Latin American Fisheries Fellowship Program, UC Santa Barbara

A new generation championing healthy marine ecosystems, abundant fisheries, and thriving coastal communities

Photo: Jeff Litton/Marine Photobank

A new generation championing healthy marine ecosystems, abundant fisheries, and thriving coastal communities

Photo: Octavio Aburto/Marine Photobank

A new generation championing healthy marine ecosystems, abundant fisheries, and thriving coastal communities

Photo: Jason Valdez/Marine Photobank

A new generation championing healthy marine ecosystems, abundant fisheries, and thriving coastal communities

  • Mission

    Our mission is to train a new generation of interdisciplinary marine resource managers and conservation practitioners, and accelerate their impact towards solving environmental challenges throughout Latin America.

    LAFF
  • Vision

    Our vision is of a collaborative network, anchored with innovative environmental leaders, championing ocean management in Latin America that achieves healthy ecosystems, abundant fisheries, and thriving coastal communities.

    LAFF
  • Premise

    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.

    *FAO (2014) State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture; Photo: Van Dyck

Graduate Fellowship

Bren Schol exterior FAQs

The Latin American Fisheries Fellowship (LAFF) Program is a prestigious fellowship for early and mid-career marine environmental professionals seeking graduate training to enhance and accelerate their impact in tackling marine resource sustainability challenges in Latin America. Supported by the Walton Family Foundation, fellows earn a world-class graduate degree from the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara. The two-year Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) degree offers interdisciplinary, solution-oriented curriculum that includes rigorous coursework, a capstone Group Project, a graduate internship, and advanced training in communications and Eco-Entrepreneurship. Fellows specialize in Coastal Marine Resources Management (CMRM) while in their tenure at Bren, and further engage in tailored training in innovative approaches to sustainable fisheries management and marine conservation. Through short-courses and seminars, workshops, capstone projects, and individual directed research opportunities, fellows benefit from unique mentorship to explore their interests in marine resources management in Latin America.

Fellows earn an interdisciplinary masters at Bren, building the advanced knowledge and skills to be highly effective environmental problem-solvers.

MESM Degree

Specializing in Coastal Marine Resources Management, Fellows are trained to address complex fisheries management and marine conservation challenges.

CMRM

Fellows gain real-world experience from completing a yearlong capstone project with an outside client, or by launching a sustainable business or nonprofit venture.

Group Project

Fellows engage in specialized curriculum including intensive courses, seminars, projects, and field opportunities specific to CMRM in the Latin American context.

Latin America Focus

Apply Fellowship Application Deadline
January 10th

 

Mission

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.

Premise

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.

Vision

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.

Graduate Fellowship

Bren Schol exteriorFAQs

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.

MESM Degree

Fellows earn an interdisciplinary masters at Bren, building the advanced knowledge and skills to be highly effective environmental problem-solvers.

CMRM

Specializing in Coastal Marine Resources Management, Fellows are trained to address complex fisheries management and marine conservation challenges.

Group Project

Fellows gain real-world experience from completing a yearlong capstone project with an outside client, or by launching a sustainable business or nonprofit venture.

Latin America Focus

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

Meet the LAFF Network

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

Annual Workshops

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.

Short Courses

Visiting experts are hosted each quarter at the Bren campus to instruct advanced courses in CMRM specific to resource management in Latin America.

Seminars

Fellows nominate inspiring leaders and practioners from the fisheries and conservation field to present innovative ideas to the UCSB marine science and management community.

Internships

Fellows build marketable professional experience, collaborate with mentors, and develop and apply new skills to diverse initiatives and organizations working in Latin America.

Specialized Projects

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.

GPs and Eco-E

Fellows develop innovative approaches or entrepreneurial ventures to address real-world marine environmental challenges in collaboration with Government, NGO, or industry clients.

meet the network

Meet the LAFF Network

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.

Does this sound like you?

Apply

Sound like someone you know?

Refer

Highlights

  • Congrats to the 2016 graduating cohort!

    In June 2016, LAFF's fourth cohort of Fellows graduated with their MESM degrees from Bren! Additionally, another Fellow gradutated with her PhD from the doctoral program in Environmental Science and Management. Learn more about the work each of our newest LAFF Alumni will be engaging with as they re-enter the field of sustainable fisheries management and conservation in Latin America. 

  • SWM and LAFF Fellows are immerses in intensive leadership training

    Sustainable Water Markets Fellows together with Latin American Fisheries Fellows complete an intensive science focused leadership training with the UK-based Barefoot Thinking Group. The "Challenge of Science Leadership" certificate course is focused on emerging and mid-level scientistist, and trains in techniques to enhance everyday tactics for strategic thinking, influencing behavior, and enabling action. Learn more about this short course on strategic leadership here

  • LAFF travels to El Golfo de Santa Clara, Mexico to learn about the curvina golfina and recent catch shares program

    Fellows visit Gulfo de Santa Clara, Mexico with members from the EDF Mexico program to learn about the unique corvina golfina fishery, and recent management reforms to implement a catch share program, reffered to as Manejo compartido por cuotas. Fellows had a the opportunity to talk with NGO partners, fishermen, processers, buyers, to get a sense of how the 2012 reform to a catch share manangement system has been working.

  • SCRIPPS/LAFF Group photo
    Fellows visit the Gulf of California Marine Program to exchange with researchers from SCRIPPS

    LAFF Fellows travel to UC San Diego for a day of program exchange with the Gulf of California Marine Program, a multidisciplinary group of researchers housed at SCRIPPS Institute of Oceanography. Fellows and GC Marine Program researchers presented on a wide array of the projects and research each program is involved in, with an eye toward future collaborative initiatives related to region.

  • LAFF 3rd annual workshop
    LAFF Fellows Head to Laz Paz for 3rd Annual Workshop

    At the end of 2015, 25 current fellows and alumni of the program convened for the third annual LAFF workshop. The four-day event was held on the campus of El Mangle in La Paz, Baja California, Mexico, and was focused on building and strengthening the LAFF network and identifying ways to accelerate the collective impact of LAFF students and alumni. Guest experts in Latin American fisheries management and network-building were also on hand, including Nakul Saran, vice president of the NGO Rare; Laura Rodriguez, Director of Oceans for the Environmental Defense Fund, Mexico; Hoyt Peckam, founder of Smartfish; James Honey, Executive Director of El Mangle; and Madeliene Taylor, a principal at the Impact Network.

  • LAFF welcomes its 5th cohort of fellows!

    LAFF welcomes the 5th cohort of Fellows the Bren. The cohort comprises 6 MESM fellows and 2 new PhD fellows coming from Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru and the U.S. Learn more about their background and particular interests in marine resource management by visiting their bio pages (coming soon). 

  • Doris Soto
    FAO's Dr. Doris Soto gives special seminar on global aquaculture

    Doris Soto, Senior Officer for FAO's Environmental Aquaculture division, kicks off the spring seminar "Enhancing coastal-social ecological systems through aquaculture." Her talk, titled "Global Aquaculture and the challenges to increase food security in a sustainable way" provided unique insight for students and faculty researchers based on her work at FAO headquarters in Rome. Additional speakers in this special topics seminar will include experts from across the aquaculture arena, examining markets and consumer dynamics, innovations in feeds and production systems, regulatory and industry considerations, and key sustainability issued as relate to intensification of sustainable aquaculture.

  • Presenter in front of screen at conference
    Fellows travel to international conferences to present new research

    Second year MESM and PhD Fellows engage wide audiences in presenting individual and collaborative research at international conferences related to resource management and oceans. Examples include the Small-Scale Fisheries Congress (presenting research on TURF design dynamics, resilience and cooperation in fishing communities, and community led fisheries restoration); Conference on Resilience of Social-Ecological Systems, the International Conference for Conservation Biology, as well as special topics symposiums for the World Bank, amongst many more.

  • LAFF welcomes PhD Students as Fellows!

    Starting Fall 2014, the Bren School awarded LAFF fellowships for the first time to PhD students with outstanding promise to contribute to scientific understanding of fisheries dynamics and management. Contributing in a new way to a growing network if interdisciplinary environmental professionals in Latin America, LAFF is excited to be supporting the work of these PhD students to push frontierws of what we know about sustainable resource management. Learn more about the work of the PhD Fellows here!

  • Gelcich's portrait
    Dr. Stefan Gelcich returns to Bren for sabbatical to continue research on scaling marine conservation

    LAFF welcomes back Chilean Professor (P.U.C.) and 2014 recipient of the Pew Marine Conservation Fellowship for his sabbatical to collaborate with Bren faculty, LAFF fellows and the Sustainable Fisheries Group on new research on social-ecological systems.

Spotlight on Sustainable Fisheries Management in Latin America

Engage with a community of fisheries managers and conservation practitioners by sharing initiatives and stories of innovative resource management in Latin America that you’d like to shine our spotlight on.

Opportunities

We invite you to join our LAFF LinkedIn Group to share and learn about exciting professional opportunities and capacity needs within institutions, initiatives and efforts related to sustainable fisheries management and marine conservation in Latin America. The LAFF network encourages you to post your organization’s job openings, internships or project needs, Requests for Proposals, and other opportunities that would be of interest to a wide and interdisciplinary community of marine environmental professionals across Latin America.

Sign Up to Our Mailing List