Center For Ocean Sciences Education Excellence COSEE Island Earth
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Featured Scientist - Danielle Spirandelli - 01.14.2014

Hometown: San Francisco

Occupation: Assistant Professor

Research Interests: I am interested in understanding the dynamic interactions between socio-economic, bio-physical and geochemical processes in coastal urban environments and the implications for coastal ecosystem functions. Currently, much of my empirical work focuses on examining the impacts of urban development patterns and waste water infrastructure choices on coastal ecosystem services. My research goal is to inform sustainable design and planning practices in coastal environments.

Interests Growing up: Having grown up in San Francisco, a beautiful, yet dense & urban coastal city, I became fascinated with the design, planning and ecology of cities. My parents also interested in the history and architecture of cities would bring my brother and I on many trips to learn about other urban places.

How I got into Marine Science: In San Francisco, I grew up a block away from Park Presidio, which at the time was an important Army post on the Pacific Coast. After college, I returned home soon after the post was decommissioned and transferred to the National Park Service. I had the opportunity to work intimately with coastal ecologists in restoring key aspects of the coastal park using principles of coastal processes. I returned to graduate school to earn a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture and a PhD in Urban Design and Planning with a special focus on Urban Ecology. My dissertation research focused on coastal development, bio-geochemical processes and coastal water quality.

Scientific Mission: To maintain & improve key ecosystem functions that support the health of coastal ecosystems, habitats, and communities.

Advice for Young Scientists: Follow your passions, your interests and never stop asking questions. You can never be too young or too old to be a scientist. My four-year old twins are natural scientists; they are constantly stopping, observing, asking questions and describing their discoveries with enthusiasm. Hopefully this will be a life-long love.

Questions for Danielle? Contact her here:

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