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

    The mission of LAFF is to train a new generation of highly effective environmental professionals and accelerate their career impact on solving sustainable fisheries challenges throughout Latin America.

    LAFF
  • Vision

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

    LAFF
  • Premise

    Latin America is home to some of the most diverse and productive marine ecosystems in the world. Millions of people across the region rely on fisheries for their livelihoods and depend on seafood as a primary source of protein. At the same time, the region's marine resources face increasing sustainability challenges, ultimately posing risk to the well-being of coastal communities.

    We believe that the LAFF Network is uniquely poised to help tackle these challenges through working to: 1) foster cross-sector collaboration, 2) forge cooperation amongst countries, 3) align incentives for long-term resource sustainability, 4) increase equality in resrouce management decision-making processes, and 5) elevate the importance of fisheries to policy makers.

     

     

     

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

 

Graduate Fellowship

Bren Schol exterior Frequent Questions

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 UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. The two-year Master of Environmental Science and Management (MESM) degree provides an interdisciplinary, solution-oriented curriculum that includes rigorous coursework, a masters project addressing a real-world environmental problem, a professional internship, and advanced training in communications and/or entrepreneurship. Fellows specialize in Coastal Marine Resources Management (CMRM) and further engage in tailored opportunities around innovative approaches to sustainable fisheries management and marine conservation. Through short-courses and seminars, workshops, capstone projects, and directed research, fellows benefit from unique mentorship under Bren Faculty while in their tenure as fellows to explore their interests and expand their capacity to tackle complex marine environmental problems as sustainable fisheries and marine conservation practitioners.

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.

Regional Focus

Apply Now Fellowship Application Deadline
January 08, 2017

 

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, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and sustainable business.

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Program Highlights

  • Fellows and Alumni present on research and initiatives at the 2017 NAAFE Forum in Mexico

    Fellows participated in the the North American Association of Fisheries Economists' 2017 Forum, presenting research and initiatives in collaboration with Conservation International, LAFF, WWF and UBC. Jointly with Conservation International and the Ocean Partnership Project of the Wold Bank, LAFF hosted a special session on "Investing in fishery recovery," featuring case studies from around the world to share insight on overcoming barriers to unlocking private investment in fisheries recovery.

  • Congrats to the 2017 graduating cohort!

    In June 2016, LAFF's fifth cohort of Fellows graduated with their MESM degrees from Bren! 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.

  • Fellows are immersed in intensive trainings in Science Leadership, and Systems Thinking

    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.

  • Fellows 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.

  • LAFF 3rd annual workshop
    LAFF hosts fellows and alumni in Laz Paz for 3rd Alumni 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 a 6th cohort of fellows!

    LAFF welcomes the 6th cohort of Fellows the Bren. The cohort comprises 5 MESM fellows that come from Belize, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru. Learn more about their diverse background and particular interests in marine resource management by visiting their bio pages

  • LAFF's own economist teaches special topics course on "Economics of Fisheries Management"

    LAFF is excited to host our very own Renato Molina (of UCSB's Econ Dept.) to teach "Economics of Fisheries Management." The aim of the course is to develop a practical understanding of key concepts in resource economics and their applications to fisheries in real life management settings. Students will gain understanding of (i) linkages between fisheries biology and the economic incentives from a user’s perspective, (ii) sources of conflict and inefficiency, and (iii) methodologies to overcome management challenges. The course, which will be replicated for resource managers and policy makers in the coming year, is also livecast to LAFF alumni and interested fisheries professionals around Latin America!

  • 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.

  • Bren welcomes Dr. Miguel Angel Cisneros to teach LAFF intensive course.

    Dr. Miguel Angel Cisneros, former Director General of INAPESCA (National Fisheries Institute of Mexico), teaches LAFF’s spring intensive course on “Science for Fisheries Management and Policy.” As a leading fishery scientists from Mexico, Dr. Cisneros' course provides students with practical insight into how science is translated into policy and management in the context of Latin America. Lectures, discussion, and analytical exercises will explore what is required for fisheries science and policy to be effective. emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of policy instruments, institutional arrangements, science diffusion, participatory monitoring, governance, co-management, and socio-economic considerations.

  • 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.

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