Kaitlin Giglio (MS, 2017)
The Marine Conservation and Policy (MCP) program is pleased to announce the appointment of their new Assistant Director, Kaitlin Willig Giglio! A Long Island Native and SoMAS alum, she is thrilled to be stepping into this role where she will focus on day-to-day student advising and inquiries about the program.
Kaitlin grew up on Long Island and spent her summers enjoying the ocean on her uncle’s boat in the Great South Bay. After graduating from Stony Brook with a B.S. in Coastal Environmental Studies, she continued on to pursue her M.S. in Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at SoMAS. Most recently she has worked in the Waste Reduction and Management Institute at Stony Brook as a research oceanographer working on a variety of waste management issues.
Kaitlin’s passion for marine conservation was sparked in high school during a beach clean up when she was shocked by the amount of anthropogenic debris that had been washed ashore. This forced her to ask the question: “If this is what has washed up on the beach, how much is still left out there in the ocean?” This moment was the first of many that inspired Kaitlin to pursue a career in conservation and waste management.
When asked why we should care about marine conservation, Kaitlin’s passion was evident as she discussed the intrinsic value of marine environments as well as their impact on humanity: “The vast array of flora and fauna [marine environments] contain are both amazing in their own right and also extremely valuable to humanity as a whole. We rely on the oceans for food, renewable energy, recreation, and as a source of genetic material used in the development of cutting edge medications. These ecosystems are so valuable that we cannot afford not to conserve them.”
This is just one of the reasons Kaitlin is so excited to be working with the MCP team, supporting a program that is designed to prepare students for the real life challenges facing them in the conservation field. Kaitlin praises the program for its interdisciplinary and “student-led” approach stating that “students have the opportunity to direct their education through their internship/research and capstone project, which helps them build a strong and personalized platform to jump off of when they graduate.” Kaitlin’s passion for learning, her deep roots with the Stony Brook University community, and her wealth of experience will undoubtedly help raise the MCP program to new heights!
On a personal note, when Kaitlin is not saving the world one beach clean up at a time she enjoys playing video games and crocheting. Welcome to the MCP team, Kaitlin!