Coastal and marine ecosystems across Latin America include some of the most diverse and productive in the world. Over 2 million people in the region directly depend on fisheries for livelihoods, and millions more rely on seafood and other ocean services for well-being. These systems throughout the region also face increasing sustainability challenges - from overfishing to a changing climate - and it's our belief that just as the environmental problems often extend beyond national borders and disciplinary boundaries, lasting solutions will emerge from reaching beyond these bounds too.
Our mission is to train a new generation of interdisciplinary marine resource managers and conservation professionals, and accelerate their impact towards solving environmental challenges throughout Latin America.
Marine ecosystems of Latin America include some of the most diverse and productive in the world. Over 2 million people in coastal communities across the region directly rely on fisheries for livelihoods, while millions more depend on seafood and other ocean services for their wellbeing.
These environments also face immense sustainability challenges, often comprising complex problems that extend beyond international borders or disciplinary boundaries. We believe solutions to these environmental problems will arise from reaching beyond these barriers too—and our emerging network of environmental professionals in Latin America is poised to be part of the solution.
Our vision is of a high-impact network, anchored with innovative environmental leaders, championing ocean management that achieves healthy ecosystems, abundant fisheries, and thriving coastal communities across Latin America.
Supported by the Walton Family Foundation, the Latin American Fisheries Fellowship Program (LAFF) offers a prestigious fellowship for early-career and aspiring marine environmental professionals to earn a world-class graduate degree from UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. The Bren School’s Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) is an interdisciplinary, solution-oriented curriculum that includes rigorous coursework, a capstone Group Project or Eco-Entrepreneurship Project, a graduate internship, and advanced training in communications. Fellows earn this degree specializing in Coastal Marine Resources Management (CMRM) and receive specialized training in innovative approaches to sustainable fisheries management and marine conservation through short-courses, seminars and workshops, Group Projects or Eco-E ventures, and directed research opportunities to explore themes of individual interest related to marine resource issues in the Latin American context.
Fellows earn an interdisciplinary masters at Bren, building the advanced knowledge and skills to be highly effective environmental problem-solvers.
Specializing in Coastal Marine Resources Management, Fellows are trained to address complex fisheries management and marine conservation challenges.
Fellows gain real-world experience from completing a yearlong capstone project with an outside client, or by launching a sustainable business or nonprofit venture.
Fellows engage in specialized curriculum including intensive courses, seminars, projects, and field opportunities specific to CMRM in the Latin American context.
Apply Fellowship Application Deadline
January 15th 2015
Who We Are
Fellows are interdisciplinary environmental problem-solvers dedicated to impactful careers in marine resources management; LAFF are emerging leaders, resource managers, conservation practitioners, entrepreneurs, academics, and policy makers.
What We Do
Fellows find, create, test, innovate, and implement solutions to marine environmental problems—they use systems thinking, market-based approaches, and interdisciplinary science to inform environmental management. LAFF do this in their tenure at the Bren School, and then into careers of impact.
Where We Work
Fellows come from, and return to countries across Latin America. They work with the smallest coastal communities and in the largest capitals—or international arenas. LAFF attain prominent roles spanning environmental organizations, academic institutions, civil associations, government agencies, and sustainable business.
What We're Learning
Fellows, LAFF alumni, program advisors and regional experts, as well as a select group of fisheries management practitioners and decision-makers conveine every year in a Latin American location to share new ideas and best practices from the field. Participants reconnect and engage as a network to strategically advance solutions to marine resource management challenges immediately facing practitioners.
Visiting experts are hosted each quarter at the Bren campus to instruct advanced courses in CMRM specific to resource management in Latin America.
Fellows nominate inspiring leaders and practioners from the fisheries and conservation field to present innovative ideas to the UCSB marine science and management community.
Fellows build marketable professional experience, collaborate with mentors, and develop and apply new skills to diverse initiatives and organizations working in Latin America.
Fellows have unique opportunities to engage in collaborative projects with major initiatives and research groups associated with UC Santa Barbara's word-class faculty, and with LAFF Alumni in the field.
Fellows develop innovative approaches or entrepreneurial ventures to address real-world marine environmental challenges in collaboration with Government, NGO, or industry clients.