Christy Bowles: #IAmSeaGrant

With the publication of the current administration’s budget calling Sea Grant part of the “lower priority, and in many cases, unauthorized” parts of NOAA, we here at DSN are highlighting people who are or have been supported by Sea Grant. If you would like to share your story with us about why #IAmSeaGrant, please send it to us.

Christy Bowles is faculty at Cal State Sacramento and American River College.

As I heard that the president’s budget would eliminate the Sea Grant program, I reflected on how Sea Grant started my career and has allowed me to give back to society.

I was a California Sea Grant State fellow. Funded by Sea Grant and the state of California, I spent a year learning how to use my science background to benefit natural habitats, wildlife, and coastal communities. Because #IamSeaGrant, I was a critical part of teams to address climate change adaptation and management of our precious coast. The money I earned went back into my local community, including my child’s preschool.

Four years later, my time as a Sea Grant Fellow shapes my daily life. I am now faculty at a community college and a state university, where I teach science and applied science classes. I just returned from a morning class, planting vegetation to stabilize a creek bank. Because of Sea Grant, my students are learning about critical environmental problems inside and outside of the classroom. Because of Sea Grant, my students are active in studying and restoring natural areas. Because #IamSeaGrant, I can better equip my students, including many first generation college students, with the knowledge and skills they need to become our future scientists and policy-makers.