Kayla Clauson (MA, 2020)
After graduating from the the Marine Conservation and Policy program at SoMAS in 2020, Kayla secured a role at the State of Delaware's Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), within the Division of Watershed Stewardship as an Environmental Scientist II. Her role as one of the wetland scientists is participating in tidal and non-tidal wetland assessments. She currently leads two projects, the statewide Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) surveys in Delaware, and manages the wildlife habitat usage for the beneficial reuse of dredge material. Working with wetlands allows for diverse field work; one day she is collecting macroinvertebrates in a stream assessment and the other monitoring vegetation in a salt marsh.
Kayla is originally from Brentwood, Long Island but moved to the Poconos at 9 years old. She started community college in Pennsylvania and later moved back to her childhood home on Long Island where she attended Suffolk County Community College for two years as a biology major. She transferred into Stony Brook University for an undergraduate degree in Marine Sciences, and immediately applied to the MCP program after graduating in 2019. She highlights her study abroad experience in Cape Eleuthera to be one of the most unique experiences from the MCP program. She studied apex predators in the Bahamas, catching, tagging, and collecting biological samples from sharks. Kayla’s capstone project was through Rhode Island's Department of Environmental Management, on Prudence Island with the Narragansett Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (NBNERR) where she was an educator and research assistant. Her independent project focused on spawning and studying American Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus) population dynamics on the island of Prudence Island centered within Narragansett Bay. Her care for animals, including her 11 pets is astonishing!