Hello! My name is Leah Wise. I came to the EMAP program with an undergraduate background in biology with a concentration on marine biology. Upon graduating from Cornell University, I began working for the National Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as a Fishery Observer. My position focused on collecting fishing characteristics, biological samples, and disposition information of catch and bycatch from commercial fisheries in the Southeast Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico. After spending most of my time as an Observer on the water, I witnessed the effects of anthropogenic activities on ecosystems and organisms in the ocean. Having learned about the effects of human activities on the environment in an academic setting and then experiencing these negative effects first-hand, I decided to pursue my Masters in a field that would allow me to combat these sources of environmental harm at their source.
I chose Georgetown’s EMAP program because of its unique ability to garner true understanding of the science behind policies aimed at protecting ecosystems and bettering our human and natural environmental interactions while simultaneously teaching how these policy processes work.
My advice for future EMAP students is not to underestimate yourself. In order to be successful and meet your goals, you must be willing to take risks and be open to new opportunities. Be confident in your abilities and willing to build off of them.