Former University of Georgia and Skidaway Institute of Oceanography graduate student Adriana Webb was awarded her master’s degree in May. She presented her non-thesis master’s project, “Guiding the Way with Marine Debris 101: An Online Course for Ecotour Guides,” on April 24.
Webb came to UGA as a Ph.D. student in 2021, but changed over to a non-thesis master’s degree to pursue her interest in science education. She spent the summer of 2022 at Skidaway and worked with Skidaway researcher Jay Brandes and Marine Extension educator Dodie Sanders, studying microplastics in the coastal environment. Her master’s project was an online education course about marine debris aimed at ecotourism operators.
“My goal is to educate these leaders in order that they may incorporate the latest knowledge about the causes of and ways to mitigate plastic pollution, and for them to be able to pass this information on to those they guide in expeditions,” Webb said. “In this way, a relatively small group of people can educate many more.”
She credits Brandes for supporting her through the process. “Marine debris can be a very saddening topic to research,” she said, “But Dr. Brandes was always there to remind me why I’m doing what I do, and to remind me that one person truly can make a difference.”
Webb’s committee consisted of Brandes, Sanders and UGA professor Merryl Alber in the Department of Marine Sciences.