Sara is a master’s student at USF studying Global Sustainability with a concentration in water.
I chose this masters program to expand my knowledge of sustainability topics, advance my career, and make an impact in my local community. Gaining a global perspective on sustainability themes is a unique opportunity that I’m looking forward to sharing with others.
I began focusing on environmental and conservation matters in my undergraduate studies at Texas A&M University in Galveston, Texas. During this time my passion for water and marine ecology grew, especially while taking scientific diving courses. In 2005, I moved to Florida and began working at Mote Marine Laboratory doing finfish surveys on artificial reef systems, seagrass and coral fieldwork, and teaching scuba diving courses. For the past five years I have managed various projects and grants for water quality improvement, habitat restoration, sea level rise, environmental education and outreach with the Sarasota Bay National Estuary Program as the Public Outreach Manager. When I return to Florida at the end of June, I will begin a new position as the Sustainability Outreach Coordinator for Sarasota County.
I will be working with the International RiverFoundation in Brisbane, Australia for my research project. The title is: Watershed Management Practices and Policies In Urban Environments: A Comparison of the United States and Australia. Each watershed or river basin has site-specific goals to manage water quality but an important focus should be on the urban core of the watershed. Source control stormwater management of these areas can be implemented through green infrastructure and other low-impact development strategies. This research will examine case studies in the United States and Australia to determine best practices for watershed management with a focus on urban areas. A comparison of water quality policies and institutional frameworks of these watershed management plans in both countries will be examined. The research objective results will be a comparison of the best management practices in various urban watersheds throughout the world.