Melissa K. Watkinson


I am queer and I am a social scientist. //

I collaborate and partner with tribes and coastal communities to study the social and cultural impacts of ocean changes using mixed methods of quantitative, qualitative, and spatial analyses. I am a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and grew up in the Pacific Northwest where I consider the Salish Sea my home. When I learned about the effects that anthropogenic climate changes and other ocean changes were having on marine first foods, I knew that I wanted, and had the responsibility, to work on addressing these issues. I believe that the integration of western and indigenous sciences has the potential for profound opportunities to address the social, cultural, and ecological impacts that these ocean changes have created. Additionally, parts of my work are to advance environmental justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion within the environmental field broadly.