After Laura Sanchez graduated from the University of Florida in 2017, she was unsure if she wanted to pursue a career in language and international politics, or ecology and conservation. While participating on the CLS Program in 2018, she was able to further explore her interests by signing up for an elective course, “Newspaper Chinese.”
“Newspaper Chinese in Dalian became my first and greatest tool in exploring Chinese, international politics, and conservation.”
Laura discussed her topics of interest with her language partner, a chemistry major at the University of Dalian. She also engaged in debates with her peers using new vocabulary.
Working with the Leatherback Conservation Project for Asociación Estación Las Tortugas in Limon, Costa Rica
Laura is now studying at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey for her master’s in international environmental policy with specialization in ocean and coastal resource management. She chose the Middlebury Institute because they offer a program that merges her interests in language and culture with her career goals in ocean and coastal conservation.
Her current work aims to improve the way in which technologies are being used for managing fisheries in the U.S. and around the world through better guidance and efficiency while allowing for innovation. The current frameworks prevent long-term adaptation to technology changes by implementing strict regulations. Her project co-authored by Dr. Melissa Garren, “How Performance Standards Could Support Innovation and Technology: Compatible Fisheries Management Frameworks in the U.S.” was recently submitted for review at Journal: Marine Policy.
This summer she will intern at the Environmental Defense Fund working on a climate adaptation project for fisheries management of the Humboldt Current Large Marine Ecosystem.
“Species migrate. They don’t stop at a country’s border when they swim, so the project aims to build a better communication platform that helps managers and fisheries build resilience to climate change.”
“Language played a critical role in shaping me into a better communicator and advocate for the environment across international boundaries. In an interdisciplinary field requiring cooperation in conservation work, I've been able to use my CLS experience and the skills I developed on program in my research. I am able to contribute from the Chinese perspective to the conservation crisis, particularly fisheries. It is rare to have so many angles to a story, even more so from China, so I feel very fortunate to be able to do that.”
2018 Dalian cohort
April 20, 2021