Hilary Lohmann spent the last two years in the U.S. Virgin Islands as a Coral Reef Management Fellow for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, studying and protecting the coral reef ecosystem at East End Marine Park in St. Croix. Now she’s headed to the opposite end of the West Indies with a Fulbright research grant in hand to conduct research at a marine protected area in Barbados.
In Barbados, she will spend 10 months studying a marine protected area designed to balance the needs of the natural resources with the needs of the local people.
“In the ever-changing natural environment that we seek to protect, this project will help to clarify the relationship between people and the environment and thus increase the social justice of protected area policies,” Hilary explained.
The project, which she designed herself, involves collecting and linking biodiversity, livelihood and governance data to advise the policy and management decisions of the marine park. Her work will serve as a framework for future efforts aimed at aligning protected area and human development priorities.
Upon completion of the research project, Hilary plans to pursue a career designing and managing humanitarian conservation projects that assist communities with programs that sustain the environment, livelihoods and families.