Previous Winners of the Keeley Coastal Scholars Award


  • Eliana Bower

    Eliana Bower, Rachel Carson College, is an Ecology and Evolutionary Biology major. Salma Valladares, John R. Lewis College, is majoring in Marine Biology. They were awarded research funding for their joint proposal, The Effects of Warming Global Temperatures on Fucus Abundance in Sitka, Alaska.
  • Lauren Fritz

    Lauren Fritz is a second-year Ph.D. student in Ocean Sciences. After graduating, she is interested in becoming freelance data animator, drone pilot for whale research, and journalist who is able to provide a link between the scientific community and the general public.
  • Ando Rabearisoa

    Ando Rabearisoa is a graduate student in the department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology who plans to use her graduate training to increase her leadership in the blue economy and marine conservation in Madagascar. 

  • 2022

  • McKenna Smith

    McKenna Smith

    McKenna Smith,  Microbiology & Environmental Toxicology,  is a recipient of the 2022 Keeley Coastal Scholarship. This scholarship enabled her to work with Professor Peter Weiss to write and develop the method and description for this project and she so excited to be able to complete this project with the support of the Keeley Scholarship. 

  • 2021

  • Alexis Hooper

    Alexis Hooper

    Alexis Hooper, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, is a recipient of the 2021 Keeley Coastal Scholarship. This scholarship will allow her to not only stay in Santa Cruz for the summer, but also be able to take a pause from her part time job in order to focus completely on the project.

  • 2020

  • Alexia Daoussus

    Alexia Daoussus

    Alexia Daoussus, Environmental Studies, is a recipient of the 2020 Keeley Coastal Scholarship. This award will enable her to continue working closely with the City of Santa Cruz Climate Action Program, focused on the Resilient Coast Santa Cruz Initiative.


  • Roberto Rivera

    Roberto Rivera

    Roberto Rivera, Microbiology and Environmental Toxicology, is a recipient of the 2020 Keeley Coastal Scholarship. This award will fund his research to collect isopods, steelhead trout, and sculpin fish in the UC Natural Reserves in order to examine steelheads’ vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, non-native species, and accumulation of toxins. 

  • 2019

  • Emma Clabby

    Emma Clabby

    Emma Clabby is a recipient of a 2019 Keeley Coastal Scholars Award. Her project goal is to study plant mechanisms and traits behind restoration within drought conditions, investigate what can be done to preserve and restore ecosystems, and evaluate whether restoration methods need to be altered to compensate for increasing drought and extreme weather due to climate change. 
  • Vanessa Orozco

    Vanessa Orozco

    Vanessa Orozco is a recipient of a 2019 Keeley Coastal Scholars Award. She plans to study the foraging behavior of rock crabs on purple urchins by participating in crab trapping in three different habitats along Cannery Row in southern Monterey Bay. The results will help inform management plans for the rock crab industry to ensure fisheries do not impair the important functional role of the rock crab in the Monterey Bay ecosystem.
  • Edris Sherdil

    Edris Sherdil

    Edris Sherdil is a recipient of a 2019 Keeley Coastal Scholars Award. His project will study the reduction of top-down controls on sea urchin communities, leading to an increasing population that threatens the kelp forest ecosystem. In addition he will study density and food availability in urchin barrens, two important biotic factors influencing the behavioral ecology, community structure, and population size of urchins.

  • 2018

  • Jade MacMillan

    Jade MacMillan

    Jade MacMillan is the recipient of the 2018 Keeley Coastal Scholars Award. Her research project objective is to study environmental records stored within the tissues of intertidal mussels that track the baseline ecology of Monterey Bay’s coastal ecosystem to better understand how environmental changes propagate higher up in the food web. Long- term records help us to understand the differences between natural variability and human-caused changes.

  • 2017

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    Cassandra Powell

    Cassandra Powell is the recipient of the 2017 Keeley Coastal Scholars Award, which will be used for travel to Alaska to study the impact of ocean acidification and warming on marine communities.

  • 2016

  • image of Alec Apodaca

    Alec Apodaca

    Alec Apodaca is a recipient of the 2016 Keeley Coastal Scholars Award. His research investigates human-environmental interactions, cultural landscapes, traditional resource management, and sociopolitical negotiations during California’s “Late Period” (AD 1500-1800), via radiometric dating on shellfish remains from a coastal archaeological site.
  • image of Erica Sumner

    Erica Sumner

    Erica Sumner is a recipient of the 2016 Keeley Coastal Scholars Award. With her award she plans to research on sea level rise as it impacts the Santa Cruz County coastline as well as pursue a creative vision of community involvement where the voices of children can be heard in a powerful, visual way.

  • 2015

  • Linda Pineda and Erica Ferrer

    Linda Pineda and Erica Ferrer

    Linda Pineda (left) and Erica Ferrer are the first winners of Keeley Coastal scholarships that allow students to spend a summer on research involving coastal sustainability topics. Read more >

    Read "In Their Words" from Linda >

    Read "In Their Words" from Erica >

See Also