University of Panama. He has 11 years of work experience in non-profit, private and government sectors.  His work has included scientific research, conservation, sustainable development and natural resource management. Ricardo is currently a Ph.D. student at Oregon State University’s School of Public Policy, where he focuses on emerging issues in international Marine and Coastal Policy.

His research explores the consequences of global, regional, and national marine policies on small-scale fishing communities (SSFCs) under the emerging Blue Economy movement. Using a mixed methods approach, Ricardo compares Blue Economy narratives, crafted by international leaders in the public and private sector, to policy implementation at the local level. The research aims to better understand how SSFCs are impacted by the Blue Economy movement and explore if pervasive narratives match the daily reality of coastal fishing communities.

Victoria Williams

Master Student

Victoria Williams earned her Bachelors of Science in Environmental Studies, with a minor in Anthropology from the University of Richmond in 2019. During her time at the University of Richmond, Victoria has conducted research in Belize, Bocas del Toro Panama, and at the University of Maryland Horn Point Lab, where she grew in her understanding of how human dimensions intersected with marine ecosystems. Through internships with nonprofits such as The James River Association and Virginia Interfaith Power and Light, she was able to expand my knowledge on marine and coastal ecosystems to the local systems and policies within Richmond Virginia. 

Given her past interests, Victoria’s research continues to explore the intersectionality of marine impacts and human effects within the coastal communities. Specifically, Victoria’s current research is geared at understanding the how to inform policy to support the adaptive capacity of coastal communities along the West Coast. Her current project is aims to assess the factors that affect the adaptive capacity of  wild-capture reliant-crabbing communities along the coast of Oregon.

Victoria wishes to develop the skills in her MPP program to become a better scholar and researcher, so she can best prepare herself to pursue a Ph.D. or a career in marine conservation policy in the future.


Owen Welch

Undergraduate Student

Owen Welch is Dr. Ana Spalding mentee for his CIMRS fellowship and has helped him learn more about management implications and fishery policy. The project focuses on the dynamics of the market squid population off the Oregon coast and Owen is working with a NOAA research team to better understand some of the environmental factors for the population shifts and the management implications of a growing Oregon fishery. Historically, squid are incredibly abundant in California and are the State's most profitable fishery. This makes the squid fishery important economically and the population dynamics are important to further understand what the future might look like for market squid. Owen is graduating Spring 2020 in Environmental Sciences with an option in policy and economics and hope to go on to graduate school for interdisciplinary marine studies.



Adrian Laufer

After completing a B.S. in Environmental Policy & Management at University of Redlands, Adrian came to Oregon State University (OSU) to study with Dr. Ana Spalding. At OSU, Adrian concentrated her education and research on marine policy, with a distinct focus on conservation management and finance. She worked closely with the Oregon Marine Reserves Program to investigate program inputs and efficacy. She was also awarded a competitive graduate fellowship through the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program, which supported year-long participation on a transdisciplinary research team investigating social and ecological changes associated with implementation of Oregon’s 5 Marine Reserves. Results from both of these studies were reported in her MPP Essay, and reported to the Oregon Marine Reserves Program through two applied reports.

Toward the end of her graduate studies, Adrian was awarded a competitive NOAA Coastal Management Fellowship with the Oregon Coastal Management Program (OCMP). She’s currently completing this fellowship and working on a range of projects related to the stewardship and management of publicly-owned coastal lands. She also works directly on federal consistency reviews, rule-making, and strategic planning. In addition to the OCMP, she actively contributes to the West Coast Ocean Alliance, Oregon Coastal and Ocean Information Network, International Coastal Atlas Network of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, NOAA Digital Coast, and NOAA Coastal Communicators


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