Dana is a 4th year PhD Candidate in Marine Science and Conservation at the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, North Carolina. Her dissertation research investigates the relationships between the environment and human wellbeing, focusing on issues of poverty and protected areas in sub-Saharan Africa. She has a MESc in Environmental Science from Yale University. She is a returned Peace Corps Volunteer and is fluent in Kiswahili. Beyond her academic pursuits, she enjoys trail running, ocean kayaking, and gardening.

Marine protected areas (MPAs) remain a leading strategy to promote ocean and coastal conservation across the world. Yet, the quality of governance processes used and the social consequences of many MPAs are the subject of widespread critique. The goal of her dissertation research is to examine how small-scale fishers (SSF) wellbeing, focusing on relational values and place identity, is affected by the implementation of an MPA. It adapts existing approaches to better understand how MPAs change this relationship in SSF communities living in and around Mnazi Bay-Ruvuma Estuary Marine Park (MBREMP), located southern Tanzania. Qualitative data collection methods include: semi-structured in-depth interviews, document analysis, structured observation, and community feedback sessions. Due to the pandemic, Dana is unable to travel until restrictions are lifted, and will focus on the intersection of COVID-19, human rights, and the impacts on Tanzanian small-scale fishers over the summer. 


August 2020: Human wellbeing, marine protected areas, and the pandemic