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Waitt Institute Welcomes Marine Spatial Planning Manager Emily Stokes

Updated: 3 days ago


Emily Stokes has joined the Waitt Institute as a Marine Spatial Planning Manager. In this role, Emily will work to advance marine spatial planning that supports livelihoods, improves economies, and ensures long-term ocean health. Her portfolio will include sites around the world, in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.


Emily was raised in Seattle, Washington and attributes the beautiful Pacific Northwest as the inspiration for her life-long love of the outdoors and drive to protect our environment. Learning to dive in college solidified her commitment to dedicating her career to ocean conservation.


Emily previously worked campaigning for the creation of large-scale marine protected areas. Her work focused mainly on New Zealand, Mexico, and Ecuador creating campaign strategies and facilitating stakeholder engagements. Prior to joining the Waitt Institute, Emily took a two-year hiatus to earn a Master’s in International Environmental Policy with a specialization in Ocean and Coastal Resource Management from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, California.


The pause in career to attend graduate school further enforced for Emily that spatial protection policy is her passion. During her time at Middlebury, Emily consulted for the Coral Reefs of the Highs Seas Coalition, a group of policy and science experts working to support the creation of high seas MPAs through scientific and policy research. In this time, she co-authored a paper in the journal Marine Policy to inventory the cultural and maritime heritage of the Salas y Gómez and Nazca Ridges in the high seas off the coasts of Chile and Peru.


Emily joins the Marine Spatial Planning team led by John Weber, the Waitt Institute’s Marine Spatial Planning Director. Her addition will strengthen the organization’s capacity to support governments and stakeholders in collaborative, open, and equitable marine spatial planning.

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