Sarah Hutchinson

Last Updated May 2020

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Sarah was born and raised in the suburbs of Annapolis, Maryland, where she spent the majority of her time on the Chesapeake Bay and on camping trips in the Appalachians with family. Her upbringing nurtured an appreciation and curiosity for natural systems.

In 2016 she graduated from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science, focusing on ecological processes. During her schooling, she embarked on a series of summer solo road trips spanning across the United States. Her interest in environmental conservation and yearning for discovery led her over 60,000 miles, exploring and living in 25+ national parks and marine sanctuaries.

Becoming informed about the critical resources in the U.S. park system quickly evolved from a hobby into a set of research goals. After graduating, she was employed in Dr. Chris Swan's ecology laboratory at UMBC, assisting graduate students with stream metacommunity health and urban biodiversity studies.

Afterwards, she returned to school to earn a Certificate in Ecosystem Restoration, where her final project focused on the ecology of coral reefs and global restoration practices.

In 2017, Sarah was recruited to become a science and research intern in the Biospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, Maryland. For over two years she worked on a diverse team led by Dr. Assaf Anyamba and Dr. Radina Soebiyanto, as part of the GESTAR Program within the Universities Space Research Association. Her team focused on developing climate-based analytical tools for monitoring, mapping, and forecasting waterborne and vector-borne diseases globally. After leaving GSFC, she moved to the Gulf of Thailand for divemaster training, before relocating to Oahu.

Sarah was awarded the NOAA Nancy Foster Scholarship in 2020 and is a full-time graduate assistant for the Department of Natural Sciences. Her research focuses on Wedge-tailed Shearwater plastic ingestion rates, and characterizing the oceanographic features used by these seabirds while foraging in the Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuary. She is co-advised by Dr. David Hyrenbach at HPU, and Dr. Elliott Hazen at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

 

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